Collections

Barnsley's museum and archive collections include fine and decorative art, social and industrial history, archaeology, archival documents and photographs, local studies literature and sound and film. 

If you would like to make an enquiry about the collections, please email artsmuseumsandarchives@barnsley.gov.uk

 

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Experience Barnsley

PRISONER OF WAR MESS TIN, 1942

Frank Hadfield was a gunner in the Royal Artillery and was taken prisoner of war on 15th February 1942 in Singapore where he entered a Japanese camp for three years. He was treated very badly; beaten, tortured and starved. He was seventeen stone when he left and six and half when he returned. Frank never should have gone to the Far East, he was destined for Iceland but their ship from Liverpool was given the wrong orders. As they arrived they were ordered to surrender and taken in cattle trucks to camps. He was made to work on the railways and kept a diary of events throughout the war. Some entries are very brief, as being caught writing his diary was almost certain death. This mess tin was carved by Frank with a nail during his time as a prisoner of war. You can see his name, number and regiment. He was released on 16th August 1945 and put on the first ship back to Southampton, arriving in October. He spent nine months recovering in hospital and suffered all his life with the terrible memories. He lived until 76 years old and worked at brickworks at Monk Bretton Colliery when he returned to Barnsley. Photo © Norman Taylor

Worsbrough Mill

The New Mill

The three story extension to the mill was built in the 1840s, to house a new steam engine, storage floors and more.

Worsbrough Mill

Family visit, 1970s

Ever since the mill opened to the public in the 1970s, it's been a much-loved place to visit for local families.

Experience Barnsley

CHLOROFORM PURE 1944

Following his escape from a German forced labour camp during the Second World War, Frank Dubrowski joined the French Resistance where he was issued chloroform to be used as an anaesthetic. Members of the French Resistance fought against the Nazi occupation in France, they published underground newspapers, captured intelligence and kept escape routes open. It could be very dangerous work. After the war, Frank and his wife Annie, settled in Barnsley. They lived in Worsbrough Dale until they passed away, Frank in 2005 and Annie in 2012. Photo © Norman Taylor

Experience Barnsley

Bronze Roman bracelet, 2nd to 3rd century AD.

Bronze Roman bracelet, 2nd to 3rd century AD. This roman bracelet was found during open cast coal mining at Billingley in 1950. The ends of the bracelet are moulded in the form of a serpents head. BMBC.TH.1362 Photo © Norman Taylor

Experience Barnsley

1970s NIPSY STICK, NIPSYS AND BRICK

This is Frank 'Yank' Lenthall's Nipsy stick. Highly respected player 'Yank' wouldn't give awar any secrets about how he made his sticks. Don Chambers says "You get a house brick, put it on the ground and slightly tilt it back, put your nipsy -shaped like a pigeon's head - on it... then tap it. It flies up in the air and you strike it when it rises." Photo © Norman Taylor

Cooper Gallery

Bath the Sublime

Bath the Sublime: Norfolk Crescent in chalk, ink line and wash on paper by Walter Sickert (1860-1942), Sadler Bequest 1932.

Cannon Hall

Mahogany 'Wheelback' chair

Mahogany 'Wheelback' chair in George Hepplewhite style, c. 1780

Cannon Hall

Bronze ‘Pan’ figurine

Bronze ‘Pan’ figurine made by Gertrude Spencer-Stanhope, c. 1900

Elsecar

The Girl Pat

Many remember the rowing boat that was set up on the reservoir in the 1940s.