Fascinating new catalogues now available at Barnsley Archives

Two new collections of archives are now available to see at Barnsley Archives, part of Barnsley Museums, based in the town's iconic Town Hall.

Collections of documents about Monckton Colliery and Monckton Coke and Chemical Company have been catalogued and can be seen for the very first time. 

The records held by Barnsley Archives cover the period when the colliery and chemical company were locally owned. Records end with the nationalisation of the coal industry in 1947, and the Coke and Chemical Company records end with its sale to ICI in 1964.

The colliery and company have a fascinating past named after the family which founded them, the Monckton-Arundell’s. A notable family who lived at Serlby Hall in north Nottinghamshire.

Monckton Colliery was opened in Royston in 1874, soon becoming a thriving and successful business they owned nine farms in the local area, numerous workers’ cottages in and around Royston, and was responsible for the construction of the first 189 houses of the Havercroft Estate in the 1920s.

The collection features unique documents like the country’s oldest phone contracts for the first two telephones at Monckton Colliery in 1888 and the Colliery shareholders’ records. They include several well-known people who invested in the company including Lord Halifax, the wartime Foreign Secretary and British Ambassador to Washington, Lord Brabazon of Tara, the aviation pioneer, and Clara Coltman Vyvyan, the travel writer.

Jon Finch, Head of Culture and Visitor Economy, said “Our archives are important assets for our town and hold many wonderful documents and collections. 

They are continually growing with more information being catalogued and made available showcasing the rich history of Barnsley. New stories, facts, and memories are being discovered every day, being preserved for generations to come.”

To find out more about Barnsley Archives visit https://www.experience-barnsley.com/our-archives