After the lane bends round to the left look for a stone stile on the right and stop beside it. Essentially coal is an accumulation of soil and decayed vegetation that was slowly buried and compressed then gradually solidified into rock under the forces of pressure and heat. When the garden centre era started, I branched out into all types of plants and built a garden centre.”, “In recent years we have made use of all the historic buildings on the site while developing modern businesses – a café, women’s wear and the garden centre. 2 large activity rooms, kitchen and toilets. The coal needed to be taken up to the top of Silkstone Common, over the ridge, down the other side to Silkstone, then along the valley bottom to Barnby canal basin. In addition, all properties had an allotment on a nearby plot of land to grow their own produce (still operational today). There was a double rail so that full waggons could descend as empty ones went back to the top. Along the way we will explore sites of early mining operations, learning about the ways in which pits and shafts were dug, and envisaging the maze of underground tunnels. In 1792 the canal engineer William Jessop suggested a 14½ mile route from the Aire and Calder Navigation near Wakefield through Barnsley to Barnby. In 1821 the population of Silkstone was just 807. We estimate thatit’s in the top 11 in the country in terms of the amount of original features still surviving. In addition the local area was known for the production of wool, linen weaving, brick-making and nail-making, all of which demonstrate the use of local natural resources for industrial production. Beneath this grand memorial on the edge of the churchyard lie the remains of the children that died in the accident. News of the disaster – particularly the fact that the dead were all children – reached the press and a young Queen Victoria who ordered a public inquiry. Most family members – men, women and children – were being employed in the mines and associated industries. The waggonway followed the stream in the valley bottom. And there was no machinery in those days – everything was done by hand.”, “I don’t remember the Huskar disaster because it was too long ago but I’ve read about it and I know the place where it happened.”, “Thinking about it now it must have been terrifying – and for the parents as well. Once the miners reached the coal seam – the largest was three metres thick – they tunnelled or ‘drifted’ along it, removing the coal as they went using picks and shovels, until they joined up with the next day-hole. The main line of the waggonway then ran from the junction of these two branches up a steady incline to the top of Silkstone Common. Here at the top of the hill was a tunnel, known as Black Horse Tunnel. After eight hours of working, and against the advice of the older miners, around 40 children decided to make their way out. I can remember him taking the chickens in his special boxes - printed with ‘Henry Wallace Horsfield, Poultry Breeder’ - to the railway station and shipping them all over the country.”, “Having seen a lifetime of chicken breeding I wanted nothing to do with it! However, due to the lie of the land, it ‘outcrops’ at the western edge of the coalfield; in other words the seam comes very close to the surface and therefore is relatively easy to access. See Agendas page under Your Council for details of items to be discussed. The ‘Royal Commission of Inquiry into Children’s Employment’ was carried out in 1840. The Clarke family was the first to engage in industrial-scale coal mining. Had this railway line been here when Moorend Colliery was first operational half a century earlier then life would have been much simpler. Having taken their load of coal to the basin, the waggons did not return empty – other goods were brought in by canal barge and taken back to Silkstone and the villages beyond to supplythe mines and associated industries. But the industrial past has not been forgotten. Having lain undisturbed underground for millions of years mining suddenly exposes the rock to air and water, triggering the process of ‘oxidation’. In 1792 Jonas Clarke, a solicitor by trade, had bought Noblethorpe Hall farm in Silkstone. However, if conditions change and oxygen reaches the pyrite – for example if the meadow is drained – a chemical reaction occurs and the sulphur and iron separate. At the memorial sculpture we found out the first part of the story of the Huskar mining disaster. At 11pm the inquest recorded a verdict of accidental death by drowning. For a full timetable please go to the website. The coal industry was flourishing; it was a ‘black gold rush’. This gives you a better feel for the undulating landscape of this area which posed such a challenge to the transportation of coal. It powered a winch that hauled the waggons of coal up on a pulley system of ropes. The waggonway was at the heart of Silkstone’s success. The single rail track went in a straight line up the hillside – slightly diagonally in comparison to today’s Moorend Lane – crossing the land where South Yorkshire Buildings now stand and upwards through what is now Orchard Wood. That makes it rather special.”, “Unfortunately the waggonway isn’t protected in any way. Locals still call this ‘Sparrow Barracks’. The Potting Shed Cafe is highly recommended for refreshments, lunches and ice creams. So he was a poultry breeder for many years. Clarke’s coal was now connected to the rest of the country through the growing canal network – there are records that it was exported to London. In the 1960s the properties were under threat from demolition again, this time by Barnsley Council which was trying to modernise the village, but a spirited campaign by locals saved the buildings. Continue along Silkstone Lane until you reach a major junction opposite the church. In about 1831 he laid a private branch of the waggonway into the Dove Valley to the south where heopened two new pits at Moorend and House Carr (Huskar). Look into Silkstone Beck, the small stream beside the waggonway. You may wish to stop now or come back at the end of the walk which finishes a short distance away. At this point, the waggons would have been nearing the final part of their steam-powered journey up the hill. This outcrop runs in a south-southeasterly direction from Cawthorne through Silkstone and Chapeltown to Dropping Well. Welcome to Huskar Community Rooms; a fabulous new purpose built community centre in Silkstone. Over 300ft underground, around 50 children and 33 coal getters were cutting and moving coal, eager to make up time and money following four days unpaid holiday for Queen Victoria’s coronation celebration. It certainly engenders some admiration for the ingenuity of the system installed to haul the coal up hill and down dale with such basic technology. With your back to the station, turn right along Cone Lane. The route to Silkstone opened in 1809 and Barnby basin was enlarged to cope with the expected trade. This self-contained complex used to have two general stores, one of which was cottage Number 8 on the corner, as well as being served by a travelling butcher. : 208791. We have had damage caused by contractors who - without knowing their significance - have dug up and removed some of the stone blocks and levelled some of the earthworks. A steam engine was located at Black Horse Farm at the top and known as Black Horse Engine. Jim Ritche from the Roggins Local History Group here in Silkstone has been involved in creating this replica waggon that sits proudly at Silkstone Cross. Follow the path with a cricket ground on the right. It is home to a variety of clubs and activities, from dance classes, scouting and girl guiding clubs, to sports and activities such as yoga, Pilates, judo and a craft club. As we continue up the path, we will pass through a tunnel of saplings which were planted in commemoration by 26 local school children of the same age as those who died. For all bookings please contact the Bookings Manager Paul Denton on, To visit the Huskar Rooms website please follow the link  below, The tunnel still lies beneath the hill but is now blocked off. Discovering Britain is delivered by the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG). Cross another stile and shortly afterwards look on the right side for a horse ménage. From the lane, go over the stile and follow the path across the field in front of the row of houses. Pot House Hamlet is an excellent example of how a former industrial site can be transformed. The Commission’s report on mining estimated that around 5,000 children (some as young as three) were forced to work in some capacity in mining activities. This walk was created by Granville Daniel Clarke, a celebrity artist, poet, songwriter and musician, who has lived in the area for nearly 40 years. Huskar mining disaster memorial sculpture in Nabs Wood. Do turn in by the first cottage (Number 8) to have a closer look. However, this walk takes us back to the early 1800s when coal extraction was in its infancy, when more primitive techniques of mining and transportation were used, and the industry had less visual impact on the landscape. This next part of the waggonway acted as an artery. There is a large inscription on the wall to the left of the main door. This is a source of worry.”, “We are trying to develop a conservation management plan for the local authority not only because it’s an important heritage feature but because it’s an economic asset - people come here from far and wide to look at the waggonway - both experts studying it in detail and people just enjoying a day out.”. This was even before the tramway was extended to Moorend Colliery in 1830. We are available for private hire, as well as offering a variety of clubs and activities. Jim: “This is a full size replica of a Silkstone coal waggon.