History of the Far East (Tinsley) — Sally Rogers — 18th July 2016.

Sally RogersSally gave us a diverse talk encom­passing both the his­tory of Tinsley and the Community Heritage Project in Tinsley.

She is involved with Heeley City Farm, which was foun­ded in 1981.  This is a com­munity based enter­prise involving youth train­ing.

The old ter­raced cot­tages  in Heeley were knocked down to make way for a trunk road to the city centre. The locals objec­ted to a trunk road  passing through their comunity, and after 13 years the objec­tion was suc­cess­ful and the Residents Association then star­ted the farm on the derel­ict land.Heeley_City_Farm_-_Gardens_14-04-06

The farm deals with a wide range of social prob­lems, help­ing chil­dren with learn­ing dis­ab­il­it­ies and intro­du­cing chil­dren from all over the city to the role of work­ing with  anim­als.  It also caters for patients with demen­tia.  All the work relies on volun­teers.

The com­munity in Tinsley has received many new immig­rants and a “Health and well being” survey in 2012 found Tinsley was below aver­age in air qual­ity and life expect­ancy.  Many of the chil­dren learn English as a second lan­guage.  There is no lib­rary, pub or com­munity centre there and so the Heeley Farm pro­ject provides sup­port and learn­ing and gives the chil­dren the oppor­tun­ity to dis­cover the his­tory of Tinsley.


A Bronze Age boat was found at Chapel Flat Dyke in the 1960’s indic­at­ing that set­tle­ments were here in the Bronze Age.  The cur­rent church at Tinsley was built in 1879, on the site of an older Norman one ded­ic­ated to St. Leonard.  Tinsley was men­tioned in the Domesday Book.  A Roger de Bousby, who was based at Tickhill Castle, was given land and Tinsley was part of his manor.

In 1819 the canal was opened which boos­ted indus­trial devel­op­ment and shortly after Tinsley had its own rail­way sta­tion.  The pop­u­la­tion in 1822 was 327 (mainly farm­ing) and in 1901 the pop­u­la­tion reached 2000.

Manor Farm Tinsley postcardThe Tinsley manor house built partly out of wattle and daub in the 11th cen­tury, was sur­roun­ded by parks and woods cov­er­ing 413 acres.  The manor house was rebuilt in the 15th cen­tury and, many years later, in 1862 became a farm occu­pied by the Needham family.  After the Needhams left it became derel­ict and was put up for auc­tion in 1953.  There were no buyers and it remained derel­ict and was knocked down in 1963.

The Heeley City Farm received £50,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund for a 3 year pro­ject to work with Tinsley Junior School and Wessex Archeology.  The pro­ject, based at the school, was to dis­cover and inter­pret the his­tory of the manor house itself.  The field work was done by chil­dren who decided where to place the trench excav­a­tions.  The walls of out­build­ings were dis­covered along with a piece of medi­eval pot­tery from the 11th cen­tury.

The whole pro­ject res­ul­ted in lots of spin-offs where the chil­dren, dressed in medi­eval cos­tumes, listened to stor­ies of times gone by and older people related tales of the farm they remembered from their child­hood days.

It was a very varied talk accom­pan­ied by plenty of illus­tra­tions and was fol­lowed by many ques­tions from the audi­ence.