History of Harthill

This section of the website is dedicated to the history of Harthill past and present.

People wishing to post pictures, stories or possibly who are looking to trace an ex Harthillian then contact the webmaster to discuss how this space can best be used.

We would very much like to build a historical archive of photo's past and present which represents "Harthill Through The Ages" see (Gallery)

We can accommodate everything from email digitial photo's to slides and even old black and white stills all of which if sent for incorporation will be returned once copied for inclusion.


Harthill was part of William de Warenne’s honour of Conisbrough in 1086, having previously belonged to Earl Harold. It seems to have been a substantial village with 13 freemen and 11 villagers. There were 12 plough teams, indicating that a considerable acreage of arable land had been cleared.

The manor later passed to the Bardolf family, descended from the second son of William de Warenne. From them it passed to the Beaumonts in the reign of Henry IV. Lord Lovell, head of the Beaumont family rebelled against Richard III and later aided Lambert Simnell’s rebellion against Henry V11.

As a result their Harthill lands the manor passed to the Serlbys who, for much of the Middle Ages, had been resident lords of Harthill as tenants of the chief lords. The Serlbys lived in a house near the church that was demolished c.1860 to allow the churchyard to be extended. The marriage of Gertrude Serlby and Sir George Chaworth brought Harthill to his family. 
14th Century

Harthill seems to have been a substantial village by the late 14th century for the 1379 Poll Tax returns list 156 tax payers. This would suggest a total population in Harthill and Woodall of around 400. The list is headed by John de Keuton [Kiveton], “serigante”(sergeant), and Agnes his wife, who paid the considerable sum of 6s 8d.

The Osborne Family

In 1673-4, the manor of Harthill was sold to Sir Thomas Osborne, Earl of Danby, who was created Duke of Leeds in 1694. Osborne’s ancestor, Edward Osborne, had been born in Harthill in the early 16th century. Taken under the wing of Sir William Hewitt of Wales, he was apprenticed to Hewitt’s cloth merchants business in London and eventually married Hewitt’s daughter. He was Lord Mayor of London in 1583 and laid the foundation of the Osborne dynasty. The Osbornes had their seat at Kiveton Old Hall at Kiveton Park which was then within the parish of Harthill. Sir Thomas Osborne was a favourite of Charles II who created him Earl of Danby. The Earl was one of the peers who invited William III to take the throne from James II. His reward was the dukedom of Leeds.

Harthill Church (see link to All Hallows Church)

Tradition has it that Harthill Church was founded by William de Warenne in 1085. It was one of the churches that he gave to Lewes Priory. At the dissolution of the monasteries, the advowson of Harthill was one of many granted to Henry VIII’s minister Thomas Cromwell. After Cromwell’s disgrace and execution, the advowson was granted to the Waterhouse family. It was again in the hands of the crown in 1674 when Charles II granted it to Thomas Osborne.

The church of All Hallows has seats for 300 and consists of nave and chancel with aisles and tower. The arcades in the nave date from c1200 and the chancel from the 13th century. The tower is in the Perpendicular style. The monuments include one to Lady Margaret Osborne (d.1642) and the marble tomb chest of the first Duke of Leeds (d1721). Many of the Duke’s descendants were laid to rest in the family vault within the church. A gallery was inserted at the western end of the nave in 1738. This was taken down in 1850 as the numbers attending services had fallen off. The Rev. G.T. Hudson imported the fine carved pulpit and lectern from Italy in 1886. The church underwent extensive restoration in 1895-8.

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