SILKSTONE: Geographical and Historical information from the year 1835.
"SILKSTONE, a parish in the wapentake of STAINCROSS, West riding of the county of YORK, comprising the chapelries of Barnesley and Stainbrough, and part of those of West Bretton and Cumberworth, and the townships of Dodworth, Hoyland-Swaine, Silkstone, and Thurgoland, and containing 13,728 inhabitants, of which number, 807 are in the township of Silkstone, 4 miles S.W. from Barnesley. The living is a vicarage, in the archdeaconry and diocese of York, rated in the, king's books at £17. 13. 4., and in the patronage of the Archbishop of York. The church, dedicated to All Saints, is partly Norman, and partly of later date, with some elegant screen-work. There is a place of worship for Wesleyan Methodists. In this parish the various kinds of linen are manufactured; wire-drawing is also carried on, and there are extensive iron-foundries and collieries in the neighbourhood. The Rev. John Clarkson, in 1734, assigned his interest in the profits arising from certain messuages and lands, under lease for five hundred years, for the education of poor children of the township of Silkstone; the income is £28.15., and there are at present fifteen free scholars."
"BARNSLEY, a market-town and chapelry in the parish of SILKSTONE, wapentake of STAINCROSS, and in the liberty of PONTEFRACT (honour), West riding of the county of YORK, 14 miles N. from Sheffield, 38 S.W. from York, and 177 N.N.W. from London, containing 8284 inhabitants, according to the census of 1821, since which period the population has increased nearly one-third. This town, in Domesday book called Bernesleye, is pleasantly situated on the acclivity of a hill, in a beautiful and richly-cultivated country, and consists of several streets, the principal of which is spacious, and contains many handsome buildings: the houses in general are built of stone obtained in the immediate neighbourhood. The town is paved, lighted with gas, watched, and regulated by commissioners appointed under the provisions of an act passed in the 3rd of George IV., and amply supplied with water from springs: considerable improvement has recently been made in the entrances and public roads. A subscription library was established in 1808, and a Philosophical Society in 1828; the members of the latter hold their meetings in the grammar school-room. The manufacture of steel wire formerly prevailed to a, considerable extent, and constituted the staple trade till the close of the last century, when that of linen cloth was introduced, which is at present in a very flourishing state, and employs several thousand looms in the town and adjacent villages. The state of perfection which this branch of manufacture has attained enables the manufacturers to compete successfully with the Scotch and other markets. There are several extensive bleaching establishments, and two large calenders for finishing the cloths. The spinning of yarn is carried on to a limited extent; there are iron foundries; and the making of wire and brass is still continued on a smaller scale. Coal of excellent quality is obtained near the town; and the trade is greatly facilitated by communication with Wakefield and the West riding, by means of the Barnesley Canal Navigation and the river Calder, and with Hull and the Humber by the Dearne and Dove canal and the river Dunn. The market, on Wednesday, is free of toll for all kinds of grain; a smaller market for provisions has lately been established, which is held on Saturday. The fairs are on May 13th and October llth, for cattle and horses; and there is a great market for live stock on the last Wednesday in February. Constables and other officers are appointed annually at the court leet of the lord of the manor; and a court for the honour of Pontefract is held on the Saturday in every third week, for the recovery of debts under £5. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the archdeaconry and diocese of York, endowed with £15 per annum and £200 private benefaction, and £ 800 royal bounty, and in the patronage of the Archbishop of York. The chapel, dedicated to St. Mary, has, with the exception of the tower, been rebuilt of freestone, dug in the vicinity, under an act obtained in the 59th of George III. A church, dedicated to St. George, was erected in 1823, by grant from the parliamentary commissioners, at an expense of £5918. 11.4.; it is a neat plain edifice, in the English style of architecture, with a small tower: the living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of the Perpetual fCurate of Barnesley. There are places of worship for the Society of Friends, Independents, Primitive and Wesleyan Methodists, and Roman Catholics. The free grammar school was founded and endowed, in 1665, by Mr. Thomas Keresforth, of Pule Hill. A National school, for children of both sexes, was erected in 1813, by the trustees of Elliss' charity. Mr. Elliss, in 1711, bequeathed land, directing the produce thereof to be applied, amongst other things, in purchasing books for twenty boys and girls of Barnesley, in compensation to a curate for catechising them, and in apprenticing a few of them. This town has the advantage of a very considerable estate, vested in trustees by Rodolph Bosville, of London, in 1558, who apply the rents for the general benefit of the inhabitants. Edmund Rogers also, by will in 1646, left an estate at Thorpe-Audlin for the benefit of the poorer inhabitants, for whom there is a yearly dole, called Cutler's charity, arising from lands devised by Thomas Cutler, in 1622, and his wife Ellen, in 1636. About a mile from the town are the remains of the Cluniac priory of Monk Bretton, founded in the 3rd of Henry II., by Adam Fitz-Swain, the revenue of which, at the dissolution, was £323. 8. 2."
"DODWORTH, a township in the parish of SILKSTONE, wapentake of STAINCROSS, West riding of the county of YORK, 2 miles W.S.W. from Barnesley, containing 122% inhabitants. The manufacture of linen is here carried on to a limited extent."
"HOYLAND SWAINE, a township in the parish of SILKSTONE, wapentake of STAINCROSS, West riding of the county of YORK, 2 miles N.E. from Penistone, containing 738 inhabitants."
"STAINBROUGH, a chapelry in the parish of SILKSTONE, wapentake of STAINCROSS, West riding of the county of YORK, 8 miles S.W. from Barnesley, containing 194 inhabitants. Here is a school, founded by the family of Cutler, with a house for the master, and an endowment of £ 8 per annum, which, with an annuity of £2 from F. T. V. Wentworth, Esq., is applied for teaching fifteen children."
"THURGOLAND, a township in the parish of SILKSTONE, wapentake of STAINCROSS, West riding of the county of YORK, 3 miles E.S.E. from Penistone, containing 819 inhabitants, many of whom are employed in the manufacture of woollen cloth and wire. There is a place of worship for Wesleyan Methodists."
[Transcribed by Mel Lockie © from
Lewis's Topographical Dictionary of England 1835]