Barnsley
Barnsley Town Hall (1).jpg
Barnsley Town Hall
Barnsley is located in South Yorkshire
Barnsley
Barnsley
Location within South Yorkshire
Population91,297 (2011)[1]
OS grid referenceSE3406
• London175 mi (281 km) SSE
Metropolitan borough
Metropolitan county
Region
CountryEngland
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townBARNSLEY
Postcode districtS70-S75
Dialling code01226
PoliceSouth Yorkshire
FireSouth Yorkshire
AmbulanceYorkshire
EU ParliamentYorkshire and the Humber
UK Parliament
List of places
UK
England
Yorkshire
53°33′13″N 1°28′45″W / 53.5537°N 1.4791°W / 53.5537; -1.4791Coordinates: 53°33′13″N 1°28′45″W / 53.5537°N 1.4791°W / 53.5537; -1.4791

Barnsley (/ˈbɑːrnzli/) is a town in South Yorkshire, England, located halfway between Leeds and Sheffield. Historically in the West Riding of Yorkshire, the town centre lies on the west bank of the Dearne Valley. Barnsley is surrounded by several smaller settlements which together form the Metropolitan Borough of Barnsley, of which Barnsley is the largest and its administrative centre. At the 2011 Census, Barnsley had a population of 91,297.[1]

Barnsley is a former industrial town centred on linen in its former years and coal mining, glassmaking and textiles.[2] The industries declined in the 20th century. Barnsley's culture is rooted in its industrial heritage and it has a tradition of brass bands, originally created as social clubs by its mining communities. It is also home of the Barnsley chop.

The town is accessed from junctions 36, 37 and 38 of the M1 motorway and has a railway station on the Hallam and Penistone Lines. Barnsley F.C. is the local football club, which has competed in the second tier of British football for most of its history. Barnsley F.C. also won the FA Cup in 1912.

The town of Barnsley also has a Women's Football Club which is in the fourth tier of Women's Football. Barnsley Women's Football Club was formed in 1982 and finished 4th in the FA Women's National League Division 1 North in the 2018/19 Season.

History

Cheapside, circa 1904

The first reference to Barnsley occurs in 1086 in the Domesday Book, in which it is called Berneslai and has a population of around 200.[citation needed] The origin of the name Barnsley is subject to debate, but Barnsley Council claims that its origins lie in the Saxon word "Berne", for barn or storehouse, and "Lay", for field.[citation needed]

The town was in the parish of Silkstone and developed little until in the 1150s when it was given to the Pontefract Priory. The monks built a town where three roads met: the Sheffield to Wakefield, Rotherham to Huddersfield and Cheshire to Doncaster routes. The Domesday village became known as Old Barnsley, and a town grew up on the new site.[3]

The monks erected a chapel of ease dedicated to Saint Mary, which survived until 1820[citation needed], and established a market. In 1249, a Royal charter was granted[4] to Barnsley permitting it to hold a weekly market on Wednesdays and annual four-day fair at Michaelmas. By the 1290s,[citation needed] three annual fairs were held. The town was the centre of the Staincross wapentake, but in the mid-16th century had only 600 inhabitants.[3]

From the 17th century, Barnsley developed into a stop-off point on the route between Leeds, Wakefield, Sheffield and London. The traffic generated as a result of its location fuelled trade, with hostelries and related services prospering. A principal centre for linen weaving during the 18th and 19th century, Barnsley grew into an important manufacturing town.

The first passenger station to serve Barnsley was opened by the North Midland Railway in 1840. Barnsley station (latter called Cudworth railway station) was located some 2½ miles away at Cudworth. On 1 January 1850 the Manchester and Leeds Railway opened Barnsley Exchange station, close to the town centre. On 1 May 1870 the Midland Railway opened Regent Street station, a temporary structure. A new station was opened by the MR on the Regent Street site on 23 August 1873. As it incorporated the old court house in its construction Regent Street station was renamed Barnsley Court House station.

Barnsley became a municipal borough in 1869, and a county borough in 1913. The town's boundaries were extended to absorb Ardsley and Monk Bretton in 1921 and Carlton in 1938.[5]

St Mary's Church (Church of England)

Barnsley was the site of a stampede that resulted in the deaths of 16 children in 1908, at a public hall now known as The Civic, when children were rushing to watch a film in the building.

Barnsley has a long tradition of glass-making,[2] however Barnsley is most famous for its coal mines. In 1960, there were 70 collieries within a 15-mile radius of Barnsley town centre, but the last of these closed in 1994.[6] The National Union of Mineworkers still has its HQ in Barnsley.[7]

George Orwell mentioned the town in The Road to Wigan Pier. He arrived in the town on 11 March 1936 and spent a number of days in the town living in the houses of the working class miners while researching for the book. He wrote very critically of the council's expenditure on the construction of Barnsley Town Hall and claimed that the money should have been spent on improving the housing and living conditions of the local miners.

Governance

Barnsley Town Hall on a fine day. The Town Hall itself is visible behind some gardens; the building is made of white stone and has an impressive clock tower
Opened on 14 December 1933, Barnsley Town Hall is the seat of local government in the Metropolitan Borough of Barnsley.

Barnsley was created a county borough in 1913, administered independently of the West Riding of Yorkshire. In 1974, following the Local Government Act 1972, the county borough was abolished and Barnsley became part of the Metropolitan Borough of Barnsley in the new county of South Yorkshire, along with nine urban districts and parts of two rural districts of the surrounding area, including many towns and villages including Penistone and Cudworth.

Elections to Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council have seen the Labour Party retain control of the council at every election. Following the latest election in 2012 the council has 53 Labour, 5 Barnsley Independent Group and 5 Conservative councillors.[8] The borough council elects the mayor every year. On the day of the election, a parade takes place in front of the town hall in honour of the new mayor.

Barnsley is split into four constituencies, Barnsley Central, whose MP is Dan Jarvis of the Labour party, Barnsley East, whose MP is Stephanie Peacock of the Labour party, Penistone and Stocksbridge, whose MP is Angela Smith of The Independent Group, and Wentworth and Dearne, whose MP is John Healey of the Labour Party.

Geography

Divisions and suburbs

Ardsley, Athersley, Barugh Green, Darton, Carlton, Cudworth, Cundy Cross, Darfield, Dodworth, Elsecar, Gawber, Higham, Honeywell, Hoyland, Kendray, Kexbrough, Kingstone, Lundwood, Mapplewell, Monk Bretton, New Lodge, Oakwell, Old Town, Pogmoor, Royston, Shafton, Smithies, Staincross, Stairfoot, Wilthorpe, Woolley Colliery, Worsbrough (includes Worsbrough Bridge, Worsbrough Common, Worsbrough Dale, Worsbrough Village, and Ward Green), Wombwell.

Green belt

Barnsley is within a green belt region that extends into the borough and wider surrounding counties. It is in place to reduce urban sprawl, prevent the towns in the Barnsley/Dearne Valley conurbation from further convergence, protect the identity of outlying communities, encourage brownfield reuse, and preserve nearby countryside. This is achieved by restricting inappropriate development within the designated areas, and imposing stricter conditions on permitted building.[9]

The green belt surrounds the Barnsley built-up area, separating towns and villages throughout the borough. Larger outlying communities such as Cudworth, Dodworth, Kendray, Monk Bretton, and Worsbrough are also exempt from the green belt area. However, nearby smaller villages, hamlets and rural areas such as Swaithe, Smithley, Low Laithes, and Upper Norcroft are 'washed over' by the designation. Much semi-rural land on the fringes is also included. The green belt was first defined in 1979,[9] and the area in 2017 amounted to some 23,050 hectares (230.5 km2; 89.0 sq mi),[10] 77% of the borough.[9]

A subsidiary aim of the green belt is to encourage recreation and leisure interests,[9] with rural landscape features, greenfield areas and facilities including the River Dearne valley, and tributaries Cawthorne Dyke and Tanyard Beck; Hugset and Dovecliffe Woods; Worsbrough Mill Park and reservoir; Dearne Valley Park; Trans Pennine Trail; Kendray recreation ground; Locke Park; Stainborough Cricket Club and Park; Wentworth Castle and gardens; Barnsley Colliery; Monk Bretton Priory; Laithes Lane playing fields; and Barnsley Golf Club. Beyond Penistone, the green belt also borders the Peak District National Park.

Demography

The 2011 census recorded that the population of the town was 91,297.[11]

Ethnicity

According to the 2011 census Barnsley was:[11]

  • 94.7% White British
  • 1.1% Asian
  • 0.8% Black

Economy

The winding tower of the former Barnsley Main Colliery seen in 2006.

The town was known for a thriving linen trade prior to the arrival of the coal industry. From the 1850s onwards, a large number of coal pits were opened, mostly in the villages surrounding the town, especially those to the east. Coal mining was the major industry of the town until the late 1950s, when a long-term decline set in. All the mines in the borough are now closed, the last to shut being Goldthorpe Colliery in 1994.[12] Wire, linen and glass making were also major industries, but only glass making remains, with one company still operating. The coat of arms for the town has both a coal miner and a glass-blower supporting a shield and depicting local families and other industries, above a ribbon bearing the town's motto, Spectemur agendo ("Let us be judged by our acts").

Major companies in Barnsley include online retailer ASOS, the largest cake bakery in Europe, Premier Foods (formerly Lyons Bakery) who make the Mr Kipling Cake brand, Ardagh Glass (glass bottle makers), Symphony Kitchens, Premdor, several double glazing joinery manufacturers and a number of other large food manufacturers. Most of these businesses are based on industrial parks outside the town centre including many on reclaimed former coal mine sites. The town centre is now moving towards a service economy.[citation needed]

In July 2007, unemployment stood at 2.8% in Barnsley West & Penistone, 4.2% in Barnsley Central and 4.0% in Barnsley East & Mexborough, compared to the national average of 3.1%. Between 1997 and 2007, unemployment fell by 55.2%, 52.5% and 52.5% in the three areas respectively.[13]

The western half of the borough stretches from the M1 to the edge of the Peak District and is rural in character. This western part includes the market town of Penistone and Wentworth Castle and its Grade I listed gardens,[14] Cannon Hall Park and Museum,[15] Cawthorne Jubilee Museum,[16] Wortley Hall and gardens,[17] and Wortley Top Forge (16th century Forge).[18] Pot House Hamlet

In 2002, Barnsley Council and partners launched a consultation, "Rethinking Barnsley". It led to a regeneration programme centred on the town centre which is still underway.[19] Developments included the transport interchange, a cultural centre in the old Civic Hall, a Digital Media Centre[20] (opened August 2007), and new offices and apartments throughout the town centre. At the same time new housing areas were developed. Business parks on the M1 at Junctions 37[21] and 36, and in the Dearne Valley,[22] have expanded job opportunities. Unemployment is now below the national average. The economic development of Barnsley is led by the Barnsley Development Agency.[23]

Significant industrial employers include the Ardagh Group and ASOS.com.

Town centre

A large part of Barnsley town centre was constructed during the 1960s. The area around Cheapside and May Day Green, the Metropolitan Centre, is home to the market and many national high street chains such as Marks & Spencer, Carphone Warehouse, Vodafone, Boots, and The Body Shop. It is in the process of renovation to make space for a new retail and leisure development. Alhambra Shopping Centre, which was opened in 1991, houses retailers such as Next, Poundstretcher,and Primark. Other prominent areas include Queen Street, home to Marks and Spencer, Market Street, Eldon Street and the Victorian Arcade, which houses the majority of the independent and designer retailers in Barnsley. The town also has a large concentration of pubs and bars in the central district. There is also a twin auditorium cinema called Parkway Cinema Barnsley occupying what once was the Odeon Cinema on Eldon Street.

Outside the town centre are large retail units, retail parks and supermarkets, which include Asda, Morrisons, Currys, and Halfords.

The development of a new shopping centre was started in the town centre in late 2015.[24]

Development

Market Street.

Barnsley town centre is undergoing a period of change. Projects include: