Barnsley has been making history! Large parts of Barnsley Town Hall are fast being transformed to create Experience Barnsley, the first-ever Barnsley Museum and much more. It will be an amazing place to visit for all the family, time and time again. Discover a fascinating past: the good, difficult and incredible times which Barnsley has experienced over the centuries. Get close to priceless treasures. Uncover your own family's history, read 1000 year-old documents and explore a new film and sound archive too.
An Antique, History and Craft Centre offering something for everyone.Set in the attractive conservation village of Elsecar, Elsecar Heritage Centre is located within the former ironworks and colliery workshops of the Earl Fitzwilliam. Restored historical buildings now house an antique centre, individual craft workshops, and exhibitions of Elsecar's past. Elsecar Heritage Centre is also the ideal location to access the Trans Pennine Trail.
Cannon Hall is a country house museum set in 70 acres of historic parkland. For almost 300 years Cannon Hall was home to the Spencer, later Spencer-Stanhope family, who made their fortune in the local iron industry. In 1957 the hall opened as Cannon Hall Museum, and is home to a collection of art including ceramics, glass, furniture and Old Master paintings, displayed in the hall's Georgian and Victorian rooms. Highlights include Mrs Tuder by John Constable, Wheelback Chairs by George Hepplewhite and stunning ceramics by William de Morgan and Moorcroft.
Worsborough Country Park is a designated local nature reserve set in over 200 acres of delightful coutryside, boasting many activities including: fishing, walking and cycling. In the park you will also see the fully-operational 17thC watermill and 19thC engine mill and displays of auxiliary machinery. The watermill is worked daily and contains 3 pairs of stones driven by a 14'4' diameter, overshot wheel in cast iron.
Adam Fitz Swain's 12th-century priory of St. Mary Magdalene at Lundwood, Barnsley is also known as Monk Bretton Priory. It was a daughter house of St John's Priory for Cluniac monks, founded by Robert de Laci (de Lacy) near to his base at Pontefract Castle. Cluniacs at Monk Bretton controlled agriculture and natural resources on many sites between Wakefield and Rotherham. Their market charter was the cause of Barnsley's growth into a West Riding market town. King Edward I was troubled when monks came from La Charité-sur-Loire in France to fight for control of this wealth. After dissolution under Henry VIII, it was home to the Armyne and Talbot families, descendents of the Earl of Shrewsbury. Monk Bretton Priory is now owned by Barnsley MBC under English Heritage custody and promoted by the Diocese of Wakefield.
Wortley Top Forge is Britain's last surviving water powered heavy iron forge with a history dating back to the 17th century. Wortley Ironworks was originally on two sites, Low Forge, lower down the valley and now in a ruinous state; and Top Forge, now in the care of the South Yorkshire Industrial History Society and currently undergoing renovation. There are many things to see on the site as it's surrounded by trees in beautiful wooded countryside in a loop of the River Don, although the main attraction is the Forge building that contains the furnace, helve hammers, waterwheels and cranes. Other buildings on the site include the Blacksmith's Shop, where demonstrations are sometimes given and the Foundry building, where casting used to take place.
Victoria Jubilee Museum is a unique and exciting, small volunteer run museum can be found in the picturesque village of Cawthorne. The museum is a typical Victorian hotch potch, whichever way you turn there is something to catch the eye of both young and old. There are original collections of butterflies and moths, birds and eggs, fossils, stuffed animals, domestic bygones, war time relics, old school books and memorabilia, the list is endless. Why not visit this quaint village museum for an enlightening look into the past or a trip down memory lane.
The Cooper Gallery is home to the Cooper Trustee's collection of 17th to 20th Century paintings, watercolours and drawings by artists such as JMW Turner, Wadsworth and Atkinson Grimshaw. The Cooper Gallery hosts a regular programme of contemporary touring exhibitions including the Craft Showcase which features crafts and artwork for sale by regional and local artists.