The villages of South Muskham and Little Carlton lie between the Great North Road (now the B6325) and the A616 Ollerton Road in the Newark and Sherwood district of Nottinghamshire.
Located just 2 miles north of Newark-on-Trent and with the A1 passing close by the parish enjoys excellent road connections with Lincoln, Nottingham, Doncaster and Sheffield which are all less than an hour’s journey away. The East Coast Main Line passes to the north of South Muskham and is served by the nearby stations in both Newark and Retford and to the south lie arable fields and some 40 hectares of fishing lakes owned and managed by the Nottinghamshire Piscatorial Society.
An extract from Whites ‘Directory of Nottinghamshire’ 1853 describes South Muskham as “a village and parish on the North Road, near to the clumsy and wooden bridge which crosses the broad stream of the Trent, 2 miles north-west of Newark. It contains 282 inhabitants and 2,612 acres of which Lord Middleton is the owner except for about 20 acres in small freeholds, and lessee under the prebendary and chapter. The Great North Railway passes through the parish. The church, dedicated to St Wilfreds, is an ancient structure with nave, chancel, side aisles and tower, with three bells."
Little Carlton is described by Historic England as being "“mentioned in the Domesday survey of 1086 where it is documented that Carleton, as it was then known, was owned by the Archbishop of York. In the survey Carleton is listed in conjunction with Muskham and it is recorded that between them there was enough land for nine and a half ploughs. It also documents a mill, 66 acres of meadow and 80 acres of underwood. At the time of the Domesday survey the land was worth a total of 10 shillings. The abandoned areas of Little Carlton medieval village survive as a series of earthworks and buried remains which are defined by two areas of protection both lying to the west of Bathley Lane and north of Ollerton Road.”
The parish is reported to contain one of the densest areas of known archaeological remains in the Trent Valley, reflecting a long history of settlement and landscape development.
Today the villages have retained their largely rural characteristic and development is limited in line with Newark and Sherwood District Council’s Core Strategy. The 2011 Census records a total population of 494 with the parish becoming largely a commuting community. In addition to local farming businesses, South Muskham adjoins land owned by the Nottinghamshire Piscatorial Society and also the Newark site for British Sugar plc.