Braithwell, Micklebring and Clifton History and Heritage

Before the Conquest 1

Notes by Allen Smith of Braithwell, Micklebring and Clifton History and Heritage Group

The Earliest Settlers and the Romans

The more easily worked soils, and the less densely wooded nature of the magnesian limestone escarpment, provided earlier settlers with a more hospitable and productive living space than the lower, heavier and wetter lands of the coal measures to the East.

before the conquest mapAn ancient pathway ran northwards to York, and it was known as Rickneild Street.

This roadway, although of earlier origin, was used by the Romans, and later its route was used as a rough boundary between many of the Parishes it bordered. (The Anglo-Saxons called their roads "streets". The township of Strafforth (Mexborough) derived its name from "Street ford").

There was a Roman fort at Templeborough, facing the stronghold of the local Brigantes 
at Wincobank. Later, the Roman wooden fort was rebuilt in local red sandstone. A much larger fort existed at Doncaster (Danum), and a main road must have linked the two, but its route has yet to be identified.

Bawtry in those days was a seaport, and there was a Roman road linking it with Templeborough, passing between Oldcotes and Firbeck, crossing the River Rother at Catcliffe.
There is plenty of evidence of settlement in Roman times in the area. A Roman villa was discovered at Stancil, and hoards of coins have been found at Throapham and Tickhill. As well as coins found in Edlington Wood, there were also pottery kilns in that area.


The broken line denotes the route of Ricknield Street. Ancient Parish boundaries are also marked.