Experience Barnsley Museum and Discovery Centre

Experience Barnsley Museum and Discovery Centre
Town Hall
Church Street
South Yorkshire
S70 2TA





01226 773950

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Experience Barnsley Museum and Discovery Centre
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Experience Barnsley Museum and Discovery Centre is dedicated to the history and people of Barnsley. Visitors will uncover the incredible story of Barnsley told through centuries-old artefacts, documents, films and recordings that have been donated by people living and working in the borough.

Unique, hands-on and interactive exhibits encourage visitors to explore the people and places of Barnsley, ultimately leading them to discover a town with amazing stories and a rich and diverse heritage.

Experience Barnsley is a fun, exciting and interesting day out for all the family.

Admission to the Museum and Discovery Centre is free.

Venue Type:


Opening hours

Monday to Friday
9am to 4pm

10am to 4pm

11am to 4pm

Admission charges


Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.

Our Glass

  • 19 January — 15 March 2015 *on now

See collections from South Yorkshire shine in this extraordinary story of our glassmaking industry and tradition. Sparkling archaeology from Gawber, Wood Brothers glassware worthy of the 1851 Great Exhibition and images from local companies. Explore the importance of the glass industry to the heritage and economy of Barnsley and the Dearne Valley, and take the opportunity to see fine examples of Barnsley’s art glass collection from Cannon Hall Museum.

This exhibition is in partnership with the Dearne Valley Landscape Partnership (DVLP). This five-year scheme, running from June 2014 focuses on the historic buildings and landscapes of the Dearne Valley, working with the local communities to protect, preserve and enhance the area. The DVLP is supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly



The Brilliant and Bizarre

  • 23 March — 28 June 2015

An exhibition of objects and archives gifted to Experience Barnsley since opening in June 2013. On display will be an unexpectedly wide variety of items including a Sooty xylophone, a Wolsey string vest and pants, a biography of Abraham Lincoln, and a Max Bygraves record. It’s all about Barnsley!

Visitors can also vote for the items in the exhibition which you would like to see on display in the museum galleries afterwards.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly



Barnsley Goes Stateside

  • 1 April — 8 May 2015

April 15th marks the 150th anniversary of the death of President Abraham Lincoln. In this small exhibition, we aim to highlight links between Barnsley and the U.S.

Highlights in the archive collections include the commemorative biography that was received in Barnsley from the U.S. administration in 1865, and letters that were sent back to Barnsley from both emigrants and those fighting in the American War of Independence.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly



Service Please! The co-op in Barnsley

  • 6 July — 27 September 2015

Step back in time and explore the Barnsley British Co-operative society through a Heritage Lottery Funded project.

We want to record your stories and memories about the Co-op. You can get involved in the exhibition and events by loaning your Co-op memorabilia. Do you remember your divi share number?

Contact us at experiencebarnsley@barnsley.gov.uk to get involved.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly



Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.

Half Term Craft Fun

  • 16 — 21 February 2015

At Experience Barnsley there are glass themed activities this half term to coincide with the ‘Our Glass’ exhibition.

Create your own beautiful paper craft stained glass windows.

Free drop-in session 11am – 1pm.



Barnsley History Day

  • 22 February 2015

Join us in the Town Hall for the annual Barnsley History Day which has drawn thousands of visitors in recent years.

With stalls and displays from over 40 local heritage groups and organisations, along with entertainment, activities and talks, there really is something for everyone.

Telephone 01226 773950 to book a stall.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly



International Women’s Day

  • 7 March 2015 11am-12:30pm

Join us as we conclude our strike programme with a weekend of events exploring women’s roles since the strike.

If we live in a world of equality, why are women still holding the baby? Rebecca Asher, author of ‘Shattered: Modern Motherhood and the Illusion of Equality” joins some of the women involved in the strike to find out if women’s lives have really changed over the last 30 years.



Coal Not Dole - Shattered


  • 7 March 2015 11am-12:30pm

If we live in a world of equality, why are women still holding the baby? Rebecca Asher, author of 'Shattered: Modern Motherhood and the Illusion of Equality' joins some of the women involved in the strike to find out if women's lives have really changed over the last 30 years.
11am - 12:30pm, free but booking advised. 01226 772500.

Suitable for

  • 14-15
  • 16-17
  • 18+
Coal Not Dole - The Return to Work


  • 7 March 2015 2-3pm

A unique theatre piece exploring a miner's return to work, reflecting on a year gone by and the aftermath for communities.
2pm-3pm, free but booking advised. 01226 772500.
Young children to be accompanied by an adult. Contains graphic language.

This event is part of Experience Barnsley's year long programme of events looking back at the miner's strike of 1984/85.

Suitable for

  • 14-15
  • 16-17
  • 18+

The Friends of Barnsley Archives social evening and talk

  • 9 March 2015 7-9pm

Come along and join the Friends of Barnsley Archives at their evening social event, featuring an illustrated talk by retired inspector Adrian Egglestone about the recovery and identification of the remains of Tsar Nicholas.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children


£3.00 per person.



Family History Surgeries

  • 18 March 2015
  • 22 April 2015
  • 20 May 2015

Are you a beginner to family history? Not sure where to start? Book a free 30 minute session with a member of the Archives team to gain one-to-one advice on how to start your research.

Free admission, booking essential on 01226 773950.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly



Explore the Brilliant and Bizarre! Hands on History

  • 3 April 2015 10am-12pm
  • 10 April 2015 10am-12pm

Pop into the gallery and find out what other treasures we have in our collections! Handle some original objects and archives and discover fascinating stories.

Aimed at families. Drop into the gallery between 10am and 12pm.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly