Loversall Hall, Loversall
Loversall is a little village in the very south of the West Riding of Yorkshire. Rural and quiet, despite lying closely south of the edge of Doncaster and the uncomfortable proximity of the M18 motorway immediately to the north (and the A1(M) close by to the west), the village is a place of just 156 souls recorded in 2011.
The main sights of the village are the parish church, St Katherine's, and the great house, Loversall Hall, the one standing next to the other.
The village consists mainly of residential properties and farm buildings. There was once a village shop but no longer: there are though local shops in nearby Wadworth, and a supermarket not far away.
Loversall Lakes, on Quarry Farm, are a popular fishing facility. Periodically the fields around Loversall are used for clay pigeon shooting.
St Katherines Church is a small but picturesque church of historic and architectural interest.
The church appears to have been built before 1207 by the Fossard family, the family which owned the Manor of Hexthorpe under Count Robert de Mortain, half-brother to William the Conqueror.
Loversall was for much of its time part of the manor of Doncaster and the church a chapel of ease in that parish of Doncaster, rather than a fully-fledged parish church as it is today.
The history of Loversall's parish records illustrates both the vulnerability of archives. Of a winter’s night on 7 and 8 February 1844, thieves broke into the parish church and broke open the parish chest, in hope of stealing the communion plate. Finding no valuable contents, they made a fire to warm themselves in the bitter winter weather and their fuel was the oak chest and most of its contents, namely all the parish registers, all but the most recent marriage and burial registers. However most of the bare information has been recovered by local historians from the yearly returns made to the Archbishop of York of baptisms, marriages and burials.
About the village
Loversall Hall, next to the church, is a large but plainly-built house, its principal front built by the Fenton family of Leeds between 1808 and 1816, although the buildings at the rear are probably seventeenth century.
There are a number of working farms in the Parish, including Quarry Farm adjacent to the A60 and Loversall Farm, the farmhouse for which is located within the village. Pear Tree Farm, also within the village, is no longer a working farm but the farmhouse, thought to be around 250 years old, remains in residential use.
The specification of Loversall as a conservation area describes it as:
‘a small open grained village of traditional limestone buildings with clay pantile roofs. The village appears to have grown within the Loversall Hall parkland to serve the listed Loversall Hall. The main street appears from map evidence to have continued to the south east past the listed dovecote and walled garden to Loversall Hall. This was blocked off possibly when the route to the Hall was diverted to the north around the time the Hall was rebuilt in 1811. Historically domestic and agricultural buildings, probably tied to the Loversall estate, developed along Bubup Hill. These front the road and are almost exclusively of coursed rubble limestone and clay pantiles which gives a homogeneous character to this part of the conservation area. The most significant of these is Loversall Farm which was the major farm of the village. Its importance is demonstrated by being three storeys high rather than two storeys which is the norm of the village. Being elevated and with no development in front of it the building dominates the key view on approaching from Wadworth. To the east is Loversall Hall and its curtilage buildings. Part of the walled garden survives with the listed dovecote to one corner though the walled garden is now subdivided between two modern properties. South and west of the drive approaching the hall is parkland in character and is designated as Green Belt. Formerly, this part of the conservation area would have been relatively open but 20th century developments have infilled the land between Bubup Hill and the Hall. Some of this is incongruous and suburban in character. The most unusual of these infills is a pair of Swedish timber bungalows introduced in 1948.’
| ("Wikimedia Commons" has material|
- 'St Katherine's Church' (Gazette & Chronicle Press)
- Loversall - Doncaster and District Family History Society