South Elmsall

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South Elmsall
South Elmsall - Market.jpg
South Elmsall Market
South Elmsall is located in West Yorkshire
South Elmsall
South Elmsall
 South Elmsall shown within West Yorkshire
Population 6,107 (2001)
OS grid reference SE475114
Civil parish South Elmsall
Metropolitan borough Wakefield
Metropolitan county West Yorkshire
Region Yorkshire and the Humber
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district WF9
Dialling code 01977
Police West Yorkshire
Fire West Yorkshire
Ambulance Yorkshire
EU Parliament Yorkshire and the Humber
UK Parliament Hemsworth
List of places

Coordinates: 53°35′45″N 1°16′21″W / 53.595900°N 1.272603°W / 53.595900; -1.272603

South Elmsall pronounced "south em-sull" is a small town and civil parish. It is to the east of Hemsworth in the City of Wakefield in West Yorkshire, England. It is on the B6422 and B6474 (which leads to North Elmsall and Upton).

It neighbours South Kirkby, and they are often grouped together as one town because the towns are joined together which can make it difficult to know where one stops and the other begins. The town is close to the southern boundary of West Yorkshire, and is 1 mile (1.6 km) from the Metropolitan Borough of Doncaster in South Yorkshire. The A638 Doncaster to Wakefield road runs close to the north of the town, which leads to junction 38 of the A1(M) 3 miles (4.8 km) to the south-east. It now has its own bypass which links the A1 to the Hemsworth Bypass providing excellent transport links towards Barnsley and South Yorkshire. The town has a population of 6,107.[1]

South Elmsall is served by rail, the nearest stations being South Elmsall railway station itself and Moorthorpe railway station; the two stations being less than one mile apart.

Coal mining[edit]

The town is most famous for its coal-mining past; it was the site of Frickley Colliery, which was one of the largest in the whole country and a key source of union radicalism. The colliery is named after the nearby village of Frickley in South Yorkshire which continues to be the home of the Warde-Aldham family who owned the coal reserves exploited by the pit. During the UK Miners' Strike (1984-1985), there were numerous disturbances in the area. It was one of the last pits to return to work after the strike, seeing as it was picketed by a group of hardliners from Kent who continued to picket Frickley after the NUM had called off the strike. The Frickley miners refused to cross the hardliners' picket.[2]

The colliery was closed on 26 November 1993 following closures of nearby pits like Ferrymoor-Riddings (1985), Kinsley (1986), South Kirkby (1988) and Grimethorpe (1992). The area around Hemsworth was long one of the most depressed areas of the whole European Union, although fortunes have improved recently.[citation needed]

The town hosts a number of key landmarks that have a place in the wider history of the labour movement in the UK. In addition to the coal mine, the Miner's Institute served as a nerve centre during the strikes of the 1970s and 1980s.[citation needed] The Moorthorpe Empire WMC played a key role in the exchange of ideas, the maintenance of morale and the harnessing of community spirit during 1984.[citation needed] During this period, the Empire became a place for the celebration of unshackled unionism, internationalism, feminism, and even a sympathy for non-violent Irish republicanism.[citation needed]

Several clubs in the area still bear the colliery's name. There is Frickley Colliery Brass Band, a famous football team named Frickley Athletic and a cricket club named "Frickley". Frickley Athletic F.C. now play in the Northern Premier League Premier Division and nearly gained promotion in 2006.

Frickley Country Park[edit]

Wakefield MDC in conjunction with local town councils have organized the landscaping of the former Frickley Colliery site into a country park. A large amount of money from the National Coalfield Programme has enabled this work to go ahead. This park officially opened in September 2009, however changes had to be made to many of the entrances since the builders measured the gates wrong which meant a cyclist was not able to fit their cycle through, which was a bit of a let down after so much money had been ploughed into the scheme. The site will offer walks and play areas for local inhabitants as well as space for new housing developments when the current economic downturn begins to lift.

Local economy[edit]

The market is a central feature of the village; it is currently undergoing renovations. The market plays host to approximately 105 trading stalls which is remarkable for a provincial market. South Elmsall has a railway station on the Wakefield line. Towards South Kirkby is Moorthorpe railway station on the line to Sheffield and Rotherham.

There is also the High Street (Barnsley Road) which includes many common high street names such as The Post Office, Superdrug, Hallmark Cards, Boots Group, Greggs, Heron, Asda, Sainsbury's Local and also many other individual shops such as South Elmsall Travel, Pro Logic Computers,The Paint Pot, The Jewellery Centre, Les & June Price Carpets & Furnishings, Allstar Teamwear, Dennis Price carpets, Kidz Childrenswear, Rhythm and Booze, Mode Clothing, Parade clothing among many others.

The discount supermarket chain Netto used to have its British headquarters on Elmsall Way in the village on the Dale Lane Industrial Estate.

Also present on the Dale Lane industrial estate are 4 Next Distribution warehouses (Stadium Way One, Stadium Way Two, Elmsall Way and Elmsall Drive), Superdrug, Del Monte and Finlays. The estate itself reflects the changing fortunes of the area being one of the key expansion areas since the closure of the local collieries.


The local secondary school is Minsthorpe Community College which has a sixth-form and also covers South Kirkby and Upton. In 2008 Minsthorpe Community College gained its best ever results at all levels - KS3/GCSE/A-Level, the college GCSE results are higher than the local and national averages. People who have an association with Minsthorpe include playwright John Godber, actors Adrian Hood, Chris Walker and Liam Tulley. Comedy hypnotist John Caulton and Footballers Jamie and John McCombe also have a connection. There are also several primary schools in the South Elmsall area: Carlton, Moorthorpe, Ash Grove and St Joseph's. There are many more in the neighbouring towns of South Kirkby and Upton.


The principal places of Christian worship include:

  • St Luke's Church (Evangelical),
  • Trinity Methodist Church* (Aire and Calder Circuit/Leeds District),
  • St Joseph's Roman Catholic Church* (Diocese of Leeds)
  • South Elmsall Parish Church of St Mary-the-Virgin* (liberal Anglo-catholic) (Diocese of Wakefield),
  • Jerusalem Christian Fellowship South Elmsall (Evangelical)
  • The Oasis (Pentecostal),
  • New Jerusalem Christian fellowship (Independent Christian Fellowship).
  • *Member of SESKUB Churches Together (SESKUB = South Elmsall, South Kirkby, Upton and Badsworth)

Non-Christian places of religious/spiritual interest:

  • South Elmsall Spiritualist Church


As well as being the home of the formentioned Frickley Athletic Football club, it is also the home of South Elmsall United Club and Empire Colts Football Club which develops youth football in the area. A recent game between these two local rivals saw the Empire Colts run out 3-1 comfortable winners. South Elmsall is also the home of Minsthorpe Marlins Swimming club which is affiliated to the Doncaster Darts.

Other sports clubs include The South Elmsall Social Cycling Club which was officially founded in 1934

Notable residents[edit]



  1. ^ "Census 2001 : Parish Headcounts : Wakefield". Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 11 September 2009. 
  2. ^ Wakefield Express The Miners' Strike 25th anniversary special edition, p. 3, Friday 6 March 2009

External links[edit]