Elsecar has close historic ties with Wentworth, having been the location of many of the Fitzwilliam family’s early industrial ventures. Although now built up and merged with the nearby town of Hoyland, Elsecar still retains a number of rows of attractive stone-built cottages originally put up by the Fitzwilliams for their workers, along with Milton Hall (originally built by the 6th Earl to house an industrial exhibition in 1886).
Elsecar Heritage Centre
A permanent reminder of the Fitwilliams’ influence on the village lives on today in the justly popular Elsecar Heritage Centre. The centre is housed in former industrial buildings and features a number of permanent exhibitions includng the Elsecar Steam Railway (which starts from what was once the Fitwilliam’s own private railway station), a preserved Newcomen Beam Engine and a Living History Centre. There are also regular events such as Classic Car weekends and Thomas the Tank Engine days.
The heritage centre is about 1 mile from Wentworth village and is clearly signposted from the M1. By train it is a short walk down the hill from Elsecar station.
Elsecar Park and Reservoir
Elsecar also has a very fine park, built in the traditional style with a bandstand and childrens playground. The park also has a nine hole pitch-and-putt course.
Adjacent to the park is Elsecar reservoir, originally built to service the Dearne and Dove Canal which runs from near the Heritage Centre. The reservoir is now used partly by local anglers and partly as a nature reserve. Pictures in the Heritage Centre show that the “beach” on the reservoir was once a popular spot for local day trips!
Elsecar Web Link
For more comprehensive and up to date coverage of everything in Elsecar we recommend elsecar.org.uk.