Coal Mines in Brierley

Then, a year later, in 1895, came the great change when Grimethorpe Colliery was opened. Many of the miners who came to live and work at Grimethorpe would come from the closing mines of Silkstone and Barnsley, and for a time would catch the train to Cudworth station and then have to walk from there to start their shift at Grimethorpe. Their walk would take them along part of what could be the old road from Monk Bretton Priory to Hall Steads which is marked by a series of paths and road between the two places though much of it has changed. From the Priory it now starts as a path up to Cundy Cross roundabout, then follows the line of the new Barnsley road past the bare hilltop of the old wood of Lund, then down Station Road to the railway station at Cudworth, up from there on to New Dale Avenue, through a stone gateway to Newton Avenue, then up Jenny Lane past the site of Cudworth Manor, down High Royd and on to the Pinfold from where it follows the winding path to Ferry- moor Farm. A new straight path now runs past the Dorothy Hyman Stadium to Ferry Moor. From there the path goes on to Grimethorpe past the site of the Manor Farm, on behind the church to Burnt Wood Road, Grimethorpe, from where it goes down to Hall Steads. When seen on a map this line of paths and roads follow a gentle right hand curve from the priory to Grimethorpe. From the hill top of Jenny Lane, Cudworth, the old road can be viewed for most of its length. There is a diversion at Ferry Moor caused by the building of railway sidings. The line of the old path there is marked by several large trees which are the remains of an avenue of trees that led to the farm.

The total effect of the changes that large-scale mining brought to the area, and a history of the mines themselves is beyond the scope of these notes. However, some statistics are available which help to form a picture of the village at that time.

The first effect of the opening of the m'nes or collieries was an immediate and massive increase in the population of the village as the chart shows. In 1881 the population of the combined village of Brierley with Grimethorpe had been 484 with most of these housed in Brierley. In 1901 the population was 1,684 with Grimethorpe now housing the increasing numbers. The growing population needed new housing estates, these were built in Grimethorpe in the uniform red brick of the period, on a scale large enough to eliminiate the old field pattern of the hamlet. In Brierley, however, which remained largely agricultural, the smaller housing estates still retain the form of the fields and crofts of old Brereley.

The Lord of Brierley Manor was now Francis John Savile- Foljarnbe, the son of the George Savile-Foijambe who had founded Brierley Church. The manuscripts of this lord of Brierley were collec- ted by the Historic Manuscripts Commission and published in 1897. Unfortunately this publication did not include the Brierley Manor Court Rolls. In 1904, Grimethorpe Church was built, the hamlet having become an ecclesiastical parish in 1901; and Ferry Moor Colliery was opened in 1917.

In 1910 the Hodroyd Coal Company planned a mine in Brierley to take coal from the Shafton seam. Two shafts were sunk to the seam at a depth of 224 yards; these were completed on the 23rd of April, 1912. A tramway was built to carry the coal to the washer at Ferry Moor. ThistramwayalsocarriedwastetothetipatPaterWood, The area mined covered 4,000 yards to the north east of the shafts and 1,100 yards to the south west where damp made further working impossible. Dampness was a problem throughout the workings as there was a water bearing rock above the coal seam.

The mine was bought by the Carlton Main Colliery Company of which Captain Addy was a leading figure. He bought Brierley Hall and extended it, having the north wing built in the same stone as the older Georgian style section.

The opening of the short-lived colliery resulted in the building of only two streets of terraced houses and the opening of the inevitable Co-op. The Co-op which has now closed was built on the sharp corner at the north-west end of Church Street, on a piece of land known as Coward Croft. With the arrival of new inhabitants, several districts of Brierley and Grimethorpe received new names; Hall Steads became The Willow Garth; Tom Bank became The Dell; the joint Woodlands of Great Houghton Common, West Haigh Wood, and Lady Wood, became Grimethorpe Wood; and the waste tips of The Hull and Barnsley railway line became known as The Cow Mounts.

Grimethorpe Manor House had been pulled down to make way for King Street; and Bridge Farm, standing near the village green, became known as Grimethorpe Manor Farm.

Brierley Church Institute was built in 191 1 and five years later because of the increase in population, due to the opening of the mine, it was necessary for the church school to be extended, a new part being built in front of the old.

Colonel Folijambe's Estate:

To be sold by auction by Messrs. Lancaster & Sons at the Royal Hotel, Barnsley, On Wednesday the 29th of October, 1919, at 3 p.m. precisely.

Lot 17---Brierley Manor Farm, with 171 acres of land rent 184, tenants The Carlton Main Colliery Co., with lands at Willow Garth, Spar Well and Tom Bank.

Lot 18---The woodlands of New Park Spring, 120 acres, and Lady wood, 46 acres.

Lot 16---Ringstone Hill Farm, with 132 acres of land rent 79-6-0, tenants The Carlton Main Colliery Co.

Lot 4 ---Fidling Farm, with 89 acres of land, tenant Mr.John Tinker.