Facts about Conisbrough
In 1863, the Kilner company opened a glass-making plant in Conisbrough. “The bottles made at Conisbrough are chiefly mineral water, spice, confectionery, wine and spirits, pickle, medicine, and chemists. and druggists bottles of all descriptions.” In 1866, Caleb Kilner was sent to manage it, along with his cousin Kilner Bateson. In 1937, the Kilner company went bankrupt. Rights to the Kilner Jar product line were sold to the United Glass Bottle Manufacturers in the same year.
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 it failed 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.
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 Harold II – 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.