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The Rother Valley constituency covers the south and east of Rotherham down to the southern tip of South Yorkshire. The area is semi-rural and consists largely of former pit villages which continue much of the mining tradition.
The Rother Valley has many areas of natural beauty and is steeped in history. Situated in the north of the constituency are the ruins of Roche Abbey, a 12th Century Cistercian abbey dissolved by Henry VIII. The area was described as a 'pleasant district of Merry England' in Sir Walter Scott's classic Ivanhoe, which mentions 'the beautiful hills and valleys that lie between Sheffield and the pleasant town of Doncaster'.
Rother Valley has also played its part in the history of the Houses of Parliament as stone from the area was used to rebuild the Palace of Westminster. After the fire of 1834, stone was cut from a quarry in Anston, loaded on to narrow boats at Kiveton Park and carried along the Chesterfield Canal (in the south of the constituency) to the River Trent. It was then transferred to Humber sloops for the trip to Westminster.
The Rother Valley was heavily dependent on coal mining and steel-making, both industries decimated in the 1980s.
Many jobs in the constituency now are still in manufacturing, with food, engineering and metals technology predominant. Other employment is also based in the service industries, including transport, distribution and the public sector.