Town’s long-lost castle

Kimberworth Park and Wingfield Social WMC 16/02/1977
Kimberworth Park and Wingfield Social WMC 16/02/1977
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Kimberworth, a couple of miles from Rotherham town centre, is the latest stop in our Retro A to Z of Sheffield and surrounding areas.

Some of the earliest outside settlers were reputed to be the Romans, who would have encountered the local Brigante tribes.

Rotherham tram at Kimberworth

Rotherham tram at Kimberworth

The area was called Chiberworde in the Domesday Book in the 11th century, when it had 20 households. The lord of the manor went by the fabulous name of Roger of Bully, or Roger de Busli.

Indeed, Kimberworth had a castle in medieval times with a motte and bailey (a motte is the earthwork that the castle keep building would have stood on, surrounded by the bailey, a protective ditch).

Most of the traces of the castle has been covered by modern houses close to Wortley Road, near The Drawbridge pub, but some earthworks are still visible.

The de Busli family held the castle until the mid-13th century, eventually moving to a moated manor house.

Kimberworth

Kimberworth

The monks at nearby Kirkstead Abbey Grange were busy smelting iron from around 1160 and of course iron, steel and coal had a big influence on the area.

With the arrival of trams at the turn of the 20th century, Kimberworth began to be swallowed up by Rotherham.

One of the famous sons of the town is former England and Arsenal goalkeeper David Seaman. Apparently he would often remind his international colleagues that he was brought up in a house with an outside toilet.

Seaman, born in Rotherham, played his first football at Ferham Junior School and then attended Kimberworth Comprehensive School.

Dame Evelyn Sharp, permanent secretary to the Ministry of Housing and Local Government, offically opened Wellfield Lodge old people's flats at Kimberworth Park, Rotherham,  Picture shows Dame Evelyn unveiling a commemorative plaque after opening the flats.  Looking on are the Mayor of Rotherham (Ald. Mrs E. McNicholas), the Mayor of Rotherham (Miss E. Harding) and Coun Bill Beevers, Chairman of the Rotherham Housing Committee - 12th November 1962

Dame Evelyn Sharp, permanent secretary to the Ministry of Housing and Local Government, offically opened Wellfield Lodge old people's flats at Kimberworth Park, Rotherham, Picture shows Dame Evelyn unveiling a commemorative plaque after opening the flats. Looking on are the Mayor of Rotherham (Ald. Mrs E. McNicholas), the Mayor of Rotherham (Miss E. Harding) and Coun Bill Beevers, Chairman of the Rotherham Housing Committee - 12th November 1962

Life on Mars and Last Tango in Halifax star Dean Andrews was born in Rotherham in August 1963.

His parents were publicans and he lived at the Green Dragon in Kimberworth at one time.

In researching Kimberworth, I came across a sad court case on the excellent Rotherham Web site dating back to March 1843.

Henry Turner was found guilty of stealing a horse in Kimberworth at Yorkshire Assizes.

Old buildings at Kimberworth - 1979

Old buildings at Kimberworth - 1979

A newspaper report said: “The prisoner cross-examined the witnesses at great length, and in a very impertinent manner, so much so that the judge had several times to call him to order.”

He claimed to have sold an ass and then bought the horse off a stranger named John Smith near Bolton.

He was sentenced to be transported for 15 years.

Kimberworth Manor - 25th November 1985

Kimberworth Manor - 25th November 1985

File photo dated 17/05/03 of Arsenal's David Seaman . PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Tuesday March 18, 2014. Arsene Wenger takes charge of Arsenal for the 1,000th time in the Barclays Premier League match against Chelsea on March 22. The England stopper was a huge reassuring presence between the posts. Wenger has always struggled to find another keeper to match 'Safe Hands'. See PA story SOCCER Wenger Best XI. Photo credit should read: Rui Vieira/PA Wire.

File photo dated 17/05/03 of Arsenal's David Seaman . PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Tuesday March 18, 2014. Arsene Wenger takes charge of Arsenal for the 1,000th time in the Barclays Premier League match against Chelsea on March 22. The England stopper was a huge reassuring presence between the posts. Wenger has always struggled to find another keeper to match 'Safe Hands'. See PA story SOCCER Wenger Best XI. Photo credit should read: Rui Vieira/PA Wire.