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Mansfield is a market town in Nottinghamshire, England, the main town in the District of Mansfield and Mansfield Urban Area. Nestling in the Maun Valley surrounded by hills, it lies 12 miles (19 km) north of Nottingham in a largely urban district, most of whose 106,556 population live in Mansfield (including Mansfield Woodhouse), with Market Warsop a secondary centre. It is adjacent to the urban area of Sutton-in-Ashfield. Mansfield is the only major sub-regional centre in the county, covering an area of 30 square miles (78 sq km). It is the county's one local authority area directly to elect its Mayor. The district has been influenced by its industrial past of coal mining and textiles, which thrived into the 1990s. Today's Mansfield has 20.2 per cent (12,890) of its working-age population seeking key out-of-work benefits (based on a 63,800 total working age population, NOMIS). The population has fallen over the last century along with this industrial base, despite some diversification.
Settlement in the Mansfield area is known to date back to Roman times, with a villa discovered in 1787 by a Major Rooke between Mansfield Woodhouse and Pleasley and a cache of denarii coins found near King's Mill in 1849. After the end of Roman occupation, the early English royalty are said to have stayed there, with the Mercian Kings having used it as a base for hunting in the nearby Sherwood Forest.