Conisbrough 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||Don Valley|
Conisbrough is a town within the Metropolitan Borough of Doncaster, in South Yorkshire, England. It is located roughly midway between Doncaster and Rotherham, and is built alongside the River Don at . It has a population of 15,361.
The historian David Hey describes Conisbrough as appearing to be the most important place in Anglo-Saxon and Viking South Yorkshire. In a will of around 1003, Conisbrough was bequeathed by Wulfric Spott, founder of Burton Abbey. At this point, it appears to have been the centre of a major former royal estate, reaching Hatfield Chase. The manor became royal again under Harold II of England, and by the Norman Conquest, 28 townships in what is now South Yorkshire belonged to the Lord of Conisbrough. William the Conqueror gave the whole lordship to William de Warenne.
The name of Conisbrough relates to a king's stronghold and this is usually presumed to have either been on the site of Conisbrough Castle, or of the parish church. At the time of the Norman Conquest the manor of Conisbrough was held by King Harold - he was defeated at the Battle of Hastings. Conisbrough Castle is contained within an artificial oval-shaped enclosure similar to one used as wapentake meeting-places at Gringley-on-the-Hill and East Markham, leading Malcolm Dolby to suppose the castle site may have once been the meeting-place of the Strafforth and Tickhill wapentake.
Conisbrough contains what is believed to be the oldest building in South Yorkshire: the probably 8th century Anglo-Saxon St Peter's Church. The church was enlarged in the twelfth century, and David Hey claims that it was a Minster church, forming the centre of a large, early parish covering all or much of the eleventh century Fee of Conisbrough.
Geoffrey of Monmouth wrote about the town, claiming that it had been fortified by Ambrosius Aurelianus, king of the Britons after his victory over the Saxon forces of Hengist (Historia Regum Britanniae viii, 7), that the captive Saxon leader Hengist was hacked to pieces by Eldol outside the town walls, and was buried at "Hengist's Mound" in the town.
In Sir Walter Scott's novel, Ivanhoe, 'Coningsburgh Castle' is based on Conisbrough. Scott's Coningsburgh is a Saxon fortress, based (perhaps knowingly) on the mistaken conclusion that its unique style marked it as a non-Norman castle. The great tower is described specifically, so that it is clear that Scott has the Norman version of Conisbrough in mind.
In the mid-1990s, a new tourist attraction, Earth Centre, opened on the nearby site of the former Cadeby Main Colliery; it closed in 2005 after failing to attract the expected number of visitors. A leisure centre has been built on the site of the former Denaby Main Colliery. In the 2008 drama Survivors, the Earth centre was used as the place Abby was shot and taken in.
Famous people from Conisbrough include the singer Tony Christie, Groove Armada/Faithless bass guitarist Jonathan White and playwright Justin Scott.
Conisbrough has one secondary school, the De Warenne Academy (formerly Northcliffe School). The Emmanuel Schools Foundation's scheme to turn Northcliffe into an Academy was scrapped after protests by parents, students and staff, despite the enthusiastic backing of former Conisbrough councillor Aidan Rave and former Doncaster Mayor Martin Winter. Primary Schools are Ivanhoe, Morley Place and Station Road.
Primary Education in Conisbrough is provided by Ivanhoe Primary, Castle Academy (Formerly Station Road School), Morley Place Juniors, Rowena Infants & Balby Street Primary.
Further Education is now available at the De Warrene Academy (post 2010) however many residents of the village choose to either attend Dearne Valley College or Doncaster College both a short bus ride away from Conisbrough.
The town lies at the junction of the A6023 and the A630 Doncaster - Rotherham road. To the west is Denaby Main. Pubs in the town include; The Eagle & Child, The Red Lion, The Conyers, The Alma, Castle Bar and The Hilltop Hotel. The street formerly known as Butt Hole Road is located in Conisbrough, which was made famous due to its name that embarrassed local residents.
The largest store in Conisbrough is the Sainsburys Local which serves village residents with products required from a local supermarket; this store is still referred to most as "Kwik Save" which was the previous store on this site.
Conisbrough also has a Co-op in the town centre opposite the Sainsburys Store, again used for local conveniences.
Other stores include the Crusty Cob Shop Bakery and Shop & Whites, both local bakeries. The banks in the village are NatWest and Santander. The remainder of the stores are all local such as Bargain Fashions and Hair Salons.
The main bus operator in the town is Stagecoach providing an extensive network of services into Doncaster & throughout the Dearne Valley referred to as "The Dearne Link". Buses run at least every ten minutes into Doncaster & Mexborough and at least half hourly through to Barnsley, Wath & Rotherham. First South Yorkshire also operate a service through Conisbrough running at least every ten minutes throughout the day.
The town is served by Conisbrough railway station and the main operator from the railway station is Northern Rail. There are frequent services in both directions from Conisbrough railway station to destinations such as Doncaster, Mexborough, Swinton, Rotherham, Sheffield, Scunthorpe, Worksop, Retford, Gainsborough, Saxilby and Lincoln.
- Office for National Statistics : Census 2001 : Urban Areas : Table KS01 : Usual Resident Population Retrieved 2009-08-26
- 'Conquest, Anarchy and Lordship: Yorkshire, 1066-1154' By Paul Dalton, Cambridge University Press, 2002,ISBN 0-521-52464-4, pp. 34
- 'Conisbrough Castle' by Michael Welman Thompson, Great Britain. Dept. of the Environment, H.M.S.O., 1977, ISBN 0-11-671453-0
- 'Ivanhoe' Walter Scott, Sir Walter Scott, Graham Tulloch, Penguin Classics, 2000, ISBN 0-14-043658-8. pp. 481
- David Hey, Medieval South Yorkshire
- Harris, John (2005-01-15). "What a creation ...". guardian.co.uk. Guardian News and Media Limited. Retrieved 2008-12-03.
- "Residents of 'Butt Hole Road' club together to change street's unfortunate name". Daily Mail. 29 May 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-06.