I would like in this the first issue of the new century to
wish all our members a healthful, happy and interesting new year.
The debate about the timing of the millennium celebrations makes one wonder if, towards the end of 2000, we will see similar celebration again. There is convincing argument for the new century/millennium really beginning in 2001. The same controversy raged a hundred years ago. An extract from a Yorkshire paper of the 1st January 1900 read "The puzzle about the beginning of the new century which is agitating some minds not wholly absorbed by the war news, is no new one says a correspondent of the Manchester Guardian. It is at least as old as the days of the Italian Renaissance. Indeed a German contemporary who writes on this subject and who appears to have gone into it with the usual painstaking energy which we associate with German research, tells us that, even before the birth of Christ, the Roman analyst, Piso, who was consul in the year 153BC, speaks of the question whether the century ended with the 100th year or the 99th ... Again, in the year 1799 controversy rose so high in Germany that, in Weimar, two parties formed called the 'Ninety-nines' and the 'Hundreds'! ... a decree of Charlemagne ... began with 800; this year was generally accepted as to inaugurate the 9th century ... In Russia ... , namely in 1700, that year was again taken to begin the century. So it follows that according to all accepted custom, the year 1900 begins the new century and this method of reckoning certainly has simplicity and convenience to recommend it. It is however quite clear that such reckoning is not mathematically correct. In order to count to ten we must have ten complete and similarly we must have 100 years completed before we have one century. Hence the second century cannot have begun until 101 ... !!!
A. multimedia journey into the past —'Then and Now'
The following is a press release which goes out to all local newspapers tomorrow:
To mark the Millennium, Mexborough & District Heritage Society has produced a multimedia CD ROM which brings the town's past to life. It has been presented to all schools in the area for use by young people, colleges and archive resources.
Two years in the making, it allows students using their computers to take a virtual tour of Mexborough and neighbouring towns through extensive use of the Society's priceless photographic archive.
Several hundred photographs, some from the turn of the century, are compiled in topic form, including sections on People, Places, Transport, Waterways and Commerce. A number of extremely rare images has been included, and unique video footage of the demolition of the cooling towers at Mexborough power station in the early 80s can be played.
Well-known characters from the town's past —notably prizefighter Iron Hague — rub shoulders with ordinary folk, captured at home or work, and long-demolished buildings are caught in all their splendour.
The town's Hippodrome Theatre, much-loved old pubs such as the Albion (more popularly known as the Staff) which once stood on the High Street, and long-forgotten streets, are all brought back to life.
Old meets new, too, with a slideshow of images from Mexborough's present, complementing the rich heritage which the Society has preserved for future generations.
In a related project, the Society's entire photo archive has been digitized to a high standard to preserve it, and ensure its quality and safety for the foreseeable future.
CASTLES OF YORKSHIRE
The castles of Yorkshire were built between the Norman Conquest and about 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 family who held it from about 1070 to the 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 l'Espec in the early 12th century the oldest parts to be seen date from about 1200-the time of Robert de Roos.PICKERING Castle was established about 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-12th century and the 15' thick west wall was blown apart by Cromwell's forces in 1645.The barbican is from 1343 and the drawbridges were removed in 1818;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 14th century: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 mainly roofless and ruinous.In the south east corner stands Scolland's Hall from the late 11th century.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 14th century.The keep measures 105' by 78' and is one of the largest in England being 12' thick in places.CASTLE BOLTON is a 14th century fortified home of the Scrope family:it was built by Richard 1st Lord Scrope in 1379.HAREWOOD castle was crenellated by William de Aldburgh in 1367:he became Baron Aldburgh in 1371.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 and later.Robert Clifford received the castle in 1310 -the gatehouse is 14th century and the barbican has the Clifford motto "Desormais".PONTEFRACT Castle was one of the largest before its demolition after the Civil War;built by Ilbert de Lacy in the late 11th century and remained with that family until 1311.SANDAL Castle has a motte and bailey with few stone remains from the extensive 12th century castle of the de Warennes.CONISBOROUGH Castle was built by William de Warenne.In 1163 it passed to the half-brother of Henry II who built the keep in 1180.The keep 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 only from the 16th century.
John Gilleghan 2000