Kiveton Park\Wales

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Kiveton Park\Wales, population c 7,000 (2001 census)

Kiveton means ‘The settlement in the hollow’, Anglo-Saxon ‘kyfe’ meaning dish or hollow vessel and ‘ton’ meaning stockaded camp. The Domesday book of 1086 recorded its name as Cieutone with the C being pronounced as a present day K. From about 1080 to 1868 Kiveton was a hamlet of the parish of nearby Harthill-with-Woodall, after which Kiveton was transferred to Wales Parish Council.
Kiveton was once the site of a stately home – Keeton Hall, home of the 1st Duke of Leeds, now in a family vault in Harthill church. Most of the area was part of the Dukes hunting park; hence the full title of Kiveton Park. The Hall was demolished in 1812 with only the stables remaining, which form part of the present day Kiveton Hall Farm (on the road between Kiveton and Todwick).

The Kiveton name origin is ancient, e.g. in 1297 the family name ‘Keutons’ is on record as being ‘a residents of Harthill parish who had to contribute one-ninth of their possessions: John de Keuton – 16d. Hugh de Kayton -16d’. The 1370 poll tax list (see links below) also contains many ‘Keutons’.

In 1401 a charter of King Edward III, John de Kyveton a native of Kiveton, Rector of Radcliffe-on-trent (near Nottingham), bestowed land on Roche Abbey on condition that the Abbot of Roche provide a priest to say masses for his soul every day and for ever in the chapel of the Holy Trinity at Kiveton. So whether it be Keveton, Kyveton, Keton, Kneton, Keeton, etc. the name goes back at least 1000 years in its various forms and Kiveton is possibly the merely the one that made it onto Victorian Ordnance Survey maps to be legitimized in print.

‘Wales’ possibly denotes the presence of Celts who remained after the Anglo-Saxon settlement in around 500 AD. Wales (South Yorks) got its name the same way that Wales (the country) did – it means ‘stranger’ or ‘the Welsh’ in Saxon English. The name Waleswood was also recorded in 1293. Wolfric Spot a Saxon theign is recorded as owning ‘Walesho’ in 1002 so the name is at least that old. The Keetons mentioned above apparently sold their Kyveton estate to the Hewets in about 1580 and interestingly a lot of Keetons appear in the American colonies in the 1600s (as recorded by US genealogical societies). Sir William Hewet was born in Wales and became Lord Mayor of London in 1559, maybe that’s where he got the money and influence to buy out the Keetons? He was an ancestor of Sir Thomas Osbourne who became the 1st Duke of Leeds which is why the pub next to the church has that name and some Dukes in its vaults (see the Church Street picture).

What shaped modern Kiveton though is the fact that coal is close to the surface around here (some stream beds are made of coal) and as early as 1598 local coal output was 2,000 tons a year. See also the Jon Layne article on the 1944 discovery of medieval bell pits in Aston. Deep mining of coal in Kiveton started in 1866, in one of the oldest deep mines in the world (with the canal and the railway to transport it). A small shaft in Anston was used as a ventilation shaft for Kiveton pit. In 1861 the population was around 300. By 1871 it was 1,400! The Dukes of Leeds who owned the mineral rights became even wealthier. Peak population was reached in 1971 at 6,300 but fell to 5,900 in 1991. It has probably since risen and as the 2001 census results will show. There has certainly been a lot of new housing built, and the old White City estate has been demolished and rebuild as private housing.

Kiveton and Wales have seen many radical changes in the last 20 years, due in large part to the miner’s strike (1984) and the subsequent closure of the colliery (1994) with the loss of 1,000 local jobs – a huge blow given the population. There is plenty of near surface coal around though and applications are still being made to open cast large tracts of open countryside. Personally, I think that the local countryside has suffered enough, not just in Kiveton but in places Dinnington and Thurcroft to, but others (hello Frank W!) think differently and point out that opencasting could finance redevelopment. With the UKs growing deficit in energy production we may have to opencast any easy to access coal.

By 2011 Kiveton (Kivo to the local schoolkids) the scars of the pit closures are healing as the coal mine that I remember from my childhood and youth drifts into the village’s industrial past (unless the above mentioned open cast mine resurrects itself). The old pit tip is being landscaped nicely, and new houses have replaced many of the rows of terraced ‘pit houses’.