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Help and advice for SILKSTONE: Geographical and Historical information from the year 1834.

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SILKSTONE: Geographical and Historical information from the year 1834.

"SILKSTONE, is a village and township, in the parish of its name, in the wapentake of Staincross, West Riding, rather more than four miles w. by s. from Barnsley. This parish is one of very considerable importance as a manufacturing district ; and includes amongst other populous townships, that of Barnsley, long celebrated in the linen trade ; and within the limits of the parish are extensive coal mines, and iron and brass foundries : the village itself, however, contains not any establishment of consequence. The places of worship are, the parish church, an ancient edifice, and two chapels for methodists. The living of Silkstone is a vicarage, in the patronage of the Archbishop of York, and incumbency of the Rev. Sir Robert Affleck, bart. Twelve poor children of the township are educated here, from the proceeds of certain property, assigned by the Rev. John Clark, for that purpose, in 1734. The entire parish of Silkstone contained, by the government returns made in 1831, 16,561 inhabitants, and the township 1,010 of that number."


"BARNSLEY, a populous and thriving market town and township, in the parish of Silkstone, and wapentake of Staincross, in the West Riding, is 177 miles from London, 19 s. from Leeds, 10 s. from Wakefield, 15 w. from Doncaster, 39 s. by w. from York, 37 e. from Manchester, and 14 n. from Sheffield ; situated on the side of a hill, having at its base the Barnsley canal and the river Dearne, and surrounded by coal pits. The streets are for the most part narrow, and the houses old ; but as the latter are gradually giving way to modern erections, the town is constantly improving in its appearance. The Duke of Leeds is lord of the manor, and holds annually a court baron, when a constable is appointed ; a court leet is also held within the honour of Pontefract, every third Saturday, in which debts can be sued for under five pounds ; and the magistrates sit every Wednesday. A town hall is now being erected, near the church of St. Mary. Barnsley is one of the stations, named in the new Boundary Act, for receiving votes at the election of members to represent the West Riding of the county. The principal manufactures of this place consist of linens of various descriptions, to a very great extent, several thousand looms being employed in the town & villages around it. Steel wire, for needles, &c., is also manufactured ; there are three iron foundries, in one of which are made steam engines, &c.; also several extensive bleaching and dye works, and a considerable soapery. The places of worship in Barnsley, under the establishment, are, St. Mary's chapel, and a church, dedicated to St. George ; the latter erected in 1823, by grant from the parliamentary commissioners : the livings of both are perpetual curacies, St. Mary's is in the patronage of the Archbishop of York, and St. George's in the gift of the curate of St. Mary's. There are five other chapels for different sects of dissenters, and one for Roman catholics. A free grammar school, founded in 1665, is amongst the principal charitable institutions ; there are also church Sunday schools and a national school, all most liberally supported.

The country around Barnsley is hilly and picturesque. About three miles hence, on the road to Sheffield, is Wentworth Castle, the elegant mansion of T.F.W.V. Wentworth, Esq. finely situated, and commanding an extensive view of the surrounding country. The market days are Wednesday and Saturday ; the fairs are the last Wednesday in February, May 13th and October 11th. By the parliamentary returns for 1811 the population of Barnsley township was 5,014 ; in 1821 the number had increased to 8,284, & in 1831, to 10,330."


"BRETTON, is a chapelry, in the parishes of Silkstone and Sandal Magna, about 6 miles s.w. from Wakefield ; containing in 1831, 588 inhabitants.
Please see Kirkburton Parish for the 1834 trades directory for this chapelry.(under Kirkburton)"


"CUMBERWORTH, a chapelry, in the parish of Silkstone, and Half-Cumberworth, a township, in the parish of Kirkburton, are locally connected with each other, and situate 5.5 miles n.w. from Penistone. The chapel here is an ancient building ; the living is in the gift of T.W.Beaumont, Esq. of Bretton Hall : the present incumbent is the Rev. William Railton. One of those valuable institutions, a national school, is in Cumberworth. The chapelry contained, by the returns made in 1831, 1,374 inhabitants, and the township, 1,180, total 2,554.
Please see Kirkburton Parish for the 1834 trades directory for this chapelry.(under Kirkburton)"


"SKELMANTHORPE, is a populous township and village, in the parishes of High Hoyland and Silkstone; This also is a place dependent upon its manufactures, which comprise woollen cloth and fancy goods. The only place of worship is a chapel, belonging to the Wesleyan methodists. Population returned with Cumberworth, in Silkstone parish.
Please see Kirkburton Parish for the 1834 trades directory for this township.(under Kirkburton)"

[Transcribed by Steve Garton ©2000 from
Pigot's directory (Yorkshire section) 1834]