North and South Anston are commuter villages about 13 miles from Sheffield, 11 miles from Rotherham, 6 miles from Worksop and 16.4 miles from Doncaster.
I go back a long way with Anston. I came to live here with my family in 1966, when I was only 2 years old. In those days Anston was a quaint village, with a winding road up a hill into North Anston from the A57. “The Oval” where I lived was the first modern post war estate to be built there. You can still find the old roads that wound up into Anston, but they are now side roads or the back way into Anston via Windmill Rd.
In those days we had a farm at the bottom of the road and I used to get woken up by a cockerill. As a child I could roam about without my parents keeping a constant watch on me. Anston was predominantly a farming village and goes back to being a settlement in the Doomsday book of 1086.
If you go into the Wells area of Anston, you will find out very much how Anston must have looked in the past. You will find a spring that is now used as a horse trough, which people would have used fro drinking water in the past.
The old Butchers Orchard, which is now a housing estate, was reputed to be the site of a battle in the Civil war and used to be common land. I once had a look around Ivy cottage and you can find a priest hole in there. The Loyal trooper at South Anston is supposed to have links with the civil war. We do have a history society that meets on a regular basis in Anston.
When I first came to Anston there must have been about 10 or more farms in Anston, but many of these have been turned into upmarket houses. I have seen Anston grow from about 3K to 10K since 1966, I am trying to get the exact figure on this.
South Anston and North Anston are divided by the busy A57. When I first started driving in 1983, there were no traffic lights, but traffic has increased dramatically since then.
South Anston is where the more affluent people lived in the past, the Bacal estate was built in the 1970’s and many civil servants who moved up from London purchased houses here. There were many farms in South Anston which were turned into upmarket housing. You will find the Leeds arms pub and Loyal trooper in South Anston. We used to have the Kiveton rural district offices in South Anston, which was later changed into a old folks home and has now been closed.
You will find St James church which is a Church of England church, this has the spire and the Methodist Church which speaks for itself. South Anston has more of a village feel to it and a number of shops along it’s high street.
Moving onto into North Anston. North Anston has a big council estate, much of which is now private housing. There is the old part of Anston which had many farms. Most of the rest of Anston is 1970’s housing and later expansion. Anston has a couple of pubs, the Cutlers and the Little mester and you will find the village club in Anston. Originally Anston had a pub called the Blacksmiths arms in the old part of Anston, but this premise was replaced by the Cutler in the 1960’s and is now just flats.
Even though the population of Anston is close to 10K, it doesn’t really have a village shopping centre and we have to use the shops down in Dinnington. There are a row of shops at what we called the Pond, across from the Cutler pub. You will find the village green behind the pond shops. There is also Anston Hall, which has been broken up into smaller flats. Greenlands park is located here and the new Anston surgery.
The jewel in the Crown for Anston is Anston stones, which is a site of special scientific interest. This piece of land stretches from Anston to Lindrick common and is great butterfly country. You will also find Limestone crags down here, even better than Cresswell crags.
We have the butterfly farm located just on the edge of Anston on the way to Woodsett’s. We are still very much bordered by fields and countrside, which is always under threat from developers, but we are fighting further erosion into our green belt.
I don’t know of many famous people coming from Anston, other than the golfer Lee Westwood.
I hoped you have enjoyed my journey around Anston and correct me if I have any incorrect facts.
All the best