Stainton Village Website

Website for all matters and events within Stainton Village, South Yorkshire

 Stainton    A South Yorkshire Village

The following is from booklet written by H. H. Pilling, a former resident of Stainton 




....."Oh God, merciful and gracious, who dispensest kindness to the undeserving, I am indeed unworthy of all the mercies thou hast hitherto shown unto me. Oh purify my heart that I may be fitted to walk in the way of the upright before thee, and continue thy help unto they servant. Restore thou me to perfect health, and with bodily vigour strengthen me. Remove from me all sorrow and care, preserve me from all evil and guide me with thy own counsel; so shall the sun of righteousness ever arise unto me with healing in its wings.

.....Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable before thee, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer."




This small book (and subsequent online version) is dedicated to the late D'Arcy Vera Hogg for two reasons. First, she devoted much of her life to the welfare of Stainton, a village to which she had no family ties; and secondly, because it was one of her unfulfilled intentions to write a short history of Stainton herself. To that end, she had over many years gathered together cuttings, Photostat extracts from books, her own notes, correspondence and other documents, but was so busy contributing to present history by her many activities that she did not find time to do more than write a few pages of introduction to the past.

After her death, it seemed that one of the most fitting memorials to her would be to make use of her notes to produce the kind of short, popular history which she had in mind. I have had the temerity to attempt this, and hope that my effort does not fall too short of her intentions.

I have received help and encouragement from many sources and would like to record my thanks to all who have given it, either by lending documents to me or just recounting their recollections, and particularly to Mrs. Westwood, now of Tickhill, for lending her collection of photographs.

I have been particularly helped in forming some idea of life in pre- and post- conquest England by Michael Wood's "Domesday" and David Hey's "The Making of South Yorkshire". For some of the detailed history of the church, the village and old families, I am indebted to "The History of South Yorkshire" by Rev. Joseph Hunter.

In addition, I would like to thank Emeritus Professor F. W. Clayton of Exeter for checking my translation of the Pashley Memorial; Mr. Tom Beastall for furnishing some indispensable notes on the Sandbeck Farms, and for permitting me to use some of the relevant information included in his book 'A North Country Estate'; Mr. Peter F. Ryder for allowing me to use and reproduce his architectural notes on the parish church; the archivist of Jesus College, Cambridge for supplying information on the Pashley family and on the University office of "Commisary"; Rev. J. A. Bowering for permitting me to use the parish registers and the minutes of the Parochial Church Council and, indeed, for suggesting that I should undertake to write this little book, Mrs. Joan Taylor, my former secretary, who is sufficiently familiar with my graphic idiosyncrasies to have typed out the manuscript, and lastly Mrs. Sally Ward for committing it to her word processor

To any professional historian who may read this book, I would like to say in anticipation of his or her just criticism that this is not an academic work and that I did not strive to zealously to fill in some of the gaps, in that I have not searched court rolls and other public records. It is a matter of regret that the parish records are incomplete, and for some years very poorly kept by the incumbents, but these are matters which cannot now be remedied.

I hope that I may have provided the ordinary interested reader with some sort of picture, however sketchy, of this very old community

H. H. Pilling
October 1989





The recorded history of Stainton begins with its inclusion in the Doomsday survey of 1086 under the name of "Staintone with Helgebi" as part of Dadesleia. The entry tells us very little because the boundaries of the cultivated land are not separately described. The whole unit had belonged apparently to two Saxons, Seeward and Elsi, both whom had lost their lives in support of their neighbour and uncrowned King, Harold of Coningsborough, who himself had been slain at Hastings.

William the Conqueror subsequently gave an extensive area, collectively known as the "Wapentake of Strafford", to a Norman supporter known as Roger de Busli. This included Dadesleia, together with most of what is now South Yorkshire, and part of Nottinghamshire, including Blyth.

Near to the actual hamlet of Dadesleia, with its church of All Hallows, there was an area of high ground probably known as "the wick hill", as such areas were at the time, and it was upon this high ground that Roger de Busli decided to build his home, fortified by earthworks and a high wooden fence or "palisade". The wick hill, by a process of language development, became Twickhill and then Tickhill, and a new town grew up around the castle, leaving Dadesleia to remain as little more than a well and a memory.

By a process known as "subinfeudation", the manor of Stainton was soon established in its own right. This process involved a grant of land being made by the principal lord, in return for some form of service being rendered by the newly created lord of the lesser manor and his heirs. But, as will be evident later, it was some two centuries before Stainton achieved its ecclesiastical independence of Tickhill.



The earlier history of the village can only be inferred from that of the whole surrounding area which is believed to have been part of the ancient British (i.e., Celtic) "Kingdom" or Elmet.

We are inclined to forget that, before the Romans withdrew from Britain in the fifth century, the official religion of the Roman Empire was Christianity and this had spread to include some of the tribes, including at least some of the Brigantes living in Elmet. What is not known is the extent of cultivation at that time or the location and names of the villages.

The Romans had certainly maintained a fairly large garrison at Doncaster under the name Danum and a smaller one at Templeborough, between Rotherham and Sheffield. Their job was probably to guard the roads connecting the main settlements at Lincoln, York and Chester, which passed through the area. To what extent there may have been any Roman civilian settlement is not known, but in 1953 some stones were found on the outskirts of Stainton at Chapel Holt which were though to have been part of a small Roman temple. The very name Chapel Holt may be evidence for a small religious building having occupied the site, because it was known that during the conversion from paganism to Christianity, the former temples were not destroyed but were used for Christian worship.

Another possible pointer to a pre-Saxon settlement in the Stainton area is of course the quarry. Although the Roman settlement at Danum was mainly a wooden structure, it appears that some stone defence works had been commenced, using local stone. There has always been a local tradition in the village that the quarry, which is clearly very old in the region of Holme Hall Lane, dates back to this era!


Anglo-Saxon Occupation

The Anglo-Saxon occupation seems to have reached South Yorkshire relatively late so that the Christian "Kingdom" of Elmet had a longer period of independence than some other parts of the country. In the first quarter of the seventh century, however, it appears to have been overrun by Edwin of Northumbria, only to be taken from him later by Penda of Mercia with the assistance of a prince of North Wales, known as Cadwallon.

A few years later the district was returned to Northumbria, but it was always a frontier area and its population must have included many Britons as well as Mercians and Northumbrians. The names of the rivers, Don, Dearne and Rother, are survivals from the Celtic language and the place names beginning with Eccles (although Saxon) are said to indicate the existence of a British church on the site when the Anglo-Saxons arrived (c.f. Welsh eglws = church)

It is possible, therefore, that there was a long standing Christian tradition in this area extending back to the Roman occupation. Clearly it would develop independently of the Roamn hierarchy during the Dark Ages, following the withdrawal of Roman troops, but would return to the fold after Synod of Whitby established the supremacy of Rome.

To sum up, we have no proof that there was any settlement in the area before some Saxon established the first farmstead and called it Stantone - or "The Stone-House". The suffix "ton" initially meant only a single farm, not a town or village. Thus "Stantone" was translated into Norman French as "Villa de Rupe" or Rock House. This, of course, may be the key to its situation beneath the present modern house, built in stone upon the bulldozed ruins of the old farm house known as Rock House. This used to nestle in a hollow beneath the present building and was perhaps a stone successor to several wooden predecessors built in the same rocky hollow over preceding centuries.


The Manor of Stainton

Whether the above speculation has any real foundation must be open to debate, but this is certainly not the first time that the suggestion has been made. Whatever the situation of the original Saxon homestead was, it gave rise to further clearing of the native woodland - a process which Hunter calls "Essarting" - and a larger community grew up.

It is, of course, possible that there was an existing British village and the conquering Anglo-Saxons who settled there preferred their own name, so that the original British name has been lost. Speculation again, but not without foundation, because the native British who lived in the area when the Anglo-Saxons came must have had some villages, and they presumably had names. If some of these names had survived, one could legitimately question the thesis that others had existed whose names had been lost. However, the fact is that all the place names in South Yorkshire are Anglo-Saxon, which rather suggests that, even though they adopted existing settlements, they applied their own names to them. One reason for postulating that there was a British settlement in this area is the adoption of a Welsh saint as patroness of the Church - but more of that later.

The first evidence in surviving documents of the creation of the Manor of Stainton comes in 1147 when a deed was executed by Richard de Busli and Richard FitzTurgis (joint founders of Roche Abbey) and was witnessed by a Hugh de Stainton.

In 1236 the name of Sir John de Stainton appears as one of five knights who witnessed a deed of the lords or Wadworth. Sir John was the son of Hugh and had clearly risen in importance to have been knighted. Hunter draws the conclusion that by using de Stainton as a surname, the family were indicating that they were resident in the village. Hunter also thinks it likely that the de Stainton family built the present church, since it was usually accepted as the responsibility of the lord of the manor to make this provision.

By 1277, an inquisition concerning Margareta de Stainton found her "seised" of the manor and names her son and heir as John le Boteler. It was apparently quite normal for an heiress upon marriage to retain her former title, and one can presume that between 1236 and 1277 the manor passed from Sir John to Margareta who, as either a widow or a daughter, had married a le Boteler. Their son John then inherited the manor of Stainton through his mother. The same name recurs in deeds dated 1295, 1316, 1319 and 1321, but there is no evidence that the same person is referred to on each occasion - we may well be dealing with two generations of the same family.

For almost a century there appears to have been no record of the manor, but in 1416 the owners were Richard de Burgh and his wife Alice. In that year they conveyed it into trust, the leading trustee being John de Holland, Earl of Huntingdon. The others were Robert de Rockley, of the manor of that name near to Tankersley, and Ralph Fitzwilliam, presumably of Sprotborough. These were trustees of some consequence since the Earl of Huntingdon was a relative of Richard II, but unfortunately there is no evidence of the purpose of the trust nor of the beneficiaries. Hunter, however, draws the conclusion that the de Burgh family must have been influential people.

In 1441, a Thomas Burgh and his wife Anne are names in a lawsuit concerning the manor, which appears by now to have passed to Sir Henry Scrope who was Lord Chief Justice of the King's Bench and also lord of the manor of Edlington. Stainton remained in the hands of the family of the Lords Scrope of Bolton until 1573 when it was sold to a Thomas Jennison. There was a rapid succession of owners over a short period resulting in the manor becoming possessed by Sir Edward Stanhope of Edlington by 1600. He in turn sold both manors to a Nicholas Saunderson who was knighted in 1603, became a baronet in 1612 and became Viscount Castleton in 1627.

In 1720, the fifth Viscount became Earl of Castleton, but he died three years later, leaving the manor to a relative on his mother's side, Thomas Lumley, second son of the first Earl of Scarborough. Mr. Lumley was persuaded to add Saunderson to his name, thus becoming Lumley-Saunderson, and in 1739 he succeeded to the title of Earl of Scarborough upon the death of the second Earl, his older brother. In this way manorial rights passed to the present Earl.

Growth of the Village

Stainton seems to have changed less in size than many other places in South Yorkshire which were of comparable size in the 12th century.

The records of the Poll tax of 1379 showed that at the time there were about 30 households in the village. By 1556, when the Parish Registers were first kept, there was an average of one marriage per year, but by the beginning of the 19th century this had risen to 17 in a period of 10 years. The dominant occupations were always agricultural, but the occasional "woollen webster" and linen weaver is recorded.

The first systematic appraisal of the size of the village came with the census of 1851. the enumerator was Mark Steel, who farmed Stainton Manor, situated where it now is, next to the church. As in subsequent censuses, questionnaires were delivered to the households and no doubt, since most people were still illiterate at that time, (as the Marriage Registers show), they would need some help in completing the form.

The returns of the census revealed that there were 30 farms with 51 farm labourers, 43 housewives and 109 children. The total population was 262. the ratio of farm workers to acreage was about 1 to 45 acres, although 1 farm had 4 workers to 100 acres and another had 2 to 52 acres. Compared with the 16th and 17th centuries when five or six in the village were described in the parish registers as "gentlemen" - presumably implying that they did not work for a living - only one in 1851 claimed to be of independent means. This could reflect a change in terminology or perhaps the social structure of the village.

Comparing the census returns of Stainton with Tickhill shows that against the 70% in the former engaged in agriculture, 10% in domestic service and only 1% in trades and crafts, there were in Tickhill 30% engaged in trades and crafts and 19% in domestic service. This confirms that Tickhill was in fact a small town of which Stainton was a satellite village.


1907 - 1987

In 1907 the first shaft of Maltby Colliery was sunk. It was in fact in the parish of Stainton, although most of those who worked in this mine lived ultimately in Maltby.

The changes wrought by this event in Maltby were to transform it within a few years from a small agricultural community into a mining town with its own Urban District Council. Ironically, although the latter had all the expense of housing and caring for the miners, the increased rates arising from the coal mining activities were payable to the Doncaster Rural District Council. The injustice of the situation was soon recognised and the area of the colliery as designated as the "Stainton Urban" district and was joined to Maltby for local government purposes. For ecclesiastical purposes it remained part of Stainton Parish and, until nationalisation of the coal mines in 1948, the colliery owners were very helpful to the church in a number of ways.

It is clear from the parish registers that a few of the colliery workers were associated with the church in Stainton, in particular, those who lived in the row of cottages near to the colliery knows as Scotch Spring Villas - or more usually just as Scotch Springs. (One of these was the home of the Trueman family who produced the celebrated fast bowler, Fredrick Sewards Trueman, on February 6th, 1931).

Other colliery workers, however, lived in the village. There was a row of cottages running at a right angle from Stainton Lane and parallel to Raw Lane (Holme Hill) called New Cottages. These were not part of any particular farm and some were occupied by miners.

Both of the village blacksmiths, Messrs. Thomas and Barnes, were partly employed at the colliery, shoeing the ponies in addition to looking after the farm horses. Mr. Thomas used the small smithy attached to Manor Farm which was situated next to the pound or pinfold where the village hall now stands.

In spite of this connection with the new colliery and the gradual revival of quarrying at Holme Hall in the nineteen thirties and onwards, Stainton did not immediately lose its rural and essentially agricultural character. The roads in to the village were simple country lanes with mixed hedges separating them form the fields.

Dick Trueman, stud groom

New Cottages, about 1925. Behind, to the right, is Rock House Farm, and directly behind is the new Three Tuns Inn.

Each farmstead was a community in itself, because it required several men to do the work. Prior to the introduction of the self-baler between the wars, not only was all the traction carried out by horses, but all the binding of sheaves at harvest was done by hand. Ploughing was done one furrow at a time, and milking was by hand. Even after the end of the second world war, for a few years there was still some threshing until finally the combined harvester for cereals, and machinery for other crops, reduced the manpower required for running the farms.

By this time, horses had been replaced by tractors, ever increasing in size and pulling capacity, and from 1965 onwards there was a gradual abandonment of dairy farming as one farm after another changed over to meat production or even gave up their animals altogether. The last flock of sheep to graze in Stainton were those of Mr. Stanley King the butcher, in 1965.

The present public house, The Three Tuns, was built to serve the miners in the belief that Stainton would be the pit village. It replaced a small earlier inn built into the rock beneath. The first reference in the parish registers to a publican was in 1852 when the daughter of William Athey of that occupation was baptised. The only other reference is to Samuel Gorrill in 1930. This family lived in the village for a number of years and the name of one of them is included upon the war memorial in the church.

The Old Blacksmith's Shop attached to Manor Farm.


A typical harvest time scene.

Between the wars and after the Second, Stainton had its own shop and post-office. Originally occupying Rose Cottage, it was owned by Mr. & Mrs. Wood and later by Mrs. Lawson. At about the beginning of the Second World War the post-office was taken over by Mr. & Mrs. Bert Smith and was situated at their Cottage in Holme Hall Lane, whilst Rose Cottage had become the residence of Mr. & Mrs. George Butterfield. Mrs. Butterfield was one of the daughters of Mr. & Mrs. Burden of Hall farm.

Until the coming of the motor car, the vicars of Stainton used to have a horse and trap as their means of transport and employed a groom. There were quite a few acres attached to the vicarage, and the glebe barn (where no doubt the fodder for the pony was stored) with its stable below is still standing, although partly converted to be used as garages.

It is impossible to say when Stainton School first came into existence but there was certainly a church school in 1905 under a Tickhill District Committee.

With the opening of the colliery in 1907 some sort of colliery school seems to have been opened by the vicar of the day, Rev. H. R. Owen. It was under the control of the local education authority and seems to have had a head teacher and two uncertificated teachers. These were young people who had served as pupil teachers for a period under the guidance of a head teacher and deemed to have been trained. Not having attended a formal training course at a college, they were referred to as uncertificated.

The association of the vicar with the school was a close one and he was responsible for the religious teaching. There was a custom on Shrove Tuesday for the school to have a half holiday and every child had a whip and top and went to the vicarage to receive an orange from the vicar. Even after the local authority took over the responsibility for education, the vicars continued to play their part and morning service at the school was regularly conducted by the vicar until the beginning of the Second World War.

Mains water supplies were not a feature for many years and within living memory every farm had its own separate supply. There was a village pump below Hall Farm, but Carr House, for example, had its own bore hole and it was only in the 19th century that a steam pump was introduced. Similarly, each farm had its own small quarry to supply stone for building, walling etc.


The original Three Tuns Inn. The road in the centre of the picture is now School Lane.

Billy Saunderson, Stainton's one armed postman, who could ring all three church bells! Late 19th century view of Stainton Post Office (Rose Cottage)

Stainton Post Office (Rose Cottage).

Holme Hall Quarry has survived as an independent venture whilst the smaller ones belonging to other farms have been filled in over the years, and top soil restored to them.

Today, it seems quite remarkable that for many years Stainton boasted not only a village church, but also two non-conformist chapels. One was situated in Stainton Lane just below the mouth of School Lane and facing Rock House, and the other was adjacent to the north-east wall of the vicarage in Holme Hall Lane.

At the time, and indeed until 1966, there was a row of cottages called Laburnum Cottages on the left in Holme Hall Lane just after the rear entrance of the vicarage (which is now The Orchard). The chapel was situated on the land behind these cottages, the last occupants of one of which were Mr. & Mrs. Leslie Cusworth. For many years, Mr. Cusworth was an ardent cricketer, in the days when Stainton had a presentable team, which played upon a field belonging to Hall Farm on the right side of Raw Lane as one leaves the centre of the village.

In addition to his cricketing activities, Mr. Cusworth was a Rural District Councillor and was very zealous in promoting the interests of the village in local government. It was said that for a time, when the two political parties were evenly matched, Mr. Cusworth as an independent had the fate of the district in his hands and was ardently wooed by both sides in their efforts to win his support on each issue as it arose.

Stainton did not finally lose its essentially agricultural way of life until about 1967 when two developments took place. In the first instance, a sloping rocky pasture in the centre of the village was sold for the building of new houses, after the death of the absentee tenant of Rock House, who had used the land for grazing sheep. The second important factor in bringing changes was the beginning of the rapid expansion of quarrying in the area in order to provide the aggregate for the construction of the two new motorways in the area - the M1 and M18.

To help this increased export of stone, the road from Stainton to Grange Lane (Stainton Lane) was straightened and widened to allow the use of much bigger lorries than formerly had been used. In addition, Holme Hall Quarries, owned by the Butler Family, bought as much of the available land as they could along the line of Stainton Lane, including all of that formerly farmed by Rock House and the relevant parts of Hall Farm, leasing it back temporarily to the farmers for agricultural purposes. At the same time, about a dozen new bungalows were erected on the former pasture and were gradually occupied by commuters from Sheffield, Rotherham and Doncaster. These joined the owners of the other new houses, which had been built sporadically during the preceding years, to form a substantial new population element who had very strong feelings about the impending destruction of the local countryside by quarrying.

Holme Hall after a bad storm, winter 1909.

It was quite understandable that the local government, in a predominantly agricultural area, should be in the hands of farmers and others whose livelihoods linked them more closely to the area than those of the commuters, many of whom felt that the investment in their new houses would be jeopardised by the quarry expansion. The new villagers therefore, finding themselves and their interests unrepresented in local government, formed a Residents' Association whose primary purpose was to lobby the authorities in order to oppose the rapid expansion of quarrying and to achieve political representation for the new element of the population on the Parish Council.

This new organisation was seen by some by some of the existing village community as a threat to them and some years of mild dissension followed, but the Residents' Association helped to bring together most of the new population and to ensure their participation in village affairs both political and social.

In 1975, the Parish Council pressed the new South Yorkshire County Council to ban heavy traffic in Lime Kiln Lane which had not been widened to take heavy traffic.

In 1978, it was clear that even more ambitious plans were being laid to extend quarrying on the pretext of creating a large hole near Maltby colliery into which mining waste could be deposited. Part of the inducement offered to the villagers in this project was the widening and diversion of Scotch Spring Lane. This was carried out in 1979-80, creating a traffic island at the junction with Stainton Lane. By this time, there had been a considerable change amongst the owners of the modern houses, old animosities had died down and the inevitable change from and essentially agricultural village to a dormitory suburb, albeit a small one, had taken place. In this respect, Stainton has not fared any worse than other comparable villages in South Yorkshire and indeed in England. One advantage of the quarrying, unforeseen earlier, has been to limit the size of the village so that it remains, in size at least, a village.

Looking down from in front of Manor Farm. Note the dovecote on the left of the picture.




The 'advowson', or right of presentment of an ecclesiastical living, is regarded in English law as realty and subject to the law of property as administered by the civil courts rather than to the ecclesiastical law. Originally, it appears that the tithes due to a living were handed over to the recipient of the advowson, in return for which he or she would undertake to provide, and make financial provision for, a priest. The priest so appointed is called a vicar because he is carrying out the sacerdotal duties on behalf of the possessor of the advowson.

It is clear from Domesday that Stantone with Helgeby was identified in all respects with Dadesleia. It comes as no surprise, therefore, to find that the advowson of Stainton was vested in the Prior and monks of St. Oswald at Nostell, because Henry I had presented the living at Tickhill to that house. The honour of Tickhill had passed from Roger de Busli after his death in the time of William II to one Rupert de Belesme. After the sudden death of William, Robert de Belesme supported the unsuccessful claimant to the throne and in the process lost Tickhill and its castle to the crown.

As a result the tithes of the whole honour, which included Stainton with Helgeby, were bestowed upon Nostell and when the present church at Stainton was built and the separate parish created, the responsibility for providing a vicar for Stainton also fell upon the prior and convent.

Early in the 13th century, the Canons at York tired to lay claim to the advowsons but Archbishop Walter confirmed the rights for both Tickhill and Stainton to be in possession of Nostell and so the matter remained until the Reformation. The first recorded Vicar of Stainton was William de Walegryn who was instituted in1283. In 1546 on 2nd March, Richard Thompson was introduced as vicar on the presentation of Thomas Green Esq. It appears that one Gregory Darcy had the rights to alienate the rectory and advowson of Stainton, following the dissolution of Nostell, and he had done so in favour of William Green of Barnby on the Don. It seems to have passed through various hands, including those of the French family of Hellaby, until by 1641, upon inquisition, Nicholas Lord Castleton of Sandbeck was found 'seized of the rectory and advowson'.

It remained with the lords of Sandbeck until 28th June, 1926 when, under a scheme made by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, the patronage of the benefice of Stainton with Hellaby was transferred from The Right Hon. Aldred Fredrick George Beresford, Earl of Scarborough to Leonard Hedley (Burrows) Bishop of Sheffield.





The present church is thought to have been built mainly during the twelfth century in the Norman style, but it has been suggested by a visiting expert on Saxon affairs that the graveyard is typical of that period, and that the arrangement of some of the corner stones follows the Saxon pattern.

The dedication is recorded in one of the early parish registers as to St. Winifrid but the Rev. H. R. Owen, an incumbent writing in 1909, suggested that this could be an error and that the original patron saint was St. Wilfrid. His reasoning was as follows: the feast day of Stainton is August 1st and it has always been customary to observe as feast day the feast of the patron saint of the church of the village.

The feast day of St. Winifrid is November 3rd, but August 1st is the festival of St. Peter ad Vincula, who together with St. Wilfrid (Bishop of York) was the patron saint of Ripon Cathedral. In this way August 1st could have been adopted as the Stainton feast day if the dedication had been to St. Wilfrid.

Stainton Church at Harvest Festival

Miss D. A. V. Hogg was clearly interested in this matter, and entered into correspondence with some ecclesiastical historians privately. One suggested that the name of St. Winifrid was rarely found west of the Pennines until 1900. This was clearly a misprint for "east". Certainly St. Wilfrid's name is much more frequently encountered than St. Winifrid's in the east.

Against these arguments however, one must bear in mind that the St. Wilfrid theory demands both a change in name and a change in sex. St. Winifrid was a welsh lady of noble birth who is said to have disappointed Prince Caradoc in love. In his anger he severely wounded her - one version says that he beheaded her - but by a miracle her wound healed and she survived to become an Abbess. This miracle took place near a spring in North Wales at that place now called after it - Holywell. The Welsh for "White Spring" is gwyn frydan and the name of Winifrid is said to be a corruption of that.

How could the inhabitants of South Yorkshire be familiar with events in distant North Wales? In the first place, the Celtic component of the population of this area must have persisted for many generations after the Anglo-Saxon conquest of Elmet and there must have been frequent travellings on the road from Chester to Lincoln which passed through the area.

In 633 a Welsh prince, Cadwallon, had joined forces with the King of Mercia, Penda, and taken the area by conquest from Edwin of Northumbria, who had overrun Elmet a few years earlier. Clearly there were dealings with North Wales and there were racial associations between the Britons of Elmet and the Welsh. It would be quite natural for the early inhabitants of this district to learn of the miraculous restoration of St. Winifrid and to establish a church dedicated to her. If they did, however, It is likely that they did so long before the present building was erected - probably the building was a wooden structure. The fact that the Domesday only records one church on Dadesleia apparently does not exclude the possibility of a daughter church elsewhere in the area. Whatever the original dedication may have been, St. Winifrid is the current patroness of the church. The spelling varies as one may expect in a corruption of a Welsh word - one alternative used at Neston in Cheshire (on the opposite side of the river to Holywell) is Winefride, but there is no justification for correcting the spelling to Winifrid.

The Church Building

The present church has been appropriately described as 'an ancient church much restored'. The nave and chancel are Norman, and the South Chapel (Holme Hall quire) and tower were added in the 14th and 15th centuries. The restoration can be seen in the blocking of original doors and windows in the chancel and the insertion of a 19th century east window.

The South Chapel has its own piscine and must have had a small alter so that it could be used as a separate chapel. There is no evidence of any endowment but it has long been referred to as 'Holme Hall Quire'. There are remnants of some medieval glass in the window, including the arms of a forgotten family.

The tower includes the West Window in which are displayed the arms of Lord Scrope of Bolton, Lord of the Manor in the 15th and 16th century, quartered with those of the Tibetots.

The font is relatively recent, dating from the 17th century. At the visitation in 1582 the chancel was found to be in a state of decay, and the warden Robert Bellamy was taken to task. However, by May 21st 1583 the chancel was once more said to be in "a good state of reparation".

In 1615 a complaint was made against William Tomlinson and Thomas Justice 'for that they have not a Bible of the New Translation' (i.e. James Version). In 1793 Radwan Fretwell, gentleman, and Matthew Purslove, gentleman, were reprimanded for 'suffering ye chancel of ye Church to be out of repair, for not repairing the body of ye Church, being ruinous, nor exhibiting a copy of ye registers'. No doubt they soon rectified their defaults.

For Archbishop Herring's visitation in 1743, the vicar Nathaniel Pearson prepared a return as follows:

'1. Families 28 the better half of which by far are poor labouring people.
2. Licensed or other meeting house we have none
3. Public or charity school, none.
4. Children and servants are sent by our parishioners once a year, unto ye church to be catechised and instructed.
5. The sacrament of the Lords Supper is administered in our church three times every year, whereof Easter is one.'

The pond and church, about 1911.

The field behind is the village round or 'pinfold'.

In the year 1818 the Rev. Thomas Bosville of Ravenfield Park gave one chalice and one flagon of silver for use of the communicants in the parish. Sadly, during the night of 22nd July, 1883 the Communion plate consisting of one silver chalice, one silver flagon and one silver paten were stolen from the house of the Church Warden, Mr. C. D. Nicholson. They were replaced by the Rev. George Rolleston (although the silver paten was much smaller than the original) at a cost of 15 guineas raised by subscription.

In 1861 a single window in memory of the Toones of Lambcote Grange was inserted into the east end of the chancel.

In 1870 Mr. J. W. Pashley, a decendant of the family who had occupied Hall Farm, presented a black oak lectern to the church and this is still in use. In 1875, an American organ was purchased for £42 with monies collected by the incumbent, the Rev. C. W. Mainwaring, and a platform with choir stall was erected in the chancel. A further collection in 1893 provided a brass alms dish.

In 1898 a general restoration of the fabric of the church was undertaken at a cost of £1500 provided by subscriptions and a bazaar at Sandbeck Park, the seat of the Earl of Scarborough. The work included a new roof, a concrete floor with wood blocks, 2 new windows on the north side of the Nave and one on the south-west. The porch was dismantled and rebuilt, with the stones turned around so that the weathered surfaces faced inwards. A new alter rail was provided, and all the plaster was stripped from the inside revealing bare stones, which were then re-pointed.

A new pulpit was installed as a gift from Mr. Walker of Wilsic Hall, the doorwayfrom the north-west corner of the Nave was removed to the Manor House and the Rector's door in the chancel was walled up (against the wishes of the vicar).

Three new chancel lamps were provided by Miss White's school of Park Hill, and thirteen lamps for the Nave provided by the church wardens. A festal alter cloth was presented by Miss C. E. Firth.

On October 28th, the church was re-opened by the Archbishop of York, but the dedication of the new pulpit did not take place until December 9th and was carried out by the Bishop of Beverley.

In January 1906 the new vicar, the Rev. H. R. Owen, who wrote the first historical notes of the church, donated a brass alter cross and in May of the same year C. D. Nicholson Esq., of Stainton Manor, donated the oak reredos.

In the following year, 1907, a new organ costing £104 was purchased by public subscription and dedicated on March 27th by the Vicar.

Before the 1898 restoration, there was a heating stove with a rail around it in the vicinity of the Pashley Memorial. Although the removal of this was not mentioned in the records, it is likely that it was taken away at this time and a central heating system with a boiler in the cellar under the tower replaced it.

There is a dearth of records from 1914 until 1925, but there is no evidence in the church itself of any major change during those years.

In 1931, a fund was started to finance the building of a Parish Hall and in 1937 the money in this fund was transferred into a Building Society account. There it remained for 32 years, but in 1969 it was decided to inaugurate a Development Fund for the church, and it seemed appropriate to include the money for the Parish Hall in this fund. The surviving Trustees and donors were consulted and this was in fact done. After the closure of the school in 1982, the school annexe, which was a detachable and movable structure, was moved a few yards on to land formerly used as the Village Pound. This then became the Village Hall, but the money raised between 1931 and 1937 has already been spent in other ways. The Village Pound had been sold in 1969 by the Parish Council to the County Education Authority for £10 in order to extend the school playing area. The pound had been out of use for many years, but it was felt by some to have been an historic relic. Thanks to the diligence of Miss Hogg, however, its identity was never lost and upon the closure of the school, she was very quick to reclaim it for the village as the site for the new Village Hall.

The proceeds of the sale in 1969 were given to the church for the purchase of a seat for the churchyard.

In 1933 the Parochial Church Council resolved that the area of the churchyard should be extended. This could only be done by taking some of the adjoining pasture belonging to Lord Scarborough as part of Manor Farm. The necessary land was generously donated by his lordship for this purpose on the understanding that the P.C.C. should be responsible for walling the new area. This was eventually done at a cost of £65.

In 1939 the decision was made in principle to separate Hellaby from Stainton. The extension of Maltby towards Lillyhall had effectively divided the two parts of the parish, but the advent of the Second World War postponed the actual severance until 1955. 1939 also saw the retirement of one of the most remarkable incumbents of Stainton - Folliot Sandford, Archdeacon of Doncaster. For a few months his work was carried out by a priest-in-charge and the vicar of Tickhill, Rev. G. T. S. Cooke was appointed initially for the duration of the war, to conduct the services. In fact, Rev. G. T. S. Cooke, later an honorary Canon of Sheffield Cathedral, became vicar of Stainton in 1955 when the two parishes were united.





No account of Stainton would be complete without some reference to the Sandbeck Estate with which the fortunes of the village have been so closely tied since the acquisition of the Manorial rights in 1631 by Nicholas Saunderson. According to William Downes, an Essex valuer who carried out a survey in 1845, some 1037 acres belonging to Sandbeck lay within the bounds of Stainton parish.

The Sandbeck Estate was one of those partly carved out of the former church land released by the dissolution of the Monasteries. Most, if not all, of the lands attached to Roche Abbey were bought by a London syndicate. From them, Robert Saunderson, grandfather of Nicholas, bought those which were to form nucleus of Sandbeck. Further to that, Woolthwaite farm and some of the land later attached to Carr House (which had formerly belonged to Blyth Priory) were purchased as well as Carr House itself, which had been owned by the priory of St. Mary at Humberstone near Grimsby.

The purchase of the manorial rights of Stainton from Sir Edward Stanhope had included the lands running with the title but there followed a series of exchange in the late seventeenth century and onwards whereby the former feudal pattern of scattered land-holding was abandoned in favour of consolidation of the various farms. Thus the farms as they exist today are not identical in their tenure with those of former times. In the early deeds every field or close has a name but not all of these have survived. It is, therefore, difficult even where records exist, to identify what formerly constituted each holding in order to compare it with its composition today.

Of the Sandbeck farms, only Carr House is mentioned in the early parish records. This appears to have been due to the custom of referring to outlying places in the parish by name in identifying those who lived there. Those who were domiciled in the village, however, were simply identified as 'of Stainton' so that we have no indication as to the exact homestead to which they belonged. From the earliest records we learn the Carr House was farmed by the Justice family but it was in fact owned in the late sixteenth century by one Roger North of Walkringham in the Country of Nottingham who had obtained it form the grantees of Henry VIII after the dissolution of St. Mary's Priory.

Stainton Woodhouse. A fine Georgian house.

In 1845 Carr House was described by William Downes in his valuation of the estate as follows:-

'The building belonging to this farm stand in Stainton parish, they are well situate and suitable for the occupation…..the lands are heavy and wet. Mr Wilson is a good farmer in many respects but a portion of these lands still remains in a wretched state for want of draining.'

Two other farms in Stainton are included in the same survey. One tenanted by William Bingham is described as:-

'Situate in the village with a small quantity of good land surrounding it..... but the house and buildings are good and adequate to more land..... 102 acres valued at £116 approx. a year. 44 of these are detached about ½ mile south of the buildings, light and thin on limestone with a kiln thereon..... An extensions of the limestone business should be effected.'

This farm is not named but could have been Low Farm in Lime Kiln Lane which has now been absorbed in Stainton Manor Farm.

Stainton Manor Farm 1907. (now demolished)

William Bingham, according to the parish register, had a son Thomas who was baptized in that year. The address given on that occasion is Stainton Woodhouse which is, of course, somewhat south of Low Farm off Lime Kiln Lane. This is, in fact, the first reference to Stainton Woodhouse in the registers but it was not until 1939 that Stainton Woodhouse became part of the Sandbeck estate.

The third farm mentioned in the Downes report was Stainton Manor farm. The original farmhouse was situated near to the farm buildings on School Lane and this presumably was in use at the time of the report, which reads as follows:-

'This may be considered one of the finest and most eligible farms on this estate. With the exception of about 80 acres the whole may be termed a mixed, grateful turnip soil upon limestone capable of being worked at all seasons of yielding abundant crops of corn - this property is in highest state of cultivation, creditable in an extreme degree of the judicious skill and management of the present tenants (John and William Steele). The farm had been neglected by the previous tenant who had 'failed'. The house was convenient and suitable for the occupation but barns buildings and yards are not worthy of such a holding..... It was of 369 acres, 0 roods and 39 perches valued £393.11.2d per year.'





Of all the Stainton Farms, Lambcote is unique not only because of its position, nearer to Braithwell than Stainton, but also because of its origins. The first mention of it by name is in 1186 when Pope Urban confirmed the acceptance of Roche Abbey and its possessions, which included Lambcote (also written as Lambcourt, Lambthwaite and Lambthwayte) as part of the donation of Richard de Busli, Lord of Maltby, one of the founders of the Abbey in about 1147.

As the name suggests, Lambcote was a sheep farm and a very important part of the Abbey's lands because wool production was an important activity, especially in Yorkshire at that time.

The monks worked the farm for over 350 years until the Abbey was dissolved in the reign of Henry VIII. It is recorded that possession passed to John Broxholme of Conisborough.

The Bellamys

In 1570 however, a Robert Bellamy of Lambcote married Mudwan Latham of East Markham in the parish church at Stainton and in 1573 a son of that marriage, Leonard was baptized. Nothing more is recorded in the registers of any of this branch of the family, either because the registers are incomplete or because they moved or died elsewhere. In 1606, however, we find the baptism of Original Bellamy, son of Original Bellamy of Lambcote. There is no evidence as to the relationship of this group to the other unless Original (senior) was the son of Robert by a former marriage. Hunter suggests that Robert was married twice but he does not mention the birth of Leonard.

Original Bellamy (junior) died at the age of 5, but his parents went on to have another 13 children of whom at least 4 died in infancy or childhood.

The register also shows that a Barbara Bellamie of Steinton (sic) was married in 1584 to Gefrey Flitcroft of Blyth. It is very difficult to reconcile these entries without postulating that there was more than one branch of the Bellamy family resident in Stainton towards the end of the 16th century. Mary the wife of Original Bellamy was buried on 23rd February 1630.

The Bellamy family made their contribution to the life of the community. In 1572 Robert Bellamy was one of the wardens called to task at the Archbishop's visitation because of the state of the chancel and in the view of its satisfactory state in 1573 he obviously took his duties seriously.

Evidence that Lambcote was an establishment of some importance is shown by the other names in the register giving Lambcote as their house. Thus in 1597 Richard Hill and Barbara Roos were married, both of Lambcote and two years later Richard Baret and Mark Padley, again both of Lambcote.

In 1592 two others, Francis Clark and Alice Walton had been married, suggesting that within 5 years, six servants of the Bellamy family had paired off!

The last entry relating to the Bellamy family in the parish registers recorded that in 1645 William Bellamy (b. 1622) was buried in Maltby by license of the vicar of Stainton.

The Pursloves

The next family to occupy Lambcote were the Pursloves. Since the registers from 1652 to 1721 are incomplete it is impossible to verify their arrival date, but we read that in 1741 William Webster of Stavely married Anne Purslove. The family had, however, been in residence since 1686.

The first Purslove to farm Lambcote was Matthew, and he built a barn which still stands, bearing his initials and the date 1693 on the gable end. He also built stables in 1695 and left his initials on them too. In 1728 he signed his name to an inventory of the goods of George Pashley at Hall Farm and he was ultimately buried at Braithwell.

He was succeeded by his son George, who in 1747 extended the house. There was an original building of a square formation with an upper room which antedated the 1747 structure by many years. This had to be demolished in 1934 because it was extremely dilapidated. It is likely that the present house, largely of 1747, was built in more than one stage and that at one time the entrance was on the western side facing the present orchard.

George Purslove died in 1783, but his wife Mary survived until 1800. The ownership of the farm then passed through the female line by marriage to a member of the Wasteney family of Edlington, and their oldest son was christened George Purslove Wasteney. Mary Wasteney in turn married

Lambcote Grange, mostly built in 1747.

Tillage spreading in the Foxholes, Lambcote Grange.


Thomas Toone of Moat Hall, Braithwell and the ownership passed to them. Mary Toone married William Dixon, a surgeon of Tickhill in 1834, a year after her mother's death at the age of 53. Her father survived until 1857 and died at the age of 80.

In 1886 the farm was occupied by a tenant named Fawcett, the owner having mortgaged the freehold to Sir G. Stephenson of Sheffield, and another, for £8,000. The owner then appears to have disappeared and the tenant, desiring to leave the farm, was unable to give notice. He therefore gave it to the mortgagees, but they declined to foreclose and the farm lay deserted and derelict for two years. Finally in 1888 the mortgagees did foreclose, but Mr. Fawcett sued them for tenant right. He lost his case with costs, as the law stood at that time, but it has apparently been amended following that claim.

The farm was then sold to a Mr. Garside of Worksop for £10,500. He let it to various people over the next 45 years, including a man named Spencer who bred Hackney horses and sold them from Lambcote. His last tenant was a James Walker whose daughter Ethel married Mr. James Batty of the Yewlands, Firbeck.

In 1936 Lambcote was tenanted by J. B. Humphrey from whose personally recorded notes this small history of the farm has been compiled. In 1939 Mr. Humphrey purchased the freehold.

John Bowser Humphrey was the son of John Bowser Humphrey of Gattison Grange, Rossington and formerly of Over Dunsdale near Darlington. His mother was Mary Jane (nee Garbutt) of Thornaby on Tees.

Mr. J. Humpfrey (left) and Canon Cook (right)


After leaving the Guards Machine Gun Regiment upon demobilization in 1919, Mr. Humphrey farmed Mendale Farm and East Farm in Old Edlington prior to coming to Lambcote. He had been a churchwarden at Edlington and soon held the same position in Stainton, as well as being a member of the local War Agricultural Committee for eight years, a member of Stainton Parish Council from its inception, an elected representative on the Doncaster Rural District Council and a Justice of the Peace. He was, in addition, for 6 years, a member of the executive committee, of the Leeds Branch of the National Farmers' Union. His wife, Marion, was the daughter of Harry and Lucy Yeardley of Bullatree Farm, Maltby.

When Mr. Humphrey took possession of Lambcote in 1936 it was in a run-down condition and the buildings were in a bad state of disrepair. The square building which appeared to be the oldest had to be demolished, but the floor was left intact. Some time later, when planting a hedge near the house, another floor relating to an older building was found.

A range of hackney boxes also had to be demolished to make way for a new cow house, and the fold-yard was re-roofed.

In the following year the turnip house was rebuilt and some boxes built and in the year after that, the Dutch barn was taken down and re-erected. New drains were laid and a new water supply installed.

In about 1960 Mr. Humphrey reduced his commitment by selling a considerable acreage to Holme Hall Quarries and soon after that he changed the farm to a completely arable cycle of wheat, barley and peas, having sold the cattle herd. From some of the proceeds of this sale he established the Lambcote Trust to provide funds when required for the repair of the fabric of the church, except for the chancel which was already provided for.

Mr. Humphrey made an outstanding contribution to the life of the village, supported always by his wife and two daughters, the elder of whom continued to farm Lambcote after his death in 1972. Mrs. Humphrey died in 1980.

Stainton Hall Farm

The present farm house was not built until about 1680, but in 1636 George Pashley of Maltby had bought some land for £360 from Sir Edward Stanhope, the Lord of the manor. This land had previously been occupied by John Saunderson the younger and it was considerably extended by further purchases made by George Pashley himself and by his widow Elizabeth, a member of the Cooke family of Campsall.

The total landholding was inherited in 1663 by the second George Pashley who lived until 1727, and it was presumably he who built the present house. There were, in all, five generations of Pashleys living in Stainton and the inheritance eventually passed through two co-heiresses (Mary and Elizabeth) into the Burbeary family of Sheffield.

In Stainton Church there is magnificent memorial dominating the south wall of the nave. Written in florid Latin (translated in the appendix) it extols mainly the virtues of William Pashley, brother of the second George, who led a distinguished career at Jesus College Cambridge. In this he was following in the footsteps of his maternal uncles, six of whom had been scholars at Cambridge, four at Jesus College, two of whom were later admitted as Fellows, and one at

Hall Farm, built around 1680.

St. John's College where he also became a Fellow, and one, Marmaduke who was at Clare College and later became a Doctor of Divinity and vicar of Leeds and Prebendary of York, having been a Master first at Doncaster Grammar School. His Younger brother John was under 14 when he went to Cambridge! In 1655-6 he was admonished for drunkenness and fined 2d. He later went on to be Marmaduke's curate and later still, a Master at the Free School, Gainsborough.

Against this background of previous scholarship, William Pashley went up to Jesus College in 1679, became a scholar in 1683 and a Fellow in 1684. He studied Civil Law under his uncle William Cooke and in 1696 he was appointed as University Commissary.

This official was responsible for supervising the franchises for the supply of goods and services to the University, and for that purpose he had a court at which suits were heard relating to poor quality, short measure etc. The memorial in the church records his achievements and goes on to say that "in his own court he was a very fair judge and in that title he fulfilled that most distinguished office for more or less 12 years".

Joseph Hunter sets out the family tree of the Pashleys and shows that Elizabeth Pashley, wife of the first George, died on the same day as her husband, 11 January, 1663. According to the memorial in the church, however, he died on 11th January 1663 and she was buried on 27th October 1680. One does not wish to read too much into the change of phraseology, but if hunter is correct concerning the date of her death, there is some mystery concerning the whereabouts of Elizabeth's body between 1663 and 1680. It is tempting to conjecture that there was some ill-feeling between the Cooke family of which she was a member, and the incumbent at Stainton during this period, William Fretwell, because of an entry in one of the parish registers referring to the vicar of Leeds, Marmaduke Cooke, as having brought dissenters into the village of Stainton (see later). Whether this may have been a factor in the delayed burial is pure conjecture, rendered somewhat unlikely by the fact that William Fretwell was still Vicar, albeit somewhat old and failing in 1680.

The Pashley family left several memorials behind them of various kinds. In addition to that on the south wall there are two others inserted into the church fabric commemorating various members of the family. One is above the organ facing down the nave and another is on the north wall of the nave. I addition, in 1773, George Pashley (i.e. the third of that name), presented to the church one of its three bells, and in his will dated 17th July, 1727 he changed his trustees and executor with the task of raising 6s 8d from the rent of named properties left in trust. The proceeds were to be distributed amongst the most needy parishioners of Stainton every Good Friday in perpetuity.

This and the other charitable bequests or 'doles' were all amalgamated in 1980 by the Charity Commission. The investment, which had been made with the ultimate proceeds of the sale of the properties, had so far diminished in the income produced that it ceased to be on its own of sufficient value to fulfill its purposes. The wording of the deed is reproduced in the appendix.

Hall Farm passed through various hands after the Pashley family finally relinquished it. As with so many families, the ultimate survivors were daughters and the estate was divided between them. One of the daughters of William Pashley (who died in 1789) was Elizabeth and she married Benjamin Burbeary, a solicitor of Sheffield. This name is recorded upon a memorial in the church. A notable family in more recent times who farmed at Hall Farm with the Burdens. Mrs. G. Burden was secretary of the Parochial Church Council for 16 years from 1941-57. They had followed Thomas Belk, brother of Alwyn Belk of Rock House, in 1935, and were succeeded by the present owner, T. Watkins & Co.

The Watkins family have taken advantage of mechanization and modern farming methods to create a thriving and industrious agricultural contracting company based on Hall Farm.

Carr House Farm

Otherwise written in the early records as 'Carrhouse', this farmstead shared with Lambcote and Wilsic the distinction of being located outside the village but within the parish and was therefore used as a topographical adjunct to certain names. We have information, therefore, from the beginning of the records concerning those who lived at these farms in various capacities but, in the case of Carr House, we know very little about these individuals.

In 1556 the tenant was a farmer named Roger Justice and in that year, his wife gave birth to their son Thomas. Two years later Michael, the son of Nicholas Justice, was baptised and then we read nothing of the family until 1606 when Thomas, the son of Thomas Justice, was baptized. He was followed between 1606 and 1621 by William Christopher, Marie and Suzan. Then in 1640, Elizabeth, the daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth Justice of Carhouse, was baptized. This is presumably the third generation from Roger. The gap in the baptismal record means that we lose sight of the Justices, because the first reference to Carhouse after 1721 (when the records had been resumed), was in 1739 when Thomas Pearson of that farm married Susan Haywood. The names which follow are Ben Lockwood (1814), Charles Anley (1822), Thomas Thompson, labourer (1834), Henry Hill, farmer (1868 when his daughter was baptized), Edwin Bywater (1906), Charles Edward Bywater (1935 & 1938) and Ralph Sydney Clayton (1952) the father of Mr. R. M. Clayton, the current Church Warden and Parish Councillor. After Mr. R. S. Clayton died, the land associated with Carr House Farm was absorbed into Woolthwaite Farm and the house was demolished.

Rock House Farm

As observed earlier, it could well be that Rock House was the original 'Villa de Rupe' which gave Stainton its name. The last farmhouse, before the land was sold in 1967, was built in the middle of the seventeenth century in a hollow in the rock and presumably replaced earlier and less substantial dwellings.

Because Rock House is situated in the centre of the village, there are no references to it in the parish registers and, therefore, no indication of the identity of the occupants before those known from living memory.

The last owner of Rock House as a farm was a butcher from Doncaster, Stanley King. After his death, the remainder of the farm and the house were bought by Holme Hall Quarries, who let the land and demolished the house in what was considered by most of the villagers as tragic error.

Within a few days, the house and farm buildings had been replaced by a mound of rubble so that what had previously been a hollow in the rock became a hillock.

Upon this the firm built a new house in store for Mr. A. Butler using new stone-cutting equipment to produce blocks of manageable size.

The last resident farmer at Rock House was Mr. Alwyn Belk who moved there in about 1919. During the same period his brother Thomas farmed at Hall Farm. And both of them were church wardens and played a lively part in the life of the village. Alwyn moved to Holme Hall in 1936.

Rock House Farm. A 17th century house, demolished 1967.

Holme Hall Farm

A great deal of mystery surrounds the origins of Holme Hall Farm, not least its association with the 14th century chantry chapel annexed to the original church and named after the farm. No records survive of any bequest made by an owner of Holme Hall to maintain the chapel and it is impossible to understand why it was so called.

Records in the possession of the Watkins family of Hall Farm show that in the seventeenth century, Holme Hall belonged to the Pashley family. We know that George Pashley at that time extended his estate considerably by buying land in the surrounding area, and at one period he has a holding as far away as Dadsley Wells. Hunter says that he was aided in this by Elizabeth (nee Cooke) his wife, who seems to have brought considerable resources to the marriage.

It is clear, however, that his offspring tended to follow the example of their mother's family and within a few generations, were fully occupied in the church and the law.

This may explain why in 1703 Holme Hall was sold to a Robert Ward of London who bought it for his son-in-law, Joshua Pearson of Edlington, clerk in Holy Orders. In 1722 Joshua Pearson died and left his interest in the farm to his wife Anne for life with the remainder to his daughters, Frances and Margaret.



 Holme Hall Farm, about 1905.


During this period the farm was leased to one Stephen Barmby. In 1772 it had come into the possession of the daughters and they leased it to George and Thomas Dyson for 30 years, but there is no record of either of the Dysons living in the village. The probably sublet the holding but there is no record of who actually worked the land until 1776 when they bought the freehold and leased it to a farmer named Steele. In 1796 John Steele married Hannah Beck. In 1813 the lease was assigned to a Mr. L. Spilsbury and in 1853 the Steeles conveyed the farm to Thomas Berry. At some stage they clearly bought the freehold from the Dysons but there is no documentary evidence of this. In 1861 Holme Hall Farm was conveyed to John Thompson of Braithwell.

By the nineteen twenties, Holme Hall was in the possession of the Greensmith family and they began to develop the quarry. In the first place they granted a concession to E. Butler and Sons of Maltby who were haulage contractors and wanted some continuous work for their workforce when not otherwise engaged. Eventually they sold the farm and quarry to Butlers who let the farm to Alwyn Belk in 1936 when he moved from Rock House. After a few years the tenancy passed to James Middleton, the brother of John Thomas Middleton who was by that time farming Stainton Manor. Holme Hall farm has continued to be farmed by members of the Middleton family, although in 1980 the ownership of the quarry passed to Tarmac Ltd.

The Bosvile Family

Some family names occur in the history of Stainton without there being any evidence of where in the village the family lived. Such is the case with the Bosvile family, which spread its tentacles from Doncaster throughout the district.

The first of the line was Thomas Bosvile of Doncaster, in the second half of the fifteenth century, brother of Richard Bosvile of Conisborough during the same period. This Thomas Bosvile had a grandson Thomas, who died in 1552, having acquired a property in Stainton; His fourth son, Jasper continued to live in Stainton whilst his older brother continued the family line at Warmsworth.

Jasper's brother Hugh also lived in Stainton and in 1571 married a Margaret Anderton by whom he had one daughter Joan (or Johan). In 1575 Johan was married to George French of Tickhill who later took up residence in Stainton and 13 years later, when Joan was 17 years old, they had their first child Robert. She proceeded to give birth to fourteen children in twenty eight years, and (not surprisingly), died in 1616 at the age of forty four.

Jasper's oldest son was Thomas who was baptized before the inception of parish registers, the first recorded baptism in the family being that of William in 1556. Thomas was the first of five generations, in which the oldest son was named Thomas, and he was buried at Braithwell in 1631. The daughter of the last of this line was Briget, and she married a first cousin named Thomas Bosvile of Braithwell. She died in 1793 and was buried at Stainton with a memorial erected there by her two sons, one of whom, Thomas Bosvile of Ravenfield, founded the charity trust in the family name in 1818. Thus at least one branch of this great Yorkshire family retained an interest in Stainton for more than 300 years.

In 1611 the second Thomas, Jasper's grandson, married Alice Fretwell of Hellaby, another important family, and their descendants thus had a dual connection with the parish.

The Fretwell Family

The family estate at Hellaby came to John Fretwell by marriage at some time during the reign of Henry VIII. It then passed through five male generations to be divided upon the death of the last, Ralph (who had moved to Barbados) between his two daughters who survived him. One, according to Hunter, married into a family called Pyott and they had a daughter who in due course married Peter Johnson, the Recorder of York. The other daughter Mabel, married Samuel Swynfen M.D. of Lichfield, the godfather of Dr. Samuel Johnson and he left Mabel in a very poor state (according to Boswell), with a family to bring up.

There were, however, other branches of the Fretwell family and the name occurs not infrequently in the parish registers between 1562 and 1670. Unfortunately, not all the family events were celebrated in Stainton and it is difficult to establish continuity between the marriages, births and deaths. There were, between 1562 and 1574, several births to both Robert and John Fretwell. There is then a gap of thirty six years after a which a series of children were born to Ralph, clearly of the next generation, and in 1629 we find William Fretwell being inducted as vicar of Stainton with Hellaby, presented by Alexander French grandson of Hugh Bosvile.

How William was descended from the original John is impossible to deduce from the available registers. There was a William baptized in 1564, but none recorded at a date consistent with the induction in 1629.

William Fretwell was vicar for some 42 years beginning in the reign of Charles I, spanning the years of the Commonwealth and the Protectorate to terminate in the period of Charles II. Bearing in mind the religious persecution of the era and the momentous events of the execution of Charles I and the Civil War, it is quite remarkable that nothing of this is transmitted through the parish registers. Other incumbents had on occasion noted events such as accessions, and indeed William Fretwell was not slow to record events concerning himself and the parish, but of the momentous events in the realm there is not one word!

In 1640 he married Elizabeth Hirst, who may well have been a local girl since there was a family in Stainton of that name. In 1644 their first daughter Elizabeth was born and in 1647 her sister Anne. In 1651 they had a son, Roger.

Throughout the incumbency, William Fretwell wrote occasional comments in the parish registers, usually related to excommunication by the Archdeacon's court either for non-conformity or failure to pay tithes. He did, however, record in 1662 the first baptism carried out according to the rite set out in the then new Book of Common Prayer. One very touching entry related to the death of his daughter Elizabeth in 1666. He wrote: 'Elizabeth Fretwell, being of the age of 22 years and 5 weeks died on the 24th June, being Sunday. I being at evening prayers, she asked "Where is my Father?" but I came after she had yielded up her spirit into the hands of the Redeemer Jesus Christ. Elizabeth Fretwell, daughter of William Fretwell, vicar of Stainton, begain to be sick in February and she continued to the 24th June. She was very patient in her sickness, in her life time obedient and loving to her parents always. She was praying and calling upon God and Jesus Christ and said often that Jesus Christ had provided a place for her. I told her I grew old, and that I should come to her, ever it was long, to be with her forever'. After this entry, in another hand is written: 'And now I hope he is with her for ever - Dorothy Fretwell'. There is no record of another daughter and we can only presume that the writer was a niece or other relative of one of the other branches of the family.

Ralph Fretwell has a daughter Dorothy born 1610.

William Fretwell himself was buried on January 18th 1683. During his later years, his writing became very difficult to read and he was clearly suffering from some degree of blindness or from a condition (such as Parkinson's disease) which gave him a tremor.

Although the registers are missing from these years, he continued with the help of his church wardens, to send a copy of all the entries to York each year, and it from these that one can see the gradual deterioration in his signature.

One somewhat amusing and legible entry in 1670 is as follows:

'Anno Domini 1670'

'Memo. Whereas there were never known to be any Quakers in the parish of Stainton until the Vicar of Leeds brought them in, now there are four denounced excommunicate this fourth of April videlicit George Boxe, John Sharpe, Mary Boxe and Jane Mayhew is also now denounced tempore divinorum by me Gulielm Fretwell, vicar Staintoniensum.'

'Afterwards this year two Quakers denounced excommunicate by virtue, of a mandamus forth of the Archdeacon's Court of Yorke, Elizabeth Boxe and Thomas Bondeman.'

'Memorand that the said Thomas Bondeman being Mr. Hunt's servant is willing to come to the church and forsake ye Quakers.'

The reference to the Vicar of Leeds is to Marmaduke Cooke, brother of Mrs. George Pashley. Clearly there was some hostility between the Vicar and the Pashley family, who were highly educated and cultured and may, on that score, have been something of a thorn in his flesh because William Fretwell's command of Latin fell short of that exhibited on the Pashley memorial. With the death of the Vicar, the Fretwells seem to disappear from the Stainton scene. He was succeeded by Samuel Cheswick who has left nothing from which one can form any idea of his ministry!

The Vicarage

Although not a farm, nor occupied for long by any single family, the Vicarage is on of the older village residences.

Unfortunately, in neither the church records nor in the Sandbeck archives is the building of a vicarage house recorded and we, therefore, lack a precise date. Architecturally, it appears to fall into two periods. The main part of the house is clearly eighteenth century, with the paneled doors and sash windows typical of that period, but at the southern end there is a similar appendage consisting of a tack room with a room above, presumably provided for a groom or other servant. The ceiling of the tack room is supported by open beams and the floor above it is of lime ash construction, a method favoured in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Similarly, the back of the house seems to be in the nature of a lean-to addition and the first floor level at the rear is about fifteen or eighteen inches lower than that of the main part of the house. Presumably, there was a sixteenth or seventeenth century house which was partially demolished in the eighteenth century, when the main part was added.

The Old Vicarage, a largely 18th century house.


A "Terrier of Glebe Lands with which the Vicarage of Stainton is endowed" dated 1684 includes a "Vicarage House with a little barn, Foldstead, Orchard and Garden containing about one acre and a half" and this demonstrates that there was a residence of some kind in the seventeenth century.

Because the Vicarage was built on glebe land there was never and need for a deed of conveyance either to purchase its site, nor to convey it from one occupant to the next until it ceased to be a vicarage in 1952. In that year the Church Commissioners sold the house and outbuildings and three acres of land for about £2000, much to the annoyance of the P.C.C. who felt it was worth far more.

The last resident vicar was the Rev. George Hollowood who left in 1933 to be succeeded by Archdeacon Folliott G. Sandford. The Archdeacon already had a residence conveniently situated for his duties and, therefore, did not require the vicarage. To ensure that it did not deteriorate, he arranged for his Church Warden, Mr. J. Grindle and his family to live in the Vicarage as caretakers, reserving one room for his own use if required. Members of the Grindle family had lived in Stainton since the middle of the Nineteenth century and had always played a very active part in the life of the village.

After Archdeacon Sandford's resignation due to ill health in 1939, the Vicar of Tickhill, the Rev. G. T. S. Cooke was asked to take Stainton with Hellaby under his wing for the duration of the war, thus leaving the Vicarage still without a vicar. At that time, it was not obvious what the situation would be after the war, and no doubt there was a confident expectation that Stainton might ultimately have a vicar of its own once more. The Grindles, therefore, continued to look after the Vicarage and to live there.

After the war had finished, the Rev. G. T. S. Cooke was firmly established as Vicar or Stainton - in fact if not in law - and the decision was made to link the two parishes of Tickhill and Stainton permanently, but to sever Hellaby, which could more conveniently be linked to Bramley. The Vicarage thus came onto the market as a secular dwelling with the stipulation that it must no longer be called the Vicarage. It was renamed "Brook House" but those who throughout their lives had known it as the vicarage continued to use that name. Eventually it became known as "The Old Vicarage" without any objections being raised by the Church Commissioners.

The first family to occupy the house after the Grindles vacated were called Foster-Smith. They played no part in village life and did not leave any recognizable mark of their sojourn. They were succeeded by a family called Burn who did enter into village life. Mrs. Burn was a member of the P.C.C. and before they left, presented the village with a row of weeping willow saplings which have now grown into the small copse on the bank of the stream opposite the bottom of Raw Lane.

At some time during this era, part of the land belonging to The Old Vicarage, with a frontage onto the Holme Hall Lane, was sold for the construction of three bungalows, and somewhat later, a further plot was sold to a civil engineer, Mr. John Barnes, who built "Penny Hill".

The Burns were followed at "The Old Vicarage" by Mr. & Mrs. John Barford. By this time, the house was in need of some structural attention and modernization. The Barfords re-roofed it, re-wired it, put in a damp-proof course and re-arranged the inside so that what had been a large kitchen became a spacious entrance hall and the former entrance hall became part of the lounge. They also installed central heating, but the eighteenth century doors were not used to the dry air and showed their discomfort in the form of cracked panels.

In 1964 the Barfords sold the house to Dr. and Mrs. H. H. Pilling. Dr. Pilling had recently been appointed as H.M. Coroner to the City of Sheffield and to the Rotherham District and the West Riding of Yorkshire. This jurisdiction included Maltby and Maltby Colliery and terminated as Scotch Springs. Dr. and Mrs. Pilling entered into village life immediately and within two years Mrs. Pilling was Honorary Secretary to the P.C.C. At that time the congregation of the church on most Sundays was reduced to fewer than ten persons including the Pilling family of five.

In 1974 Dr. & Mrs. Pilling decided that, since they no longer needed any grazing, they would apply for outline planning permission for part of the orchard and the paddock above it to be used for the construction of three bungalows. On appeal, the permission was granted. In this way "The Orchard" came into being.

The glebe barn by this time was calling out for repair and in 1976 was refurbished by converting two of the ground floor bays into garages, although sadly this required the removal of the outside stone steps to the barn above. The floor of the barn was raised by about fifteen inches and completely renewed and the new stairway to the upper floor was constructed from the stable which had been left in its original form.

The parish records show that the barn had twice previously been extensively repaired or indeed rebuilt. It apparently fell down in July 1739 and was rebuilt for a total cost of £7-18s-9d, this included labour and materials, but there is no timber listed in that latter, so one presumes that the old timbers were used of new ones taken from the local woods. Appended to this note is the later comment:- "The above mentioned barn fell down and was rebuilt by the Rev. Beaumont Broadbent wholly in the year one thousand eight hundred and ten - and came to upward of £50."

The present timbers are of different ages, but include two roof trusses of rough hewn timber, strengthened by sawn timber bolted to the old, and five or six purlins are rough hewn with pegged tenons where they are butted into the blades of the rough trusses. It seems probable that these belong to the 1739 rebuilding if they are no even older than that.

In 1979 Dr. & Mrs. Pilling decided to move to a smaller house and sold The Old Vicarage to Mr. & Mrs. W. P. Ward.

The Ward family also entered into village and church life, Peter Ward became the P.C.C. treasurer and later a Parish Councillor and Mrs. Ward became a church warden in 1986. The Old Vicarage remained basically the same except for re-wiring and general maintenance. In 1988 Mr. & Mrs. Ward moved into a new house, built in the grounds of The Old Vicarage, so that they could continue to live in Stainton, The Old Vicarage being sold to Mr. & Mrs. N. Baglow. Although moving from Lancashire, both Mr. and Mrs. Baglow have family connections in this area.

Subsequent vicars have almost all left some mark upon the village as the history of the church has indicated, and memorials to a few may be found in the church. Written histories, however, can only be as complete as their sources permit and thus, although all the vicars of Stainton are known by name, only William Fretwell was sufficiently communicative to permit me to deduce something of his life.

However, of those within living memory, anecdotes abound. We are told, for example, that Claude Tickell was very jealous of his privacy and had a little shuttered spy-hole in the door of the vicarage so that he could view his visitors before admitting them!

Again, it is said of Archdeacon Sandford that his sermons never exceeded ten minutes and that he accompanies the hymns himself upon the organ, usually being one bar ahead of the congregation!

Guy Cooke was also his own organist. He could not read a note of music but had a very good ear! His repertoire was relatively limited and his favourite hymn seemed to be "New every morning". He was a very saintly man whose topical sermons were also short and to the point. He seemed to see his preaching role as interpreting the application of the Christian message to current problems, and in this he was much appreciated. His successor Owen Jones, brought a more down-to-earth approach to the parish problems - which was much needed at that time. During his tenure of office various improvements were introduced in relation to the up keep of the fabric, the heating of the church, the care of the churchyard, and, not least, the congregation grew considerably.

A short obituary to the Rev. George Hollowood, the last resident vicar of Stainton, is contained in the Stainton Memorial Book which is on view in the church. This book was provided for the purpose of recording short obituaries for those who had any direct or indirect link with the village, by the Stainton Memorial Trust whose main objective is to establish an Endowment Fund which can help to finance the costs of the church should the need arise in the future. The Trust was set up in 1985, the past trustees being Mr. John Jack, the vicar the Rev. J. A. Bowering ex-officio, Miss D'A V. Hogg, Mr. P. Ward and Dr. H. H. Pilling.

So ends this short history. It is clearly incomplete, not only as regards the distant past but also regarding more recent times. This is desirable because those of us who are part of the current scene cannot view it objectively and it is far better that the history of this period should be compiled after the current actors have left the stage. The important thing is for us to leave them those essential records from which it can be complied.






Translation of Pashley Memorial

'Sacred to the memory of George Pashley of Stainton who died on 11 January 1663 and of Elizabeth his wife, the daughter of Robert Cooke, a gentleman, who was buried on 28 October 1680.

Also of William Pashley, their younger son, a Master of Arts for 26 years a most worthy fellow of Jesus College, Cambridge. Having reached the peak of achievement in Civil Law under the patronage of his uncle William Cooke, Doctor of Laws, Chancellor of Ely, who will always be remembered as the President of that same College, he was always spoken of as a most successful and trusty advocate both in the Court of the Chancellor of the Diocese and of the Pro-Chancellor of the University. Then, because of his outstanding deserts and his unsurpassed knowledge of all the laws, customs and privileges of the University, he was at last appointed "Commissary" of that most illustrious University. In his own court he was a very fair judge and in that title he fulfilled that most distinguished office for more or less 12 years until by grace he was raised to another, indeed a Heavenly Court. On 13 December 1708 he departed to seek a favorable verdict in his newest suit concerning his own everlasting bliss before the Highest Judge, but with the most powerful intercession of the Greatest of all Advocates.

Also of George Pashley, son of the afore-mentioned George and Elizabeth, who died on 17 July 1727 and of Catherine his wife who died on 3 November 1692. Also of William and John, sons of the same, William having been buried on 12 July 1683 and John August 1693.'

Nathaniel Pearson's account of the
augmentation of the vicarage in 1724.

The manner how ye Vicarage house of Stainton came to be augmented is as follows:-

A Gentlemen, one of ye Assisting Ministers by his last Will & Testamt left to ye Vicarage of Stainton 100l in case any other person would (sic) in ye space of 3 years after his Decease leave another 100l which when done would be a Means to procure Queens Bounty to wit 200l more

Now this was to be done by Subscriptions. First, the Earl Castleton subscribed 50l who was patron of ye living. The Neighbours subscribed 10l and myself subscribed 40l all wch put together made ye sum of 400l and wch cost 400l.

Afterwards laid down by me of my own money 5l to Mr. Conby stewd of Hatfield Court for copies out of ye Rolls and other trouble. To Mr. Vickers for intrest (sic) 2l 15s To Mr. More ye Governours Clark one Guinea and to Mr Vickers' Wife one Guinea at Signing ye Deeds in all with my own Subscription before Viz 40 makes 49l - 17s.

l = pounds.

'An extract of Mr. Geo: Pashley's Will of
Stainton who dyed July 17th 1727.'

'I Give & Bequeath to my Trustees Mr. Matthew Purslove, Mr. Tho. Robinson & Mr. John Wright & to ye Survivr of ym & their Heirs All those my two cottags wth ye Appurts in Stainton in ye occupation of Thos Lee & Jno Dunk and my little Close there in ye Occupation of John Senior And one Acre of Pasture Ground there in ye Occupation of Ann Sanderson in Trust. Nevertheless That they & survivr of them & their Heirs aftr my decease shall out of ye Rents Issues & Profits thereof raise ye Anual or Yearly Sum of Six shillings & eight pence for ever to be paid & distributed by ye Vicar & Church Wardens of Stainton for ye time being to & amongst he most Necessitous poor of Stainton on every Good Friday for Ever.'

(Appended Annual notes of distribution for the years 1728 - 1759 made by Nathaniel Pearson the Vicar).






'The West end tower contains an interesting ring of three bells of which the treble, or smallest bell is the newest bell, having been cast in the year 1713 at York by Samuel Smith II. The bell bears a lavish Latin inscription dedicated to the donor, Mr. George Pashley of Stainton. It is probable that the tenor, or largest bell, comes next in age. This bell simply bears two initial crosses and the letters "S S" but it also bears an interesting founder's mark which indicates that it was made at the Nottingham foundry, probably during the period 1488 to 1508 by one Richard Mellor.


Coming to the 2nd bell, this is inscribed in the fine script, "SANCTA GABREEL ORAPRONOBIS", the words being interspaced by initial crosses with three initial crosses at the start of the inscription. This bell bears no founder's mark but again is probably a product of the Nottingham foundry and was probably cast in the early part of the fifteenth century'


(Extracted from the report on the bells furnished by John Taylor & Co. (Bellfounders) Ltd., of Loughborough on the occasion of their refurbishment in 1987.)







This is a small village church showing an apparently straight-forward structural development; a two-cell Norman building was enlarged later in the medieval period by the addition of a chantry chapel south of the nave and a west tower.

The Norman Church

The Norman building appears to have consisted of a nave and chancel, built of local Magnesium Limestone rubble with roughly-shaped quoins; neither quoin type (a mixture of face-and-side alternate) nor the wall thickness of 0.85 metre shows any real evidence of Pre-conquest building traditions. The main surviving feature is a round-headed chancel arch of a single square order, with imposts chamfered beneath. On the soffit of the arch the rubble wall core is exposed between the cut voussoirs. Other contemporary features are part of a single-light window on the south side of the chancel and probably the round-headed rere arch of the south door. The blocked priest's door on the south side of the chancel also has a round arch but its neat continuous chamfer suggests that it may be rather later (late 12th or 13th century?) in date. In addition there are traces of blocked openings in the south wall of the nave, on either side of the arch into the south chapel, their fragmentary nature and the heavy modern pointing of the wall make their form unclear.

The possibility that the Normal chancel was shorter than at present deserves consideration. Earlier Norman chancels were often virtually square in plan (e.g. at Hooton Pagnell and Hickleton). Whilst no change in fabric is apparent in the Stainton chancel, it is possible that the east part is an extension, built in the same rubble, the eastern quoins re-set.

The Late 13th Century

The church underwent various alterations late in the thirteenth century, which might conceivably have included the extension of the chancel (see above). Two-light windows on the south of the chancel and the north of the nave date to this phase, having steeply pointed trefoiled lights within a pointed arch. Pevsner dates these to c.1290. The chancel window has its internal sill carried down to form a sedile. Remains of an adjacent piscine on the east are probably of the same date, as may be the aumbry opposite with its pointed arch rebated for a door. The lancet on the north of the chancel is probably part of the same re-modelling, and a plain piscine at the south east corner of the nave may also be contemporary.

The 14th Century

The addition of a later medieval chantry chapel is a common feature in South Yorkshire churches. At Stainton, the new chapel shows a few more architectural pretensions than the earlier parts of the church, with its moulded plinth, stepped diagonal buttress and gargoyles. The three-light east window had trefoiled ogee-headed lights and reticulated tracery under a square head; a few scraps of medieval glass survive. Pevsner ascribes the window to c.1380. The double-chamfered arch into the chapel springs from moulded corbels, and in the south-east corner is a good piscine with a trefoil ogee arch.

The 15th Century

Many churches in the area had their west tower built or rebuild in the later 15th or early 16th century. That at Stainton is a quite typical example, opening from the nave by a double-chamfered arch springing from paneled corbels. Externally the tower ids divided into three stages by hollow-chamfered set-backs, and there are diagonal buttresses at the western angles. The three light west window has simple panel tracery without cuppings, which suggests quite a late date (or else post-medieval repair). The newel stair in the south-west angle of the tower is very steep and narrow, leading up to a belfry with two-light openings altered in the 19th century. The tower is capped by an embattled parapet with 8 crocketted pinnacles.

Post Medieval Alterations

During the three centuries subsequent to the Reformation, most village churches suffered little structural alteration other than the insertion of galleries and the substitution of sashes for decaying tracery in the windows. Evidence of such changes was usually erased by Victorian restorations aimed at returning the church to a more correctly "medieval" appearance. At Stainton the south door, inside the porch, is a plain pointed arch of late 18th or 19th century type, and the tripartite east window is of 1861; the other post-medieval features all date from the 1898 restoration. The south porch of this date presumably replaces an earlier one (to judge from the position of the older window in the west wall of the adjacent chapel).

The 1898 north door almost certainly replaces and earlier opening, probably that which has been re-set to form the entrance to the manor garden from the churchyard. This is a simple square-headed doorway with a massive roughly-shaped lintel and jambs of alternating horizontal and upright stones; stylistically this looks as early, if not earlier, than the oldest parts of the church. It is an interesting comment on the attitude of the Victorian restorers - dedicated as they were to the medieval ideal - that they found one of the earliest features of the building to be of too rude and simple a character to be retained in the restored building.

The overall pattern of the structural evolution of the church thus appears to be quite plain from the surviving features and fabric. However, a warning should be sounded against accepting as definitive any such interpretation. Where medieval parish churches have been examined by excavation and detailed structural analysis, as at Hickleton and Wharram Percy, the development of the building has been revealed as far more complex than first appeared. Whilst no feature of fabric type now visible at Stainton points to a date prior to c.1100 (in this area Pre-Conquest building traditions survived the arrival of the Normans by several decades) it is quite possible that an earlier church stood on the site; lines of evidence other than the architectural may shed light on this possibility.

Peter F. Ryder
February, 1989






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