With the recent interest in the Rock Pottery Moneybox Chapel, these extracts from The Mexborough & Swinton Times, show the final decline of Mexborough's pottery industry. Shortly after the 1885 entry the site was cleared and The Jubilee Buildings were built, and a new Chapel erected some years later. The Buildings are still present today at either side of the original pottery entrance. To the left is the Fireplace Shop, formally Frank Harrison's, and to the right, the chinese take-away, plus three dwellings. The Church was dismantled in the 1970's. The pottery was, for many years run by the Reed family (see Heritage Newsletter, 28th April 1999). It is during this period that the moneybox was made. We know almost nothing about the wares made in the last few years of the pottery as hardly anything was marked.

Mexborough— THE ROCK POTTERY—The employees at the Rock Pettery were given a month's notice to leave their employment on Saturday last. It is thought probable that the employers do not contemplate closing the works, but that they intend to make some changes in the working of the pottery. It is stated that better earthenware is being made at the Rock works than has been the case previously. The pottery was established about 40 years ago, and came into the hands of the present proprietors about a year age, when Mr.Sidney Woolf, late M.P. for Pontefract, failed in his business transactions.


One of these pleasing reunions, which are so creduable to employers and employed, took place en Friday night last— as briefly announced in the Times for that day— is the shape if a 'knife and fork tea,'at the Australian and Ferrybridge Potteries. We need not enlarge upon the well known sympathy of Mr.S.Woolf. M.P., With his work people, nor the reciprocal influence that sympathy lies upon those who are fortunate enough to be employed at these extensive work, but will content ourselves by saying that the utmost unanimity has existed between them and the employers themselves for a long number of years. On the amalgamation of the Australian and Ferrybridge Potteries about six weeks ago, under the proprietorship of Mr.S.Woolf, M.P., that gentleman thought that he could not better fitly celebrate the event than by giving the whole of his work people, both at Mexborough and Ferrybridge, an entertainment in the form of a substantial tea. With this view, a Committee, consisting of the managers and heads of department of both potteries, was formed, to whom Mr.Woolf gave a carte blanche as to the arrangements and provisions. A large packing shed in the Old Pottery was set apart for the purpose, the floor of which was asphalted, and the walls, etc., garnished with evergreens, rosettes, and garlands, while mottoes were tastefully arranged around the building. These included the followings—'Success to Sidney Woolf, Esq., M.P.', "Health and prosperity to S.Woolf, Esq., and family,' 'May we ever be united,' &c. Five long tables were set down the length of the shed, and the platform ran across at the top, at the back of which was placed the coat of arms of Mr. Woolf, richly wrought and tastefully surrounded with evergreens and mottoes. Special arrangements had been made with the railway company for the accommodation of the work people from Mexborough, who arrived at the Knottingley station at 4.50, where they were met by the Pottery Band in uniform, and were escorted in precession to the works. Not only was the entertainment given to the workmen, but to their wives also, so that about 550 persons sat down to the tables. The shed was lighted with gas, and lamps with reflectors, and the scene, when all were seated, was most pleasing in the extreme. The general effect of the decorations was very pleasing, and reflected great credit upon Mr Addy, to whose superintendence they were entrusted. The committee were nime in number, and comprised Mr.T.Turner, manager of the Old Pottery; Mr.Oldham, manager of the Australian Pottery; and Messrs. Adamson, T.Walker, J.Walker, Jnr., Metcalf, Kelly, J.Addy Jnr,Turnbill,and Geo.Barrow.
After tea, Mr.Woolf, Mrs Woolf, Mrs John Moxen (the Mayoress of Pontefract), Miss Woolf, Mr.H.Woolf, and several younger members of the family entered the room and were loudly cheered.


A rare money box, thought to have been made by a pottery firm, Reeds of Mexborough, 162 years ago, went under the auctioneer's hammer and fetched £1,420 on 29th January 2000. It is thought to be one of only a few still in existence - three of which are currently on view at Doncaster Museum. The distinctive piece bears the name Ann Steel, Swinton Wharf, and the date, July 13th 1838.

Committee advise that in the temporary market ground (opposite Montague), two lamps be put up, one in Row No.2 (from Bullocks) ten yards from causeway. Another in Row No.3, at the curve opposite Pearson's Stall. Committee recommend that the other lamp out of old market site be placed about two yards below the back entry of The Royal Oak beerhouse in Market Street.
The removal of the wall west of New Market referred to Board, ie., day after tomorrow. Committee having inspected Wilson Street, Simpson Place, advise that an additional bracket be placed at north west corner of Nine House Row.
Committee also recommend that the lamp by Mr. T. Allen's Park Road be removed to opposite side of road, and nearer to Helena Street.
After groping about in the dark, adjourned to bed to dream of the laying of foundation stone for Market Hall.
Supplied by Gary Barker.

by John Gilleghan 2000
The castles of Yorkshire were built between the Norman Conquest and c.1400 with a distinction between a castle and a fortified house.
Ravensworth is the most northern ruin in the present boundaries of Yorkshire. Fortress of the FitzHugh's from c.1070 to early 1500's. Original manor houses were crenellated to become castles, for which licence from the King had to be obtained. This is seen at Spofforth where the Percy manor house was fortified in 1308 and again in 1559.
There are 43 castle and castle sites in Yorkshire: a few being field markings of a motte and bailey or by incorporation into a later private house.
Helmsley was built by Walter 1'Espec in the early Cl2th, the oldest parts to be seen date from c.1200.
Pickering Castle was established c.1069 and complete 50 years later. There is a 43' mound dating from the time of King William when it had wooden defences.
Scarborough Castle keep was built in the mid Cl2th and the 15' thick west wall was blown apart by Cromwell's forces in 1645.
The German cruisers Derfflinger and Von Der Tann caused damage in December 1914.
Sheriff Hutton Castle is the ruin of John Nevill's palace from the Cl4th: it was licensed in 1382. Hazlewood Castle is the ancient seat of the Vavasours held from William de Percy. The main castle is medieval and the west part is presumed to be the pele tower of the Norman house: crenellated in 1290.
Richmond Castle was built by Alan the Red about 1071: by 1538 it was ruinous. In the south east corner stands Scolland's Hall from the late Cllth. The original entry was the base of the tower heightened in 1170.
Middleham Castle 'was built in 1170 by Robert FitzRalph: the gatehouse dates from the Cl4th. The keep measures 105' by 78' and is one of the largest in England being 12' thick in places. Castle Bolton is a Cl4th fortified home of the Scrope family. Built in 1379.
Harewood Castle was crenellated by William de Aldburgh in 1367.
Ripley Castle has been in the Ingleby family for over six centuries: the gatehouse dates from 1418 and tower block was rebuilt in 1555; rest of the castle rebuilt in 1780.
Knaresborough Castle remains date from 1310-40 retaining the rectangular keep.
Skipton Castle was built by the Norman Robert de Romille but only one gateway remains from this period. The castle received its present form in the early 14th century.
Pontefract Castle built in the late Cllth,was one of the largest before its demolition after the Civil War.
Sandal Castle has a motte and bailey with few stone remains from the Cl2th castle of the de Warennes.
Conisborough Castle was built by William de Warenne.The keep was built in 1180 and is 90' high and circular with six large buttresses.
York Castle first dated from 1068 on the west bank of the Ouse on a natural ridge 40' above river level: the surviving mound is the Old Baile. The second on the opposite bank was built a year later: Clifford's Tower has been known as that from Cl6th.