“Mention Barnsley to anyone and they will think of coal. It’s probably unlikely they will think of linen, bleaching, glass, canals or railways”
However, in the Parish of Ardsley, Barnsley, all of the above industries became a predominant feature of the landscape of this particular area.
Stairfoot had moved from a predominantly agricultural community to an industrial hub within a fifty years period in the 19th Century.
By the early 19th Century, the establishment of a Linen and Bleaching industry took place prior to the exploitation of major coal reserves at ‘The Oaks Colliery’ and the ‘New Oaks Colliery’.
Alongside the growth of Coal Mining, the Glass Industry developed as a major contributor to employment in the area. To facilitate these changes, key transport links had to rapidly improve.
Firstly in the late 18th Century a network of canals were built to support the growth of industry. As the pace of economic activity greatly increased, the Canals were then superseded in the mid19th century by the arrival of the Railways. This allowed improved transport links to connect Barnsley to the major conurbations predominately in the North of England, but also to the Yorkshire ports of Hull and Goole for onward passage to European markets. Additionally the Woodhead rail route was quickly added to provide access to the West Coast ports e.g. Liverpool, for wider export markets.
However, the demise of the Coal and Glass Industries in the late 20th Century left Stairfoot as an industrial desert…….
This industrial past now moving out of living memory and is in danger of being lost forever.
To assist in recognising and remembering Stairfoot’s proud Industrial past, Stairfoot Station Heritage Park Group has been formed to ensure that we preserve the memory of this important historic period for present and future generations.”
We are looking to add our knowledge of the History of the Stairfoot Basin over time and publish it on this website. If you feel that you can contribute any news or information that may be add to the information already obtained by our Group, and would like it to appear on this website, then please contact us and tell us what you would like to be included.