South Yorkshire by Rev. Joseph Hunter published 1828
‘Rossington was selected by the Mauley’s, or rather their predecessors, from all their lands in this part of their domain, as a place for their own occasional residence. The name of ‘The Park’, by which a 1,000 acres of this parish are called, sufficiently indicates a place set apart for the pleasure of the lord; and connected with it was a moated mansion house, of which much of the ruins were remaining within the memory of man’.
A History of Rossington’ J. Adams
‘Seven generations of de Mauley’s, all called Peter, lived in the area. The second Peter built a ‘place of occasional residence’ in the form of a moated house surrounded by a 1,000 acre deer park – so establishing the Manor of Rossington.
Built in the area know known as ‘Draw Dykes’, off Toad holes Lane adjacent to the play area and to the north, Park Wood. The then king granted Peter the right of free warren on this estate, meaning that he could hunt and kill virtually everything, except fallow and red deer, and wild boar.
The male line of descent died out in 1415 and the lands were divided between the last of Peter de Mauley’s sisters.
From (Wainwright, J., 1826, Historical Introduction to the Wapentake of Staford and Tickhill (Sheffield) p. 136-7 online copy.)
Near the wood denominated the Park, vestiges of an ancient edifice are yet observable. On this area, which comprises above 1,000 square yards, the ruins were, until recently, tolerably extensive, but on the rebuilding of the town in the latter part of the last century, the whole was removed, and the identity of the site is fast verging to the ‘night of time’. The encircling dikes are yet to be seen, but the rivulet which replenished, them with the means of defence, has ceased to perform its functions. Rafters, which appear to have sustained a draw-bridge, or some such construction upon the moat, were, before the enclosure, clearly evident. The road which led to this quondam (former) hoary mansion, was below the present rampart, and seems to have made directly to the bridge that crossed the enclosing foss. Near to it was found a brass dial-plate, but its date is posterior to that of the demolition of the house. To attempt successfully to unravel the mysterious history of this foundation would be a task of no ordinary character. That a residence of some importance was established here is more than probable. This is evinced by what remains of the foundation, as well as by the testimony of popular tradition. The wood that flanks its northern side is called the park, a sheet of water environed its eastern bank, and the whole plot bears the significant appellation of the ‘Draw-dikes;’ but by whom or when erected, must, we are afraid, remain an eternal secret. Its local situation and defensible attitude, vest it with an air of antiquity that reaches beyond the age of our eighth Harry. Within the immediate precincts of this place, we art not aware that any family of note took up its residence, and whether it, with the park, &c., passed from Byrks to the burgesses, or was the occasional residence of the Maulays, is not within the circle of our knowledge. Such ensigns as betoken wealth, and denote more than ordinary consequence, have, however, occasionally shewn themselves; but all, or the major part of them, had references to the Barons de Maulay. Previously to the church being repaired, some of the venerable old windows exhibited a limited, but rich display of painted glass; and until a very recent date, one of the windows in the chancel preserved the effigies of Maud de Maulay, lady of Doncaster, as she was then stiled, but now the hand of art has repaired the encroachments of time, and scarcely an article in the village, save the church, can aspire to the age of one hundred years.