Whiston Sign Whiston Heritage Society
Rotherham, South Yorkshire

History and Listed Buildings

A Brief History of Whiston

Early in Whiston's history, the Romans passed through the area during the time they spent in the Templeborough region of Rotherham. Artefacts found in the Guilthwaite area of Whiston include quantities of spurs, stirrups, and battle-axes; plus a road and a pavement. The latter had posts inserted into it and these posts had rings attached to them - which were probably used for tethering horses. Furthermore, in 1826, a clay pot containing a hoard of small Roman coins was found; a second pot was discovered in 1939. The Roman road was part of Rickneild Street, built c.50AD. It ran from Wakefield via Templeborough, to Cirencester. In the Whiston area, it followed a line close to that of the modern-day A618.

Later the Saxons formed a settlement in Whiston. In 937 AD (during their occupation), it is said that the bloodiest battle in Britain took place within and close by to Whiston. Following the Norman Conquest, a close relative of William become the Lord of the Manor, a title that still exists. The name of Whiston appears in The Domesday Book under one of its guises, which suggests that it could have been derived from Saxon words. The parish of Whiston originally included Canklow, Moorgate, Herringthorpe and Morthen.

The year 1188 sees the mention of religious buildings and records show that the first Rector at the parish church arrived c.1236. The church tower dates from 1250 although the fabric of the church has been subject to many alterations over the centuries. The present nave and chancel were added in 1882-3 on the site of the medieval north aisle. During this time many members of the landed gentry had been connected in some way with the village and its development; among these were the Earls of Effingham who were sponsors of the Rectors throughout this period. In the churchyard, the oldest dated gravestone is from the year 1696. Meanwhile, in front of the church is the Lychgate. This was built in 1919 as a war memorial and is inscribed with the names of those from the parish who gave their lives in both World Wars. Finally, next to the Lychgate; on the edge of the churchyard; are the parish stocks, dated 1786. These would have been well used in their day to punish petty criminals etc. but have now lain dormant for some time.

The Medieval Manorial Barn on Chaff Lane dates in part back to the 13th Century and was used by the Lord of the Manor to store the grain collected from his serfs and peasants by way of tax. Originally there were two storage bays at either end with the threshing floor in the middle. Additional bays and a second threshing floor were added in the Middle Ages and in more modern times the barn was extended to include a wheelhouse.

Over the years the village grew in size as it prospered on an agricultural-based economy. Such development continued into the early part of the 20th Century. This economy survived because there were local springs for water, fertile soil for food, milk and meat supplies; and quarries for building (and then selling) materials. Those Whistoners not directly involved on the land provided the supporting skills. A number of properties still exist that were built during this time: these include Whiston Hall and Abdy Farm. In the 18th Century, Morthen Hall was built for the Rector of Whiston. Then in 1823, the village was bought by Sir George Sitwell, who became the next Lord of the Manor; a title still held by the family today.

All this began to change in the 20th Century. Red brick house development started and Whiston's population grew as the village saw people arriving to fill the labour demands in the mining, transport and metal industries. Consqeuently the population increased by 300% but the village retained has its natural charm to the present day. In addition, green land has been built on, previously operational farms have disappeared or being converted into dwellings; people have moved away others have arrived. However the natural beauty is still there and those born in the village are justly proud of their heritage. In the centre of Whiston stands the village sign which was unveiled for the new millennium by the society's chairman - Mr David Dyson. It provides a reminder of this heritage.

Provided by Whiston Heritage Society

Heritage StepsToll Bar at Whiston Crossroads

List of buildings of special architectural or historic interest in the Parish of Whiston, Rotherham; South Yorkshire

Name Location Listed Status
Whiston Parish Church of St Mary Magdalene Rectory Drive 2*
Village Stocks School Hill / Rectory Drive 2
Headstone of Rebekah Cutt, Whiston Parish Church School Hill / Rectory Drive 2
Whiston Hall Manor House Chaff Lane 2
Whiston Manorial Barn Chaff Lane 2*

Morthen Grange Farmhouse York Lane 2
Lawns Farmhouse York Lane 2
Remains of Cross Morthen Hamlet 2
Morthen Hall Morthen Hall Lane 2*
Ha-Ha Gates; Gate Piers, perimeter wall, front of Morthen Hall Morthen Hall Lane 2

The Mews Morthen Hall Lane 2
Oak Cottage (adjacent to Morthen Hall) Morthen Hall Lane 2
Farm, north of Guilthwaite Hall Pleasley Road 2
Milepost, Guilthwaite Grange Pleasley Road 2
The Poplars Upper Whiston 2

The Heights, Farmhouse Upper Whiston 2
Milepost West Bawtry Road 2