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Bolsterstone Glass and Glass Works

 

The photographs within this section show a collection of Bolsterstone Glass, which date from 1650 to 1758, they were purchased by the Society in December of 1999. The items were previously owned by the Hepworth family and are now displayed as part of the Society’s Archive in the Heritage Centre based within the Stocksbridge Town Hall.
Fred Hepworth's parents, owned and ran an antiques shop in Stocksbridge, his mother was known affectionately as "Antique Annie".
Later Fred and Mary took over the business and during that period they created a glass collection.
The collection grew and so did their knowledge until they soon became an authority in the area.
Fred was born in Stocksbridge and spent most of his working life in the local steelworks.
He was particularly interested in the history of early man. He discovered the Mesolithic (Middle Stone Age) site at Deepcar in 1948 and helped in its excavation and recording of the findings in 1962.
Fred and Mary are shown here with the commemorative stone and plaque which was placed on the site and unveiled in 1995.

 
 

Fred and Mary contributed immensely to the Society, particularly in the area of archaeological research. Mary was the Treasurer of the History Society for many years and was extremely knowledgeable about the area.
It is due to people such as Mary and Fred, who value their heritage and are prepared to contribute their efforts and time that a website such as this can exist.
 
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The name Bolsterstone Glass can initially appear confusing, as the Glass Works were located at Bate Green in Stocksbridge at where we now recognise as the junction of Whitwell Lane and Pot House Lane.
What we need to understand is that during the period when the Glass industry was developing locally is that Stocksbridge was a tiny “outpost” of the Bolsterstone Parish, both from an Ecclesiastical and a Civil perspective.
The origins and development of the Bolsterstone Glass House and the products which were manufactured there have been written about many times in the past.
Rather than attempt to describe this fascinating history yet again, we present these works by local historians, Joseph Kenworthy, Jacqueline Stafford and Brenda Duffield.
Joseph in his Handbook Number 6, which was published in 1914, describes the Bolsterstone Glass House and its place in the history of English glass making.
The article by Jacqueline which featured in a Fox Magazine of 1960 describes the Glass Industry that once flourished in this area.
Brenda Duffield wrote her own account of these Glass Works as can be seen in this publication.
 
As mention previously the items of glassware shown in the photographs are exhibited in the Heritage Centre based within the Stocksbridge Town Hall, alongside other archaeological artefacts and documentation of an historical nature.
 

Why not come along and take a look at them sometime?

 


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