Village Improvements in 1922

In the years that followed the First World War, Doncaster, like many other towns in the country began to invest money into its villages. During the war, and for a little while after, every town had a huge commitment to the war effort which siphoned off any profit and spare money into the central ‘pot’. During the early 1920s the dust settled and the town gravitated back into its industrial centre and so thoughts turned once more towards progress. The Corporation undertook a project which looked at the many villages that made up our borough, trying to find ways to promote, develop, and/or protect them. The following alphabetised list is taken from The Doncaster Regional Planning Scheme – 1922.

Adwick-le-Street.

An old farming village until the coming of the collieries, which have entirely changed its character; it is now the railway centre for a large colliery district. Since the formation of the Urban District of Adwick-le-Street, which embraces the adjoining village of Carcroft, the district has made rapid strides owing to the presence of two of the most successful collieries in the Doncaster area (Brodsworth and Bullcroft Pits). Both of the old villages, Adwick-le-Street, and Carcroft are on low ground, and it is not advisable for them to grow in this direction. In both these places the land adjoining the railways could, however, with advantage be used for works, high tension power lines being available; it is suggested to restrict the low-lying lands for industrial uses. The Council Housing Site here is situated on the land lying between the Brodsworth Model Village (Woodlands) and Adwick-le-Street; it forms a compact, well-considered scheme of 278 houses, and acts as a connecting link between the old and new portions of the west of the Urban District. There is plenty of high land available for future residential growth.

Adwick-on-Dearne.

A pleasant village lying on the extreme north-west edge of the Regional Area, which does not appear likely to change its present rural character. The roads all around the village have acute corners which should have attention as soon as circumstances permit.

Arksey.

This village lies on the low ground, just between the area we have indicated as suitable for manufacture and the farming belt. Indications of settlements with fracture of the surface show themselves on the north-east end of the village. No new houses should be allowed in this village.

Armthorpe.

Situated about three miles from Doncaster, and on rising ground.  Until recently a small rural village. With the advent of the new colliery and the housing developments in connection with the same, its character has entirely changed and is changing. The original straggling village street of a mile in length is bound to develop as an offshoot of the colliery village, which lies at the opposite end nearer Doncaster. The village will form the terminus of a very important short radial road from Doncaster. This road leaves Thorne Road about 1½ miles east of Doncaster by a very bad right-angle narrow road called Armthorpe Lane. It is necessary that a better connection should be made, and this is provided for by a proposed bypass road. Armthorpe Lane is very narrow throughout its entire length and, owing to the heavy traction engines which use it daily, it is practically impassable for light traffic. In the very near future the new colliery at Armthorpe will be completed and the new colliery village there will use this road as its chief means of access to Doncaster. It must shortly be called upon to carry either motor bus or tram traffic. The road can easily be widened on either side and should be made 80ft between hedges, with a building line of 40ft set back from fences. The district appears to be likely to develop rapidly into an Artisan Housing Area, for which it is exactly suitable. A considerable future is predicted for this village. A Centre should be provided situated in the vicinity of the Church, which would form a means of connecting the old village with the new. The new village erected on some of the highest ground available is designed on sound lines, and is sufficiently far away from the colliery to avoid the smoke from the pithead. Full advantage has been taken of the wooded surroundings of the village site.

Askern.

Originally a Spa noted for its mineral waters and baths, has in recent years entirely changed its character. The new colliery has been sunk on the top of the hill on the Campsall side. A large colliery village has been erected on the west side of Askern, and is being enlarged. The old town of Askern stands at the foot of a hill on very low ground, a large portion of which is waterlogged, the subsoil being of a boggy nature with a bed of peat. It is exceedingly undesirable that any building, other than in connection with agriculture, should be permitted in the direction of Moss Road, and all building operations should be confined to the high ground, towards the west, which rises swiftly to about 70ft above Ordnance Datum. The plan of the new village is too much of the gridiron type, and might with advantage be somewhat revised in future extensions. The Doncaster to Selby Trunk Road passes through the village, forming its principal street; this should be widened as soon as is practicable, for a bypass is impossible, the high ground closing it in on one side and the railway and pools of water on the other.

Austerfield.

Of historical interest owing to the fact that it was the home of the Pilgrim Fathers; a large number of American visitors congregate at the church here at different times. It comprises one long village street built up to the road, which is of moderate width. This requires to be widened, as it forms part of the road to Thorne. The presence of a large bed of gravel and sand here, together with the new Silica Brick Works, indicates that a certain amount of additional commercial prosperity has recently come into the village. The Haxey, Bawtry, and Tickhill Light Railway passes under the village street at the northern end.

Awkley (Auckley).

An old village very scattered and straggling; it is on the road from Doncaster to Finningley. There are several sharp turns in the village street that require widening sufficiently for village purposes and to avoid danger. The bridge over the River Torne should be widened and be made much safer than at present. Road improvements in other villages will relieve Auckley of a large amount of the traffic now passing through it.

Barnby-on-Dun.

This important village, though on the banks of the Don, is fortunately situated upon a sort of promontory of land above the 25 feet contour. It is almost certain to grow in size, and can do so on the north-east, but only to a limited extent. A new housing scheme of sixty houses is in course of erection on this north-east side. The ring road crosses the Don and canal at this point. Owing to the fact that the main street of the village is an exceedingly narrow one, the road adjoining the housing scheme is designed to take the joint radial and ring traffic. The ring road across the Don runs through the proposed factory area over the river and, if this develops, Barnby-on-Dun will grow rapidly.

Barnborough (Barnburgh).

A pretty village standing on high ground; its church has a beautiful old tower, forming a landmark for many miles around. The approach by road from Doncaster is bad, and provision has been made for remedying the same. The new Barnburgh colliery is within a short distance and, when fully developed, is bound to have an effect on the village. The Barnburgh Colliery Company’s Housing Scheme might have been with advantage placed on higher ground, somewhat to the east, which would have linked up the old and new villages, thus forming a community of interests rather than two isolated villages, each with its own centre.

Bawtry.

An old market town on the Great North Road, nine miles south of Doncaster, which has a wide village street forming the market place. It is the point where several of the main roads converge, including the main road into Lincolnshire by Gainsborough Bridge, the nearest bridge over the River Trent. The two streets giving access to the Gainsborough and Lincoln Road are narrow, with right-angle turns and very bad corners of an exceedingly dangerous character. It is suggested to construct a short length of new road, utilising an existing garden for this purpose, this would form a wide straight approach. The work is of an urgent character and should be carried out as soon as possible. This road passes out of the Doncaster Regional Area almost at once. The mining developments at Harworth are bound to reflect on Bawtry, as this is the nearest point for shopping and railway facilities. The road from Bawtry to Sheffield and Tickhill, which forms an arterial road approach to the Great North Road, requires widening from where it begins to narrow to Bawtry market place. The development of Harworth and the presence of the Great North Road, bringing as it now does a large amount of motor traffic, together with the fact that it contains good hostelry accommodation is bound to make this charming roadside town a prosperous place in the future.

Branton.

An exceedingly small village abutting on the road from Doncaster to Finningley situated about 4¾ miles from Doncaster. The village street is very narrow and contains some dangerous corners, particularly the one near the public house, and the scene of many accidents. It is essential that this corner should be eliminated, and when opportunity occurs, the widening of the village street should have consideration.

Bentley.

Near Doncaster and situated on the Doncaster to Selby Road. It has entirely changed its character within the last ten years; from an old agricultural village, having a very small population, it has grown into a large mining centre, with a population of 13,000, and was in 1911 formed into an Urban District. Bentley Road, its approach, is no longer a country road, but carries tram lines; the traffic is altogether too much for it and an alternative road is suggested to provide for this traffic from Doncaster and London to Selby and York etc. The greater portion of Bentley is located on low-lying land unsuitable for housing. The Bentley colliery, a short distance off the main road, has the distinction of being the first colliery sunk in the new South Yorkshire Coal Area. The High Street if Bentley should be widened, also Cooke Street, from which the suggested relief road, by Watch House Lane, joins the Great North Road near to the Sun Inn.

Blaxton.

A very small place, practically a hamlet, situated close to the junction of the road to Haxey, and the road to Hatfield, Woodhouse, and Thorne. Widening is required to the road at this point. Again, it is undesirable that this village should grow other than for agricultural purposes.

Braithwell.

See Edlington

Braithwaite.

See Kirk Bramwith.

Brodsworth.

This is the old village, which, instead of being changed into a new one as a result of colliery development, has been left in its original state, with the addition of a few new houses. Not being situated on a road of any great importance, it may be expected to grow gradually, reflecting indirectly the prosperity of the Brodsworth Pit. (See Woodlands).

Bilham.

A small hamlet some little distance off any main road; is quite rural, and seems never likely to change its present character.

Burghwallis.

An old rural village which should be preserved surrounded by a charming piece of country never likely to be interfered with by any industrial developments. As the village stands on a short length of the ring road, the existing road corners are being dealt with to provide an easier and safer road through.

Carcroft and Skellow.

The new villages of these names form the northern portion of the Urban District of Adwick-le-Street, the old village of Carcroft being on the low-lying land. It is not desirable that housing be developed here or on the east towards the Doncaster and York road; it should be confined to the higher ground on the north and west. The new village at Carcroft and the Council’s housing scheme at Skellow, the latter on high ground, are good examples of modern idea’s well carried out. The old village of Carcroft forms the Centre for shops and amusements of this part of the area, and will continue to do so.

Campsall.

Standing on high ground and forming a little picturesque village, with a fine parish church. Every endeavour should be made to retain the existing rural character. Owing to the fact that a short arterial road from Askern to Barnsdale Bar, Skellow and Carcroft passes through Campsall, it is found necessary to bypass the village street. It is not contemplated that this village will grow very much in size; it might, however, in course of time be used somewhat as a suburb of Askern, but this would probably only be for a limited number of larger houses.

Cadeby.

A small picturesque rural village near Sprotbrough; it stands off any main or radial roads’ and is not ever likely to change its present agricultural character, and should be preserved as far as possible in its present state.

Cantley.

A small picturesque village situated just over three miles from Doncaster, which will abut on the proposed ring road. Owing to its proximity to Armthorpe, where a new colliery has been sunk and a new village built, it is sure to share in the new prosperity. The ring road where it passes through Cantley is carried by a bypass which removes the traffic from the dangerous corners and out of the village street. An important community centre should be planned somewhere in the neighbourhood of this village.

Clifton.

A picturesque agricultural village standing on high ground, with an old Manor House and church; the surrounding country and Clifton Beacon making an exceedingly pretty background. This village is never likely to be affected by industrial developments or to change its present rural character.

Cusworth.

A very small pretty village clustered together on the hillside; it is about two miles from Doncaster, standing on the high ground overlooking the Don Valley. The beautiful park with a Mansion overlooking the lake occupies a commanding position and can be seen from Doncaster and many miles around. There is little, if any, likelihood of a pit-shaft ever being sunk between Doncaster and Brodsworth, and, although perhaps somewhat with regret at the idea of so handsome a demesne with its beautiful park and woodlands being ever disturbed, this appears to be the natural direction which the future growth, of a residential type, of Doncaster must inevitably take.

Clayton.

An old agricultural village situated on high ground between Frickley and Hickleton collieries, but sufficiently distant from either to ever be affected by colliery development.

Old Edlington, Stainton, Braithwell, and Micklebring.

These four are all of similar character, typical agricultural villages of the district; they are likely to remain so but may react to some extent to the sinking of the Maltby and Edlington, and other collieries in the area. Various minor improvements are suggested in these villages. At Braithwell, two very bad corners exist, and it is proposed to construct a short bypass road here to remove the danger, which is of a serious character.

New Edlington.

This village, situated on the main road from Doncaster to Sheffield, and constructed much too near the shaft of the Yorkshire Main Pit, was erected about ten years ago, and leaves nearly everything to be desired in its planning and the way the work has been carried out, reminding one of some of the early efforts at housing in the South Wales Coalfield. It is desirable that some steps should be taken to remedy this, and that future housing should be on remodelled lines and farther away from the colliery on the higher ground towards the village of Old Edlington. The approach to the village is bad, particularly from the present Tram Terminus; a partial remedy might be made in a new approach fro the radial road from Doncaster to Maltby. The best course, although costly, would be eventually to form other entrances to the village from the Sheffield main road, from a point west of the present entrance.

Fenwick.

See Kirk Bramwith.

Finningley.

An old agricultural village grouped round an attractive village green, just outside the Doncaster Regional Area. It is situated on low land, the subsoil of which is all gravel and sand. The saturation point, owing to its low level, is very near the surface, and the whole of this district is suitable only for agricultural purposes. However, a recent Engineering Works has been constructed near to the railway station – a clear example of the way which isolated works may spring up anywhere in the Doncaster Regional Area. It is undesirable that the Finningley district should develop to a large extent as a housing village as the people employed can be housed on the higher ground nearer to Cantley. The road to Thorne should be in the way of a bypass to avoid the twisting street of the village.

Hampole.

A small hamlet about seven miles from Doncaster on the main road to Leeds. It is purely agricultural and is never likely to change its present character, an alteration to the road corners is proposed.

Harworth.

This small picturesque village, situated 2½ miles from Bawtry is entirely changing in character from an agricultural to a mining village as fast as mining engineers can do this. A good wide grass lane, to be made into a paved road, on the site of an old road, connects Harworth to the small town of Bawtry, where the railway station and shopping facilities for this district are at the moment to be found. A better means of connecting Harworth to Bawtry by rail should be provided. The new Harworth Colliery Village, which is being erected by the Harworth Colliery Company, will provide housing for the workmen employed at the Harworth Pit; provision is made in the lay-out of the new village for the shopping, social, and amusement needs of the large community which it is anticipated will congregate there within the next three or four years. Proposals are in place for widening the existing road between Doncaster and Harworth, and from Harworth to Blyth, as this road should form one of the main arterial roads of the district.

Hickleton.

An old village with ideal surroundings, standing on the main road from Doncaster to Manchester. This old village is one of the very few remaining unaltered in the Regional Area, and seems never likely to change its present charming character.

High Melton.

A small pretty rural village on the radial road to Barnburgh. There is, however, the possibility of the road becoming in time an important relief road, and provision for widening the same is proposed. No likelihood exists of the village ever being affected by industrial expansion and, in a region about to be largely industrialised and thus inevitably to lose much of its old-world charm, it is desirable to preserve as many villages as possible of the type of High Melton.

Hooton Pagnell.

This is one of the most beautiful villages in the district. Fortunately it is not situated on a road that will be required for through traffic: it is far from the Ring Road, it is not on a Doncaster Radial, and has no railway station. Though not far from the Frickley Colliery, it is not likely to be used as a housing village for the workers, and it is hoped that it will remain as it is with its beautiful prospect to the west. That delightful old Manor House, Hooton Pagnell Hall, standing on the high ground, is a landmark for many miles and, together with the well-proportioned Church Tower, forms a group of old buildings that are difficult to surpass in the whole country.

Kirk Bramwith.

A picturesque little village in a district which, owing to its lowness of level, is subject to very heavy flooding. It stands between the River Don and the junction of the Canal. No houses, except in connection with the agricultural pursuits, should be allowed here. The above also applies to the villages of Thorpe-in Balne, Fenwick, Moss, and Braithwaite, none of which are on the main roads.

Kirk Sandall.

This village, situated upon the banks of the Don and Dun Navigation, is below the 25ft contour and comes within the Factory Zone. Messrs. Pilkington’s new Glass Works have been placed in its immediate vicinity. It is therefore recommended that no new houses be erected in the old village. A new site for the village has been provided and a new village, which will eventually supersede the old, is being erected above the 25ft contour. It is situated south-east of the Great Central Railway and will eventually stretch from the Barnby Dun to Doncaster Road and Armthorpe Lane. It will be connected to Doncaster by a proposed future Ring Road. There is probably a big future before this new village, which is supplied with electric light and water from Messrs. Pilkington’s works. A large Village Centre is being provided with sites for the church, village hall, cinema, etc. This portion of the Doncaster Area, although intersected by two main lines, Doncaster to Hull, and Doncaster to Grimsby, suffers badly from the want of a good local train service. The new villages at Stainforth and Kirk Sandall, which are grouped around the railway stations of Stainforth and Barnby Dun, would in themselves be sufficient to justify the railway company concerned in putting down an improved train service, and it is hoped that before long this will be done.

Loversall.

An old agricultural village about 3½ miles from Doncaster, which stands on the main road from Doncaster to Nottingham. Owing to the very bad corner in the village street, and the grade of the hill at this point, a bypass road is proposed, and the old village road should be widened at the present dangerous corner.

Marr.

A pretty village situated about 4 miles from Doncaster on the main Barnsley Road. The village is supported by prosperous agricultural surroundings and, although the coming of the coal pits has had a somewhat retarding influence, it is likely to always retain its present character. Proposal are made for widening the road where necessary.

Micklebring.

See Edlington.

Moss.

See Kirk Bramwith.

Norton.

A very small village, lying about 1¾ miles north-west to the town of Askern. The present village is occupied entirely by an agricultural population. The buildings and cottages are generally of a great age and in a very bad state of repair. Efforts should be made to remedy this as soon as possible. A start was made towards housing on modern lines, and a new road has been made. This is, however, now lying derelict, the scheme for 46 houses being one of those suspended by the Ministry during the recent restriction of housing schemes. There is a level crossing at the Leeds and York station.

Oldcoates.

An old village adjoining the main road from Nottingham to Doncaster on the one side and the main road from Sheffield to Bawtry on the other. At resent the village is of a purely rural character. It is, however, quite likely that the colliery developments foreshadowed in the neighbourhood may, if carried out, entirely change its aspect.

Owston.

A picturesque hamlet surrounded by parklands, with the Hall and Church standing in the background. Its present charming rural character should be maintained.

Rossington.

The new colliery village is situated towards the verge of the 25ft contour and might well have been on slightly higher ground. Its future growth should be to the east and south, and not to the north and west. Its access to Doncaster is by the Great North Road. It has a station on the Great Northern Railway mainline and is also situated on the Ring Road. The future of the village is at present bound up with the colliery, but if the neighbouring low-land, Potteric Carr, developed as a manufacturing area, there should be a great future before it. Its present method of planning leaves much to be desired, but the circular lay-out, if carefully treated, will provide a village centre for a considerable population. The existing train service is meagre, and should be augmented by a motor rail service. Already a motor bus service exists, but it is very necessary for the growth and needs of this new community that steps should be taken at once to improve the facilities for communication between Rossington and Doncaster.

Skellow.

See Carcroft.

Sprotbrough.

A place of great historic interest, famous for its ancient church, containing many monuments dating back beyond the time of the Crusaders. The village, clustered on the hill side overlooking the River Don, has always been prosperous, and is one of the most charming to be found in England. The Valley of the Don at Sprotbrough entirely loses its industrial character, and is widely known for its great beauty. The river here passes through limestone cliffs of great height, and a glorious view is obtained from either side of the river of a scene remarkable even in such a county as Yorkshire. Sprotbrough Hall, the seat of the Copley family for many generations, is situated on the cliff side, the gardens having the appearance of overhanging the river. It is recommended that the greater part of the parish of Sprotbrough should receive special and adequate protection by reason of its beauty, and the village church should be considered as an ancient monument of national interest. The name of Sir Walter Scott is closely connected with Sprotbrough, from the fact that he resided in this village when writing ‘Ivanhoe’. A recommendation is also made to prohibit the building of any works within an adequate distance of Sprotbrough, and for the preservation of the district forever.

Stainton.

See Edlington.

Styrrup.

A small agricultural village, lying about 1¼ miles on the south-west side of Harworth. The village has always been a small prosperous place, and may slightly enlarge itself through its proximity to the new mining centre at Harworth, but is hardly likely ever to become much larger than at present.

Sutton.

A very small agricultural village never likely to develop beyond its present rural character. The outer ring road will bypass it.

Tickhill.

An old market town, now shorn of its ancient importance, on the site of the old Great North Road (London to the North via Worksop). The main street contains an old coffee-house of great beauty, and in the centre of the market place, at the intersection of the road to Bawtry, stands the fine Market Cross. Tickhill Castle (largely demolished, the part left being now used as a house) stands at the south end of the village. The High Street of the town forms the main road from Doncaster to Worksop and, although of wide proportions, there are corners to be opened out, and a wider road is suggested on the already existing back street. This road would act as a bypass for the through-traffic, which is considerable, and would do away with a very dangerous turn in the main road. The town is largely agricultural and residential, and there appears to be little probability of it changing its present character. The fact of its being so badly served by railways has caused the town to decay since the days of the mail coach, when it had an era of greater prosperity than it is ever likely to have again. The parish church of Tickhill has a most beautiful tower, which forms a landmark for many miles around.

Thorpe-in-Balne.

See Kirk Bramwith.

Wadworth.

Situated on the brow of a steep hill, the village is visible for many miles around. Its character is purely agricultural, but may very probably change owing to its proximity to Rossington, and the possibility of a shaft being sunk somewhere in this district. A short length of new road forming part of the Ring Road also serves as a bypass for the village. A new route from Mexborough to the South intersects the Ring Road.

Warmsworth.

A small pleasant village lying on the main road from Doncaster to Sheffield near its intersection by the ring road. It is rapidly changing its character owing to the Edlington Colliery Village practically joining up to it. A dangerous bend in the road at the entrance to the village from Doncaster requires immediate attention. Warmsworth has the distinction of having its church belfry situated in the village, about one mile from the church.

Woodlands.

This is one of the new villages of the district, entirely planned on a new site to meet the changed character of occupation produced by the Brodsworth Colliery. It is situated nearly a mile to the east of the old village of Brodsworth. The site chosen for the village was Woodlands Park, a beautiful stretch of Park Land lying along the Great North Road. A large green, on which are growing magnificent forest trees, has been preserved, and the houses grouped around it. In this part of the village it is to be noted, the houses do not face onto the Great North Road, but an existing plantation has been preserved as a screen. A Village Centre has been laid out on admirable lines and, generally speaking, this may be looked upon, as regards site-planning, as a model of what the new communities should be like. Begun in 1907, the whole scheme was prepared at top speed, as house were immediately required for the onrush of labour to work in the pit. Great credit is due to the designer, Mr. Percy Houfton of Chesterfield, for this, the first of the new communities to be planned on sound lines. A later portion of the village, farther south, is a melancholy example of falling off in standard.

Click on the first photo in the gallery to view the enlarged images. 

6 responses to “Village Improvements in 1922

  1. Thurnscoe has always been in the Diocese of Doncaster but never under Doncaster for Council responsibility, I.e. housing, etc. Births & Deaths registrations, depending on the decade was Don Valley & Dearne Urban Council, later Barnsley.
    Regarding the article above: Where is Stainforth, Hatfield & Thorne?
    Does anyone know where the Ammunition Factory in the 2nd WW was. My late Nannan from Stainforth, worked there. Thanks, Carol,

    • Stainforth, Hatfield, and Thorne are the villages and towns north-east of Doncaster in the direction of Goole. My Nanna worked at an amunitions factory that had been set up inside Pegler’s, in Balby. Pegler still exists today towards the top of Carr Hill.

      • Aaaww wow, thanks ever so much, none of the family knew where the factory was.
        I think I might not have been clear on where Stainforth, etc are. I knew geographically where the villages are as family still live there, I was wondering why they aren’t mentioned in the above article? If I’ve miss understood your reply, sorry.
        Carol,

  2. Nope…Thurnscoe’s not there. There’re Hickleton and Clayton, both just on the outskirts, but no Thurnscoe!

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