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Mexborough is a town in the metropolitan borough of Doncastermarker, South Yorkshiremarker, Englandmarker, situated on the north bank of the River Don west of its confluence with the River Dearnemarker. It has a population of 14,750.

History

The name Mexborough combines the Old English suffix burh meaning a fortified place with an Old English or Old Norse personal name, which may be Meke, Muik, Meoc, or Mjukr.

Mexborough is located at the north eastern end of a dyke known as the Roman Ridge that is thought to have been constructed either by the Brigantian tribes in the 1st century AD, perhaps as a defence against the Roman invasion of Britain, or after the 5th century to defend the British kingdom of Elmet from the Angles.

The earliest known written reference to Mexborough is found in the Domesday Book of 1086 (Mechesburg), which states that prior to the Norman conquest of England the area had been controlled by the Saxon lords Wulfheah and Ulfkil. Following the conquest the area fell under the control of the Norman Baron Roger de Busli. The remains of an earthwork in Castle Park are though to have been a motte and bailey castle in the constructed in the 11th century shortly after the conquest.

With the exception of St. John’s the Baptist C of E church, which includes elements that date from the 12th century, most of the buildings in the town are post-1800. A few pre-1800 buildings remain, including several public houses; the Ferryboat Inn, the George and Dragon, the Bull’s Head and the Red Lion.

Throughout the 18th, 19th and much of the 20th centuries the town’s economy was based around coal mining, quarrying, brickworks and the production of ceramics, and it soon became a busy railway junction. These industries lead to an increase in industrial illness and an increase in the mortality rate. Although the town boasted a cottage hospital, the lack of suitable facilities led to Lord Montagu donating land for a new hospital to be built. Lord Montagu laid the first stone at the site in 1904. The site is still a working hospital, and now forms part of the Doncastermarker and Bassetlaw NHS trust.

The industries which led to the creation of Montagu hospital did not only bring problems to the town, they also led to an increase in population and, for some, an increase in wealth and opportunity. Many more public houses and other businesses were created, many of which are still trading today. It was in one of these public houses, the Montagu Arms, that Stan Laurel stayed overnight after performing at the town’s Prince of Wales theatre on the 9th of December 1907.

Following the demise of the coal mining industry in the 1980’s Mexborough, like many ex-mining towns and villages, is still in the process of economic and social recovery.

Transport

The town is served by Mexborough railway stationmarker for trains going towards Doncastermarker and Sheffieldmarker. Mexborough also has a bus station.

Famous residents



References


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