ROTHERHAM: Geographical and Historical information from the year 1868.
"ROTHERHAM, a parish, market town, and township, in the S. division of Strafforth wapentake, West Riding county York, 5 miles N.E. of Sheffield, 48 S.W. of York, and 159 N.W. of London, or 172 by railway. It is the Junction station of the Midland and Sheffield and Rotherham railways. The parish, which is of large extent, includes, besides the town of Rotherham, the townships of Brinsworth, Catcliffe, Greasbrough, Kimberworth, Orgreave, Tinsley, and part of Dalton, together with the hamlets of Masbrough and Holmes, which belong to the township of Kimberworth, but form part of the town of Rotherham. Rotherham is a flourishing manufacturing town, situated on rising ground near the right bank of the river Don, some little distance below its junction with the Rother. It is a place of great antiquity, and, possessing many advantages, has risen considerably of late years in importance both as a manufacturing and commercial town. There are traces of Roman remains, consisting of earthworks and a rectangular encampment called Temple Brough, supposed to have been the station Ad Fines, and Roman coins and other antiquities have been found thereabouts. In the reign of Edward the Confessor it was held by Acune, and after the Norman conquest, the Earl of Mortaigne granted it to Nigel de Lovetot. It then came into the possession of the Vescis, one of whom subsequently gave it to the monks of Rufford Abbey. Henry III. granted many privileges to the town, including a market and a fair. Edward I. further extended its privileges, and granted an additional fair, which was of great advantage to the town, as it lasted many days, and brought a large concourse of merchants from various parts of the country. Thomas Scott, who afterwards became Archbishop of York in the reign of Edward IV., and was born at Rotherham, conferred many benefits on his native town; lie founded a college of ecclesiastics, and rebuilt the church; the college was suppressed by Edward VI., but a grammar school was soon afterwards founded in its stead. Henry VIII., on the dissolution of Rufford monastery, granted Rotherham to the Earl of Shrewsbury. It afterwards descended to the Howards, and is still held by one of the younger branches of that family, the Earl of Effingham, who is hereditary lord of the manor, and holds a court-leet by his bailiff for the manors of Rotherham and Kimberworth. Mary Queen of Scots stayed a night at Rotherham after being taken prisoner; and Charles I., when in a similarly unfortunate position, was kept here a night by the Scotch army during the Civil War. Lord Fairfax and the Earl of Newcastle successively held possession of the town for the parliament and the king, but after the battle of Marston Moor the royalists were compelled to yield up the garrisoned town. The population of the town of Rotherham in 1851 was 6,325 with 1,269 inhabited houses, which in 1861 had increased to 7,598, with 1,484 inhabited houses. The substratum abounds in coal, iron ore, and sandstone, the latter supplying the cutlers of Sheffield. More than a century ago the Walkers established a manufactory for cast-iron goods, and from this and other large establishments at Rotherham large quantities of cannon were supplied to the English navy during the American and French wars. In the town and its immediate vicinity are extensive collieries, potteries, and glass works, also breweries, flax mills, rope walks, and works for pyroligneous acid and gum. In the ship-yards are occasionally built vessels of 50 tons. Many of the inhabitants are employed in the carrying trade, and there are several wharves on the river Don, which is navigable as far as Sheffield, and affords communication with all the great manufacturing towns of Yorkshire and Lancashire by means of the Don navigation and Tinsley canal. The old bridge over the Don, connecting the suburb of Masbrough, has an ancient chapel standing over the central pier, and until recently used as the town gaol. There is also a viaduct half a mile long, with thirty arches, belonging to the Midland Railway, over the valley of the Don. The town is chiefly governed by 12 feoffees and a body of commissioners appointed under an Act of Parliament obtained in 1810. The houses are for the most part built of stone, which gives the town a substantial appearance. Several new streets were laid out in 1850. The town is well paved, lighted with gas, and has a good supply of water. The townhall or court-house was erected in 1825, at a cost of £5,000. There are a market-house, shambles, two banks, a savings-bank, a literary and mechanics' institution, newsrooms, subscription library, a dispensary, and a race stand. The midsummer quarter sessions for a division of the West Riding and petty sessions for the town are held in the townhall, the latter twice a month on Mondays. The county court likewise sits here. The police force is under the direction of the town commissioners. The great tithes belong to the Earl of Effingham. The living is a vicarage* in the diocese of York, value £158. The church, which is dedicated to All Saints, or to St. Mary, is in the early English style, with a tower and crocketed spire of the time of Edward IV. The old font is supposed to be of the Saxon period. The church has lately been put in thorough repair. There are several brasses, and a monument of marble to the memory of fifty persons who were drowned in 1841 in the Don at the launch of a vessel. In addition to the parish church, are the following district churches, viz: at Dalton, Greasborough, Masbrough, and Kimberworth, the livings of which are perpetual curacies* varying in value from £200 to £150. The parish register dates from the early part of the 16th century. There are places of worship for Wesleyans, Independents, Baptists, Primitive Methodists, Unitarians, and Roman Catholics. Rotherham cemetery was opened in 1843, and is about 2 acres in extent. The free grammar school was founded in the reign of Queen Elizabeth. There are several other schools, which include the feoffees' school, built in 1775, and endowed with £100 a year, the British and Foreign school for 400 boys and girls; the Parkgate school for 150, built by Earl Fitzwilliam in 1844; Scott's charity school, endowed with £77 per annum; Hollis' Dissenting school for twenty-four poor children; two infant, and a Sunday school. The Independent College for twenty-five students, though founded in 1755, was not opened until forty years subsequently; it is in connection with the University of London. Jesus College, now an inn, was founded in the time of Richard III. The charities are numerous, and include Bellamy's almshouses, endowed with £68 per annum; the Bentley charity, and the Great Dole. The union poorhouse, with grounds, occupies upwards of five acres. Rotherham Poor-law Union comprises 27 parishes and townships. The Rotherham and Masbrough Advertiser, established in 1858, is published in the town. Market days are Monday and Friday. Fairs are held every other Monday, and on Whit-Monday and 1st December, being the largest for cattle in the N. of England, and a statute fair for hiring servants on the first Monday in November."
"BLACKBURN, a hamlet in the township of Kimberworth, and parish of Rotherham, wapentake of Strafforth and Tickhill, in the West Riding of the county of York, 1 mile from Rotherham."
"BRADGATE, a hamlet in the township of Kimberworth, and parish of Rotherham, in the wapentake of Strafforth and Tickhill, West Riding of the county of York, 1 mile from Rotherham."
"BRINSWORTH, a township in the parish of Rotherham, wapentake of Strafforth and Tickhill, in the West Riding of the county of York, 2 miles to the S.W. of Rotherham. It is crossed by the Midland railway, and contains the village of Ickles. Haworth is the principal mansion."
"CATCLIFFE, a township in the parish of Rotherham, wapentake of Strafforth and Tickhill, in the West Riding of the county of York, 3 miles to the S. of Rotherham. The Midland railway passes by this place. There is a small free school, endowed by John Beardsall, in 1702, with £10 per annum."
"CINDER BRIDGE, a hamlet in the parish of Rotherham, in the northern division of Strafforth wapentake, in the West Riding of the county of York, 2 miles N. of Rotherham."
"DALTON, a township and chapelry in the parish of Rotherham, S. division of the wapentake of Strafforth, in the West Riding of the county of York, 3 miles E. of Rotherham. It contains Dalton-Magna, Dalton-Parva, and Dalton-Brook. The living is a perpetual curacy in the diocese of York, value £200, in the patronage of G. S. Foljambe, Esq., who is lord of the manor. The church is dedicated to the Holy Trinity."
"GREASBOROUGH, a township and parochial chapelry in the parish of Rotherham, wapentake of Strafforth and Tickhill, West Riding county York, 2 miles N.W. of Rotherham, its post town and railway station on the North Midland line, which passes Through the township The hamlets of Bassingthorpe, Cinder Bridge, and Ginhouse are included in this township The inhabitants are mostly employed in the collieries, iron works, and quarries. The village is pleasantly situated near Wentworth Park on the Greasborough canal. The Romans appear to have had a settlement here. The living is a perpetual curacy in the diocese of York, value £179. The church is a stone edifice of fine proportions, erected in 1828 at the cost of £6,000, of which the parliamentary commissioners contributed one-third, and the Earl Fitzwilliam the remainder, together with the site. It has a square embattled tower crowned with pinnacles, and is dedicated to St. Mary. The parochial endowments produce about £33 per annum. The Independents, and Wesleyan, Reformed, and Primitive Methodists have chapels, and there is a National school for boys and girls. Earl Fitzwilliam is lord of the manor, and chief landowner."
"HILL TOP, a hamlet in the township of Kimberworth, parish of Rotherham, West Riding county York, 2 miles W. of Rotherham."
"ICKLES, a village in the township of Brinsworth and parish of Rotherham, West Riding county York, 2 miles S.W. of Rotherham."
"JORDAN, a hamlet in the township of Kimberworth, parish of Rotherham, West Riding county York, 2 miles N.W. of Rotherham. It is situated near the river Don."
"KIMBERWORTH, a township and district parish in the parish of Rotherham, North division of the wapentake of Strafforth, West Riding county York, 2 miles W. of Rotherham, its post town, and 5 N. of Sheffield. It is situated near the river Don, on the Sheffield and Rotherham railway, and includes the townships of Marborough, and several other hamlets and townships. It is mentioned in Domesday as including six carucates under cultivation, with Elsy for its lord. At the Conquest it formed part of the honour of Pickhill, and was given to Roger de Busle. The substratum abounds with coal and iron ore; and there are several quarries of building stone. The iron-stone was worked at a very early period, and forges existed in 1161. The monks of Kirkstead worked the forges at Tunnocliffe as a speculation, and had a grange here. The village, which is large, is situated on an eminence, and the inhabitants are partly employed in agriculture, and in the collieries and extensive iron-works which have been established. At Holm, in this parish, are the extensive iron and steel works, where the iron bridges of Southwark, Staines, Yarm, and Sunderland, were forged. The living is a perpetual curacy* in the diocese of York, value £150, in the patronage of the Vicar of Rotherham. The church, dedicated to St. Thomas, is a modern edifice, erected in 1842, at an expense of £1,600, with a campanile turret. There are Wesleyan and Independent chapels, also endowed and National schools. In the grounds of Wentworth, the seat of Earl Fitzwilliam, has been erected a monument to the late Admiral Keppell. Grange Hall, formerly the seat of the Earl of Effingham, is the chief residence."
"MASBROUGH, a hamlet in the township of Kimberworth and parish of Rotherham, West Riding county York, 7 miles N.W. of Rotherham. It is a station on the North Midland railway, which has a branch from this place to Sheffield. It is a populous suburb of Rotherham, from which it is separated by the river Don, and is famed for its extensive iron-works, founded in 1746 by the late Walker of Clifton. Immense quantities of ordnance of the largest calibre were cast here during the French war, and subsequently various iron bridges, among which was that of Southwark, in London. A very ancient bridge of five pointed arches crosses the river Don. The hamlet has vastly increased of late years, and is now nearly equal in importance to Rotherham itself. Here are the extensive steel-works belonging to Messrs. Stubbs, who, in 1842, erected buildings at the cost of £20,000, the Phoenix forge and iron-foundry for engines and all kinds of machinery, the Holmes' engine foundry and works, also manufactories of stove grates, glass-works, chemical works, &c. The Independent College is situated here, as are also other public buildings, for which see Rotherham."
"NETHER FOLD, a hamlet in the township of Kimberworth, parish of Rotherham, West Riding county York, 2 miles W. of Rotherham. It is situated on the line of the Sheffield railway, near the river Don."
"ORGREAVE, a township in the parish of Rotherham, S. division of the wapentake of Strafforth, West Riding county York, 4 miles S.W. of Rotherham. It is situated on the W. bank of the river Rother, near the North Midland railway."
"SCHOLES, a hamlet in the parish of Rotherham, West Riding county York, 2 miles W. of Rotherham."
"THORPE, a hamlet in the township of Kimberworth, parish of Rotherham, West Riding county York, 3 miles N.W. of Rotherham, its post town, near the river Don. The living is a perpetual curacy in the diocese of York, value £160, in the patronage of trustees. The church is modern."
"TINSLEY, a township and chapelry in the parish of Rotherham, S. division of Strafforth wapentake, West Riding county York, 2½ miles S.W. of Rotherham, its post town, and 3½ N.E. of Sheffield. The village, which is of recent origin, is near the North Midland and Sheffield railways, and on the Sheffield and Rotherham canal, which joins the river Don a little below the village. Here are extensive collieries and steel rolling mills, and slate of an inferior quality is quarried. The living is a perpetual curacy in the diocese of York, value £134. The church, dedicated to St. Laurence, is old, and was enlarged in 1838. It contains several old tablets and brasses. There are schools for both sexes, principally supported by Earl Fitzwilliam, who is lord of the manor."
[Transcribed from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland 1868]
by Colin Hinson ©2013