TICKHILL: Geographical and Historical information from the year 1837.


"TICKHILL, is a parish in the wapentake of Strafforth and Tickhill, and a small but ancient and pleasant market-town, seated on gently rising ground, in a fine open vale, near the borders of Nottinghamshire, and partly encompassed by the semi-circular sweep of a limpid brook, which give rise to the river Torne. It is the head of a parish, and of an extensive baronial liberty, and forms part of the upper Divison of Strafforth and Tickhill, being distant 4 miles W. of Bawtry, 7 miles S E by S of Doncaster, 16 miles E N E of Sheffield, 43 miles S of York and 157 miles N N W of London. The four principal streets have many genteel houses with lawns and gardens, and are disposed nearly in the form of a cross, by the roads from Rotherham to Bawtry, and from Doncaster to Worksop, at the intersection of which, in a spacious area, stands the market cross, consisting of eight lofty pillars, supporting a neat dome. The market held every Friday is now of small importance but the annual fair is tolerably well attended, the time of holding it being changed since 1833, from the 21st August, (the chartered day,) to the second Friday in October, so that it might not interfere with the buy time of harvest. The town was formerly highly noted for its malting business, and it has still several large malt kilns, three corn mills, and a paper mill. The PARISH OF TICKHILL is in two townships, viz. TICKHILL containing about 4200 acres of land, and 2018 inhabitants; and STANCILL-WITH-WELLINGLEY AND WILSICK, comprising nearly 1200 acres and only 66 inhabitants. The total population of the parish amounted in 1801, to 1150; in 1811, to 1572; in 1821, to 1884; and in 1831, to 2084 souls. The soil is generally a fertile sandy loam, with substratums of lime, clay, and red sandstone, except on the north east side of the parish where there is a low tract of peat moss, which borders upon Nottinghamshire, and was anciently an impassable morass, extending from the castle hill northward, to the level of Hatfield chase; but the greater part of it has been cultivated, since the enclosure about 60 years ago. The manorial rights, with the castle and about 651 acres of land belong to the king, as part of the duchy of Lancaster, but are held on lease by the senior Dowager Countess of Scarborough. The other owners of land in the parish are, the Earl of Scarborough, Wm. Walker, Esq., Edward Fox, Esq., E Laughton, Esq., the trustees of the late John Jarrat, Esq. And many smaller proprietors.

Nothing is know of Tickhill until the Norman conquest, previous to which it is said to have been a village called Dadesley, and a well bearing that name still remains. This, and many neighbouring manors, were given by the conqueror to Roger de Busli, who built here a noble baronial castle upon the mount which had previously been fortified, and is supposed to have been called "Th'wick hill," which, being corrupted to Tickhill, gave that name to the adjoining town, and to an extensive honour or baronial jurisdiction. After the death of Roger de Busli, Wm. II, granted the honour of Tickhill for a large sum of money to Robert de Belesme; but Henry I. resumed it, and held it during his whole reign. In the reign of Stephen it was claimed, and for some time held by the Earl of Eu and Wm. de Clairfait, as heirs of Roger de Busli. For a short period it was held by the Earl of Chester; but when Henry II., ascended the throne, he entered into full possession of the honour of Tickhill, which was frequently a bone of contention between the representatives of the Busli family and the crown, during the reigns of John, Henry III., * and the two first Edwards, when the barons were often at war with kingly authority. (*COINS - In digging the foundation of a stable in Sunderland street, in 1834, a strong earthen jar was found, containing 375 small silver coins of the reign of Henry III., and with very bold impressions.) Whilst Richard I., was with the crusades, in Palestine, Tickhill castle was seized by his brother, Prince John, and the garrison, under Robert de la Mare, was besieged by Hugh de Pudsey, bishop of Durham, and after an obstinate resistance was obliged to surrender; after which, Roger de Laci, lord of Pontefract, who had held the castle for the crown, is said to have hanged many of the perfidious persons who had delivered the fortress to Prince John.

In the reign of Edward II., when the barons rose under Thomas, Earl of Lancaster, their first hostile movement in the north, was to attack Tickhill castle, in February 1322. They closely besieged it for three weeks, but it was bravely and successfully defended by the garrison, under Wm. de Anne; and the rebels hearing of the King's approach with a powerful army, fled to other parts of the Kingdom. Edward III., settled the castle and honour of Tickhill on his queen, Philippa, and after her death, he assigned them to the renowned John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, in exchange for the earldom of Richmond. The castle and honour of Tickhill having thus become an appendage to the duchy of Lancaster, were included in the act passed in the first of Henry IV., by which that dukedom was declared to be no part of the royal demesne, but to remain as heretofore, with all its rights, liberties, &c. as if the duke of Lancaster had not succeeded to the crown of England. In the civil wars immediately preceding the commonwealth, Tickhill castle was garrisoned by the King's troops; but after the battle of Marston moor which sealed the destiny of the royal case, it stood only two days, when Major Monkton, the governor, with his small garrison, consisting of 80 musketeers and 60 horse, surrendered to the parliamentary forces under Colonel Lilburn. On the 13th April, 1646, an order was issued by parliament, that this CASTLE, with many others, should be dismantled and rendered untenable. The large circular keep was consequently demolished; but its foundations may still be traced, and extensive remains of the outer walls and buildings are yet standing. The Castle hill is on the south side of the town, overlooking the rivulet, and is of conical form, measuring about 6A. 3R. 13 P., including the moat, the ascent, and the area on its lofty summit, within which the keep stood upon an artificial mound, encompassed by a wall and foss, as also was the base of the hill, where about three-fourths of the moat is still filled with water. The entrance, across the moat, is through a venerable gateway tower, which is now roofless, though its walls have been carefully preserved. The passage through this gate was defended by four doors ad a portcullis. In the area, between it and the keep stood a chapel founded by Queen Eleanor, and several edifices intended for the residence of distinguished persons connected with the castle. Of the chapel, if any thing remains, it is an old doorway, over which are the words "Peace and Grace be in this place." The northern part of the castle buildings, with modern repairs and additions, forms a commodious and picturesque mansion, now occupied by Fredk. Lumley Savile, Esq. A great part of the lower ground with the walls is converted into gardens and shuberies and the steep acclivity of the mound is formed into winding walks, leading by an easy ascent to the summit, finely shaded with pendent wood, and commanding a delightful view of the gardens and churches of Doncaster, Blyth, and Laughton-en-le-Morthen. The large and lofty trees, which skirt the surrounding ditch and wall at the base of the hill, contribute to give a venerable aspect to this interesting relic of the feudal ages.

In the time of Edward I., Tickhill was summoned to send two burgesses to Parliament, and the persons returned were John Bate and Richard Fitz Richard de Eastfield. Six merchants residing here are mentioned in an inquisition in the reign of Edward III.; but the town appears to have lost its mercantile character soon after the reign of Henry VII. The CHURCH, dedicated to St. Mary, and built in the reign of Richard II., contains evident proofs that it was wholl or partly founded by merchants. It is a spacious edifice, consisting of a nave, chancel, and side aisles, with a tower at the west end, containing a good peal of six bells, with a clock and chimes, and having its exterior ornamented with several figures in niches. The building was much injured by lightning on Dec. 14th, 1825; but it was thoroughly repaired and new roofed in the following year. The east window has some beautiful remains of stained glass; and in the interior are many ancient monuments, one of which is a splendid altar tomb of alabaster, bearing the effigies of Sir Rd. Fitzwilliam and his lady, and said to have been removed from the church of the Augustine Priory. The original parish church was dedicated to All Saints, and stood at a short distance from the town, where some of the oldest inhabitants remember having seen its foundations, all traces of which are now gone. George Savile Foljambe, Esq. is impropriator of the rectorial tithes, and patron of the vicarage, which is valued in the King's books at 7. 2s. 6d., but is now worth upwards of 260 per annum. The Rev. Edward Brooksbank, M. A. is the incumbent. The vicarial tithes of the whole parish (except 315A.) were commuted at the enclosure, about sixty years ago, for an allotment of 150 acres. In 1793, The Calvansit and Wesleyans have each a chapel here; the latter erected in 1815, on land given by the late Fras. Wright, Esq. is about to give place to a larger building, erecting at the cost of 500.

About a quarter of a mile west of the town, are some remains of Clarel Hall, anciently occupied by the family of Clarel, who held part of the manor under the lords of fee. At a short distance, in a retired valley, stood a PRIORY of Augustine Friars, founded by the ancestors of the Clarel family, who, as well as their descendants, the Fitzwilliams, used the priory chapel as a place of sepulture; but all memorials of them are gone, except a few shields of arms in the desecrated walls, and the splendid altar tomb now in the parish church. The priory was dissolved in 1537, when the establishment consisted of a prior and eight brethren. The house, with its adjacent estate of 150 A., was granted to Thurstan Rawsthorne, of Tickhill, and now belongs to the Rev. Mr. Battell. Part of the ruins are worked up in the outbuilding of the adjacent house, but the stable door, in the wall of what was the chapel, is very perfect, with a pointed arch and double row of quatrefoils. Tanner mentions two HOSPITALS, in Tickhill, of ancient foundation; one, situated in a marsh, (probably at Spittle croft,) had several priests and brethren, and was granted, in the first of Mary, to Thomas Reeve and Geo. Cotton; and the other was St Leonard's Hospital, in Northgate, where the remains of its buildings are still seen in an ancient house, built chiefly of timber, and having over it door this inscription: "This mad John Leftwul." Dodsworth says, Sir Nicholas Saunderson repaired an old hospital here, said to have been founded by John of Gaunt, and allowed 6d. a week to each of the four resident almspeople. The property of the Saunderson family passed to the Earls of Scarborough; and the almshouses founded by Sir Nicholas are probably the six tenements which adjoin the Maison Dieu, and are kept in repair by the successive earls, who allow to each of the six almspeople 6s. per week. The Maison Dieu, which stands near the church, is an almshouse of unknown origin, though it has an endowment of about 28A. of land, let for 40 per annum, and is under the management of three inhabitants, chosen every third year at a vestry meeting, and called "Maison Dieu Masters." It was rebuilt in 1730, and contains eight tenements, for as many poor people, who each receive 6s. per month, and a load of coals yearly, and have divided among them 2 at Tickhill fair, and 1 on the rent day.

THE DOLES distributed among the poor parishioners, with the communion money at Christmas, amount to the following yearly sums, viz., - 30s., out of Greystone Hill close, left by Godfrey Holmes, in 1581; 6s. 8d., out of Mill Ink close, left by Mrs Woodroof, in 1664; 8s., out of White Flat close, left by Jannet Nicholson; 18s., as interest of 20, left by Henry Burns; 10s., from 10 left by Lord Castleton; and 5 from two closes, called Herrebeck, left by Humphrey Holmes; The Bread Charities, distributed at the church, consist of 2A. 3R. of land, at West Limekiln Hill, worth 5 a year, and left by Jane Farmery; 1. 6s. 8d. a year, out of Vicar Well Close, left by John Skinner, in 1673; and 2. 12s. a year, left by Hierome Rawsterne, in 1540, out of the Whitebread closes, at Hendley.

Tickhill School, and a house for the master, were built in 1790, upon the waste, with 20, left by Henry Burns, and money subscribed for the purpose. In 1821, the school was enlarged, and re-established as a National School, now attended by about 60 boys and 40 girls, and supported by subscription, a weekly payment of 2d. from each scholar, and the following endowments, Viz., 5A. 3R. 8P of land, left by Jane Farmery; an annuity of 3s. 4d. left by Robert Dann; and a yearly payment of 4. 8s. 8d., from the Tickhill portion of the Duchy of Lancaster. In the town is a Subscription Library, established in 1825, and supported by 25 subscribers, of 12s. each per annum.

The Hamlets, Villas, and Farms, in Tickhill township, with their distances from the market place, are Lindrick, 1/2 mile, S E; Eastfield, 1 mile N., anciently the property of the Eastfields, but now of E Laughton, Esq; Bagley, 1 mile S.; Folds, 1.1/2 mile S by W.; South Wong, 1.1/2 miles S.; Woolthwaite, 2m. W by S.; Spittle hill a hamlet with two farms, on a lofty eminence, based on a red sandstone rock, close to the Nottinghamshire boundary, 1 mile E.; Spittle croft, and Moorhouse, 1 m. E by S.

STANCILL, with WELLINGLEY and WILSICK, are three small hamlets, forming one township, and contining 1200 acres of land, and only 66 inhabitants. They comprise three farms, a few scattered houses, and Wilsick Hall, the property of William Walker, Esq. Stancill and Wellingley (700A.) were the property of the late John Jarratt, Esq., founder of Christ Church, Doncaster, and are now vested with his trustees."

[Transcribed from White's History, gazetteer and directory of the West Riding of Yorkshire 1837]