Thurnscoe, Barnsley.
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Thurnscoe is a village in the metropolitan borough of Barnsley in South Yorkshire; located in the heart of the Dearne Valley, about half way between Barnsley and Doncaster; it was a farming village and has grown up around the old Roman road 'Ryknild Street', which ran down a track known locally as 'The cow track' as it was the route for the dairy herds until the farm closed down; in early times it was known as Turnesc, this became Terunsc by the time of its mention in the Domesday Book.

It was one of many mining villages in the Yorkshire coalfield stricken by poverty when the British coal mining industry was closed in the 1980s under the Thatcher government; mining began in the early 18th century from small surface mines but exploded along with the population after Hickleton Main Colliery found the Barnsley seam in 1894; almost the entire village east of the railway was built to accommodate the coal miners, including the Church of St. Hilda in 1935; the colliery was merged with Goldthorpe in 1986 before that too was closed in 1994.

The village is bisected, north/south, by a railway, originally laid to serve the colliery, into Thurnscoe and Thurnscoe East; though the residents do not consider the two to be separate villages; locals refer to Thurnscoe East as "the top end"; the Eastern half is characterised by low cost terraced housing, built to serve the former colliery, and a small business park on the site of the former colliery; the Western side of the village is also known as Old Thurnscoe, or "the bottom end" by locals from the "top end".

The slag heap that ran the length of the west side of the village, where the Hickleton Main pit tips were, has been landscaped and converted into park land known as ‘Phoenix Park’, which contains a climbing wall, picnic areas and many pieces of art which were developed by and in conjunction with the local community and poems by local resident Desiree Chipp have been carved into the entrances.

Before the mines opened, Thurnscoe was once a wealthy farming community, famous in the Middle Ages for the quality of its cheese; it was also once known for its numerous springs and dykes and the High Street, which is not the main road, is a meandering residential street which was once a river.



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