Examination of books, documaps in the Doncaster Archives revealed the following :
Joseph Hunter's 'red book' History published 1828, page 134, states that in1248 the archbishop decreed that the `capella' in Braithwell be a church and that a vicarage be built.
1765: a Plan of Braithwell Common, surveyed by Joseph Colbeck, shows the Vicarage House adjacent to Braithwell Green Lane and very near Braithwell Green, now known as Holywell Lane.
The terriers or official invertories of Church property give some idea of the living conditions at the vicarage and the later Rectory.
A terrier of all the Glebe lands, tythes stipendiary payments & other Ecclesiastical dues and profits wtsoever belonging to ye Vicarage of Braithwell in ye year 1764
Mortuaries all persons in ye Parish dying worth forty pounds clear when their debtare payd l0s, If thirty pounds 3s 8d.
Wool in kind, Iambs in kind or three pence a lamb, ye comon lambs ye enclosed according to value,etc
Churchings one shilling
Servents wages five pence in ye pound, or one farthing by ye shilling in ye year 1688, John Gleadall left to ye Vicar School & poor of Braithwell & Micklebring ye sum of sixty pounds, six shillings and eight pence to ye Vicar for preaching his Comemoration Sermon. 40 shillings for ye instructing four poor children & ye rest they poor of Braithweel & Micklebring as ye will direct--etc--John Turner Vicar. James Sheppard, Richard Thompson Churchwardens
The following Terrier gives a picture of the Church property in 1825:
TERRIER DATED THE TWENTY SEVENTH DAY OF JUNE 1825
A Terrier of the Vicarage House, Outhouses, GlebeTithes, Stipendiary Payments, Ecclesiastical Dues, Church Furniture, Bells, Utensils, Communion Plate, Books, and Writings belonging to the Vicarage e of Braithwell in the County of York and Diocese of York together with an account of those Persons that are charged with the Repairs of the Edifices & Churchyard Fence Wall also of the Clerk and sexton's wages and by whom appointed. Delivered in at the Ordinary Visitation of the Most Reverend Father in God Edward by Divine - providence, Lord Arch Bishop of York, primate of England and Metropolitan, holden in the Parish Church of Sheffield on Tuesday the Twenty eighth day of June in the Year of our Lord One Thousand Eight Hundred and Twenty five.
The Vicarage House consisteth of three Bays of Building which contain four Low Rooms, Viz: the House, the hall, the Parlour and the Back kitchen over the House, Hall and Parlour are three Chambers the House is floored with Flags, and the Other two Low Rooms are floored with Deal Boards and Ceiled with Laths and lime. The chamber over the house is floored with Oak boards and the other two are floored with Deal Boards and Ceiled with Laths and Lime, over the three Chambers are two Garrets with Boarded Floors and covered with Slate and Tile. There is also a Chamber over the Back Kitchen which is covered with Tiles. The House and Kitchen are built with Stone and Lime.
The Outhouses are one Stable with Hay-chamber over it which is Seventeen feet square without the Walls built with stone & Lime and covered with Tiles, One Barn in Length Thirty one feet in breadth sixteen feet without the Walls, covered with Tiles and built with Stone and Lime. The Glebe Lands are One Church Yard which is fenced by a Stone Wall and contains by Estimation One Acre. One Garden, Orchard, and Foldstead, the Garden is adjoining to the Dwelling house on the South, to the Foldstead on the West, to the Highway on the North, and to the Orchard on the East, which is fenced by a stone Wall, and contains Fourteen Perches, the Orchard containing Twenty-eight Perches is adjoining to the Garden & Vicarage Yard on the West, to the Vicarage Yard on the South, to the Inclosure called the Green on the East, and to the High Road to the North.
The Foldstead is adjoining to the House and Garden on the East to the Stable & Vicarage Yard on the South, to the Ground of Thomas Thickitt on the West, and to the High Road on the North and contains Ten Perches. One Inclosure called the Vicarage Yard containing One Acre, & Thirty four Perches adjoining to the Ground of the said Thomas Thickitt on the West, on the South by the Ground of Edward Fox, on the East by the Orchard & the Inclosure called the Green, and the Dwelling house & Foldstead on the North. One Inclosure called the Green containing One Acre, two Roods and Twenty Perches, bounded on the West by the Orchard and Vicarage Yard, on the South by the Ground of the said Edward Fox, and on the South East by the High Road. The fences are well made by the Vicar, except that part in the last mentioned Inclosure adjoining to Edward Fox. And there are also growing in the aforesaid Fences and belonging to the Vicarage Ten Trees valued at Two Pounds. Also one other Inclosure called the Common Close containing by survey Four Acres three Roods & thirty-five Perches bounded on the East by the High Road to Hellaby, on the West by the High Road to Bromley, on the North by the High Road to Rotherham and on the South by the Ground of John Sampson. The Fences are all made by the Vicar, except that part adjoining to John Sampson, and contains Sixteen Trees valued at four Pounds.
Comparison with John Snipe's Plan of the Township of Braithwell in 1839 shows the original Vicarage and various outbuildings much nearer Holywell Lane (Green Lane on the 1765 Plan) than the present house. All that was left of this building when we moved into The Old Rectory in 1979 was the tumbledown coach house and stables which we demolished in 1981 for safety reasons.
1843 the Rev. Robert Cope Wolfe was granted £800 from Queen Anne's Bounty to build a new Vicarage. The Bounty was originally funded by the `annates' monies, the 'first fruits' or first year's income of a cleric newly appointed to a benefice, and 'tenths', a tenth of the income in subsequent years traditionally paid by English clergy to the Pope. After the Reformation these went to the Crown. Henry V111 had these monies carefully calculated and specified as sums of money, a valuation which has never been revised. The bounty was to be used to increase the income of livings yielding less than £80 a year. It was used to purchase land whose income augmented the living — the Vicar/Rector did own various small fields and strips of land dotted round the parish. Over time parishes preferred to invest with the Bounty rather than purchase land. Between 1809 and 1820 Parliament made annual grants to the Bounty of £100,000, increasing its available funds by more than £1 million. This was in recognition of the very poor standard of many vicarages in parishes lacking a wealthy, generous benefactor.
In Charles William Hatfield’s Village Sketches in the Doncaster Gazette (1849/50) the new Rectory was erected in 1845 and was described thus:
"It is a neat structure, and becoming the residence of the minister. It is built on an open space of ground and abuts on the Vicar’s Lane, and is surrounded with beautifully cultivated gardens".
THE TERRIER DATED 19th May 1857 indicates this much larger building and the greater status of the Church and the Vicar :
A Terrier of the Vicarage House, Outhouses, Glebe Tithes, stipendiary Payments, Ecclesiastical Dues, Church Furniture, Bells, Utensils, Communion Plate, Books and Writings belonging to the Vicarage of Braithwell in the County of York & Diocese of York together with an account 01 those Persons that are charged with the Repairs of the Edifices & Church Yard Fence Wall, also of the Clerk & Sexton's wages, & by whom appointed, Delivered in at the ordinary visitation of the Most Reverend Father in God Thomas by Divine Providence Lord Archbishop of York Primate of England & Metropolitan holden in the Parish Church of Rotherham on the Tuesday the nineteenth day of May in the year of our Lord 1857
The Vicarage House consists of three bays of buildings which contain seven low rooms viz.:- the Dining Room the Drawing Room, Library, two kitchens, the Hall & Pantry, over the Dining Room, the Drawing Room, Hall, Library & kitchens are six chambers & a Pantry, the Hall & Kitchens are floored with flags, & the other low rooms are floored with deal boards & ceiled with laths & lime, the chambers are floored with deal boards & ceiled with laths & lime, over the chambers are two garrets with boarded floors & covered with slate the house is built with stone & lime.
The Outhouses are one stable with hay chamber over it which is 17ft square without the walls built with stone & lime & covered with tiles, one carriage house in length 31ft in breadth 16ft without the walls covered with tiles & built with stone & lime.
The Glebelands are one churchyard fenced by a stone wall & contains by estimation 1 acre, The Glebe called the Croft & Green in the midst of which the House stands consists of 3 acres & 22 perches out of which are taken a garden, orchard & foldstead, the Garden is on the North of the Dwellinghouse & consists of 32 perches the orchard is on the North of the same & consists of 24 perches, & the Foldstead is on the West of the same & consists of 10 perches, the Glebe is bounded on the South by the lands of Edward Fox & on the West by those of Thomas Clark, and on the North and North-East by the High Road, Also an Inclosure called the Common Close containing by survey Four Acres three roods and thirty-five. perches, It is bounded on the East by the High Road to Hellaby on the west by the High Road to Bramley, on the North by the High Road to Rotherham and on the South by the Ground of the Representatives of the late Mary Amory, the fences are all made by the Vicar, except that part adjoining to the Land of the Representatives of the Late Mary Amory. The Inclosures called the Common Close and the Green as above mentioned were allotted to the Vicarage of Braithwell in the year of our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred and Sixty Six, when Braithwell Common and Waste Grounds of Braithwell were by virtue of an Act of Parliament divided amongst and Inclosed by the Owners and Proprietors of Land in the Township of Braithwell.
The Tithes belonging to the Vicar of Braithwell are all manner of Tithes in the Township of Bramley, and all manner of Tithes according to custom except the Tithe of Corn within the Township of Braithwell and Micklebring
People are often puzzled by the siting of the vicarages at the other end of the village from the Church. Hatfield records the tradition that is still recounted in 2020!
It is said that the founders of this religious edifice (the church) originally designed it to be built on the southern side of the village, near to Lambcote Grange. Indeed, the work had commenced and was proceeded with; but at midnight the materials were carried away to the place which they now occupy. In consequence of this removal, a spring of water instantly gushed forth the very spot where the sacred fabric was intended to have been reared. Hence to this day, the name of Holy Well is attributed to it from the above fact. Village Sketches in the Doncaster Gazette 1849/50.
It is more likely that ownership of the land taken by the church was in dispute or the site was considered too wet to build on.
7 December 1866 : A request is granted for the Church Benefice to become a Rectory.
The 1905 Terrier describes the Rectory, which is recognisable as the house standing today: Such a fine residence could have taken a few years to complete.
TERRIER of the Rectory of Braithwell with Bramley delivered in at the Ordinary visitation of William Dalrymple, Archbishop of York, holden in the Parish Church of Rotherham on Monday the 29th of May in the year 1905
The Vicarage House consists of 3 bays of Buildings, which contain 7 lower rooms viz. The Dining Room, the Drawing Room, Library, two kitchens, the Hall and Pantry. Over the Dining Room, Drawing Room, Hall, Library and Kitchens are 6 chambers and a pantry. The Hall and kitchens are floored with flags and the other lower rooms are floored with Deal boards and ceiled with laths and lime. The Chambers are floored with deal boards and celled with laths and lime. Over the chambers are two Garrets with boarded floors and covered with slate. The house is built with stone and lime. Also a washhouse and 2 closets, both of stone and roofed with slate.
The Outhouses are one stable and haychamber over it, which is 17ft square without the walls, built with stone and lime and covered with tiles. One carriage house in length 31ft in breadth 16ft without the walls, covered with tiles and built with stone and lime, also 4 outhouses (loft by 16ft: 10ft by 8ft 6in : 10ft by 5ft 10in; lift 6in by 5ft 6in.) of stone and lime and roofed with tiles.
The glebe lands are one church yard fenced by a stone wall and contains by estimation one acre. The glebe called the Croft and Green, in the midst of which the House stands, consists of 3 acres, 22 perches, out of which are taken a Garden, orchard and Foldstead. The Garden is on the north of the dwelling house and consists of 32 perches. The Orchard is on the north of the same and consists of 24 perches and the foldstead is on the west of the same and consists of 10 perches.
The glebe is bounded on the South by the lands of Mrs Ward Fox and on the vest by those off Mrs Edward Crawshaw and on the North and North East by the High Road. Also an enclosure called the common close containing by survey 4 acres 3 roods and 35 perches. It is bounded on the East by the High Road to Hellaby, on the West by the High Road to Bramley, on the North by the High Road to Rotherham and on the South by the lands of Mrs Fisher, The enclosures called the Common Close and the Green, as above mentioned, were allotted to the Rectory of Braithwell in the Year of our Lord 1766, when Braithwell Common and Waste Grounds were by virtue of an Act of Parliament divided amongst and enclosed by the owners and proprietors of land in the Township of Braithwell.
The tithes belonging to the Vicar of Braithwell are all manner of tithes, in the township of Bramley and all manner of Tithes, according to custom, except the Tithe of Corn, within the township of Braithwell and Micklebring.
Ecclesiastical Dues payable to the Vicar of Braithwell are these- Churching ls 0d Publishing Banns is 0d Marriage 2s 6d, Marriage by license l0s 6d, Funeral is 0d, Headstone 3s 4d, Appropriation of land for grave l0s 0d, Whole Tomb Stone £1 0s 0d, Monumental Tablet in Church £5 0s 0d. Extra Parochial Burial Fees Double.The Ministers Fees at the Bramley Cemetery are 55 0d for a morning burial 3s 6d for an afternoon Burial. Extra Parochial Fees Double.
1931 : a letter from the Sheffield Diocesan Dilapidations Board (SDDB) refers to the stable block and adjoining sheds at the Rectory. No funds were made available to put them in good order. This was the Coach House and stables with accommodation above still in existence in 1979, where there were remnants of stone outbuildings round about.
1932 : the Rev. Charles Needham was granted £110 by Queen Anne's Bounty to make improvements to the Parsonage House to be repaid annually at £10 per annum plus interest at 4%. Letters from the SDDB show this was to provide electricity, electric lighting, 2 plugs and the introduction of mains hot and cold water, a bathroom, toilet, and hot water system. None of these existed at the Rectory until these works were completed — how very dark, gloomy, cold and inconvenient it must have been!
The 1934 terrier indicates a desire by the Church authorities to reorganise the finances of the Parish and assert its authority.
TERRIER DATED December 17th 1934
Diocese of SHEFFIELD Archdeaconry of SHEFFIELD Parish of BRAITHWELL WITH BRAMLEY
Terrier and Inventory authorised and approved by the Convocations of the Provinces of Canterbury and York.
A TRUE Note and Terrier of all the Glebes, Lands, gardens, Orchards, Houses, Tenements, Tithes, Rent-chages in lieu of Tithes. and other Rights, belonging to the RECTORY and Parish Church of BRAITHWELL in the County of YORKSHIRE and Diocese of SHEFFIELD taken, made, and renewed according to the best available information at a meeting of the Parochial Church Council duly convened and holden this 17th day of DECEMBER in the year of our Lord 1934.
Together with a true inventory of all the Goods, Books, Documents, Ornaments and Utensils belonging to the said Parish and Parish Church, and Chapel (or Chapels) of Ease, made on the 17th day of DECEMBER in the year of our Lord 1934 and certified and signed on the above date by the Incumbent, Churchwardens, the Vice-Chairman, the Secretary and two members of the Parochial Church Council.
PERTAINING TO THE BENEFICE.
1. The RECTORY House (or Parsonage) and all the Out-Buildings
The House is built of Stone roofed with Slates and comprises 1st Floor - Dining Room. Drawing Room.
Office - 2 kitchens with cellars under. Hall. Pantry
2nd Floor - Bathroom - 4 bedrooms. 1 dressing room.
1 Store Room . 1 Lavatory. 3rd Floor - 2 Attics
Outbuildings - Stable, lay chamber over. Carriage House. Piggery All stone built, tiled roofs.
State if any part of the buildings is or could be used for a garage.
The Carriage House.
What is the extent of the Garden or other Curtilage?
The Rectory and outbuildings stand in approximately 3 Acres 22 Perches of ground; consisting of Flower Gardens, Shrubbery - Lawns - Kitchen Garden - Orchard.
It is bounded on the North by North East by the High Road-on the South by land owned by Ward Fox Excrs. - on the West by Green. The fence on the South side belongs to Ward Fox Excrs.
The Land belonging to the Benefice, exclusive of Churchyard Common Close - Grass Fences. North Rotherham Road
East Hellaby Lane, South (blank)
West - Railway Line
All fences are repaired by the Rector or tennant. Yearly tenancy Acreage 4A 3R 35P Rent £5
Tenant Newsum Micklebring
1934: Letters from Earl Fitzwilliam's Estates Company say His Lordship will not sell the Advowson. This was the right to nominate someone to be a parish priest, subject to the Bishop's approval, by the local Lord of the Manor. Was the Archbishop considering removing this right to enable the sale of the property?
March 1947 onwards : £45 paid for sale of 94 square yards of the frontage of the garden of the Rectory to West Riding County Council for improvements to Holywell Lane. This is when the wall immediately adjoining Holywell Lane in what is now our walled garden was built.
N.B. Among these papers it states that no title deeds for the Rectory exist and therefore "the land is probably ancient Glebe".
1948 : a handwritten document which appears to be a statement of church property in the village including the Rectory
15 October 1956 : The Parochial Church Council of the Parish of Braithwell with Bramley undertakes to repay with interest at 4% a loan of £750 from the Church Commissioners for England towards the erection of a new parsonage house. The Chairman was Rev. E.P.Eccles and the document is signed by G.H.Ashley and J.J.Fox. This was the house on Micklebring Lane which has recently (2018) been sold, there no longer being a Rector resident in the village.
1958? : Mr and Mrs Norman Foers purchased the Rectory which had stood empty for several years. They made improvements and Mrs Foers re-designed the garden. Their grey Rolls Royce was garaged in the Coach House near the entrance, part of the outbuildings of the earlier vicarage. They had full time help in the house and garden. However, Mr Foer's business in Rotherham became bankrupt and the house slipped back into a very poor state.
1979 - 2017 : the garden has been reclaimed largely by our own efforts, central heating, two new bathrooms and a cloakroom downstairs installed, windows replaced, a new 3 garage building with games room above built, boundary walls built and repaired, all drains and plumbing replaced, gas connected from the centre of the village and a Walled Garden built to mark the Millennium.
2015: Planning permission granted, after nearly two years of negotiation with Doncaster Council, to build a new Coach House on the site of the original one. Judge and Mrs Goldsack designed this intending to build it and move there. However, ill health made this too problematic to contemplate and the building plot, together with an acre of land including the walled garden, was sold. A new entrance and drive providing much safer access to both properties, was completed in 2016. The new Coach House was completed in 2018.
September 2016 : The Old Rectory was sold to John Leese and Jackie Thirlwell.