Elsecar Heritage Centre

Elsecar Heritage Centre is a living history centre in Elsecar, Barnsley, England.

Elsecar Heritage Centre
Elsecar Heritage Centre
LocationElsecar, Barnsley, England
TypeHeritage centre
WebsiteElsecar Heritage Centre

Heritage Centre

The buildings were originally used for various industries including ironworks and forges, a distillery, and engineering workshops. These fell into decline when the coal mines in the village closed.[1][2]

It has its own Elsecar goods station (called Rockingham Station) on the Elsecar Steam Railway, with a running shed behind the main centre. During some special events, trips are run to Hemingfield Basin. There are plans to extend the line to Cortonwood and build two stations (one at Cortonwood and the other at Hemingfield). The railway's depot is home to a selection of steam locomotives as well as a diesel locomotive.[3]

It comprises shops, businesses, galleries, art and craft studios and an exhibition hall. It runs craft workshops, special events, and a monthly antiques fair.

Elsecar Heritage Centre hosts the 16mm Garden Railway Show every year which is organised by the Yorkshire Group of 16mm Narrow Gauge Modellers Ltd.

In March 2017 it was announced that the Great Place Scheme a partnership between Arts Council England, the Heritage Lottery Fund and Historic England was to jointly fund Wentworth Woodhouse and Elsecar Heritage Centre with a £1,264,000 grant.[4][5][6]

Elsecar Engine

The centre is also the site of the only Newcomen beam engine in the world still in its original location. The Newcomen Engine was built at the instruction of William Wentworth, the 4th Earl Fitzwilliam.[7] It was used to pump water out of Elsecar New Colliery and ran from 1795 until 1923 when it was replaced by electric pumps. The date over the door of the Engine House is 1787, but there is some dispute that the engine was not actually installed until 1795.[1] In 1836 the Graham brothers, a local partnership cast a new beam and two parallel motions for the Newcomen engine.[7] It also ran briefly in 1928 when the electric pumps were overwhelmed by flooding. At its peak it could draw 600 gallons a minute. In 1972 the engine was classified as a scheduled ancient monument. The engine was restored to working order (worked by hydraulics) over the period 201214.[8][9][10]


  1. Jepson, Ledgard. "Elsecar - Official website". www.elsecar-heritage.com. Retrieved 20 March 2017.
  2. Jepson, Ledgard. "Barnsley Museums - Official website - Elsecar". www.barnsley-museums.com. Retrieved 20 March 2017.
  3. "Home". www.elsecarrailway.co.uk. Retrieved 20 March 2017.
  4. "More Information about the Great Place Scheme | Great Place Scheme". www.greatplacescheme.org.uk. Retrieved 20 March 2017.
  5. Ellis, Joanne. "South Yorkshire villages of Elsecar and Wentworth to receive funding of £1.2 million". www.rotherham.gov.uk. Retrieved 20 March 2017.
  6. "BBC - South Yorkshire Culture - Elsecar Heritage Centre". BBC News. Retrieved 20 March 2017.
  7. "Elsecar Appraisal" (PDF). Barnsley Council. Retrieved 20 March 2017.
  8. McEwen, Alan (January 2015). "Elsecar's Newcomen engine restored". Old Glory (299): 6–7.
  9. Historic England. "ELSECAR COLLIERY PUMPING ENGINE (314723)". PastScape. Retrieved 20 March 2017.
  10. "Elsecar's 'outstanding' relic for restoration". BBC News. 20 June 2012. Retrieved 20 March 2017.

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