West End Hotel, Killamarsh
|Council:||North East Derbyshire|
|North East Derbyshire|
Killamarsh is a town and civil parish in Derbyshire, adjacent to the border with Yorkshire to its north and west. It lies between Halfway and Mosborough to the west, Eckington and Renishaw to the south, Beighton and Sothall to the northwest, Wales to the north-east, Harthill to its east and the Rother Valley Country Park to its north.
Killamarsh was mentioned in the Domesday Book with the name Chinewoldemaresc or Chinewolde meaning "Cynewalds Marsh". There are a number of smaller communities within the town. Norwood, Nethergreen, Westthorpe and Upperthorpe surround the main town centre.
The parish church of St Giles contains gravestones dating back to the Saxon era as well as masonry work from the 12th century, and many stained glass windows. A number of public houses in Killamarsh are over 300 years old. Domesday records Killamarsh as belonging to Hascoit Musard and being valued at 12 pence.
The community originally grew from a farming community, self-sufficient in agricultural and dairy produce since the Middle Ages. In the 19th and 20th centuries, Killamarsh became a thriving mining town as the burgeoning Sheffield iron industry demanded coal and transport links with Sheffield matured. Coal has been mined in Killamarsh since at least the 15th century, but the first major mining operation opened at Norwood resulting in an almost doubling of the Killamarsh population between 1861 and 1871. The last two "pits", Westthorpe and High Moor, are now gone, casualties of the early 1980s pit closure programme.
The river Rother which flanks Killamarsh had provided power to grain mills since the earliest times and was used by ironmongers and smiths from the late 18th century. Killamarsh Forge drew the special wire used in the core of the 2nd trans-Atlantic telegraph cable laid by the SS Great Eastern in 1866 as well as other equipment used in the splicing operations.
There is an industrial estate located in the Norwood area north of the town and light industrial units and a business innovation centre to the south on the site of the old Westthorpe Colliery. To the west of Killamarsh is a small animal feed mill, and the factory of Ross and Catherall, a specialist alloys supplier to the aerospace industry.
Killamarsh is roughly the same distance to Sheffield, Chesterfield and Rotherham. Sheffield became the dominant connecting city as its burgeoning iron and steel industry demanded coal, and the road between Killamarsh and Sheffield was upgraded.
Three railway lines once made their way through the west side of the town. The first was the North Midland Railway route from Derby to Leeds, later part of the Midland Railway and later still the LMS, whose station was Killamarsh West, located in what is now part of Sheffield on the section known as the "Old Road": the original direct route between Chesterfield and Rotherham avoiding Sheffield. The station closed to passengers in February 1954 and the line itself in July the same year, but it remains in use as a freight route, though some passenger trains are occasionally diverted this way. The second was the main line of the Great Central Railway (later part of the LNER); the Killamarsh station here was Killamarsh Central. This closed in March 1963, the line itself in September 1966 to passengers and completely in 1981 after remaining partially in use serving Arkwright colliery near Staveley - the route today is part of the Trans-Pennine Trail. The third was a branch line of the Lancashire, Derbyshire and East Coast Railway (later part of the Great Central) from Langwith Junction (later renamed Shirebrook North) to the outskirts of Sheffield. The station here was Upperthorpe and Killamarsh; this closed in July 1930, the line itself in September 1939 to passengers and completely some years later.
Killamarsh is in close proximity to the southern terminus of the Sheffield Supertram at Halfway.
The Chesterfield Canal
The Chesterfield Canal passed through the town on its way to Kiveton via the Norwood Tunnel which was the joint longest canal tunnel in the UK at the time of its construction. The canal fell into disrepair following the collapse of the tunnel in 1907. The remains of the Chesterfield Canal are present but housing has been built on part of the canal's original route, and the undeveloped sections are mostly public footpaths. Work carried out in 2008 to create the Killamarsh Greenway brought large sections of the original canal towpath back into use as a traffic-free route through the town, with the intention that once restoration is complete, a significant section of the towpath will already be in a usable state. The canal has been restored from the Chesterfield end as far as Staveley. Work is ongoing to extend it towards Killamarsh with a new route proposed to bypass the missing section and link up to the existing canal at Kiveton. The planned new route will take in part of the old line of the canal and introduce some new sections including taking the canal in to Rother Valley Park before rejoining the original line for the ascent through Norwood.
The planned Rother Link will connect the Chesterfield Canal at Killamarsh, via the River Rother through to the Sheffield and South Yorkshire Navigation, thus creating a new cruising ring and encouraging boats to visit the Chesterfield Canal.
Killamarsh has a library, medical centre, shopping areas, and newsagents. It also has good connections to local major towns by virtue of regular bus services and its location close to the Halfway terminus of the Sheffield Supertram network. There are several public houses in the town, including The Midland, The Steelmelters, The Crown, The Nags Head, and the West End Hotel.
Rother Valley Park
Rother Valley Country Park lies to the north of town. This was created in the early 1980s as part of the restoration works following open cast mining of the area. The scheme created a series of ponds and lakes, with the surrounding area landscaped to form a nature reserve and recreation areas, with facilities for water sports. The River Rother flows from the west of town and passes through the centre of the park.
- Fred Greaves, the first Derbyshire person to get a Victoria Cross was born here in 1890.
- Sidney Smith was a professional billiards and snooker player who was born in Killamarsh in 1908.
- Nicky Weaver, professional footballer.
Killamarsh has many sports teams, in senior and junior age groups. The Killamarsh Dynamoes Athletic Football Club is one of the many junior footballing sides in the area. Killamarsh Khaos Skater Hockey Club is a roller hockey club with age groups spanning from U10 (U12, U14, &c.) up to senior level. Killamarsh Juniors Athletic Club Institute hosts senior and junior football on its grounds as well as the Killamarsh Juniors Cricket Club which has age groups from U11 to Three senior sides and a Sunday side.
- "Neighbourhood Statistics". Office for National Statistics. http://neighbourhood.statistics.gov.uk/dissemination/LeadTableView.do?a=7&b=11125173&c=Killamarsh&d=16&e=62&g=6414648&i=1001x1003x1032x1004&o=1&m=0&r=1&s=1420308874030&enc=1&dsFamilyId=2473. Retrieved 3 January 2015.
- Domesday Book: A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 2003. ISBN 0-14-143994-7 p.753 and 1365
- Richardson, Christine (2009). Norwood Tunnel: Four Centuries of Challenge. Richlow Histories. ISBN 978-0-9552609-6-4.
- Rother Valley Bird photos, Retrieved 2 February 2010
- Derbyshire at VictoriaCross.org Retrieved 18 June 2007
- Andy Hunter on the Cue Collector website http://www.thecuecollector.com/files/CueCollectorArticles/Hunter_Article_16__Sidney_Smith_.pdf Retrieved 7 December 2011
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