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Amazing architecturePre-Domesday siteMagnificent memorialsSpectacular stained glassInteresting churchyardLink with famous peopleInterpretation of site available

‘Few churches in South Yorkshire contain more that may delay and interest the curious inquirer than this country chapel’. So the great historian Joseph Hunter wrote of St Mary’s Worsbrough in 1831. IS IT TRUE TODAY? Come and see for yourself.

Neither the year of foundation nor the dedication date of St Mary’s is known, though architects have identified Saxon stonework at the east end of the church. The earliest reliable dating is of the east and north part of the Chancel, belonging to the early Norman period. Alterations in the 14th and 15th century and repairs down the ages result in a bewildering mixture of different architectural style, but in general St Mary’s must look very much as it did in 1450.

The church contains the unique double-decker oak tomb and figures of Sir Roger Rockley who died in 1553. The figures are said to have been covered with fine linen which was made to adhere closely to the wood before being painted. There is also the only remaining box pew of the Elmhurst family, installed in about 1730.

The magnificent south door dates from 1480 and is an extremely fine example of 15th century craftsmanship. Full of detail and carved in Gothic relief lettering is the inscription ‘IHS NICOLAS GENN + THOMAS ALOTT’ – they were churchwardens of the time.

The churchyard contains a number of interesting memorials, some dating back to the 17th century. There are also unmarked graves, including one in the lower churchyard in which seventy five miners killed in the Darley Main Pit disaster of 1849 are buried. In the church there is a copy of a picture from the Illustrated London News of the funeral scene.

The church is full of interest, and we are always glad to welcome visitors and hope you will enjoy your visit.

If you know anything more about the heritage of this site and would like us to include it here please contact us.


Open at specified timesKeyholder noticeTours for groups and schoolsGenerally accessible to wheelchair usersParking at Church or nearbyAccessible by public transportRefreshments at site or nearbyToilets at site or nearby

Address: Worsbrough Village, Barnsley, S70 5LQ

Opening Times: Normally open Wednesday 10:00am – 11:15am (including service). Thursday coffee morning 9:30am – 11:30am.

Contact: 01226 203933 or

Directions: M1 J36. Cross the motorway and turn left at the roundabout onto A61 towards Barnsley/Birdwell. In Birdwell turn right onto Worsbrough Road and follow into Worsbrough village.

Grid Reference: SE 350 026 GB Grid



Click on a point of interest for more details.

Church's footprint Nave Chancel Arch Chancel Screen Chancel Sir Roger Rockley Memorial East Window St Catherine’s Chapel Elmhirst Pew South Door Font Lady Chapel Tower

The text has been written by volunteers from the site, more information can be found when you visit in person.


SY Quest for the Holy Trail HODs 2010 Worsbrough St Mary


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