SILKSTONE: Geographical and Historical information from the year 1829.
"SILKSTONE, a parish in the wapentake of Staincross."
"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, 39 from York, 37 from Manchester, and 14 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, iron works, &c. The streets of the town are for the most part narrow, but the houses are chiefly substantial, and built of stone, found in the neighbourhood in great abundance. The principal manufactures of this place consist of linens of various descriptions, to a very considerable extent, several thousand looms are said to be employed in the town and villages around it. Wire is also manufactured of a most superior quality, especially that used for making needles; there are also several large iron foundries, in which are made steam engines, grates, &c. The places of worship here are St. Mary's, or the Old church, St. George's, or the New church; two chapels each for the Wesleyan & independent Methodists, one for the primitive Methodists, and a friends meeting house; the incumbent of St. Mary's is the Rev. B. Mence, and the curate is the Rev. Robert Willan, the Rev. Matthew Mark is the minister of St. George's. 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 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. About three miles hence, on the road to Sheffield, is Wentworth castle, the elegant mansion of T.F.W.V. Wentworth, Esq. most delightfully situated, commanding an extensive view of the surrounding country, which is picturesque, tolerably fertile, and the ground agreeably broken, whilst a magnificent reservoir in the vicinity of the town, which supplies the canal, forms a prominent feature of relief to the general landscape. 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 was 5,014. In 1821 the number of inhabitants had increased to 8,284, and it is calculated that at the present period (1828) the number has augmented to nearly 12,000."
[Transcribed from Pigot's National Commericial Directory for 1828-29 ]
by Colin Hinson ©2007