East Peak Innovation Partnership (EPIP)
12 St Mary's Street
Penistone, S36 6DT

Call: 01226 763 201

EPIP industrial heritage programme

Silkstone Waggonway Survey

Between September 2011 and March 2012 the Industrial Heritage Programme funded an archaeological survey of the Silkstone Waggonway - an early nineteenth century horse-drawn railway that carried coal and other minerals along the valley from Silkstone Common to the former Barnby Canal Basin at Cawthorne.


In-situ waggonway sleeper stones and a reconstructed waggon in Silkstone village (photographs by T Roberts)

The work was carried out by ArcHeritage working in collaboration with the Roggins Local History Group and members of Heritage Silkstone and has included numerous archive visits, measured survey and the use of Ground-Penetrating-Radar (GPR) to find and map buried sleeper stones along the route. The GPR survey was carried out by GSB Prospection Limited and proved suprisingly successful, giving some very clear evidence that more of the stones survive below the ground along some parts of route than are currently visible.

The survey also made a number of other exciting new discoveries about how the waggonway developed, and the many different industrial sites (including coal mines, kilns and furnaces) that it served all the way along the valley between Cawthorne and Silkstone Common. The project also included an archaeological survey training day and follow-up on-site training sessions for local volunteers and opportunities for volunteers to take part in all stages of the work.


GPR survey with Jimmy and the Noggin Smartcart from GSB and volunteers from the Roggins Local History Group (photographs by T Roberts)

This research has been brought together in a report, and the results (including some exciting new discoveries) were presented at a free public event at the Pot House Hamlet in Silkstone on May 2nd (2012). A full paper copy of the report is will shortly be available to read at the new Bramah Gallery in Silkstone. For more information please contact our Industrial Heritage support officer.

For more information about the Silkstone Waggonway please visit the Roggins Local History Group website.

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