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Masbrough

The common land in Masbrough including areas of Holmes were subject to an Enclosures Act in 1765. In all 103 acres in the Masbrough area were enclosed. The railways arrived in the 1840s running on embankments along the river flats often on a very similar course to the canals. Masbrough Railway Station was busy and important and for all my childhood and well into my middle age was the only main line station for Rotherham. A new station was then developed closer to the town centre and Masbrough Station was closed, derelict, a carpet warehouse (not necessarily in that order) and is now an Indian restaurant.

In 1757 an Independent congregation was set up in Masbrough. The first building, erected in 1763, was replaced by a new one in 1777. This still existed in 1971, although no longer used as a chapel. It had been used as a furniture and carpet warehouse but was substantially gutted by fire in March 2012. A further fire, probably set by arsonists, has caused further damage in December 2012. The listed buildings are now earkmarked for demolition.

Walker Chapel March 2012
Walker Chapel March 2012
Walker School March 2012
Walker School March 2012

The Walker family Mausoleum is still standing next door. According to Rotherham Council in December 2012 the chapel will continue to be maintained. Well, last I looked it was falling apart with tarpaulins on the roof where the tiles had gone. If that's maintenance I'm a Dutchman.

Walker Mausoleum
Walker Mausoleum March 2012

The parish church of Masbrough St John was not built until 1864, and another parish and church of St Paul's was created in 1905 to serve the growing population.

Masbrough is also important in the history of the cooperative movement in the 19th Century. The Masbrough Equitable Pioneers Society was founded on 26 April 1869. The premises owned by the Masbrough Coop were quite substantial and contained warehouses and retail shops together with the Co-operative Hall. I understand that most or all of these buildings were demolished in 1978.

My father was born and brought up in Masbrough in a little two up two down terraced house which has now been demolished. He reckoned it was a dump then, and sorry all you Masbroughians, its a dump now. The housing isn't anything to write home about and there are still works, workshops and scrapyards and Rotherham United FC's old ground at Millmoor. The Millers left here some years ago following a dispute with the landlord and are now in a new ground called the New York Stadium in the New York area. There have been rumours about the proposed uses of Millmoor but as far as I know they are just that: rumours.

St Paul's Masbrough

St Paul's is the Church of England parish church in Masbrough. A new parish was created in Masbrough in the early 20th Century to serve the growing population and St Paul's was built in 1905. The other parish and church was St John's built in 1864 but this has been long demolished.

St Paul's Masbrough
St Paul's Masbrough

St Bede's Masbrough

The Roman Catholic Church of St Bede's was built in 1843 at a cost of £1100 to serve the Catholic community in Masbrough and the surrounding areas. A Catholic cemetery and school were also built.

St Bede's Masbrough
St Bede's Masbrough

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