Thrybergh Ravenfield Dalton

South Yorkshire England

            Pronounced locally Thrybur  Old English Triberg

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St Leonard's Church C. of E.

Please note that this is not an official church site, but part of the Thrybergh history site

courtesy of Jonathan Dabbs


Rev Janet French

The Rectory

14 Manor Farm Court


Rotherham S65 4NZ


2 Three Hills Close


Rotherham S65 4PH
Rotherham (01709) 850103

Mrs Bates PCC Secretary
Mr Michael Coterill PGD/GAS
Mr Brian Cranswick Reader
Mrs Linda Dodson Churchwarden
Mrs Drury PCC Treasurer
Mr Terence Knapton Churchwarden
Mrs Hannah Lambert Organist
Mrs Sheila Phillips Deanery Synod





Set in picturesque surroundings the Church of St. Leonard holds the traditional historic beauty of the area. In the times of the early Rectors the view from the Church towards Rotherham would have been magnificent to the eye. Sadly we can only imagine that view now. Thankfully the grounds of the Church have been well maintained judging by the photographs . When you look at the wonderful architecture of St. Leonard's and other Churches built at the time, you realize what a lack of character today's architecture holds.

The original Church dates back pre Norman, as the Roman Church was dominant in England prior to the Norman conquest of 1066.  Locally  in nearby Conisbrough in AD650-700 a Saxon Minster church was built, and today is listed as the oldest building in South Yorkshire still in use found within the present  St Peters Church Conisbrough .

So with that evidence we are assured that a stone built church was erected around A.D. 900 which was constructed from a flint like stone which is found in nearby Conisbrough, with a typical design from that period, there was no tower or spire, it was rather just a square structure. With the arrival of the Normans the church was extended towards the west, with an additional door, this door on the North wall was used as an access by whoever owned the lordship and his family. In later years the church gained a chancel during the 12th century, within the chancel is an apse including a burial crypt below, some members of the Reresby, Finch, and Fullerton families were laid to rest here.


French notable historian Claude Husson who at this moment in time is writing a book on the diffusion of St Leonard of Noblat's cult. Claude has done a large amount of research into the subject and writes.
" I believe that a St Leonard's church dedicated to St leonard de Noblat (Limousin) was dedicated in Thrybergh before Leonard of Reresby was born. I found Thrybergh in a list of St Leonard de Noblat churches registered for an exhibition dedicated to him in the small town of Saint Leonard de Noblat in 1994.

Back in the 11th and 12th centuries the Church of Rome believed that souls of the departed would be held in judgment by God. Thus the belief in good people arriving in Heaven, and that bad people would arrive in the warmer climate of Hell upon their death. With the added belief that for a good person to go to Heaven he must be buried in ground that had been blessed [ Holy Ground ]  Churches benefited by charging a fee for the right of burial within their churchyard, and often bodies were buried on top of each other. In the early centuries Grave markers were not used.

The wooden coffin we know today came into existence as a widely used item during the 1300's around about the time of the plague, which is understandable as the amount of deaths and the rate of death would require swift burials during that time. Though often the corpse was burnt.

From those early burials customs changed in how a person was buried, and also the varying artifacts with which they were buried. These things make it somewhat easier when trying to date an ancient coffin or tomb.
Also the depth varied from the shallow early graves to the six feet depth of today. Traditionally Graves were in a line of East to West
The less wealthy people were buried in Church graveyards, whilst the wealthier Nobles etc often chose to be buried in Monasteries or within the Church itself, as is noted above.

  Looking at the architecture of the Church now, it would have had several additions and alterations up to and around the fourteenth Century leaving us with the Church in its present form. The windows of the Church are amongst the finest examples of stained glass to be found anywhere in England.

According to the memoirs of Sir John Reresby the Church and also the bell are dedicated to St. Leonard Reresby, and there was a picture of St. Leonard Reresby in one of the Church windows, with his chains  Now here is where it could become confusing between the two St. Leonards, as St Leonard of Limousin was also often depicted holding  chains. This window was broken in Sir Johns lifetime.


A Family festival was held on a Whit Sunday in memory of St. Leonard. Sir John also makes mention of the fact that the stone cross named Sir. Leonard's Cross which is still in the village today,  was already defaced in the 1600's. The first mention of the Altar being dedicated to our Reresby saint  is on a deed dated 1349.


In 1825 The Church is mentioned as follows:


[ Rectory in Charge] Area 1, 290 acres Strafforth and Tickhill wapentake S. D.

Population 332 Church room 200 Net value 329 L

This anciently belonged to the Normanvilles and from them to the Reresby's

Patron John Fullerton esq.

Valued in Pope Nicholas's taxation at 6L. 13s. 4d: in the Kings books at 12L. 11s. 4d after deducting for Synodals 2s: and procurations 6s. 8d and in the Parliamentry survey vol xviii page 473 it is stated!

A Rectory 60L. per annum. Now as Dalton Parva lieth part in the parish of Rotherham and part in Thribergh, but nearer this parish by half a mile, we annex Dalton Parva to Thribergh.

 Note: In 1818 the church room was returned sufficient for the then population of 272

An enclosure act was passed 37th Geo III. Dalton.

For the arms, monuments, crosses and lists of Rectors see Hunters South Yorkshire vol ii page 39: and for the arms and inscriptions see Bodleian MS No 5078 and mem. ib. 510.

A chantry is mentioned in the Valor Ecc.

8th November 1783 faculty to erect a gallery

The Glebe house which was built under a faculty dated 13th August 1750 is fit for residence.

The Register Books commence in 1599


Elizabeth Finch's gift by will in 1760, Rent charge of 10L. 10s per annum for teaching ten poor children of the parish.

Hedges gift vide Adwick in the street the dividends on 100L three per cents are divided by the minister on St Thomas's day among the poor. Also the dividends on 600L like stock are paid to the Schoolmaster.

Vide 18th report page 637



The Rectors

[ Under research ]


courtesy of Jonathan Dabbs



St.Leonards Church Courtesy of Jonathan Dabbs















1392 Adam Cotorell, Rector of Thrybergh

1520/21 Thomas Westby Rector: From [ Hunter 11 42 ]

"We first meet with this Rector on the 8th February 1520/21 when as a bachelor in decrees he was admitted to the rectory of Thribergh in Yorkshire, on presentation of Ralph Reresby Esq. He became Vicar of Tolleshunt Darcy in Essex in 1527 but resigned.

1542 A Biographical Register of the University of Oxford, A.D.1501-1540 - Page 543
by Alfred Brotherston Emden - Education - 1974 - 766 pages
Slopes alias Draper, rector of Thrybergh, Yorks., сотр. 25 Oct. 1542; till death (PRO, E334/2, fo. 120 ; Regg. Holgate &c., York, fo. 

1583 :Edith=2nd husband, Anne, mar. = John Rev. Hy. Leadbeater, Rector ... Thrybergh, co. York; mar. 1603; living 1618 at Darton Lockwood 9 Feb.

1671 Rev. Robert Banks later became Rector of Conisbrough
l740 Rev Mr. Hedges  Rector of Thrybergh   by Catholic Record Society (Great Britain) - 1932
Page 325
20, 1735, Wm Withers, Rector of Thrybergh. ST. Samuel Roberts, Mary his Wife, & Edward Roberts, are but very lately removed from Rawmarsh to Thrybergh,

Biographical Register of Christ's College, 1505-1905: And of the Earlier John Peile, John Archibald Venn - 1913
Page 227
Withers (1692), rector of Thrybergh, Yorks.

 A Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Commoners of Great Britain and John Burke - 1838
Page 589
William Withers, rector of Thrybergh. One of the sons of this marriage, the Rev. William Withers, MA rector of Tankersley, m. Miss Buck, of the family of ?
1800 1837 Dr Henry Stephen Milner Rector H.S. L.L.D Henry-Stephen, b. 1764, in holy orders, D.C.L. treasurer of St. Asapli, and rector of Thrybergh, со. York
1840's Rev. Arthur Fullerton Rector of Thribergh , d. 1875; and had (with others) issue .
1881 Henry Leigh Bennitt M.A. was the Rector in 1881, he was born at York in 1834. his wife was not at home on the census day. Henry like most of his profession moved around quite a lot, after his marriage he was found in Mansfield Nottingham in 1873. The following year the family were living at Leamington Warwick and Henry took up the post at Thrybergh around 1876. 

In the Rectory house at Thrybergh in 1881were his son

Granitte Leigh Bennitt age 8 born in Mansfield, Nottingham,

son Edward Leigh Bennitt age 7 born at Leamington, Warwick,

daughter Maude Leigh Bennitt age 5 born at Thrybergh,

daughter Mary Ellinor Leigh Bennitt age 4 born at Thrybergh,

son Harrold Grey Leigh Bennitt age 1born at Thrybergh,

Other Male Cecil Granitte age 4  born at Dartmoor, Devon.

The Rectory had several servants who were

Cowin Gills unmarried Male age 26 born at Prestan, Kent, the Gardener,

Mary Sargan unmarried Female age 20 born at Thrybergh, the Cook ,

Kate Cucke umarried Female age 21 born at Coleby, Lincoln, the  Nurse,

Emm Cooknell  unmarried Female age21 born at Bornbe, Warwick, England the Housemaid,

Zillah Cucke  unmarried Female age 14 born at Coleby, Lincoln, the Nurse Maid

The Revd George Henry Croasdaile Bowen rector Thrybergh canon Sheffield)
1923 - 1936 Canon G. H. C. Bowen Rector  years known
1960 Rev. Dixon Rector
Rev B E Leng retired on 30 June 2005.

Rev Janet French Present
Note that dates above are known recorded dates concerning the Rectors, it is hoped to provide an accurate record of the periods in which they held the position. I would also like to fill in the missing Rectors

Church Groups and Workers
Maud Willert was in service as cook at Thrybergh Rectory for the Reverend Bowen together with a sister-in-law, Gladys Willert.
Mr. Bannister Sleights, organist at St. Leonardís Church. 1930's
Terry Smith caretaker at St Peters church
Dr. Simon Ben-Avi, ex-organist of St. Peter's, was Stephen Purshouse then.



Claude Husson French Historian,
The Memoirs of Sir John Reresby,
The Catholic Church Listing of Saints,
1881 British census,
Genuki pages by Colin Hinson,
Rotherham Advertiser,

Photos:- submitted by Jonathan Dabs and the Bird Family





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This site is the result of over 7 years research, and compilation, should you wish to use any of the content for publication of literature please contact me. The poetry and life of James Ross, the story of St. Leonard's Cross, and other items on this site were compiled, and first published on this site in their present context as a study of Thrybergh. If you use this site as a source, out of courtesy, please give credit where it is due as I have done on this site where appropriate.
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