18th Century Brierley

By the beginning of the eighteenth century, Manor Court Rolls had given way to surveys and rentals of the Manor. Two of these are known to exist, one for 1701 and one for 1720. The lists of residents on these rentals are in a particular order, and by comparing the list for 1701 with the list for 1720, and adding facts known about buildings in Brierley, some taken from documents and some taken from gravestones in Felkirk Parish Church, we are able to speculate with some degree of accuracy, as to where the various tenants may have lived. This information has been put together in the rental extract which is shown for Brierley for 1701. The rents payable were an annual amount, payable twice yearly at Whitsun and Martinmas. This tradition dates back to the time of the monasteries.

In all, there were seventy-three rented properties in Brierley with Grimethorpe, this particular year, with a total income to the Manor of 266 15s. 5 1/2 d. The creation of the sub-manor at Grimethorpe appears to have been a manoeuvre to increase the value of the lands with Brierley Manor.

Brierley Rentals 1707:

John Hoyland Grimethorpe Manor House..........................................................................40
William Cawthorne for the house on the site of the present Lindley House.....................25 16s.
Widow Dymond for a farm on the North of Church Street.................................................10 15s.
Thomas Wager for a farm on the North side of Church Street..........................................6 2s 6d.
George Helleley for a farm on the South of Church Street, now called Grange Farm......4 3s. 4d.
John Marshall Ferry Moor Farm........................................................................................8 6s.
Richard Richardson Brierley Lodge Farm..........................................................................10 1s. 7d.
John Cawthorne Brierley Manor House.............................................................................42
Thomas Cossland Cottage.................................................................................................................6d.
William Pitt Cottage...........................................................................................................................6d.


Lords of the Manor from 1580

1580-1573---Earl of Shrewbury
1583-1617---Lord Talbot of New Hall, Pontefract
1617-1622---Sir George Savile of Thornhill, Dewsbury
1622-1649---Sir William Savile
1649-1784---A long line of Sir George Saviles living at Rufford Abbey


The latter part of the eighteenth century saw the introduction of machines to the cotton mills of Lancashire. The following letter was written by Sir George Savile who was Lord of Brierley Manor at this time:

October 17th, 1779

"This riot duty, from troublesome, grows somewhat tiresome; a great deal of night work, and our enemy is an invisible potentate with whom we can neither fight nor treat. They assemble on the hills (as the west country lads do hunt) by shouting and drums go down and destroy mills using cotton manufacture, and et., and disperse as easily as they met, and as ready to meet again, observing always to go where there is no military; only one battle having happened when six dragoons drove two or three hundred back, some into the river, where one of the dragoons alighting, and jumping into the river after, swear- ing that he would cut the man's head off, brought him out like a drowned rat. What could the poor man do? If he ducked he was drowned, if he popped his head up it was cut off, so victory was complete. I am, for a poor private colonel of one regiment, become a General of five armies, for in so many parts are my troops divided."

He was an active politician, being Mayor of York five times, and his statue is in the crypt of York Minster. This letter from him to John Hewitt of Shireoaks gives some idea of George Savile's activities during the riots against the introduction of these machines.

In 1784, Sir George Savile died and the Manor of Brierley passed to Francis Ferrand Foijambe. He came from Aidwark, Rotherham, and his family later moved to Osberton Hall, Scofton, Worksop. His son was named George Savile-Foijambe and from then until the present century, the Lords of the Manor carried tha hyphenated name of Savile-Foliambe.

The hall at Burntwood started its life at about this time. In 1775, there was a smaller building there, at a point called Burntwood Nook. This was owned by a Mr. Marsden, a Barnsley solicitor. From him, it passed to John Marsden who was the vicar of Folkirk, and his son, William Henry Mprsden, died at Burntwood in 1815. Burntwood Nook was then bought by Mr. S. H. Taylor who built most of the present Burntwood Hall. The hall is a mixture of classical and Gothic revival architecture and on the south side there is a porch supported by Doric columns. It has the only 'Secret' tunnel in the area that can be authenticated, running for thirty yards under the road to the kitchen gardens. West Haigh Wood and Howell Wood were landscaped as the grounds of the hall, as was the open space of the old Burnt Wood. Artificial lakes were set in Howell Wood and West Haigh Wood, the one in Howell Wood being the only one surviving today.

In 1770, Richard Seaton, the son of Robert Seaton, died, aged eighty-three, and Grimethorpe Hall passed to a Mr. Bayidon of York. Following his death the hall passed by will to Richard P. Strangeways of Dinnington. In 1839, his widow, Siby1 Strangeways, sold Grimethorpe Hall to Richard Crookes a Surgeon and Apothecary from Barnsley. At that time the hall had an estate of 131 acress in Grimethorpe, the land lying between the hall and Ferry Moor.

Another building which was erected in this period was the Wesleyan Methodist Church which was built in 1810. The Wesleyan Methodists bought, for 5, from Mrs. Dymond, a plot of land in South Croft, on which to build their church. This building is still standing behind the houses on the south side of Church Street and is now used as a small warehouse.

John Wesley is said to have preached at a cottage at Lower Cudworth during his late 18th century travels. Methodist societies developed in most of the nearby villages and by 1849 there were Wesleyan Chapels in Brierley, Shafton, South Hiendley, and Cudworth. The chapel at Cudworth stood on the present site while that at South Hiendley stood close to Westoff Lane and the one at Shafton stood on Hawthorne Street close to the village green.