The ancient parish of Normanton on Soar occupies 1,449 acres about 13 miles south-west of Nottingham. Nearby villages include Zouch, Sutton Bonington, and Stanford on Soar. The post town for Normanton is Loughborough leading to the confusion of being in Nottinghamshire but with a Leicestershire post code.
White's Directory of Nottinghamshire, written in 1853, describes Normanton thus: Normanton-On-Soar is a picturesque village and parish in the vale of the Soar, 13 miles south by west of Nottingham, bounded on the south by Leicestershire and on the north by the Wolds.
The 1881 census reported that the village had 322 inhabitants. The village is now home to between 450 and 500 inhabitants. The population of the civil parish at the 2011 census was 448.
Normanton appears several times in the Domesday survey of 1086 as Normantune and Normantun. The name, Normanton, derives from the Anglo-Saxon 'Northman's Tun' meaning Northman's Farm. It is believed to be first used sometime between AD 870 and 940.
Normanton on Soar has a Grade I listed Church along with four Grade II listed buildings, all on Main Street: The Old Post Office (75 Main Street), Dovecote at Rangraak, Home Farmhouse and Ivy Cottage.
The medieval Grade I Listed church, Church of St. James, was built in the 13th century. Located in the south of the village, on Main Street, it is situated on the east bank of the River Soar. The church is one of only two churches in Nottinghamshire to have a central tower crowned with a spire. The 15th century timber roof was noted for being of “excellent design” in 1910. Also of note are the royal coat-of-arms of Charles II, dated 1683, which sit above the chancel arch. In April 2014 work was completed rebuilding and re-pointing the spire. Within the Church there is a bronze war memorial dedicated to the lives of villagers lost in World War One. The Church is open for the public during the day on Saturday and Sunday.
The Old Post Office, on Main Street, is a Grade II listed thatched cruck cottage dating from 1454. It is the oldest house in Normanton and the only lived-in cruck building in Nottinghamshire.
The Chain Ferry is located in the south of the village and was mentioned earliest on a map from 1771. It is one of the few remaining Chain Ferries operating in the UK. It is the last chain ferry still operating in Nottinghamshire . The Ferry was relaunched in April 2017 offering crossings between 10AM and 4:30PM every weekend during the summer (between April and September). The current fee per crossing is £1 per person and 50p per dog/bicycle. The Ferry is operated by volunteers from the village.