High Street, South Elmsall
South Elmsall shown within West Yorkshire
|OS grid reference|
|Civil parish||South Elmsall|
|Metropolitan county||West Yorkshire|
|Region||Yorkshire and the Humber|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||Yorkshire and the Humber|
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 towns history, with many of the former buildings and sites associated with them still existing.
Former quarry 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.
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 and a key source of union radicalism. 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.
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 town is home to Carlton Main Frickley Colliery Band, a successful brass band who have previously been British and European champions.
Frickley Country Park
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.
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, Superdrug, Hallmark Cards, Boots Group, Greggs and Sainsbury's alongside many other independent shops offering a range of goods and services such as travel, boutique fashion, wedding dress hire, sportswear 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 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 and a gym. 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, Chris Walker and Liam Tulley, comedy hypnotist John Caulton and footballers Jamie and John McCombe.
South Elmsall is served by rail, the nearest stations being South Elmsall railway station. The main bus station is also situated beside the railway station.
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
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.
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 2016, allowing the Marlins to return to South Elmsall.
- 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.
- Footballer George Gibson played for South Elmsall-based Frickley Athletic before becoming one of the early English footballers to play abroad.
- "Census 2001 : Parish Headcounts : Wakefield". Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 11 September 2009.
- Wakefield Express The Miners' Strike 25th anniversary special edition, p. 3, Friday 6 March 2009
- Frickley Colliery Brass Band
- Frickley Athletic FC
- Hemsworth and South Elmsall Express
- Minsthorpe Community College
- St Luke's Church
- S.E.S.K.U. Boxing Academy
- Jerusalem South Elmsall Christian Fellowship
- South Elmsall Parish Church
- South Elmsall and District History Society
- South Elmsall Town Council