History of the Village of Stoney Middleton

By Thomas E. Cowen (1910)

Transcriptions by Rosemary Lockie, © Copyright 2003

History of the Village of Stoney MiddletonTHE DWELLINGS

THE DWELLINGS.

In pre-Roman times, the houses were mere mud huts, built around the Chapel, and enclosed by a “tun” or hedge to protect the inhabitants from the wild beasts and the inroads of the hostile tribes in the neighbourhood. When the Roman invaders forced their way into the Midlands, the sixth

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legion is reputed to have marched through Middleton and Brough. Evidence was soon found of the existence of rich veins of lead ore in the limestone rock, and work was soon found for prisoners of war and dwellers in the villages in the neighbouring lead mines. The lead industry survived for centuries until it was found too unprofitable to work the mines.

The villagers worked for little monetary gain, and had many opportunities of replacing their houses with stone, abundance of which material was found in the neighbourhood. No doubt quarries would be worked so that their Roman masters could make suitable roads to be used by the Roman legions when marching from town to town. Here was the Middle town between Chesterfield and Brough, the Roman station. An examination of the houses, which are built on ledges of limestone rock, reveals the absence of any architect, and many of them are built in the ground, doubtless by the miners themselves, who were quite used to passing the larger part of their time in the ground. When a man was contemplating marriage his fellow miners would assist in the erection of a stone house following their own ideas of house building, unrestricted by any 'Building Regulations'. The houses had thatched roofs, and it is only during the past fifty years that blue or grey slate has been substituted.

  “The industrious miner built his neat abode,
Fast by the margin of the headlong flood;
In pleasing solitude the cottage stood;
Low were its walls and nicely trimm'd the roof
With heathy turf and straw, made water-proof.”
 
 R. Furness.

End of Chapter II: => THE CHURCH

OCR/transcript by Rosemary Lockie in February 2003.

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