Conisbrough Castle Grounds – Wilful Damage by playing Cricket


1875 June 14 Sheffield Independant

Conisbrough Castle grounds – Wilful damage by playing Cricket

A case which excited great interest was heard at the West Riding Police Court, Doncaster, on Saturday. Four Colliers at Conisbrough, named Georgia Jepson, Thomas Sissons, John White, and Edward Watkins, were charged with wilful damage to the land in Conisbrough Castle grounds

On 3rd June the defendants, with others, were playing cricket, and complainant (Mr Houghton), who rents the agistment of the Castle grounds, summoned the four defendants for four shillings, damages.

The defence was that the Castle grounds at Conisbrough, was a place of public recreation, and witnesses were called who stated that for 40 to 60 years the ground had been a place of public resort. Sometimes hundreds and thousands congregated there, and after Good Friday the grounds were like a public highway. No one paid for going in the ground and there were gates and steps leading from the adjoining roads into the grounds

Formerly no one paid to enter the Castle – at least they gave wherever sum they liked- but now a penny each was demanded. How this came about was that some years ago a beer house keeper offered and obtained the key by paying £10.

The bench dismissed the case on the ground that no damage was proved. They stated that a colourful case of right had been made, but asked whether this would satisfy a court of law they could not say.

It was stated that the people of Conisbrough were quite prepared to maintain their claim in any court of law.