nearly 1000 feet above sea level it lies on the edge of moor
land to the south east of Stocksbridge. The boundary of the Peak
National Park runs along Heads Lane which borders the village on
its southern edge. Unlike the neighbouring villages of
Wharncliffe Side, Bradfield and Midhope, Bolsterstone comes
under the jurisdiction of Stocksbridge Town Council and not
Bradfield Parish Council as they do. As a settlement it is much
older than either Stocksbridge or Deepcar.
believed that the village originated as an Anglo Saxon
settlement. It lies on a Salt Route between Cheshire and
Yorkshire. No-one is quite sure how the village got its name
but it may be a corruption of Walder, a local Saxon chief.
Walder’s Low is the name of the mound that lies to the south
east of the village. Alternatively the name could be derived
from the existence of two large stones now situated in the
Churchyard and generally known as the “bolster stones”.
heritage trail giving details of Bolsterstone’s
historical features is outlined on an interpretive board set
outside the Village Hall. This gives further information about
the “bolsterstones”, as well as the Stocks and Whipping Post, St
Mary’s Church and the Lych Gate, the Jubilee Tree, The Porter’s
Lodge and Bolsterstone’s oldest building, Castle Cottage. Go to
Historically it is thought that a Manor House belonging to the
Earls of Shrewsbury was situated in Bolsterstone on the area
more commonly referred to as the “Castle”. It has been
suggested that this term “castle” has remained in folk memory
and may allude to an ancient fortification that once stood
here. There is some evidence to show that there were Manor
Courts held in Bolsterstone, for the tenants of the Manor, as
well as at Townend for the tenants of the properties held by the
Knights of St John. A letter written by Gilbert, Earl of
Shrewsbury to his brother in law John Manners and dated 17
August 1587 shows the Earl obviously came to Bolsterstone for
his health for he writes “I have come here to try if change of
air will ease my gout”.
Captain Adam Eyre records in his diary that he had been to
Bolsterstone to play “bowles” – probably on the level grass of
Court Fields. He adds that he not only lost 7/6 on the game but
spent 6d on his dinner and 4d on ale which also suggests that
even then some kind of hostelry existed in the village.
Directory shows Bolsterstone still to be the centre of
civilisation in the area. It describes the village as “an
ancient chapelry and ecclesiastical district and village –
population 1,904. Deepcar is a thriving and populous hamlet and
railway station. Royd and Stocks Bridge are hamlets.”
Mary’s Church Bolsterstone stands on the site of much older
places of worship. From early records we know that a small
ancient Chapel of ease was in such a bad state of repair by 1790
that the local inhabitants could not assemble “for the public
worship of Almighty God without manifest danger to their
lives”. Consequently this chapel was demolished in 1791 and
replaced by a “plain but substantial” structure completed in
1795. Our present Church replaced this plain building and was
in turn completed in 1879.
first purpose built school in Bolsterstone was known as the Free
School and was built in 1686 and is now converted to private
residences. Bolsterstone National School commonly known as
Bolsterstone Church School was built to replace the Free School
in 1852. Lessons, however, had to be paid for so naturally it
was not as popular as the Free School. The two were amalgamated
in 1886 and the Church school used for the older pupils and the
old Free School for the infants. The Church school was in use
until 1992 when it closed after great debate and public outcry.
danger of losing the building all together a group of local
residents became the Trustees initially raising Ł3000 to ensure
the upkeep of the building and ultimately to secure the future
use as a Village Hall.
same group of Trustees also gained control of the of Court
Fields which now form a recreational facility.
Bolsterstone today boasts a world famous choir – Bolsterstone
Male Voice Choir - for
further information go to
www.bolsterstonemvc.co.uk or ring the Secretary Mr Adrian
on 0845 600 6864 or email
Village Hall is
the venue for many activities and is available for party hire.
For further information ring Carol Webster on 0114 288 2230.
the activities that takes place in the Village Hall is the
Parent/Toddler group. This meets between 9.45 and 11.15 on
Friday morning and is open to parents and pre school children
from birth to about 5 years old. For further information ring
Joanne Crofts on 0114 2883 814 or Nicola Beaumont on 0114 2884
present day hostelry is The Castle Inn. Here there is an
upstairs room available for party booking. To book or for more
information about menu, pub opening times, quiz nights etc Ring
Kevin or Angela Skitt on O114 288 6300.
Mary’s Parish Church
still has an important role to play in the lives of its
parishioners. Details of services and the activities of its
members may be found in the Parish Magazine copies of which are
available in the Church itself or ring Mr Peter Fearnley,
Secretary to the PCC on 0114 2830 220
Bolsterstone Community Group
was set up in September 2001 to unite local people in the common
aim which is to promote the well being of the people of
Bolsterstone and adjoining areas by the advancement of education
and information and the conservation of the environment.
Membership is free and open to anyone who supports this aim.
For more information about the group’s activities or about
Bolsterstone Village Action Plan go to
www.bolsterstone.info or ring
Frances Tivey on 01142 883 390
Bolsterstone Educational Trust
is a local Charity established to help students between the ages
of 16 and 25 living in the Parishes of Bolsterstone,
Stocksbridge and Deepcar to obtain grants to buy books and
equipment to aid their studies. Ring Mr North on 01142 887 404