Past Innkeepers of the Public House in Midhopestones
1780 to 1814 Ann Kay
1814 to 1824 Joseph Kay
1824 to 1840 William Kay
1840 to 1854 Joseph Kay
1854 to 1855 John Kay
1855 to 1860 Mrs Ann Kay
1860 to 1883 Joseph Siddons
1883 to 1888 Mrs Ann Kay Siddons
1889 to 1898 Herbert Woodhouse
1899 to 1905 Isaac Waterhouse
1906 to 1912 Schofield Sykes
1912 to 1926 Mrs Jane Wood
1926 to 1931 Miss Nellie Wood
1931 to 1955 Aaron Elliot
1955 to 1970 John Genn
1970 to 1992 Robert Genn
1992 to 1999 Barbara Elizabeth Lee
2001 to 2007 Andrew David Hodgkiss
2007 to 2008 Carina Porte & Alex McLean-Smith
2008 to 2011 Christopher Jessop
2011 to 2017 Kelly Groves
April 2017 to present David Browell
Reflections of yesterday
Welcome to Ye Olde Mustard Pot country inn, situated in the delightful hamlet of Midhopestones, in the parish of Bradfield. The name is believed to mean, ‘a sheltered place between hills. The earliest known records of Midhope, stretch back to the time of the King Henry III and Richard the I. In a charter dated 1227 between John de Midhope and Hylienus Waldershelf. Midhope mill is mentioned as being operational at this time, so the village was thriving long before this date.
Upon the death of Elias de Midhope the grandson of John in 1337, the Manor was passed to Thomas de Barnby who was rector of Kirk Heaton. In 1632 the Barnbys sold the Manor of Midhope to Anthony Moorwood, of Bradfield. In 1690, Henry Hall, the son of Robert Hall, of Fulwood, sold the Manor of Midhope-in-Waldershelf to Godfrey Bosville of Gunthwaite, for £2256, in whose family it remained until of recent. Today we speak of Upper Midhope and Midhopestones, the latter having reference to the stepping or leaping-stones by which the people crossed the river at the ford near Dike-Side Farm, a site now submerged in the Underbank Reservoir, completed in 1907. Originally known as Over Midhope and Nether Midhope respectively.
Nearby to the inn can be found the chapel of St. James the Less, Midhope, or the Chapel of the village community of Midhope-in-Waldershelf. The lowly potters met here to worship therein. This Chapel (the second) was built in the 14th century by one of the Barnbys, the Lords of the Manor. The fabric is of great age, and the restoration effected in 1705, by the third Godfrey Bosville, not only rescued it from absolute ruin, but happily, conserved much of its ancient character.
There were only a small number of cottages & farms in Midhopestones at this period. However it was in 1720 that George Walker & Robert Blackburn leased a parcel of land known as Nether-Mill-Green, containing 70 yards by 40 yards on which to build a Pot-House.Potters Fold. In 1727 William Gough built the ovens and sheds which were required, and some dwelling houses, all this became known as “Pot House Fold”. The type of earthenware made at Midhope Potteries was called slip ware and consisted of meeas-pots, or porringers, bottles of all kinds, jars large and small, dishes basins, pancheons, cups and saucers plates, stew-pots, butter-pots, water pots, bread-pots, chimney-pots etc. Some of the more classical pieces were decorated with marbled patterns, stripes and floral, some bore grotesque figures of birds & animals, initials of persons and dates when they were made. One of the artists was a man by the name of Greaves. We know the Midhope Potteries were in existence between 1720 and 1828, and our little hamlet is proud of the fact.
Mortimer Road on which Ye Olde Mustard Pot sits was named after Hans Winthrop Mortimer, Lord of the Manor of Bamford who died in 1807. Turnpiked in the mid 1770’s and used by carriers as the route from Penistone to Grindleford. The Inn was built in 1760 by the Kay family as a farm. It became known as the Barrel Inn by 1780, when Ann Kay was the Innkeeper. Prior to this another building nearby had been an alehouse.
On hunting days the Barrel Inn, in Midhope, then better known as `The Club’ and kept by William Kay, was a favourite rendezvous of the old huntsman, and many a day’s hunting did he contrive to finish in that locality.
Kay had a great objection, and often refused at hunt meetings to admit amongst the hunters any one who could not sing a hunting song, and this may account in a great measure why amongst those who began to follow the hounds in his time so many came to know and to be able to sing the songs of the old hunt. This became a principle meeting place for the Penistone Harriers, he also kept a hound here called ‘Blueman’: alas.. Kay died here in January 1840 aged 58. Succeeded by his brother Joseph, he continued the tradition, and kept 2 hounds here called; ‘Diana’ and ‘Virgin’ and later one called Butler.
In 1841, Joseph Kay lived here with his wife Sarah and three children; `William, Ann, and John. Joseph was a tailor by trade as well as the innkeeper at what was then known as the ‘Barrel Inn’. He died here in August 1854. His son John then came to live here with his wife Ann (nee) Taylor, and their two daughters Grace and Emma. He renamed the inn ‘The Ship’ alas; 12 months later John died here aged only 31. So his widow continued as the innkeeper the name reverting back to the ‘Barrel’.
In the Late 1850’s the first ever cricket match took place In the village between the Penistone and Stocksbridge Clubs. Amongst the company present were the leading families of the Midhope Cricket Team district. An excellent dinner was provided at the inn by Mrs. Kay, to which ample justice was done by the players, and a most convivial meeting was spent under the presidency of Mr. Siddons, whom she would marry by 1861.
`These were the days of hard drinking and practical joking, and “Mischief Neet” was more than duly observed by farm hands and pit-lads here. They would take a new plough and place it in a tree. In the village they were heard to say “It’ll be them young uns aat o’ Yewden, my arn’t they strong”. The following evening November 1st was known as “Caking Night” when the poor folk virtually said to their richer neighbours, “Give us cakes that we may feast today and fast tomorrow, and pray for the repose of your souls of your forefathers and ours. One of the most enjoyable days held on nearby Midhope Moors that one old sportsman christened the “Duffers Day” where shooting took place. At the close of the day a substantial dinner was provided here at the Inn, at which tenants of Mr. Bosvilles estate joined the party. Afterwards in relating the events of the day- some of them often amusing- and with songs anecdotes etc, the evenings were cheerfully passed and often afterwards recalled to mind.
The Inn for many years was a farm of 5 acres. In April 2001, it opened as the “Ye Olde Mustard Pot” after a major refurbishment with much thought and consideration.
`We hope very much you enjoyed your visit and hope to see you soon… Cheers Dave