Day's Croft wasn't a big round hole, but it wasn't far away from one ... Monk Bretton Colliery, and neither it nor Day's Croft are there now! There is a grassy expanse sloping down from Monk Bretton to Lundwood, with a few trees and scrubby bushes where dozens of miners and their families used to live.
|1930s map of Day's Croft and Monk Bretton Colliery (from Old Maps)|
From this map snip I don't think that you would guess there were nearly forty little houses in Day's Croft, yet in the 1911 census summary book I can find a listing for thirty-two properties and there are some gaps in the numbering. Numbers 1-3 and 6-7 are not occupied or not identified by number anyway. Interestingly number 30 was Mr Laycock's shop which suggests the street was probably quite self-sufficient. The summary books are an easy way to see the numbers of people living in an area. Hard to believe but one of these little houses contained thirteen people on census night and two others each held ten people, including the house of one of the OH's relatives.
The colliery was in existence in 1880 according to a list on Rootsweb, but in the earliest map available, from the 1850s, the canal bridge labelled Croft Bridge on the 1930s map above is adjacent to the Bleach Croft, no doubt where it got its name. There is no colliery and no row of houses on the road between the Croft Bridge and the Bleachworks.
|Monk Bretton and the area of the Bleachcroft nearby (from Old Maps)|
|Sheffield Daily Telegraph Thursday 17 December 1903 (from Find My Past - Newspapers)|
The earliest mention I have for the address in the OH's family tree is in 1900 when George Johnson jnr marries from his father George snr's home at 11 Day's Croft. George marries Elizabeth Ann Jobling, the OH's half 3x great aunt and another Johnson, George's sister Ellen marries Elizabeth Ann's younger brother Richard Loveland Jobling six years later ... introduced through their siblings maybe? There must have been a shortage of suitable houses in the area because in 1911 Richard Jobling, his wife and two children are living with George snr and six members of his family at 11 Day's Croft. This is a total of ten people in a house, which according to the census, has five rooms (not counting the kitchen).
|The north east of Barnsley in 1924 showing Monk Bretton and Cudworth|
(from the Bartholomew Half Inch Maps at the National Library of Scotland)
What is even more interesting is that both George snr and his wife Ann Kitchen, who married in 1877 in Royston, are from the North West of England, the area which is now Cumbria. George is from Penrith and Ann from Appleby which are no more than 14 miles distant from each other. Did many families move from that area to Barnsley to work in the coal mines in the 1870s? Did they socialise with each other because of their shared Cumberland/Westmoreland heritage? The Kitchen family were still in Cumberland in 1861 but Ann's eldest sister, Alice, marries in the Barnsley district in 1869, so they have arrived in the area by then. George Johnson appears to arrive between 1871 and 1877, alone.
As you can see on the 1930s map the new estates at Lundwood were appearing, semi detached houses, built no more than 12 to an acre in the Garden City style, each with its own garden on curving roads and cul-de-sacs. I expect the families from Day's Croft watched over the fields as these houses were put up and hoped(?) they would be able to get one. Certainly by the 1960s, judging by the maps again, there were no buildings of any kind left on the site of Day's Croft.
I can find no pictures of Day's Croft on the Barnsley Council's Yococo Image database online, and putting Day's Croft into the images search on Google brings back some of my own blog posts!
There may be more information in the Archives about Day's Croft, possibly in the records of the colliery ... or photographs that haven't made it to Yococo yet. We can only hope. It would be nice to see what these houses, which were home to some very large families in 1911, actually looked like.