The walk starts at the station
; not far from which is the old school house, not easy to find
now, as it is located at the end of a private drive
and not very well known. It dating from 1673, the year before
Robert Roebuck emigrated to America, but was demolished and rebuilt
in 1870. It has recently been converted into a private house,
but still has the 1870 inscription and date over the door.
Going under the railway bridge
South towards the river you pass the Park on your right .
This is where you return from Haigh, via the footpath alongside
Just over the bridge
is the old Sunday School
built in 1818.
At the end of the road on the
right hand corner is the 'old' Vicarage built in 1716 ,
but now converted into offices.
Across the road from the Vicarage
is the magnificent Parish Church of All Saints
founded in 1154. Within the Churchyard you will find some Roebuck
headstones, but not of Robert the emigrant's ancestors. His father
and grandfather were buried there, his parents were married there
and he was baptised there, but that was over 350 years ago, and
the headstones have not survived.
Mr Percy Featherstone has kindly
donated some more photos of the interior of the Church.
From the Churchyard looking North
you can, however, still see the hill of Staincross
where they lived.
Across the road you pass the
'modern' Council Offices and looking back you can see
the main entrance to the Churchyard .
Going up the hill towards Kexbrough
you soon cross the busy M1 motorway . Unfortunately the Darton
Parsonage, Braithwaite hall, Braithwaite Park and Fox Hall have
all had to sacrificed in the name of progress. About 1 mile farther
on is the ancient village of Haigh, the ancestral home of Robert's
mother Catherine haige's family.
Walking up the hill you get good
views over Darton, the Church and Staincross .
At the top of the hill, beyond Kexbrough you come to High Hoyland,
with more fine views over Cawthorne village and the surrounding
A public footpath from High Hoyland,
to the right takes you across the fields and down to Bretton
Hall, with its Sculpture Park and two lakes ,
which lie in the Dearne valley. Below and at the end of the lower
lake the River Dearne cascades down a series of wiers. .
This takes you to the village
of Haigh. Before arriving at Haigh, a nice surprising discovery,
is a grand old Well, hidden in an overgrown quarry ,
now with a locked door and a difficult to read inscription above
it, dating from 1680. Robert the emigrant may well have played
in this quarry as a boy or lived in a house built from its stone,
as might his mother's family.
The footpath from Bretton Park
soon emerges on Jebb Lane at the village of Haigh. A short distance
up the hill is Haigh Hall . Walking down the hill takes
you into the ancient village of Haigh
located on the River Dearne.
From Haigh the walk follows the
river downstream (towards Darton), on the other side of the M1
motorway. The footpath follows the course of the river, between
the river and the railway. Along its banks is evidence of the
past. The river here is fast flowing and there are ruins of what
would have been watermills and bridges. This is the last leg
of the walk which brings you back into the village of Darton
through the Park .
The walk, itself is about 7 miles
in length, but the farthest point of the walk from Darton Parish
Church is High Hoyland, which is only about two and a half miles
up hill towards the pennines. The village of Haigh is only about
1 mile upstream. The source of the River Dearne is near Denby,
in the Pennines on the edge of the ancient graveship of Holme
and marked on the Graveship map.
In the 17th century, this area
would have been woodland, rich in flora and fauna including wild
boar and deer.
Today, refreshments are available,
ready cooked, at pubs in Darton, High Hoyland and the 'Post Office'
now an Inn just off the M1 motorway junction 38 at Haigh situated
between the old and new villages, and not forgetting the award-winning
fish and chip shop at the side of the road in Kexbrough (very
difficult for hungry walkers to walk past).