Group seeking to make former Barnsley colliery a Main attraction

A heritage group is encouraging people to visit Barnsley Main Colliery after making the site more accessible to visitors.

Over the past two years Barnsley Main Heritage Group has received funding from the Dearne Valley Landscape Partnership (DVLP) to help them develop as a group and fund activities and improvements on site.

Volunteers have dedicated hours to clearing the overgrowth at Barnsley Main to improve the visitor experience.

The site has a new entrance, public pathways, cycle racks and a central flower bed, with information boards about the Oaks Disaster due to be installed in the coming months.

The site is also now linked to the nearby Tank Row nature reserve, managed by the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust.

Barnsley Main is the site of the 1866 Oaks Colliery Disaster – the worst mining disaster in English history – and the Heritage Group, formed in late 2016, has 20 members.

One of them, Sarah Dewey, said: “Barnsley Main hasn’t been easily accessible for several years due to the area being overgrown, so we’ve been working hard with our partners to change that.

“We are all passionate about preserving the memory of Barnsley’s mining heritage and making sure the next generation doesn’t forget where we came from.”

Claire Farley, project officer at the DVLP, said: “We are delighted to be working with volunteers from Barnsley Main Heritage Group to make this grade two listed site a high-quality visitor attraction and fantastic community resource.

“Over the past two years it’s been great to see the passion of the volunteers and their enthusiasm for protecting the site and we hope the legacy of this project continues for years to come.”

Barnsley Main Heritage Group are looking for new members. The group hosts regular meetings, workdays and organises events throughout the year. To get in touch about volunteering  visit their website ( or Facebook page.

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