Before Sport

Before Sport

1568 was a notable year for the fact that Mary Queen of Scots was defeated by the English at the battle of Langside and fled to England before boing arrested by Queen Elizabeth the first. Barnsley was largely an agriclutural township,

What we now know as Shaw Lane lies in the area of town known as the Shaw Lands. The Shaw Lands fall under a trust which was established by Thomas Keresforth on the 3rd of May 1568. The land may have been used either for common grazing or agriculture. The Shaw Lands Trust is mentioned in the book, The History, Gazetteer and Directory of the West-Riding of Yorkshire, by William White

"In the 10th of Elizabeth, (1568) Robert Thwaites in consideration of £20, paid by Thomas Keresforth and other inhabitants of Barnsley and of the good will he bore to them, conveyed certain parcels land called the Shaws in Barnsley to trustees for the general weal (wellbeing) and benefit of all the inhabitants of the township of Barnsley, towards paying common taxes, repairing their church and highways, making or amending their butts, stocks, pinfold and wells etc.  

The trust estate, including allotments given for common rights at an enclosure in 1777, comprises altogether 48 acres 3 rods 12 perches, let in 12 parcels at rents amounting to £179 17s 4d per annum The usual course of applying the rents has been in defraying the expenses of repairs in and about the church, in paying stipends of the sexton and organist in keeping in repair the public wells and pumps and occasionally in repairing the highways and buying coffins for the poor The accounts of the trustees are or ought to be audited every year at a public vestry meeting of the inhabitants."

The ground that we now know as Shaw Lane was first developed for sport in 1859. The ground was opened on 14th June 1859, although not officially finished until 1864.

We know from contemporary writings that the land "resembled a sloping meadow" and it appears in maps from 1777 and 1850 close to the Shaw Mill and Reservoir.

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