1) Stones containing iron ore.
The charters of Byland Abbey contain evidence for the mining of iron ore on their lands in Denby and Bentley from the twelfth century but they are in Latin and make no reference to the English word 'ironstone'. Elsewhere, spellings of ‘orestone’ date from the early 1400s and ironstone is on record one hundred years later: 1522 yren stone to be deliveride in one wodd callid Freretaile, Worsbrough
1541 Iron Stone Delf, Dodworth. In a detailed lease of 1575, William Clayton of Rotherham granted to Matthew Wentworth of West Bretton his myne and dellff of ironstone in Emley Woodhouse, ‘with free passage to the mine’ and a stipulation that as tenant he should not ‘get in any year more than sixty-six dosands of ironstone’. The ore was for his smithies at West Bretton and if he exceeded the permitted amount he was to pay 13˝d a dosand. The mines were referred to in 1579 as stone delfes in a context that makes it clear they were ironstone delves. For the smithies to operate successfully the source of the ironstone needed to be nearby: 1584 if … there could be gotten iron stone within a mile or twoe … the woods and springs … might be orderley and well kept for to meynteine the same with coales, Windhill Smithies.