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Thurgoland, Yorkshire

These descriptions of Thurgoland and Stainborough from Domesday Book transcribed by me from
"History from the Sources": Yorkshire DB30 Phillimore 1986:-

[Turgesland]  "Land of Ilbert de Lacy, In Staincross Wapentake, In THURGOLAND, Aelfric and Gamall had 4 1/2 carucates of land taxable where 2 ploughs are possible.  The jurisdiction belongs to Tanshelf.  Now Ilbert has (it).  Waste.  Value before 1066, 20s.  woodland pasture, 1 league long and 1/2 wide."
[Stainburgh]  "Land of Ilbert de Lacy, In Staincross Wapentake, In STAINBOROUGH (Castle), another jurisdiction belongs to Tanshelf, 2 caracutes of land taxable; 1 plough possible there.  Now Ilbert has there 1 plough; and 1 villager and 1 smallholder.  Meadow, 1 acre; woodland pasture, 1 league long and 2 furlongs wide."

The following description of the parishes of Thurgoland and Stainborough are transcribed and edited by me from
"The National Gazetteer of Great Britain & Ireland 1868" CDROM version produced by Colin Hinson ©2005 :-

"THURGOLAND, a township in the parish of Silkstone, wapentake of Staincross, West Riding County York, 10 miles north west of Sheffield, its post town, 4 south east of Penistone, and 2 north east of the Wortley railway station.  The village, which is considerable, is situated on an eminence.  The inhabitants are chiefly employed in the iron and steel wire works, woollen mills, charcoal burning, and in the extensive collieries.  The township includes the hamlets of Coates, Crane Moor, and Huthwaite.  The living is a perpetual curacy in the diocese of Ripon, value 120, in the patronage of the Vicar of Silkstone.  The church, dedicated to the Holy Trinity, was erected in 1842.  There is a national school for both sexes. The Wesleyans and Primitive Methodists have chapels.  The Earl of Scarborough is lord of the manor."

"STAINBROUGH, a township in the parish of Silkstone, wapentake of Staincross, West Riding County York, 3 miles south west of Barnsley, its post town.  It includes the hamlets of Stainbrough Folds, Hood Green, and Ratten Row.  The village is small, and chiefly agricultural.  Some of the inhabitants are engaged in the collieries.  The living is a donative curacy in the diocese of Ripon.  The church was rebuilt in 1841, and is situated in the park.  The parochial charities produce about 40 per annum, which go towards the support of the school.  Wentworth Castle was erected in 1730-68 by the second and third earls of Stafford.  It is situated on an eminence in the midst of a well-timbered park.  F. Wentworth, Esq., is lord of the manor."

Thurgoland and the surrounding district is closely entwined with several of my ancestors, including great grandfather Charles Webb (born 1843 in Bedfordshire) from his early days as a farmer in and around the parish.  How his transition from coal miner to farmer came about, and exactly when, is still a part of the "Mysterious Origins".

He was still a coal miner in the 1891 census but by 1901 was a farmer living at Stainborough Fold at Hood Green near Thurgoland, before moving with his family to Eastfield Farm, Thurgoland some time before 1910.  There is a connection between these 2 farms as they were both in the ownership of the Wentworth Castle Estate.

The Old Wire Mill operated from about 1624 to 1926 and the New Wire Mill was built about 1717 and continued to operate until 1979.  My great grandfather, John Denton Laycock (born 1854 in Thurgoland) was employed at the Thurgoland Wire Mills as were many people in and around the village (see the note about Romptickle below).  Many of my Laycock ancestors are buried in Thurgoland Churchyard.

Great Grandmother Mary Couldwell (born 1844 in Thurgoland), wife of Charles Webb, was the daughter of Amos Couldwell of Sim Hill.  She is buried in Thurgoland Churchyard along with her husband Charles.

Thurgoland had one of the shortest-lived railway stations in Britain.  Thurgoland Station, on the Sheffield, Ashton-under-Lyne and Manchester Railway, opened on 5 December 1845 and closed on 1 November 1847 - a duration of just 1 year and 11 months.  The closure of Thurgoland Station took place shortly after this railway became part of the MSL (Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway) in early 1847.  This, in turn, became part of the Great Central Railway in 1897.

Stainborough Fold was built in the late eighteenth century for or by the Wentworth Castle Estate.  This appears to be the first farm tenanted by the Webb family - Charles Webb was there by 1901 and he was succeeded to the tenancy by his son Stephen Webb, presumably when Charles moved to Eastfield Farm with his youngest son George Frederick (my grandfather).

Eastfield Farm has been in the possession of the Wentworth Castle Estate since the early 1700's.  In September 2010, the farm was split up and sold off by auction in 11 separate lots totalling over 200 acres.  Lot 1, which included the farmhouse, farm buildings and 24.46 acres of land, sold for 675,000.

The Webb family were certainly there before 1910 when grandfather George Frederick Webb married Alice Laycock.  All four of George and Alice's children were born there between 1911 and 1920.

Before being owned by the Wentworth Castle Estate it would appear to have been in the possession of the Couldwell Family as the following extract from
"The History and Topography of Silkstone" by Revd. Joseph F. Prince M.A. 1922 shows:-

"A charity of 10 shillings per year out of Eastfield Farm was given by John Couldwell" (pages 64 and 186).

Romptickle is a small hamlet adjacent to the village of Thurgoland where my grandmother Alice Laycock was born in 1877.

In the 1881 census there are 10 properties forming the hamlet of Romptickle -- one house is listed at Romptickle Crossing occupied by ASHTON, a railway messenger.  Eight other  houses are  occupied by DEARNSLEY, LAYCOCK, HOLDSWORTH, TRAVIS, RUSBY, ROEBUCK, BURKINSHAW and PROCTOR.  There is one house unoccupied.  All household heads except one appear to be employed in connection with the Thurgoland Wire Mill -- the exception is a quarryman.

By 1891, the Laycocks, Burkinshaws and Proctors have moved on to be replaced by "newcomers" CODD, HARDISTY, BEET and GRAY.  Two of the enumerators on the 1891 census were Matthew Laycock and William Laycock, who were probably related to me.

The most famous landmark is Romptickle Viaduct which carried the Sheffield to Manchester Railway over the valley of the River Don and onwards towards the three-mile-long Woodhead Tunnel through the Pennines.  The viaduct still remains although the railway was closed to passenger traffic in1970 and the last freight train ran in 1981 when the line finally closed.