Anston is a large village in South Yorkshire, England, UK. It lies on the A57 Sheffield to Worksop road. Sheffield (the nearest city) is 12 miles away.
Anston is actually made up of two villages, North Anston and South Anston. These are separated and delineated by the River Ryton, North Anston being the larger of the two.
Anston was once a farming and quarrying community but is now populated mainly by commuters who work in larger places like Sheffield and Rotherham (Yorkshire) and Worksop (Nottinghamshire).
Those who have lived in Anston since birth are known as 'Anstonians'. One can become an honorary Anstonian after living in the village for 15 years.
Claims to Fame
Anston's little-known claim to fame is that stone from its quarry was used when the Houses of Parliament in London were rebuilt in the 1840s after a fire in 1834. 'Anstone' is now no longer quarried in the village.
It is also widely believed that John Wesley (a founder of the Methodist movement) preached in South Anston, in what has now become known as 'Paradise Square'.
Areas of interest
Anston has a large wood, called 'the Stones' or 'Anston Stones', where generations of Anstonians have played, walked and explored. In the Stones is 'Dead Man's Cave', where animal remains and Iron Age pottery have been found. As the name suggests, various spooky stories have been handed down from generation to generation about the cave. Many residents remember it well from their childhood, both for the adventure of locating it (tricky) and the fear of daring to enter. Running through the wood are both the River Ryton and the railway line.
There are four primary schools (three in North Anston and one in South) and four pubs (two in each). The parish church (Church of England) is in South Anston and both North and South have a Methodist chapel. There are two main parks and a small golf course, tennis courts and a bowling green.
North Anston has a village green surrounded by the older cottages. Upon this green there was once a gallows. A seven-year-old girl was allegedly once executed here for stealing sweets. Now there is no trace of the former purpose of this picturesque site.
Anston once had a train station and the railway line still passes through the village (now freight only). Anstonians and visitors hear wagons laden with imported coal passing through (the next village used to have a coal mine, which was closed in the 1980s).
World War Two
During the Second World War, Anston received evacuees from elsewhere in the country. However Sheffield, the nearest city, was heavily bombed. On one occasion a portion of the A57 leading from Anston to Sheffield (towards the current M1 motorway) was apparently brightly lit in an attempt to fool and divert enemy bombers away from Sheffield.
There is also a water supply called the 'Town Wells' where spring water appears (this was last officially used during WW2).
The village may not hold many instantly obvious attractions for those passing nearby, but it does have a sense of its own history, which is passed on from Anstonian to Anstonian over the years.
Readers may find this site useful. It contains photographs and maps of Anston plus information about the wider area.
A second site which may be of interest is that of the local conservation society, which includes photographs of Anston Stones wood. It contains photographs and maps of Anston plus information about the wider area.