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Main Street Ravenfield photo courtesy of Sheila Khan

Main Street Ravenfield

The history of Ravenfield goes back pre Norman, The Danes gave Ravenfield its name back in the ninth Century when they were present. From this we can conclude that Ravenfield was in existence prior to this and possibly was a little hamlet with no name.

William de Warenne at the time of the Domesday Survey 1086 was given the Manor of Ravenfield, which was included in his reward from King William. Ravenfield came under the lordship of Conisbrough which included lands and 28 townships within South Yorkshire. These Towns were  Anston, Aston, Aughton, Barnburgh, Bilham, Braithwell, Bramley Bramwith, Clifton, Cusworth, Dalton, Dinnington, Edenthorpe, Fishlake, Greasbrough, Hatfield, Harthill, Hoyland, Kirk Sandall, Long Sandall, Ravenfield, Stainforth, Thorne, Tudworth, Wales, Whiston and Wilsic. Some of these Towns had churches which were assigned to St. Peter's Church at Conisbrough which was called the Mother Church. To give you an idea just how high in the Norman hierarchy William De Warren was, well he was married to Gundred, who was the daughter of William the Conqueror and Queen Matilda of Flanders. Little surprise then when you see the amount of estates he was given.  Not bad you may think, but wait there is more, he owned close to two hundred other Estates in the rest of England.
Ravenfield like its neighbour Thrybergh was to exchange hands many times in its history


1316 There was a Bertram Sandeby born in Ravenfield, he had a daughter born in 1342 named Eustace Sandeby There was a place named Smalwode in the parish of Ravenfield, West Yorkshire listed on the Land grant 1337, YASRS 102 Page 90 Deed 258 In the fourteenth century a Johannes de Connesburgh', Armiger [ Shield Bearer ] was the lord of the manor and the following people lived in Ravenfield
Willelmus Nelleson The name means the son of Nell there was a Nell de Wynter living in Wakefield in 1274, and a John Robert Nelleson living in Wakefield listed on the 1324 Subsidy Rolls. The family of Willelmus were Johannes Nelleson, Cecilia Nelleson, and Agnes Nelleson . Johannes Peryn and his wife Margareta The name is a diminutive of perre [Peter] with suffixes in un el. A Alexanda Peryn was found in the year 1268 in Summerset. Also in the Village of Ravenfield was Johannes Peryn and his wife Isabella. Willelmus Johanson The surname means son of Johan or John. Hugo Bacon and his wife Johanna listed as a Bocher The surname is a nickname for a Pork Bucher referring to cured flesh. Was also a name used by Norman Knights little known prior to 1320. Also in Ravenfield at that time was Thomas Bacon and his wife Emma with their son Willelmus and daughter Johanna. Thomas and Emma being possible parents of Hugo.
Johanna Bossell was living at Ravenfield The surname can be found with a Alan Buscel c 1140 Yorkshire and a  Roger Buissel 1086 and a  Richard Bussel 1200 P [Beds] The surname means one who measures out corn or made containers to a certain size thought to derive from the measurement Bushell also in1362 a William Bosevyll Posible decendant of T B Bosvile Esq. of Ravenfield in 1837. Meaning from Beuzeville-la-Giffard France. Katerina Lamherd  Means Lamb Herd can be found with a Hugh le Lambehird 1309 Wakefield Yorkshire, Willemus Albus . Robertus de Rauenfeld and his wife Alicia Walker Willelmus de Ranenfeld and his wife Agnes with their sons Ricardus and Hugo and daughter Katerina . Johannes de Hoghton and wife Isabella Means from one of the places called Houghton. Johannes Lordman and wife Isabella and daughter Alicia. Possibly means one who was a servant to a lord. Johannes Galon and wife Agnes with their son Johannes. Derives from Old French . Johannes Wryght and his wife Isabella Means carpenter or Joiner
Agnes Hobkynwyf and her daughter Magota The surname is Hobkyn A diminutive of Hobb pet form of Robert ,name varies from Hopkin to Hobkin in this case Agnes is the wife of Hobkyn with the term wife being added to the husbands surname. Johannes Hanckeschelf and his wife Agnes The name is of Scandinavian origin the first part Hanck is the flemish pet form of John. Alicia Houne lived in Ravenfield at this time. Thomas ffox and his wife Alicia , in nearby Thrybergh was a Matilda Ffoxdoghter more than likely their daughter. Johannes de Halton From one of the many Haltons in England. Matilda Carter  mostly from French origin as in Cartier. Willelmus son of  Nicholai and Alicia no surname found for Willelmus. Radulphus Clerk  his wife  Alicia and sons Thomas and Jacobus. Origin was someone of a religious order, is mostly found today as Clark as a surname. What relationship the following have is unknown as yet but they all lived in Ravenfield at this time with the exception of Leticia Scot who was found in Thrybergh. Matilda Scott  Johannes Scot his wife Magota  also another Magota Scot . Isabella Clare  Clare as in a womans name meaning fair or can be from the old trade of a clayer. Willelmus Bellard his wife Johanna and also a  Agnes Bellard living in Ravenfield relationship unknown
Thomas Aland lived in Ravenfield  Johannes Smythe. means a worker at the smithy proberbly the blacksmith of the time with servant Willelmus Possible descendant of  Jonathan Smith who lived in Ravenfield in1741
Johannes Ryles and his wife Johanna  Name means from Ryle in the West Riding of Yorkshire. Rogerus Pynder Old English dimuinutive of to impound or an officer of a manor who impounded beast
Stephanus Crane and wife Johanna. The surname derives from a nickname for someone with long legs
Cecilia Milner and daughter Isabella  The Milner name is found often in the history of the area, Cecila is more than likely related to Thomas Milner and his wife Alicia who lived in Thrybergh at this time possibly an ancestor of Rev. H S Milner, LL.D of Thrybergh in 1817 The surname is a variation of Miller.
Thomas Spynk and his wife possible Farmer with two servants Johanna and Johannes. The surname derives from a nickname relating to the bird Finch. Agnes Rosseuill and daughter Elena also lived in Ravenfield at this time



In 1460 John Vincent acquired estates in Doncaster, Ravenfield, Sandal, and Rotherham,


A Thomas Hartley of Doncaster  purchased lands at Ravenfield on the 28th November 1580. He had a brother named Robert Hartley. There was also a Ralph Hartley listed as a purchasor 1588 and 1598 [See 1600 below ]
Ravenfield Park which was the Deer Park was established by the Westby family who were Lords of the Manor at the time along with Ravenfield Hall



Sarah Westby daughter. of George Westby of Ravenfield Park was married in Rotherham in the month of June.1628
Robert Hartley of Ravenfield yeoman  listed as purchasor of other lands which in 1629 regrants to Ralph Hartley Ravenfield husbandman 1647, which Ralph in 1649 exchanged same with Thomas Westby Esq
Daniel Hartley purchased 1698 Will 30 Jan 1729. Robert Hartley of Ravenfield yeoman death found at Tickhill 3rd October 1651 Seized of a messuage & 30 acres of land at Ravenfield which fell to Ralph Hartley son & heir aged 30 anno 1651

In 1671 most of the properties in Ravenfield involving leases and lessees  most of them  were held at will or came under a 21 year leases which ended at Michaelmas, of this year

On the 29th of October 1675 under a  Pre-nuptial settlement lease and release and counterpart.  Henry Gill of Carr House to George Westby of Ravenfield, a John Morewood of Offerton, a William Drake, the younger, of Barnoldswick Cotes and Thomas Stillington of Kellfield. Messuage at Carleton in the parish of Aubrough in Holderness, Great and Little Underains, Blackbuske Lamouth and Towny Lamouth for uses stated regarding consideration of the marriage between Henry Gill and Ursula, daughter of William Drake including a 500 dowry.

Barbara Westby of Ravenfield married William Thornton year unknown
On the 3rd of August 1679 Ravenfield Church and lands changed possession by a deed from Samuel Savile of Mexbrough, gentleman, to George Westby of Ravenfield, gentleman. The church or chapel of Ravenfield with the mansion house of the chapel and gardens, etc. and all the glebe land, and tithes of corn, hay, wool and lambs, oblations and mortuaries, held by Savile by a lease from Edmund Diggle, Archdeacon of York dated 17 Apr, 1679; during the lives of Samuel Savile and his sons William and Samuel. Westby undertakes to find and hire one sufficient curate or minister to say divine service and celebrate the sacraments in the said church.


27th July 1710 a Conveyance lease and release by Thomas Westby of Ravenfield, esquire, to Elizabeth Spencer of Bramley Grange, the widow of Thomas Spencer of Attercliffe, a deceased gentleman,  A close in Bramley called Bramley Close which was prior to purchased from the Duke of Norfolk.
Daniel Hartley of Pilsley in North Wingfield Co Derby Will 30 Jun 1729 devised lands at Ravenfield Mary his ux executrix [ Executor] 1729  Mary I? pres? aine? mard William Hawford as his daughter possessed a share of  the Ravenfield Estate Wardel George Westby Esq of Ravenfield resided at the St. John Parish Westminster becoming a commissioner of the customs, he died around 1758.

 Lease for possession at Whiston was recorded for Whiston on the 6th of  May 1715 to Thomas Wentworth of Wentworth Woodhouse, esq., Thomas Westby of Ravenfield, esq., Westby Gill of Carr House, clerk, William Aslabie of Carr House, gent., Samuel Buck of Carr House, gent., Charles More of Carr House, gent., John Mandevile of Rotherham, woollen draper and Richard Huchinson of Rotherham, woollen draper.
The Westby fortune like the Reresby's of Thrybergh must have somewhat diminished at this time and Ravenfield was sold to a Mrs. Madam Elizabeth Parkin. Now Mrs Bouquet of "Keeping up appearances" would have idolized Mrs Parkin, Elizabeth was the  Sheffield society social set big wig of the time who was very rich, with money inherited from commerce. In 1735 Madam Parkin was elevated to the social " Queen" of the Assembly" The Assembly being the gathering for dancing and conversation in Sheffield. The assemblies were first held  in the Boy's Charity School in rooms that were designed to sleep the children in, the headmaster of the time pocketing money allocated to feed the boys and then deprived them of sleeping quarters which he hired to the social set. In 1762 new Assembly rooms were built on Norfolk Street and one would hope that the boys in the poor house eventually had their dormitories.
Here is where the story gets a little interesting, Elizabeth had a relative named George Oborne. George was taken under the wing of Elizabeth when she adopted him, obtaining a place for him at Sheffield Grammar School. George became quite educated and eventually became the Manager of Elizabeth Parkins estates.
In 1756 Elizabeth Parkin hired John Carr to rebuild St. James Church, a monument of Elizabeth was placed inside the Church

[ You can't buy class!]

If the Female social set of Sheffield at the time had money they apparently lacked eloquence, this was inadvertently overcome when Elizabeth Parkin gave her patronage to two sisters, daughters of a Mr Laughton an aristocrat of Lincolnshire, who lacked money. The Laughton sisters introduced the rich Ladies of Sheffield to the art of refinement that had been lacking, its a pity they did not educate them in the care of the needy. George Obourne was to marry Mary Laughton one of the sisters above and they inherited Ravenfield when Elizabeth Parkin died in 1776.

On the 21st of January 1775 an Assignment by Walter Oborne of Ravenfield, esq. by the direction of Joseph Wilson of High field in Ecclesall Bierlow, a merchant, and his wife Anne, , to Samuel Broomhead of Sheffield, a cutler and trustee for Joseph Broomhead and Benjamin Broomhead, both of Sheffield, factors, concerning a mortgage in respect of 4 tenements and a close at Highfields and also 4 tenements and 2 closes at Dobbin Hill

On the 13th of February 1779 Joseph Brotherton of Ravenfield, listed as a serving man was assigned a mortgage at the Rotherham Market Place
In 1782 a Thomas Dodd a gentleman of Crich  for 300 conveyed a 4th part of 52 acres of land and a Messuage in possession was Thomas Lambert at Ravenfield alias Raufield County of York to Mr Samuel Allen of Belper Gentleman and his Trustee
There was a Ravenfield survey of 1795 which has no mention of a school, institute or even the vicar and churchwardens, although the church gets a brief mention for having a full acre of land.
It seems from the archive that local landowners got together and improved the road from Bramley to Hooton in 1795.  Interestingly, at that time everyone in the village was by statute, required to provide labour for the upkeep of the roads and the Bosvile archive details who did what, and the fact they had a wheelbarrow, two shovels and a pick to do it with!  Most people did 2 days a year, but some local landowners used their labourers to fulfil their obligations and did much more.  The archive also details the giving out of a blanket to a widow with 10 children in the village, which required a full report of her existing blankets and circumstances.



Rotherham Archives

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Sheila Khan

Dr. Pete Jones

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