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Conisbrough Castle.jpg
Conisbrough Castle
Conisbrough is located in South Yorkshire
 Conisbrough shown within South Yorkshire
Population 15,361 
OS grid reference SK5198
Metropolitan borough Doncaster
Metropolitan county South Yorkshire
Region Yorkshire and the Humber
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Doncaster
Postcode district DN12
Dialling code 01709
Police South Yorkshire
Fire South Yorkshire
Ambulance Yorkshire
EU Parliament Yorkshire and the Humber
UK Parliament Don Valley
List of places

Coordinates: 53°28′44″N 1°13′37″W / 53.4790°N 1.2270°W / 53.4790; -1.2270

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 53°29′N 1°14′W / 53.483°N 1.233°W / 53.483; -1.233. It has a population of 15,361.[1]


The name is Conisbrough is descended from the Old English Cyningesburh (first recorded c.1000) meaning "king's stronghold" or "king's fortified place".[2][3][4]


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.[5]

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.[5]

St Peter's Church, Conisbrough

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.[5]

Peter Langtoft, writing in the 13th century, claimed that Egbert of Wessex had been received at "Burghe Conane", which is often identified with Conisbrough.[5]


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.

Earth Centre[edit]

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.[6] 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.[7]


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 only bank in the town is NatWest, after the closure of Santander's branch in 2014.[8] The remainder of the stores are all local such as Bargain Fashions and Hair Salons.

Public transport[edit]

Bus services[edit]

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.

Rail services[edit]

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.


  1. ^ Office for National Statistics : Census 2001 : Urban Areas : Table KS01 : Usual Resident Population Retrieved 26 August 2009
  2. ^ 'Conquest, Anarchy and Lordship: Yorkshire, 1066-1154' By Paul Dalton, Cambridge University Press, 2002,ISBN 0-521-52464-4, pp. 34
  3. ^ 'Conisbrough Castle' by Michael Welman Thompson, Great Britain. Dept. of the Environment, H.M.S.O., 1977, ISBN 0-11-671453-0
  4. ^ 'Ivanhoe' Walter Scott, Sir Walter Scott, Graham Tulloch, Penguin Classics, 2000, ISBN 0-14-043658-8. pp. 481
  5. ^ a b c d David Hey, Medieval South Yorkshire
  6. ^ Harris, John (15 January 2005). "What a creation ...". Guardian News and Media Limited. Retrieved 3 December 2008. 
  7. ^ "Residents of 'Butt Hole Road' club together to change street's unfortunate name". Daily Mail. 29 May 2009. Retrieved 6 September 2009. 
  8. ^ "Closure will leave Conisbrough with just one bank". South Yorkshire Times. Retrieved 22 October 2015. 

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