Last updated

Conisbrough Castle.jpg
Conisbrough Castle
Location map United Kingdom Borough of Doncaster.svg
Red pog.svg
Shown within the Borough of Doncaster
South Yorkshire UK location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Location within South Yorkshire
Population14,333 (Conisbrough and Denaby ward. 2011 census)
OS grid reference SK5198
Metropolitan borough
Metropolitan county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Doncaster
Postcode district DN12
Dialling code 01709
Police South Yorkshire
Fire South Yorkshire
Ambulance Yorkshire
UK Parliament
List of places
53°28′44″N1°13′37″W / 53.4790°N 1.2270°W / 53.4790; -1.2270 Coordinates: 53°28′44″N1°13′37″W / 53.4790°N 1.2270°W / 53.4790; -1.2270

Conisbrough ( /ˈkɒnɪsbrə/ ) is a town within the Metropolitan Borough of Doncaster, in South Yorkshire, England. It is roughly midway between Doncaster and Rotherham, and is built alongside the River Don at 53°29′N1°14′W / 53.483°N 1.233°W / 53.483; -1.233 . It has a ward population (Conisbrough and Denaby) of 14,333. [1]



The name Conisbrough comes from the Old English Cyningesburh (first recorded c.1000) meaning "king's stronghold" or "king's fortified place". [2] [3] [4]


The historian David Hey describes Conisbrough as appearing to be the most important place in Anglo-Saxon and Viking South Yorkshire. In a will of around 1003, Conisbrough was bequeathed by Wulfric Spott, founder of Burton Abbey. At this point, it appears to have been the centre of a major former royal estate, reaching Hatfield Chase. The manor became royal again under Harold II of England, and by the Norman Conquest, 28 townships in what is now South Yorkshire belonged to the Lord of Conisbrough. William the Conqueror gave the whole lordship to William de Warenne. [5]

The name of Conisbrough relates to a king's stronghold and this is usually presumed to have either been on the site of Conisbrough Castle, or of the parish church. At the time of the Norman Conquest the manor of Conisbrough was held by King Harold - he was defeated at the Battle of Hastings. Conisbrough Castle is contained within an artificial oval-shaped enclosure similar to one used as wapentake meeting-places at Gringley-on-the-Hill and East Markham, leading Malcolm Dolby to suppose the castle site may have once been the meeting-place of the Strafforth and Tickhill wapentake. [5]

St Peter's Church, Conisbrough St.Peter's church - - 922213.jpg
St Peter's Church, Conisbrough

Conisbrough contains what is believed to be the oldest building in South Yorkshire: the probably 8th-century Anglo-Saxon St Peter's Church. The church was enlarged in the twelfth century, and David Hey claims that it was a Minster church, forming the centre of a large, early parish covering all or much of the eleventh century Fee of Conisbrough. [5]

Peter Langtoft, writing in the 13th century, claimed that Egbert of Wessex had been received at "Burghe Conane", which is often identified with Conisbrough. [5]

Kilner connection

In 1863, the Kilner company opened a glass-making plant in Conisbrough. [6] "The bottles made at Conisbrough are chiefly mineral water, spice, confectionery, wine and spirits, pickle, medicine, and chemists. and druggists bottles of all descriptions." [7] In 1866, Caleb Kilner was sent to manage it, along with his cousin Kilner Bateson. [8] In 1937, the Kilner company went bankrupt. Rights to the Kilner Jar product line were sold to the United Glass Bottle Manufacturers in the same year. [9]


Geoffrey of Monmouth wrote about the town, claiming that it had been fortified by Ambrosius Aurelianus, King of the Britons after his victory over the Anglo-Saxon forces of Hengist (Historia Regum Britanniae viii, 7), that the captive Anglo-Saxon leader Hengist was hacked to pieces by Eldol outside the town walls, and was buried at "Hengist's Mound" in the town.

In Sir Walter Scott's novel, Ivanhoe , 'Coningsburgh Castle' is based on Conisbrough. Scott's Coningsburgh is an Anglo-Saxon fortress, based (perhaps knowingly) on the mistaken conclusion that its unique style marked it as a non-Norman castle. The great tower is described specifically, so that it is clear that Scott has the Norman version of Conisbrough in mind.

Earth Centre

In the mid-1990s, a new tourist attraction, Earth Centre, opened on the nearby site of the former Cadeby Main Colliery. It closed in 2005 after it failed to attract the expected number of visitors. A leisure centre has been built on the site of the former Denaby Main Colliery. In the 2008 drama Survivors, the Earth centre was used as the place Abby was shot and taken in.

It has also been a host to the Olympic Torch Relay for the 2012 London Olympics [10]

Yorkshire saw The Grand Depart for the Tour de France [11] in 2014. After this Yorkshire has hosted "Le Tour de Yorkshire." In 2016 the tour came through Conisbrough passing the famous castle on its way to Doncaster. [12]

Notable people

Cyril Snipe (1888-1944) was a motor racing driver who won the 1912 Targa Florio in Sicily driving an Italian SCAT motor car. He was the son of Arthur W Snipe, a schoolmaster, and Fanny (née Banner). [13]
Tony Christie (born Anthony Fitzgerald, 25 April 1943), a singer most famous for his hit single Is This The Way To Amarillo, was born in the town.


Conisbrough has one secondary school, the De Warenne Academy (formerly Northcliffe School). The Emmanuel Schools Foundation's scheme to turn Northcliffe into an Academy was scrapped after protests by parents, students and staff, despite the enthusiastic backing of former Conisbrough councillor Aidan Rave and former Doncaster Mayor Martin Winter.

Primary education in Conisbrough is provided by Ivanhoe Academy, Castle Academy,(formerly Station Road School) as well as Morley Place Juniors, Rowena Infants & Balby Street Primary.

Further education is now available at the De Warrene Academy (post 2010) however some residents of the village choose to either attend Dearne Valley College or Doncaster College, both a short bus ride from Conisbrough or other colleges further afield such as RCAT, Barnsley college etc.


The town lies at the junction of the A6023 and the A630 Doncaster - Rotherham road. To the west is Denaby Main. Pubs in the town include; The Eagle & Child (now closed and for sale [14] ), The Red Lion, The Conyers, The Alma, Castle Bar and The Hilltop Hotel. October 2019 saw the opening of the first microbar “The White Lady” selling real ale and other cocktails. The street formerly known as Butt Hole Road, now Archers Way is located in Conisbrough.


The largest store in Conisbrough is the Sainsburys Local which serves village residents with products required from an express supermarket. This was formerly the Kwik Save. The land was formerly the petrol station of the Booth family.

Conisbrough had a co-op in the town centre opposite the Sainsburys Store, again used for local conveniences. This closed in September 2016. The site has since been refit and opened as a Go-Local convenience store. The site was originally a cinema.

Shopping Facilities:

Chemist (Town Centre & Doctors), florist shops, card shop, vape / smokers' store, news agents, butchers, do-it-yourself / hardware stores, estate agency / financial advisors, clothes store, bookmakers, cafe, charity shops and house clearance shop.

Other stores include the Crusty Cob Shop, which has the bakery head office and bake house for their small local chain. The last bank in the town was NatWest.It closed in November 2015 leaving no bank. However, there are cash machines available 24/7 at the old bank site, Sainsbury and the post office. The Go-Local has a cash machine outside but only available during store hours. There is now an agency of Yorkshire Building Society situated in Dunstan Estate Agents, this being the only banking facility apart from the Post Office.

Public transport

Bus services

The main bus operator in the town is Stagecoach Yorkshire providing an extensive network of services into Doncaster & throughout the Dearne Valley referred to as "The Dearne Link". Buses run at least every ten minutes into Doncaster & Mexborough and at least half-hourly through to Barnsley, Wath, Cortonwood & Rotherham. First South Yorkshire also operate a service through Conisbrough running at least every ten minutes throughout the day between Sheffield and Doncaster on its X78 route

Rail services

The town is served by Conisbrough railway station and the main operator from the railway station is Northern. There are frequent services in both directions from Conisbrough railway station to destinations including Doncaster, Mexborough, Swinton, Rotherham, Sheffield, Scunthorpe, Worksop, Retford, Gainsborough, Saxilby and Lincoln. Recently Stagecoach restored bus services past the railway station after an absence of almost ten years. The X20 links Doncaster and Barnsley. [15]

Related Research Articles

South Yorkshire County of England

South Yorkshire is a ceremonial and metropolitan county in England. It is the southernmost county in the Yorkshire and the Humber region and had a population of 1.34 million in 2011. It has an area of 1,552 square kilometres (599 sq mi) and consists of four metropolitan boroughs, Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield. South Yorkshire was created on 1 April 1974 as a result of the Local Government Act 1972. Its largest settlement is Sheffield.

Conisbrough Castle Grade I listed historic house museum in South Yorkshire, England

Conisbrough Castle is a medieval fortification in Conisbrough, South Yorkshire, England. The castle was initially built in the 11th century by William de Warenne, the Earl of Surrey, after the Norman conquest of England in 1066. Hamelin Plantagenet, the illegitimate, parvenu brother of Henry II, acquired the property by marriage in the late 12th century. Hamelin and his son William rebuilt the castle in stone, including its prominent 28-metre (92 ft)-high keep. The castle remained in the family line into the 14th century, despite being seized several times by the Crown. The fortification was then given to Edmund of Langley, passing back into royal ownership in 1461.

Barnsley Town in South Yorkshire, England

Barnsley is a large market town in South Yorkshire, England. It is the main settlement in the Metropolitan Borough of Barnsley. At the 2011 Census, Barnsley had a population of 91,297 out of close to 250,000 in the wider borough in the Dearne Valley. Historically in the West Riding of Yorkshire. It is located between the cities of Sheffield, Manchester, Wakefield and Leeds.

Metropolitan Borough of Doncaster Metropolitan borough in England

The Metropolitan Borough of Doncaster is a metropolitan borough of South Yorkshire in Yorkshire and the Humber Region of England.

Mexborough Town in South Yorkshire, England

Mexborough is a town in the Metropolitan Borough of Doncaster in South Yorkshire, England. Situated between Manvers and Denaby Main, it lies on the River Don close to where it joins the River Dearne, and the A6023 road runs through the town.

Don Valley (UK Parliament constituency) Parliamentary constituency in the United Kingdom since 1918

Don Valley is a constituency in South Yorkshire represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament since 2019 by Nick Fletcher of the Conservative Party.

Wath upon Dearne Town in South Yorkshire, England

Wath upon Dearne is a town south of the River Dearne in the Metropolitan Borough of Rotherham, South Yorkshire, England, 5 miles (8 km) north of Rotherham and almost midway between Barnsley and Doncaster. It had a population of 11,816 at the 2011 census. It is twinned with Saint-Jean-de-Bournay in France.

Swinton, South Yorkshire Town in South Yorkshire, England

Swinton is a town in the Metropolitan Borough of Rotherham, in South Yorkshire, England on the west bank of the River Don. It has a population of 15,559 (2011). The town is five miles north-northeast of the larger town of Rotherham and directly west-southwest of Mexborough.

Strafforth and Tickhill

Strafforth and Tickhill, originally known as Strafforth, was the southernmost wapentake in the West Riding of Yorkshire, England. The west of the district, plus a detached area in the east, constituted the Upper Division, while the central area and a detached part in the extreme east constituted the Lower Division.

The Mexborough & Swinton Tramways Company was a tramway system in the West Riding of Yorkshire, England, founded in 1902 and which began services in 1907 linking Rotherham with the Old Toll Bar, Mexborough. Its routes served Manvers Main Colliery, Wath upon Dearne and the towns of Rotherham, Rawmarsh, Swinton and Mexborough.

Denaby Main Village in South Yorkshire, England

Denaby Main is a village situated between Mexborough and Conisbrough in the Metropolitan Borough of Doncaster in South Yorkshire, England. The village falls within the Doncaster MBC ward of Conisbrough and Denaby. It was built by the Denaby Main Colliery Company to house its workers and their families, and originally given the name Denaby Main Colliery Village, to distinguish it from the village of Denaby, about ⅔ mile away on the road to Hooton Roberts and Kilnhurst; from that time, the old village became known as Old Denaby. In due course the "Colliery Village" part of the name was lost, leaving the village to be known as Denaby Main.

The Mexborough and Swinton Traction Company was the name adopted by the Mexborough & Swinton Tramways Company in 1929 following the introduction of trolleybuses on all its routes. It operated in the West Riding of Yorkshire, England, over routes serving Manvers Main Colliery, Wath upon Dearne and the towns of Rotherham, Rawmarsh, Swinton, Mexborough, Conisbrough and the estate at Conanby.

Barnsley Building Society

Barnsley Building Society was established in January 1853 by a group of prominent townsfolk who, following the example of many other towns and cities at the time, decided to form their own building society.

A6195 road

The A6195 road runs through the Dearne Valley in South Yorkshire, England.

River Don Navigation Waterway navigation in South Yorkshire, England

The River Don Navigation was the result of early efforts to make the River Don in South Yorkshire, England, navigable between Fishlake and Sheffield. The Dutch engineer Cornelius Vermuyden had re-routed the mouth of the river in 1626, to improve drainage, and the new works included provision for navigation, but the scheme did not solve the problem of flooding, and the Dutch River was cut in 1635 to link the new channel to Goole. The first Act of Parliament to improve navigation on the river was obtained in 1726, by a group of Cutlers based in Sheffield; the Corporation of Doncaster obtained an Act in the following year for improvements to the lower river. Locks and lock cuts were built, and, by 1751, the river was navigable to Tinsley.

Castles in South Yorkshire

While there are many castles in South Yorkshire, the majority are manor houses and motte-and-bailey which were commonly found in England after the Norman Conquest.

A6023 road Primary route A road in South Yorkshire, England

The A6023 road runs for 5.5 miles (8.9 km) from Conisbrough to Wath-upon-Dearne via Mexborough and Denaby Main. In the east, it starts at, and passes Conisbrough Castle.

Denaby Ings Human settlement in England

Denaby Ings are a nature reserve on the River Dearne, encompassing an area of 23 hectares north of Denaby Main, Doncaster, South Yorkshire, near the town of Mexborough. The Trans Pennine Trail passes here. The habitats include open water, water meadows, woodland scrub and hedgerows. Birdwatching is a popular activity there. The area has been classed as a Site of Special Scientific Interest since 11 August 1983.


  1. "Conisbrough and Denaby - UK Census Data 2011". UK Census Data. Archived from the original on 30 January 2016. Retrieved 13 January 2016.
  2. 'Conquest, Anarchy and Lordship: Yorkshire, 1066-1154' By Paul Dalton, Cambridge University Press, 2002, ISBN   0-521-52464-4, pp. 34
  3. 'Conisbrough Castle' by Michael Welman Thompson, Great Britain. Dept. of the Environment, H.M.S.O., 1977, ISBN   0-11-671453-0
  4. 'Ivanhoe' Walter Scott, Sir Walter Scott, Graham Tulloch, Penguin Classics, 2000, ISBN   0-14-043658-8. pp. 481
  5. 1 2 3 4 David Hey, Medieval South Yorkshire
  6. "Kilner Brothers". Grace's Guide. Retrieved 4 February 2017.
  7. "Messrs. Kilner Brothers Jubilee: 50 Years in the Glass Bottle Trade" . Retrieved 4 February 2017.
  8. Death of Caleb Kilner – Business Genius. Mexborough Times. 5 March 1920.
  9. "Potted history of our bottle industry". Dewsbury Reporter, Yorkshire. 14 October 2006. Retrieved 4 February 2017.
  10. "Olympic fever to hit Conisbrough". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 13 January 2016.
  11. "Grand Départ 2014 - Yorkshire". Tour de France 2014. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 13 January 2016.
  12. Wilson, Pete. "Stage 2 - Skipton to Leyburn, 124.5KM - Tour de Yorkshire - 30 April - 3 May 2020". Tour de Yorkshire.
  13. "Cyril Snipe - Historical Research, in memory of David McKinney". The Autosport Forums.
  14. "Pubs & Leisure Property Result | CBRE Commercial". Retrieved 27 February 2020.
  15. Travel South Yorkshire