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The name of this pub refers to Barnsley's coal industry and the Silkstone seam which was mined in Barnsley from the late 19th century. The earliest colliery was Barnsley Main - deep shafts were sunk in 1850, at nearby Dodworth, in order to work the rich Silkstone seam. Previously called Old Silkstone, it was one of several pits in the area with 'Silkstone' forming part of their name. The Silkstone seam was also worked to the east of Barnsley, at Houghton Main.
For centuries, Barnsley developed as a market town, until the opening of the Barnsley Canal, (in 1799) and the arrival of the railway (c1850). By the turn of the 20th century, coal was king - and Barnsley was the capital of the South Yorkshire coal field. However, by the mid 1970s, the Barnsley coal field was in decline, but far from finished. Its demise followed hard on the heels of the miners' strike of 1984-85.
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