Naming Roads in Rossington

Roads in Rossington – Norma Wyllie, et alia

Where do our road names come from?  They have had to be subject to local Council planning approval in the latter days, but in our history could well have been just custom and practice.

When we are children our address is just the street where we live. It’s just a name but as we get older we begin to think where did these names come from, who chose them and why?

The name Rossington is an old Anglo Saxon one meaning ‘Farm on the Moor’. Grange is also an old word meaning farm field and farmland, which I suppose is where Grange Farm gets its name and in turn, Grange Lane and Road, and Grangefield Road.

The ‘pit houses’ were built in groups. Grantham, Ely, Lincoln, Newark, York, and Cambridge at first might look self-explanatory. A theory is that they may come from the freight route established by the Great Northern and Great Eastern Joint Railway (GNGEJR), which was initially Doncaster to Cambridge to serve Yorkshire Coal. Other sections came later, but there may have been connections with Roman forts in those towns.

The Central part of roads were named for Henry, 2nd Baron Aberconway, Viscount Allenby and Douglas Haig (1st Earl of Haig) who were all prominent in World War 1. Around The Circle, the roads are named for members of the Royal Family, and strangely, the back streets of the main roads were also named.

The Tudor Charter of Henry V11 mentions land in Rossington in the 15th century, and it was sold off in 1838 to pay debts by the Rossington Hall family.

Deacon, Firth, Ellis, Streatfield, Fowler and Foljambe were all land-owners in the early 1900s, or were involved with the opening of the pit.  Foljambe was a local hunt leader around Rossington, too, and a friend of the Streatfields at Rossington Hall.

Holmescarr may derive from the Holme (piece of flat ground by a river) and Carr (woodland dominated by alder and willow).

The ‘New Estate’, built in the 1950s, which was the Council Estate, and for the road where prefabs were built near the Station Hotel, are named mainly for Labour politicians:

Herbert Morrison, Sir Stafford Cripps, James Keir Hardie, Margaret Bondfield, George Lansbury, Aneurin Bevan, Robert Smillie and Sidney Webb was also known as Lord Passfield. Only Sherwood Road does not fit this naming, and it may be either that Rossington did form part of the northern edge of the Sherwood Forest, or that the constituency used to be Sherwood, when Rossington was part of Nottinghamshire. Mayfield Crescent and Primrose Circle are on this estate and also do not fit the naming arrangement. Still, they evoke the countryside that might have been there before the building.

Also built in the 1950s, the ‘new’ Pit Estate’s names speak for themselves: all named for trees, so for example, Oakdene, Elmfield Road, Hazel Grove, Beech Road, and Chestnut Avenue. Regent Grove does not fit the pattern, but it does fit in with the Bond Street estate naming – see below.

The Radburn Estate was built in 3 stages:

  1. Wimpey were builders from the Grange Lane end.
  2. Troutbeck in the middle
  3. Haslam Milan (the Poacher end of the estate)

All of these roads are named for St Leger winners with Ormonde being the winner in 1883 and Bruni being the latest in 1975.

The Jackson estate, on the Doncaster side of the station gates, has roads named for birds: pheasant, kestrel, plover, swallow, falcon, and kingfisher. The roads on the other side of Station Road were perhaps linked to Holly Farm and Ivy House, and perhaps a yew tree which stood on that side, but also could have been a farm. Mallard Court stands near to where these were sited, but although it is a bird, it is more likely to be linked to the fastest ever steam train which regularly passed through Rossington.

The Lindholme Estate leading from Littleworth Lane uses names from the local villages or towns, and includes Retford, Dunscroft, Wadworth, Sharlston, Bircotes and Whitwell. The land at the rear of St Michael’s church and old rectory became the Parklands Estate, and with the exception of Graftdyke Close, (named for a long-term doctor in Rossington), the roads are named for titles in church life: Verger, Dean, Cardinal and Canon, with Church Meadow Road indicating what it used to be. This set of roads is linked to the Brodsworth estate but this seems to take up the naming of the other Littleworth estate, but leads off Stripe Road – amongst them are Tickhill, Brodsworth, Sandbeck, Chatsworth, and Harewood, with some of these being names of large manor houses and the castle at Tickhill.

One of the estates as you leave Rossington for Tickhill includes roads mainly named for major thoroughfares in London (Bond, Farringdon, Aldersgate, Bishopsgate, Kings and Highgate) but with some exceptions that do not fit that pattern= eg, Whitcomb, Kepple, Seaton and Whittaker.. The estate near to Hunster Grange Farm is named for the location looking towards Rossington Hall with Hall View Road and Spital Grove linked to Tickhill. Is Hadrian’s Close there linked to our Roman history?

The newest estate in Rossington is The Potteries, across from the Tornedale and St Joseph’s school fields with all houses having that address. There were once potteries and brickworks in Rossington using the local clay, and there used to be kilns like you can see at Auckley even now. In Roman times, the pots were multi-purpose and used by the armies and the locals. Balcarres Road, running at the side of the welfare field is an oddity. The famous Balcarres family were Scottish and are now Earls of Crawford in Scotland. Does it refer to them?

On the other side of the railway leading from New Lane is a set of roads that do not fit any convention other than Atterby and Aisby are places in Lincolnshire.

All of the other roads around Rossington are probably there from times long ago and are usually called Lane because they linked farms. The farms were at one time governed by the monks at Roche Abbey until the dissolution of monasteries around the country by Henry VIII in the 16th century. Roche Abbey was linked closely to the woollen industry, so perhaps we were once surrounded by sheep fields, although the history of the area includes a lot of maltsters which suggests there were barley fields. Gattison Lane was once Stancil Lane as it led to Stancil Farm. There is another school of thinking that is was originally Garrison Lane and linked Roman settlements around the village.

Clay Flat Lane used to have an extra ‘t’ so it read Flatt, and unsurprisingly, this suggested flat land. Perhaps it is named because the surrounding land had slopes – Stripe Road is at the side of land that gently rises towards the Great North Road and Rossington Hall. Stripe Road doesn’t fit the pattern of Lanes but has probably always been a road leading via Hesley towards Tickhill through strips of farmland.