“The village is situated on high rocky ground, looking down to the south on fields and woods to Skellow.
In 1700 a road or street a quarter of a mile long ran through the village, passing the Hall, church and Rectory. [west to east] At the right [west] end a road led to Skellow Grange, a bridle path, called later Stoney Croft Lane, went down to Carcroft, and probably a lane as now took one to Robin Hood’s Well. The left [east] end of the street led into the Low Road to Owston, and by paths to Sutton and Campsall over the open fields. The blacksmith’s and carpenter’s shops were near the entrance to the village where later the Squire’s mother placed an iron seat for wayfarers. Nearby a short lane led into the Park where was the village well. An old farmhouse was in another of these lanes, as now [in 1931]. Outside was a public pump. Then came the old gabled Hall with its low rooms and old cedar trees in the garden, next to the ancient church and churchyard. Close to on the same road are the remains of an old barn and a house near a wood and stream, almost lost in solitude and surrounded by a stone wall. In my young days much of the house was pulled down as being too large and even then it was made into two cottages, could these have been the old Rectory and Tithe Barn before the new ones were built? I like to think so.
[Comment: the old rectory – no, the Tithe Barn – yes.]
More cottages clustered together at this end of the village, long since pulled down, but some apple trees remained 40 years ago.
There have been many rectors of Burghwallis; one was a Gascoigne, who put his coat of arms in a window of the Tithe Barn. A Thomas Gascoigne 1556 lies buried in the Church. During one of the Rector’s reigns the church was renovated. Ceilings put in the Chancel and Nave, the north door and Chancel arch plastered over, open deal seats with high backs put in the Nave, with a square pew (covered with green baize) for the Squire and two pews with doors for Skellow Grange. There was a long (green baize) pew with a door for the Rector in the Chancel. The whole church was whitewashed. Tin candle sticks a foot long with tallow candles were stuck at the corner of the pews and there were pegs for hats all round the church. A sundial was perched on the south porch. The stocks were in the churchyard and the remains of an old cross.
The only redeeming features of the Church which I remember were the old Jacobean Pulpit, reading desk and altar rails, two old oak benches out of the trunk of a tree where the singers and clerk sat, the old oak screen and door, a pewter flagon and paten and some old stained glass in the windows. Alas all these are gone but the old screen and door, the pewter pated and a piece of the stocks.
Towards the end of 1700, like everywhere else in England, all classes began to want larger and better houses, parks and gardens, and more roads etc., and Burghwallis now experienced a great change. The Squire of that day added on to the Hall, built cottages and pulled down others. He closed the south road through the village and made a new one to the north linking on the lanes at each end. A public well was made by the stream, opposite the new Rectory. It was easy to alter roads, make them or close them, in those days.
The old Rectory was considered damp in 1763, possibly 30 years later it was worse. Mr Ewbank was Rector at Burghwallis at that time and he probably thought a new and up to date Rectory was necessary. How he got the money for it I know not, perhaps sold the old Rectory to the Squire. He built the new Rectory on higher ground, probably on glebe lands. Stone and sand were near at hand, and tradition says the bricks were made from clay out of a glebe field down near the common lane to Owston, where there is now a pond most conveniently for the cattle.
The new house was large and roomy, 4 sitting rooms, kitchen, back kitchen, pantry and upstairs laundry, 5 or 6 cellars, one or two with fireplaces, 8 bedrooms and 2 attics. Outside a boot house, 2 pigsties, a stable for three horses, a harness room, over these two granaries, a coach house, cow house for two cows, a large Tithe Barn, attached to it a small two-roomed cottage. There was in those days a small garden to the south and a wall to the north, a Kitchen garden, two orchards, and meadows in front and behind the house.
A long drive led from the new road to the front door and on the stables and a long lane went from the same new road to the Church. The south path to the Church from the old road, now a grass terrace, was closed and the entrance to the Churchyard from the new Rectory was under a stone arch with a stone cross on the top.
The new Rectory was substantial and comfortable but very ugly, surrounded on all sides by trees except to the east. Would all could have remained as it was in 1700 or less added to the new Rectory in later years. A soft and hard water well in the yard outside supplied the house with water.”
“1800 … “Mr Ewbank’s title to the living was invalid in some way and he had to resign. He left his little daughter behind, buried in the west corner of the Church, where there is a square tombstone to her memory.”
Mr Wyatt – rector over 50years – “He, his wife and some of his family lie buried in the far east corner of the Churchyard. The last one who laid there used to visit the Rectory after her father’s death. The poor woman was burnt to death in Doncaster. She was brought back to her old home and my father read the service over her. In the winter their graves are covered with snowdrops. Church life was at a very low ebb those days in many villages, and beyond morning and afternoon services, a celebration 3 times a year, visiting and looking after the sick, little seems to have been done in Burghwallis.
1856-1895, by his daughter.
“My grandfather William Peel lived at Frickley Hall, Doncaster, for a few years; he had one son in the army, two sons destined to be ordained, and twin daughters. Whilst at Frickley he bought the next presentation of the village of Burghwallis for one of his two sons. When the living became vacant he had left Frickley and gone to live in the south. My father, Francis William Peel, was then a curate with a wife and two children, was aged 33, and living on £300 a year. As his brother had a living, Burghwallis came to my father.”
“… went to Rugby and Worcester College … hunted, shot, deer-stalked, fished, farmed and gardened, played tennis, Whist and Patience – Greek scholar – read a lot etc.”
1856, 12th April. Easter – Morning 60, 17 took communion; afternoon 100; “It was encouraging.”
1856 – Thursday 26th June “at Burghwallis … Mr Champneys of Owston inducted me.”
“He visited the village and parish most of that week. The parish then consisted of Burghwallis, Skellow Grange, Mill Hose and cottages, 4 houses in Sutton, a house at the end of the Low Road to Owston and 5 miles away scattered houses in Haywood.”
1858 Thursday 24th June
“Church repairing. Tower out of repair, sadly, plaster over, back repaired and roof. New window in north Chancel. There were no windows at the north side of the Church at this time.”
1858 October 16th “School feast, 23 children.”
1859 Tuesday 12th April “Tithe Rent day and dinner;” this always took place at the Anne Arms, Sutton.
1862 Eight from Burghwallis confirmed at Campsall
1864 “Hard frost (description of Christmas)”
Mentions of School from 1864.
1864 “Saturday January 23rd Church plans arrived.”
“The restoration of the church was contemplated, money received, plans approved of at first, later on opposition crept in among the parishioners. The Archbishop of York was appealed to … but the Archbishop would not agree to it and recommended my father by letter to give up the Restoration which he did for them by Saturday 9th July. Took down the notice of the Restoration in church.”
Wednesday July 13th. “Returned money and wrote about Restoration being abandoned.” “Many people returned their gifts for the Chancel Restoration.”
1865 “A very cold winter, deep snow, 2 drifts – skating on Campsall ponds – “Sunday February 5th Morning 53, communion 16; afternoon 65. Frost and cold.”
There was no vestry in those days so my father robed in the Rectory and, wet or fine, walked to Church and walked up the aisle as the last bell was ringing.”
Saturday 1st April. “To Doncaster to receive tenders for Church. Athron accepted, £124.00.”
“My father, being Rector, could restore the Chancel. There had been a Towns meeting in March and all agreed to the Restoration of the Chancel Arch. The oak screen was carefully taken down and put away in the Granary. The old Chancel Arch was found underneath the plaster. It was taken down on May 23rd and restored again on June 7th. The Chancel was tiled, two carved oak seats and a chair and carved oak altar rails put in. A red velvet altar cloth was given, also a silver flagon, cup and paten.”
1865May 27th. “Letter box set up here.”
School customs – Lent Services – Christmas Day, communicants 24.
1867 Saturday April16th “Confirmation at Campsall, 9 boys and 7 girls from Burghwallis.”
1868 Easter Sunday “Morning 48, communion 24, Afternoon 71.”
My father let some of his glebe, some fields he kept for hay for the horse, and later on a pony was added. He also kept sheep which were in the orchards, the meadows near the house and the churchyard, which was quite usual in those days.” … description of house outside and garden … “cows, pigs and chickens gave of way to the sheep and after a tome my father took the glebe into his own hands and farmed it.”
1870 “A Service was also held once a week at Haywood in Lent and later on at Sutton in farmhouses.”
“This year the old Jacobean Pulpit and reading desk were removed and carved oak ones put in their places.”
1871 “Monday January 30th. The Bells came home.”
The three bells were cracked, so were recast and re-hung.
“Saturday March 25th. Went to Skellow Grange and saw Birch who undertook to build the church at Moss (in memory of his wife) and I the endowment up to £500.”
“This eventually was done, and a vicarage built in 1877. Haywood was separated from Burghwallis and the parish of Haywood and Moss made.”
“During the winter there was a soup kitchen once a week at the Rectory for the needy. When a baby was born the mother was supplied with gruel and a bottle of Port Wine when convalescing; many a dinner went out to the sick and many bits of pudding etc. went between two saucers to the old people. My grandfather William Peel had died and my father was better off and later on more so as he survived his elder brothers.”
“Monday June 19th. House began to be pulled to pieces.”
“The upstairs laundry had long since been turned into a night nursery as it adjoined the nursery. Four bedrooms were built over these rooms and a linen room and servants hall added.” – 12 children –
“… old harmonium given to the church to aid the singing …”; it eventually went to Moss church two or three years later.”
1873. “Lent and Advent services held at a farmhouse in Haywood – 20 to 30 attended.
1875, “Moss church was opened on Whit. Sunday, over 100 people were in Church … congregation large – over 120 population but scattered.”
“Burghwallis usually had 50-80 in morning and 80-100 in afternoon.”
“This year Skelbrooke was without a Vicar and as my father had given up Haywood he became Vicar of Skelbrooke for a short time; (10 years!)”
1879 “The severest frost this year since 1860 and colder than then. … Wet year, little sun. Poor harvest, trade bad.”
1880 “Average 100 morning and over 100 afternoon; increase in communicants.”
1881 “This year the screen was beautifully restored and re-erected.”
1883 “Easter Sunday March 25th; 12 degrees of frost on Saturday.”
“Friday June 29th. Began Penny Bank … also a clothing club … G F S started for girls and chilf
Dren and YMFS for men and boys.”
[Doncaster Archives. I/BUR/MF1]
1931c. Burghwallis from 1861-1886 – Alice Maud Shrubb nee Peel
1863 – “Shower of meteors.”
“Miss Athron – dressmaker – from Brodsworth.”
“Grandpa Peel had a moor (in Scotland, grouse shooting.)”
“Mother died March 19th 1869, aged only 38 … exactly a month after Minnie was born.”
“Father married again in July 1st 1870 Emily Walker … second mother. It could not have been all joy marrying a man with 8 children.”
“Mr and Mrs George Cooke who lived at Skellow Hall gave delightful ‘Egg’ parties every summer … we and the Philip Cookes would be invited … Mrs George Cooke and Mrs George Cooke-Yarborough of Campsmount were sisters.”
“… later on Admiral and Miss Preston went to live at Skellow Hall.”
“There were some very old stocks in our Churchyard … these stocks or what is left of them , are now in the Church porch. In our day they were in fairly good condition and stood between two Elm trees just inside the churchyard gate. Father would not have them restored; he said they were relics of barbarism.”
Concerts and plays – Peel children to village people.
[Doncaster Archives I/BUR; AMS/1]