Silkstone celebrates end of five year dream

Five year project to restore a church’s treasures and create an exciting education hub now complete.

A five year project to restore some of the treasures in an ancient Barnsley church and create an exciting new education and heritage hub has finally been realised.

All Saints, Silkstone will throw open its doors to let visitors come and discover for themselves the history and heritage of this Grade 1 listed building with a special weekend event on 27 and 28 September with guided tours, illustrated local history talks and presentations by schoolchildren from the local primary school.

And at the heart of the celebration weekend will be the unveiling of the purpose-built community heritage space, the Bramah Gallery, to provide an education and resource area for local heritage research and offer volunteer led activities for adults and children alike.

The project was jointly run by local volunteers, Heritage Silkstone and the church and was supported with grants from the Heritage Lottery Fund and East Peak Innovation Partnership.

Their vision was to create the Bramah Gallery -  a new education and heritage hub for their 1,400 annual visitors and for future generations. They named it after local son, Joseph Bramah from Stainborough who broke new ground in engineering and design with his hydraulics. His fire engine was made for Wentworth Castle and can be found today in the Experience Barnsley Museum.

Did you know: Such was the quality of his work that, when people came across any man-made item of excellence, people used to say...It’s a Bramah!!’

The project also included much needed restoration work on the church’s 19th century leaded windows and the marble monument to Sir Thomas Wentworth of Bretton Hall which used to be in the Silkstone parish. The chapel inside the church is known as the Bretton Chapel and was once the private chapel of the Wentworths where many family members were buried.

Project manager, Donald Sisson, said: “The project started from small beginnings arising from local needs. We are extremely grateful to the hard work of all our volunteers and the financial support of our funders in helping us create this fantastic resource for the church and community.

“We have enjoyed the challenge and look to forward to people joining us for this special weekend and for time to come,” he added.

The opening weekend runs from 1.30pm – 6pm on Saturday 27 Sept when visitors can experience for themselves the new gallery with a full programme of heritage events. The Bramah Gallery and the restoration work will be dedicated by the Area Bishop of Wakefield, the Rt Revd Tony Robinson at 6.30pm on Sunday 28 Sept.

The project also has a Google tour of the church

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