Cudworth, South Yorkshire
Cudworth shown within South Yorkshire
|OS grid reference|
|Metropolitan county||South Yorkshire|
|Region||Yorkshire and the Humber|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||Yorkshire and the Humber|
|UK Parliament||Barnsley East and Mexborough|
Cudworth is an urban village approximately 3.5 miles (5.6 km) north-east of Barnsley transport interchange in South Yorkshire, England. Historically within the West Riding of Yorkshire, Cudworth has a busy shopping area along the Barnsley to Pontefract Road which serves a local population of 10,977. The modern village equates roughly to the Cudworth ward of Barnsley MBC and with a mix of housing types with a great many developments from the inter-war and post-war periods. These supplement a small residual number of more ancient dwellings and buildings reflecting the importance of the rural economy before the opening of the deep mine collieries in the near vicinity at the end of the 19th and early 20th centuries. The village is still surrounded by open space, including green belt, regenerated public open spaces that were formerly part of neighbouring collieries and the remaining agricultural land which still dominates the south and south-east sides of the village.
Cudworth is a settlement with two distinct historic centres known as Upper or Over Cudworth and Low or Nether Cudworth. Nether Cudworth was the centre of the old manor of Cudworth but Upper Cudworth was better placed for the road network.
Since the local government reforms of 1974 Cudworth has been a ward within the Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council and returns three ward councillors. This same Act saw the establishment of the South Yorkshire Metropolitan County, but that was later abolished and the four constituent Boroughs became Unitary Authorities.
Between 1900 until the 1974 reforms, Cudworth was an urban district with a council of its own within the West Riding County Council county. The Cudworth Urban District Council were responsible for a great many changes within its boundaries including the development of a number of housing estates, including the Newtown and Birkwood estates and the much later Crown estate. In order to build the Newtown Estate it was necessary to demolish the old Manor House which previously stood on the site occupied by the houses on Lunn Road bearing the inscription commemorating the new estate in 1922.
The period before the urban district council was created Cudworth's governance passed through a number of changes introduced by the Government at Westminster due to the increasing population. The 1873 and 1875 Public Health Acts created Rural Sanitary Districts which effectively gave control of the sewers and other health matters to the local board of Guardians, who had hitherto been responsible for the workhouse and other matters relating to the Poor Laws. The Barnsley Rural Sanitary District which included most of the Barnsley Poor Law Union of which Cudworth was a part was abolished under the 1894 Local Government Act when the Barnsley Rural District Council with elected councillors took over the responsibilities previously administered by the Poor Law Guardians. The new Barnsley Rural District Council very quickly began to lose territory as the rapid population expansion due to the opening of the deep mine collieries created the need for the urban district councils to act as the first tier of the local authority. Cudworth was the third of the eight civil parishes within Barnsley RDC to leave when the UDC was established in 1900.
Before the establishment of the Poor Law Union, almost every aspect of local governance had been shared between three authorities; the Justices of the Peace for the West Riding in their Quarter or Special sessions; the Parish of Royston and its Vestry, and the Manor of Cudworth with its Court Baron and Court Leet.
The shape of the old township of Cudworth is that of an heraldic lozenge. There were historically two axial roads through the township, the modern main road along the east-west axis and the combination of Darfield Road, Snydale Road, Royston Road, and the now defunct Downend Hill Lane leading to Royston along the north-south axis. These two roads combined between Snydale Road and Royston Lane as they pass through Upper Cudworth.
The main road through Cudworth was the main road from Barnsley to Pontefract throughout the Middle Ages and the modern era until the new Cudworth and West Green bypass which had been originally scheduled for opening in 2011. The Mayor of Barnsley was able to open it in May 2010, significantly earlier than planned. South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service have fully utilised this new road system by the building of the new Cudworth Community Fire Station at the West Green Roundabout opposite the western boundary of the village adjacent to Burton Road and Tumbling Lane.
The Barnsley and Pontefract Roads through Cudworth were made a part of the responsibility for the Barnsley to Pontefract turnpike trust in 1833. This was the second part of the scheme to Turnpike the road, the first, under the Act of 1825, which had seen the new roads from Barnsley built past Oakwell, Hoyle Mill and Beaver Hole to Cundy Cross and the new road from Cundy Cross to Cudworth Bridge through what later became the village of Lundwood. The turnpike trust were empowered to erect toll gates and side bars at Cudworth Small Bridge in the west and Shafton Two Gates in the east.
Churches and places of worship
Cudworth was a township and a constituent part of the large rural Anglican parish of Royston until it became part of Monk Bretton chapelry in 1843; it finally became a separate Anglican chapelry in 1893. The District Chapelries of both Monk Bretton and Cudworth later became parishes quite independent of Royston. The church dedicated to St John the Baptist was consecrated before the official commencement of the chapelry district in succession to a chapel of ease previously occupying the buildings of the charity school near the pond. St John's is situated on the High Royd, the highest part of Low Cudworth. In 1920, a war memorial was erected in the churchyard to commemorate the servicemen of Cudworth who died in World War I; the men and women lost in World War II were added later. The Local Heritage Group organised for the memorial to be refurbished at which time more names were added, including those fallen in more recent conflicts. St John the Baptist Cudworth is part of the Deanery of Barnsley, Archdeaconry of Pontefract and Province of York.
The Roman Catholic church of St Mary Magdelene in Prospect Street was also erected to serve the growing population of miners, railway and other workers who arrived after 1890. This church is within the Deanery of Barnsley and Bishopric of Hallam and Province of Liverpool.
The Methodist traditions have been strong in Cudworth since Charles and John Wesley first set out on their circuits, especially on the Sheffield circuit. The village was the birthplace of John Smith in January 1794, his parents lived in Low Cudworth. His father, William or "Billy" was a tailor and lay preacher. John was not an adherent of his father's Methodist ideas; he was reputed to have attended a prize-fight in Cudworth and was returning with his drinking companions to Barnsley when he had a Damascene moment. He was sent for training as a Methodist minister and became successful earning the epithet of "The Revivalist" and a global reputation. There are many anecdotal references to John and Charles Wesley preaching on steps alongside White Cross Road and of Charles Wesley sleeping overnight in a cottage that still stands near the slip road for Low Cudworth Green. The original Methodist chapel was on the side of the High Royd facing White Cross Road above what is today Quarry Vale.
The television presenter Sir Michael Parkinson CBE and the former Barnsley FC, Sheffield Wednesday and England international footballer David Hirst were born in Cudworth, as was Archibald Stinchcombe who won gold at the 1936 Winter Olympics with the Great Britain national ice hockey team. The Yorkshire and England cricketer, Darren Gough, spent some of his childhood in Cudworth. Leader of Barnsley Metropolitan Council and ward councillor in Cudworth has been made a knight bachelor in the 2013 Birthday Honours and is now Sir Stephen Houghton, CBE. Cudworth is the home of the Dorothy Hyman Stadium, named after the local Olympic sprinter who won silver and bronze medals at the Olympic Games in the 1960s. She also captained the British women's team. The two main junior football clubs in Cudworth are Dorothy Hyman West End and Cudworth Tykes JFC.
-  Retrieved 2013-06-29
- Local Government Act, 1972
- Court Roll 1653, British Library
- 3 Will. IV c 13. 29 March 1833
- 6 Geo IV c.43, 2 May 1825
- Order in Council, Buckingham Palace, 22 July 1843: London Gazette issue 20245, 25 July 1843, pp 2514-2516
- Order in Council, Osbourne House, 28 July 1893: London Gazette issue 26429, p4435, 4 August 1843
Media related to Cudworth, South Yorkshire at Wikimedia Commons