Hamlets in the parish of Worksop


Gateford is a hamlet belonging to Worksop, distant from the latter place about two miles to the north. It is situated on the Turnpike Road leading to Sheffield, and from the circumstance of the whole of its houses standing on one side of the road, it has given rise to an old local proverb, "Like Gateford, all on one side."—It is not mentioned in the Domesday survey, as when that survey was made, it was evidently included in the manor of Worksop. It was very early subin-feuded, probably by William de Lovetot the 1st, to a family who derived their surname from it. Thus, in the charter of foundation of Worksop Priory among the attesting witnesses appear Gilbert de Gaytef, and to the quitclaim of Matilda de Lovetot to that establishment, William de Gateford. John de Gateford, in the 6th year of Edward the III, held the fourth part of a knight’s fee in Gateford, nigh Worksop, of Thomas de Furnival; and Thomas de Gayteford held the manor of Gayteford, in the 40th year of the same reign, of the same lords, by the same service. The acknowledgment of dependence upon the lords of Worksop may be traced to the year 1636, where, in Harrison’s survey, among the rents of that manor appears the following entry, "Gatefirth, Sir George Lascelles, for his chief rent out of Gaytforth, £5 4s. 8d." The de Gatefords held the property more than 300 years, when the last of that name, John Gaitford, seems to have left two daughters, one of whom was married to Thomas Knight, Esq., and the other to John Townley, knight; for as we learn from Thoroton, in 16th year of Henry VII, a fine was levied settling the property there and in many other places, first upon Elizabeth, the wife of T. Knight, and his heirs, and next upon the wife of John Townley, and his heirs. It would seem that the heirs of the former shortly parted with their share, for, as we learn from Leland, when he made one of his Iteneries in the following reign, Townley was then in possession. His words are, "Within a good mile or so I cam to Worsop (from Rotherham). I rode through a parke of Mr. Townles, a knight, for the most abiding in Lancastreshire, and in this parke is a veri praty litle howse." To the Townleys, the family of Lascelles very shortly succeeded, and resided here for a considerable time in great respectability as a knightly family. They appear to have been warm supporters of the reformed principles in religion, and one of the house, John Lascelles, perished at the stake at the same time with Anne Askew, as a martyr to that faith.

The last of the family, Sir George Lascelles, of Gateford and Sturton, had an only daughter and heiress, who was married to Sir Francis Rodes, of Barlborough, into which family the property was thus conveyed. With the Rodes’s it remained till more than half-a-century ago; it was sold by the then Mr. Rodes, of Barlborough, and the farms were purchased by the tenants. The Hall farm was bought by the family of Vessey, from whom, after the death of the last of that name, Miss Vessey, at the venerable age of 96, it was inherited by the late Henry Machin, Esq. Mr. Machin, who was high sheriff of the county in 1832, built a good house here in 1824, which he called Gateford Hill, being situated in an elevated and pleasant site to the north of the old Hall. This latter is represented by the ancient farm-house which was formed out of its remains and stands near the road. It was moated round, and part of the moat still remains.

Mr. Machin was succeeded here by his son, the present J. Vessey Machin, Esq., who resides at the Hill, and they having purchased the rest of the farms as well as the other property at Gateford adjoining, have formed a very nice estate.