The Dearne Valley is an area of South Yorkshire, England, along the River Dearne. It encompasses the towns of Wombwell, Wath-upon-Dearne, Swinton, Conisbrough and Mexborough, the large villages of Ardsley, Bolton on Dearne, Goldthorpe, Thurnscoe, Darfield, Stairfoot and Brampton Bierlow, and many other smaller villages and hamlets.
In 1995 the area became a regeneration area, as it had suffered much from the sudden decline of the deep coal mining industry in the 1980s. In the 2011 census the ONS-identified Barnsley/Dearne Valley built-up area had a population of 223,281, however this region includes Barnsley and certain other smaller towns and villages that might not historically have considered themselves a part of the Dearne Valley.
Many high-grade coal seams, including the prolific Barnsley seam, lie close to the surface in this area. This meant that by far the most prevalent industry in the area was deep coal mining, indeed much of the economic activity of the region was either directly related to, or reliant on this industry. It was home to the Oaks Viaduct, the largest man-made rail bridge in Britain until its demolition in 1965.
In the latter half of the 20th century the industry was declining and becoming deeply unprofitable, but was kept alive by government subsidy. As early as the 1960s local politicians voiced concerns about the high level of reliance of the economy of the area on one single industry. In the 1980s there was a marked change of government economic policy: unprofitable heavy industry was no longer to be subsidised. This caused the collapse of the mining industry, with a knock-on effect in many other local industries, leading to much local hardship.
Settlements in the area are becoming more dormitory in nature, as those who remained have found the need to commute further afield to the larger towns and cities in the region to work.
Outside the settlements, primary land use is agricultural: a byproduct of the end of the mining industry is that the area looks more rural and green than it once did. Business parks in the area have been created on brown-field land once used by the mining industry, the most notable and largest is at Manvers.
Much of the infrastructure related to the mining industry was demolished in the 1980s and early 1990s and the land changed to other uses and today few remnants of the coal mining heritage remain: the large spoil heaps have been levelled and grassed, and no coal mining remains at all in the area. Wath marshalling yard which served the railway coal traffic closed in 1988 is now the site of Old Moor Wetland Centre RSPB reserve. Other nature reserves in the valley include Gypsy Marsh, Wombwell Ings and Adwick Washlands.
The road and rail links to the villages of the area also were implemented mostly to ferry coal out of collieries and although the rails have been removed, the embankments, cuttings and bridges remain. Several of these former railways are now part of the Trans Pennine Trail between Southport and Hornsea. The Dearne Valley is at the centre of the trail with the main West/East and North/South routes crossing over in the area.
The historic region has a wide range of buildings and areas which are of major archeological interest and include 14 conservation areas, 15 scheduled ancient monuments, more than 249 listed buildings and above 50 landscapes which are considered to have special value. Some of the prominent buildings include Conisbrough Castle, Church of St. John and St. Mary Magdalene, Hickleton Hall, Glassby Arch, etc.
The A6195 road runs through the Dearne Valley in South Yorkshire.Copmanthorpe railway station
Copmanthorpe railway station was a railway station that served the village of Copmanthorpe, North Yorkshire, England from 1839 to 1959 on the Dearne Valley line.Dearne Valley (UK Parliament constituency)
Dearne Valley was a Parliamentary constituency in South Yorkshire. The constituency was created in 1950 and abolished in 1983.Dearne Valley College
Dearne Valley College is a further education college situated in the Manvers Park area of Wath-upon-Dearne, in the Metropolitan Borough of Rotherham, South Yorkshire, England. It also has a campus near Wath-upon-Dearne town centre.
In September 2017 the college merged with the RNN Group. The college joined Rotherham College and North Nottinghamshire College as part of the group, but continues to retain its local identity and current campus based in Manvers.Dearne Valley Railway
The Dearne Valley Railway (DVR) was a railway line which ran through the valley of the River Dearne in South Yorkshire. It was incorporated by an Act of Parliament on 6 August 1897 to build a line between Brierley Junction, on the main line of the Hull and Barnsley Railway, to junctions with the Great Northern Railway and the Great Northern and Great Eastern Joint Railway south east of Doncaster.
Although the line was considered an independent company it was worked by the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway (LYR). It opened in sections over 7 years from 1902.Dearne Valley line
The Dearne Valley line is the name given to a railway line in the north of England running from York to Sheffield via Pontefract Baghill and Moorthorpe.Denaby Halt railway station
Denaby Halt was a small railway station on the Dearne Valley Railway (DVR), intended to serve the mining community of Denaby Main in South Yorkshire, England, although it was some distance from there, in what was described as "a marshy wilderness". The station was opened on 3 June 1912. Its full title, as shown on its nameboard, was Denaby for Conisboro' and Mexboro. The halt was located between Edlington Halt, the eastern passenger terminus of the line and Harlington Halt.
The DVR was operated by the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway and was built in order to tap the coal traffic available in the area, which could be shipped through their port at Goole.
The line offered a passenger service between Wakefield and Edlington, near Doncaster.
The halt was closed on 1 January 1949.Doncaster Business School
Doncaster Business School is the international business school of Doncaster College, England. Established in 1992, as Dearne Valley Business School, the school offers postgraduate business degrees in management, including MBAs and professional qualifications (CIPD, CIM, CMI, ILM) as well as undergraduate teaching.Edlington railway station
Edlington railway station was a small railway station at the eastern terminus of the Dearne Valley Railway. The station's full title as shown on the station nameboard is "Edlington for Balby Doncaster" (with the words 'for' and 'Doncaster' in lettering half size compared to the others). It was built to serve the mining village of Edlington and the Doncaster suburb of Balby in South Yorkshire, England.
The station, like others on the Dearne Valley, consisted of a bed of sleepers set at track level with an old L&Y coach body lit by a couple of gas lamps for a waiting shelter. The large station sign was removed in the late 1920s and replaced by a simple "Edlington".
The station was opened for passengers on 3 June 1912 and ceased on 10 September 1951. The passenger service was originally operated by a Hughes-designed 'railmotor' which was fitted with vacuum-operated retractable steps, thus saving on platform building. At first, trains were operated on behalf of the DVR by the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway; when that company amalgamated with the London and North Western Railway on 1 January 1922, the combined organisation (also known as the London and North Western Railway) absorbed the DVR on the same day.Goldthorpe and Thurnscoe Halt railway station
Goldthorpe and Thurnscoe Halt was a small railway station on the Dearne Valley Railway (DVR) situated between Harlington Halt and Great Houghton Halt. It served the village of Goldthorpe in South Yorkshire, England.
The station opened on 3 June 1912. At first, trains were operated on behalf of the DVR by the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway; when that company amalgamated with the London and North Western Railway on 1 January 1922, the combined organisation (also known as the London and North Western Railway) absorbed the DVR on the same day.The station closed on 10 September 1951.Great Houghton Halt railway station
Great Houghton Halt was a small railway station on the Dearne Valley Railway (DVR) situated between Goldthorpe and Thurnscoe Halt and Grimethorpe Halt. The halt served the village of Great Houghton in South Yorkshire, England.
The station opened on 3 June 1912. Originally named Houghton Halt, it was renamed Great Houghton Halt a few weeks later, on 24 August 1912. At first, trains were operated on behalf of the DVR by the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway; when that company amalgamated with the London and North Western Railway on 1 January 1922, the combined organisation (also known as the London and North Western Railway) absorbed the DVR on the same day.The station closed on 10 September 1951.Grimethorpe Halt railway station
Grimethorpe Halt was a small railway station on the Dearne Valley Railway (DVR) situated between Great Houghton Halt and Ryhill Halt. It served the village of Grimethorpe, South Yorkshire, England.
The station was opened on 3 June 1912, and closed on 10 September 1951. Originally, trains were operated on behalf of the DVR by the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway; when that company amalgamated with the London and North Western Railway on 1 January 1922, the combined organisation (also known as the London and North Western Railway) absorbed the DVR on the same day.Harlington Halt railway station
Harlington Halt was a small railway station on the Dearne Valley Railway (DVR) located close by Harlington village, near Mexborough, South Yorkshire, England.
The station, which was located between Denaby station and Goldthorpe and Thurnscoe Halt, opened on 3 June 1912. At first, trains were operated on behalf of the DVR by the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway; when that company amalgamated with the London and North Western Railway on 1 January 1922, the combined organisation (also known as the London and North Western Railway) absorbed the DVR on the same day.The station closed on 10 September 1951.Pontefract Baghill railway station
Pontefract Baghill railway station is the least busy of the three railway stations in Pontefract, West Yorkshire, England. The other stations, Monkhill and Tanshelf, both lie on the Pontefract Line, while Baghill lies on the Dearne Valley Line 21 1⁄4 miles (34 km) south of York towards Sheffield.Pontefract line
The Pontefract line is one of the rail services in the West Yorkshire Metro area of northern England. The service is operated by Northern, and links Wakefield and Leeds with Goole via Pontefract. The Metro timetable for the line also includes services operated as the Dearne Valley line between York and Sheffield via Pontefract.
The line, which passes through the former mining areas to the east of Wakefield and Castleford, has the greatest number of stations opened by the West Yorkshire Metro. MetroCards are available on the route as far as Knottingley: a limited service of trains continues to Goole by this route.RSPB Dearne Valley Old Moor
RSPB Dearne Valley Old Moor is an 89-hectare (220-acre) wetlands nature reserve in the Dearne Valley near Barnsley, South Yorkshire, run by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB). It lies on the junction of the A633 and A6195 roads and is bordered by the Trans Pennine Trail long-distance path. Following the end of coal mining locally, the Dearne Valley had become a derelict post-industrial area, and the removal of soil to cover an adjacent polluted site enabled the creation of the wetlands at Old Moor.
Old Moor is managed to benefit bitterns, breeding waders such as lapwings, redshanks and avocets, and wintering golden plovers. A calling male little bittern was present in the summers of 2015 and 2016. Passerine birds include a small colony of tree sparrows and good numbers of willow tits, thriving here despite a steep decline elsewhere in the UK.
Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council created the reserve, which opened in 1998, but the RSPB took over management of the site in 2003 and developed it further, with funding from several sources including the National Lottery Heritage Fund. The reserve, along with others nearby, forms part of a landscape-scale project to create wildlife habitat in the Dearne Valley. It is an 'Urban Gateway' site with facilities intended to attract visitors, particularly families. In 2018, the reserve had about 100,000 visits. The reserve may benefit in the future from new habitat creation beyond the reserve and improved accessibility, although there is also a potential threat to the reserve from climate change and flooding.Ryhill Halt railway station
Ryhill Halt railway station in Ryhill, West Yorkshire, England was a small railway halt on the Dearne Valley Junction Railway, a branch of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway which connected it to the Dearne Valley Railway. It was situated between Wakefield Kirkgate and Grimethorpe. It was opened for passenger traffic on 3 June 1912 and closed, along with others on the line on 10 September 1951.Another station, Ryhill, served the village on the GCR's Barnsley Coal Railway from 1882 to 1930, about half a mile to the north west.Sherburn-in-Elmet railway station
Sherburn-in-Elmet railway station serves the village of Sherburn-in-Elmet near Selby in North Yorkshire, England. The station is located approximately 1 mile (1.6 km) from the village and is 12.75 miles (21 km) south of York.
The railway through Sherburn-in-Elmet was opened in 1840 by the York and North Midland Railway. The station was closed on 13 September 1965 but reopened in 1984 by British Rail with local authority support.
Sherburn-in-Elmet is on both the Dearne Valley Line and the Hull-York Line towards Selby. Trains to/from the latter use the curve south of the station to the former Leeds and Selby Railway at Gascoigne Wood Junction, which was opened just a few months after the main Y&NMR route. This line became the main rail route between Hull and York after the route via Market Weighton and Beverley fell victim to the Beeching Axe in November 1965, though many of its trains were in turn diverted via the newly constructed north curve at Hambleton and the East Coast Main Line Selby Deviation when this opened in 1983. Since the mid-1990s though, a number of Hull - York trains have reverted to the old route to provide Sherburn with commuter links to and from York in the wake of cutbacks to the Dearne Valley line timetable (this had seven trains each way when the station reopened in 1984, but now has only two - see below) and avoid the increasingly busy ECML.Wath upon Dearne
Wath upon Dearne (also known as Wath-on-Dearne or simply Wath ) is a small town on the south side of the Dearne Valley in the historic county of the West Riding of Yorkshire and the Metropolitan Borough of Rotherham, South Yorkshire, England, lying 5 miles (8 km) north of Rotherham, almost midway between Barnsley and Doncaster. It had a population of 11,816 at the 2011 census. It is twinned with Saint-Jean-de-Bournay, in France.