South Elmsall

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South Elmsall
Central Buildings - Barnsley Road - - 1327882.jpg
South Elmsall High street
South Elmsall is located in West Yorkshire
South Elmsall
South Elmsall
Location within West Yorkshire
Population6,519 (2011 census)
OS grid referenceSE475114
Civil parish
  • South Elmsall
Metropolitan borough
Metropolitan county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtWF9
Dialling code01977
PoliceWest Yorkshire
FireWest Yorkshire
UK Parliament
List of places
53°35′45″N 1°16′21″W / 53.595900°N 1.272603°W / 53.595900; -1.272603Coordinates: 53°35′45″N 1°16′21″W / 53.595900°N 1.272603°W / 53.595900; -1.272603

South Elmsall is a town and civil parish in the City of Wakefield in West Yorkshire, England. South Elmsall lies to the east of Hemsworth The town had a population in 2001 of 6,107,[1] increasing to 6,519 at the 2011 Census.[2]


The former mill, now modern housing

The town was largely a small farming settlement until the industrial revolution and the sinking of collieries caused a boom in population and a need for modern housing for the workforce. This has left a town with a mixture of stone and brick buildings. The town and its neighbours were mentioned in the Domesday Book. Other industries such as quarrying for stone, agriculture and brick manufacture were also known at different periods of the town's history, with many of the former buildings and sites associated with them still existing.

Former quarry site[edit]

The former quarry, a nationally important site

The former South Elmsall quarry was deemed a site of national importance, by Defra, due to the visible section of an unusually complete patch coral reef.

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 deep coal mines in the United Kingdom. The colliery invested in several improvements that were of benefit to the area, including the building of the Warde Aldam Hospital, as well as swimming baths and sports facilities.

The colliery became a key source of union radicalism. During the UK Miners' Strike, 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.[3]

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). In 1998 the UK Governments "Social Exclusion Unit" published a series of "Policy Action Team" reports looking at issues of social exclusion. The Skills report used South Elmsall and surrounding towns as a case study and stated "The local communities still suffer from serious environmental, social and economic problems - and a crisis of morale - as a result of the loss of jobs in the mining industry".[4]

Warde-Aldam Hospital[edit]

The Warde-Aldam Hospital was a hospital situated in South Elmsall, Yorkshire, England. It was built in 1911 by Carlton Main Colliery Ltd and was used as a general, voluntary hospital until 1948. It was then taken over by the NHS and provided acute hospital care until 1978.[5]


The town is home to Carlton Main Frickley Colliery Band, a successful brass band who have been British and European champions.

Frickley Country Park[edit]

Frickley Country Park officially opened in September 2009, after a long period of land reclamation, environmental cleaning and landscaping of the former Frickley Colliery site was finished. The site offers walks and play areas as well as space for new housing development as part of the wider regeneration scheme. Nearby is located the Frickley Off-road Centre, a specialist facility for motorsports.

Local economy[edit]

Jackson Stores, Barnsley Road
Billiard Hall, Barnsley Road

The large, traditional market is a central feature of the shopping area of the town, with approximately 105 trading stalls. On the main high street there are shops featuring many household names such as The Post Office, Hallmark Cards, Specsavers, Boots Group and Greggs alongside many other independent shops offering a range of goods and services such as travel, boutique fashion, wedding dress hire, sportswear, a flooring and furniture store and much more.

On the outskirts of the town is the Dale Lane Industrial Estate which is home to a number of large, internationally recognised companies. For example, there are a number of Next Distribution warehouses. The estate itself reflects the change in industry of the area, being one of the key expansion areas since the closure of the local collieries.


Carlton, Moorthorpe, Northfield and Ash Grove are the primary education schools in South Elmsall. The main source of secondary and further education in the town is Minsthorpe Community College, which also provides places to residents of 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.

The school also hosts a number of other facilities such as a sports and fitness suite, all weather floodlit sports pitches, a gym and an upcoming public swimming pool. The school and its science and sporting facilities were upgraded as one of the host training facilities for the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Among a number of well known people who have an association with Minsthorpe include playwright John Godber, actors Adrian Hood and Chris Walker and footballers Jamie and John McCombe.


South Elmsall railway station

South Elmsall is served by rail, the nearest station being South Elmsall railway station. The main bus station is also situated beside the railway station.


Trinity Methodist Church

The principal places of Christian worship include:

  • St Luke's Church (Evangelical) (formerly Barnsley Road Methodist Church, Aire and Calder Circuit/Leeds District)
  • 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


Westfield Lane Stadium

Frickley Athletic are based in South Elmsall. Frickley play their home games at Westfield Lane Stadium.

Other sports clubs include The South Elmsall Social Cycling Club, which was officially founded in 1934.The club was relaunched in 2015 as Elmsall road club and has 90 members.

Minsthorpe Marlins were based at South Elmsall but were left homeless when the public swimming baths were closed. A new facility is planned to open in early 2018.

Notable residents[edit]

  • Actor Chris Walker was born in South Elmsall; he is best known for his role as Rob Hollins in the Birmingham-based soap opera Doctors. He won an award at the British Soap Awards in 2010 for his role, with on-screen wife, actress Jan Pearson.
  • Boxer Thomas (aka Tom) Nicholls was born at South Elmsall and lived there before his family moved to Wellington, Shropshire. He competed in the Olympics in 1952 and 1956, winning silver medal in the latter.[6]
  • Footballer George Gibson played for South Elmsall-based Frickley Athletic before becoming one of the early English footballers to play abroad.
  • Footballer Ronnie Radford, scorer of the famous long-range goal for non-League Hereford United against First-Division Newcastle United in 1972, in one of the F.A.Cup's greatest giant-killing acts, was born here.
  • Environmental activist Gail Bradbrook, a co-founder of the environmental social movement Extinction Rebellion, was born here, the son of a coal miner from Frickley Colliery.[7]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Census 2001 : Parish Headcounts : Wakefield". Office for National Statistics. Archived from the original on 13 June 2011. Retrieved 11 September 2009.
  2. ^ "Civil Parish population 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Archived from the original on 15 March 2016. Retrieved 2 March 2016.
  3. ^ Wakefield Express The Miners' Strike 25th anniversary special edition, p. 3, Friday 6 March 2009
  4. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 12 February 2018. Retrieved 12 February 2018.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ "The National Archives: Hospital Records" The National Archives. U.K. Web. 28 April 2017.
  6. ^ "Tributes as Olympic boxing legend Tommy dies, aged 89". Shropshire Star. 9 August 2021. p. 13.Report by Toby Neal.
  7. ^ Taylor, Matthew (4 August 2020). "The evolution of Extinction Rebellion". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 August 2020.

External links[edit]