Etching of the Chapel of Ease
The Norman Chapel of St. Mary Megdalene was built in the second half of the 12th Century as a Chapel of Ease for the Parish of Wath. It stood on the site of the present St. Margarets Church Hall and, at one time, had the towns cross nearby and a set of stocks. Interestingly, Chapel Hill was the site of the towns first pub.
The Chapel may have been the work of the famous Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, who had lands and buildings in Swinton. Sadly, the Chapel was demolished in 1816.
Close by was the Old Hall, believed to be the residence of King Johns principal butler. King John (1199-1216) would have been a house guest when he journeyed in this part of this realm.
The Parish Church of St. Margaret was consecrated on June 15, 1817, the patron being the then Earl Fitzwilliam who gave the land. It wasnt until 1851 that Swinton became a separate parish, independent of Wath and Mexborough.
Saint Margaret’s Parish church ,the later extensions can be easily seen.
On March 24th, 1897, a catastrophic fire burnt down the original church, with only the tower surviving. The present larger church was built on to the old tower and was consecrated on October 28th, 1899.
The clock in the church tower was installed in 1937 to celebrate the Coronation of King George VI.
The rapid industrialisation of the Victorian period lead to extensive housing development and other building in the Swinton Bridge area of the town. To serve this community, St. Michael’s Church was constructed on Whitelea Road as a chapel ease to the main Church. St. Michael’s opened on August 15th, 1901. It is now demolished and no trace of the building remains on the site.
Swinton’s population in 1800 was 653, which by 1901 has exploded to 12,217.
This rapid increase in population corresponded with the building of other churches and chapels. St. Johns Methodist Church was rebuilt in 1910 replacing an original Wesleyan Chapel dating from 1865. A Congregational Church was opened on Station Street in 1902.
A Wesleyan Reform Chapel, The Ebenezer Church, was opened on Milton Street in 1873. This building was demolished in 2000 and modern flats have been built.
In 1869, a Methodist Chapel opened on Bridge Street, being demolished about a century later. Today, other places of Christian Worship occupying later buildings can be found with the Bethany Church, Rowms Lane; Bow Broom Chapel, Queen Street; Zion Gospel Church, Charles Street and the Piccadilly Methodist Church on Piccadilly Road.