Clues To Go   -   South Yorkshire (Dearne Valley)

The recent history of many of the towns & villages on this route has revolved around the rise and fall of coal mining in the area  and there are many reminders of this industry's past dominance of the region.

However, in addition to this, many of the settlements have a rich history that goes back centuries, if you look a little deeper. Conisbrough is a great example of this. Its church is the oldest building in South Yorkshire. Its castle was inspiration for Sir Walter Scott's Ivanhoe.

Hickleton was called Chiceltone in the 11th century and included a castle on a hill nearby (long since gone). Its position on an old roman road meant that it has always benefited from trade passing through, including cattle fairs in the 18th century.  Thurnscoe has a similar ancient history, though the current town's layout reflects the recent mining industry.

In between the villages there is some fine, open countryside to appreciate on your journey.

Some villages along the way are picturesque hamlets, far removed from any signs of the area's heavily industrialised recent past. These include Braithwell, Old Edlington & Barnburgh.

A particularly attractive village on the route is Hooton Pagnall, which also has its origins in the times of the Norman Conquest. An estate village to Hooton Pagnall Hall, it received a market charter in 1253 from Henry III and in recent years the traditional summer fair has been revived by the current inhabitants.

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