PMSA National Recording Project - South Yorkshire

Barnsley Metropolitan Borough

We are carrying out research on the pieces on these pages.
If you have further information or revisions to the material above please contact me, Dave Ball, by e-mail or telephone: 0114 225 6213 with the details.
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ArtistMaker: (architects: BRIGGS & THORNLEY)
TitleOfWork: coat of arms
DescriptionOfPhoto: Detail: above main entrance
DateOfCreation: 1933
Medium: metal
Location: Above the main entrance of Barnsley Town Hall on the facade facing Church Street. (SE434407)
AtoZReference: p.13 5G
Postcode: S70 2TA
Street: Church Street
TownOrVillage: Barnsley
AreaInTown: Town Centre
MetropolitanBorough: Barnsley
Photographer: Dave Ball
ImageCopyright: Sheffield Hallam University
AccessionNumber: b019d
Commission: As early as 1914 the town began the planning stages for a new Town Hall. A competition was held and tenders accepted by 1915 for a building costing 22,465.

The continuing World War meant that these plans were shelved. After 1918 the council acquired more land to create a larger building.

[ Questions: who were the Architects? the Sculptor/stone mason? Was they chosen by competition again? If so what were the details? ]

Briggs and Thornley were from Liverpool. Building work began in 1930: the contractors for the project were:
Foundations - T. Wilkinson & Sons, Sheffield,
Stonework up to ground floor - Charles Smith, Barnsley,
Superstructure - W. Thornton & Sons, Liverpool
The final cost of building and furnishing the Town Hall was 188,037 12/10d

The foundation stone was laid on 21st April 1932 by Councillor R.J. Plummer, a former Lord Mayor of Barnsley. It was subsequently opened on December 14th, 1933, by H.R.H. Edward, Prince of Wales.

Comment: These arms were those granted to Barnsley in 1869. The figures of the miner and glassblower were added in 1913.
Important features include a falcon and padlock taken from the arms of Joseph Locke, the civil engineer and local MP. Shuttles and pickaxes refer to local industries.
The motto 'Spectemur Agendo', means 'Judge us by our Actions'.

When Barnsley Metropolitan Borough was created in 1974 the 14 former local authorities were depicted on the coat of arms by the addition of an "escarpuncle of fourteen points placed in a crest under the griffon's claw" [1]

References: [1] Full details of the coat of arms can be found on the Barnsley Local Government site at:

Questions: Who were the original architects ?

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Photographer Dave Ball (unless indicated otherwise above)
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Last updated July 18, 2005