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West Riding
Silkstone Church.jpg
Church of All Saints, Silkstone
Grid reference: SE289058
Location: 53°32’56"N, 1°33’48"W
Population: 3,153  (2011)
Post town: Barnsley
Postcode: S75
Dialling code: 01226
Local Government
Council: Barnsley
Penistone and Stocksbridge

Silkstone is a village in the West Riding of Yorkshire, in the foothills of the Pennines, between the towns of Barnsley and Penistone. The parish includes the village of Silkstone Common. At the 2011 census it had a population of 3,153.

Parish church

The Church of All Saints was constructed in the 12th century (with alterations/renovations in the 15th and 19th centuries), it is a Grade I listed building.[1] It is locally known as the minster of the moors.


The name Silkstone is Old English in origin and is thought to derive from the Anglo-Saxon man's name Sylc and the suffix tun meaning a farmstead, giving "Sylc's farmstead".[2] The earliest known written record of Silkstone is the Domesday Book of 1086, when Silkstone is referred to as a part of the manor of Cawthorne:

In Calthorne (Cawthorne) Ailric had three carucates of land to be taxed and there may be two ploughs there. The same now has it of Ilbert; himself two ploughs there, and four villanes with two ploughs. There is a vicor and a church, wood pasture two miles long and two broad; the whole manor three miles long and two broad. Value in King Edward's time forty shillings, now twenty shillings. To this manor belongs Silchestone, one carucate and a half.

The church mentioned may be a predecessor of the current Church of All Saints, the parish church in Silkstone.[3]

The Silkstone coal seam is at its shallowest in the Silkstone area, and mining was an important local industry. In 1809 the Silkstone Waggonway was built through the village by the Barnsley Canal Navigation Company.[4] The waggonway was used to transport coal from collieries in the Silkstone valley to Cawthorne. A memorial commemorating the waggonway stands in the village.[5]


The village has sporting facilities, in the shape of the Pavilion. It is host to both a football and cricket team, with both sports being played at junior and senior levels. Silkstone is frequented by ramblers as many walking routes start from the village.

About the village

The Grade II listed Noblethorpe Hall near the village was built in the early 19th century for the Clarke family (local colliery owners).[6] During the Second World War it was used as an army camp.

Pot House Hamlet is located below Silkstone Church and was the site of an 18th-century pottery and 17th century glassworks. English Heritage have deemed this an underground national ancient monument.[7] Pot House Hamlet today houses many independent retail outlets.

One of the village's famous sons was John Charles Brooke, Esq, FSA (1748–1794) who became Somerset Herald in 1777. He was crushed to death in a crowd at the Haymarket Theatre in London on 3 February 1794.

The Silkstone Wagonway Memorial

The Wagonway runs through Silkstone to the neighbouring village Cawthorne, and was used as a route for the transportation of coal from the nearby mines. The sleeper stones were originally laid in the early 19th century when coal mining was booming, and the wagonway was used until the 20th century.

The stones can still be seen from the Ring O Bells pub to Pot House Hamlet. Today, the Wagonway is a scenic route ideal for country walks, with story boards, and is preserved as a historic route as part of the village's history.

Silkstone Common

Main article: Silkstone Common

Silkstone Common has Junior and Infants Schools, a railway station, a single local shop and the Station Inn.

One of the most notable events in the history of the village was the Huskar Pit Disaster, which occurred on 4 July 1838 when a freak storm flooded part of the mine, killing 26 children, the youngest was 7 years, the oldest 17. A historical account of this event has been documented in the book entitled Children of the Dark.

Notable buildings include Knabbe's Hall which was built in the late 17th century for William and Elizabeth Wood of Wortley Forge.[8]

Silkstone Common house prices are high due to the local amenities and close proximity to Penistone Grammar School.

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Silkstone)


  1. National Heritage List 1151740: Church of All Saints (Grade I listing)
  2. Goodall, Armitage C. (1913). "Silkstone". Place-Names of South-West Yorkshire; that is, of so much of the West Riding as lies south of the Aire from Keighley onwards. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 256. 
  3. Joseph Hunter (antiquarian) (1831). The history and topography of the deanery of Doncaster, in the diocese and county of York. Volume II. London: J.B. Nichols and Son. 
  4. "Silkstone Waggonway Trail". Silkstone Parish. Retrieved 30 December 2006. 
  5. "Silkstone Waggonway Memorial". PMSA National Recording Project. Public Art Research Archive, Sheffield Hallam University. Retrieved 8 April 2007. 
  6. National Heritage List 1286255: Noblethorpe Hall (Grade II listing)
  7. National Heritage List 35494: Pot House Hamlet (Scheduled ancient monument entry)
  8. National Heritage List 1314749: Knabbe's Hall (Grade II* listing)