Archaeological investigations of Barnsley Pals training camp

Barnsley Pals memorial

To mark the Centenary of the First World War, this project will enable local people in the Barnsley area to be involved with the archaeological, geophysical and landscape survey of the Silverwood Newhall Training Camp site. This project will add to the understanding of the Barnsley Pals battalion’s place in that conflict and further add to the local history of Barnsley and the wider district. It is intended that this project will see the involvement of volunteers drawn from the Scout Movement and the local area and give those volunteers a greater understanding of various archaeological techniques and also help to further understanding of Barnsley’s place in the First World War. The project will engage the volunteers in the physical works of geophysical surveying, landscape surveying and the archaeological cleaning and recording of certain features. People are also welcome to come and observe the project as it progresses.

The volunteers will be trained in archaeological surveying techniques under the guidance of professional archaeologists. The information gathered will be archived and this will then be used to produce an archaeological report. This will then be hosted on-line to encourage everyone to access the information about the project and its conclusions. This archive will allow for a greater understanding of Barnsley’s place in the First World War and how the men of the Barnsley Pals were trained before going to France to the frontline. Further to this a series of talk to local groups about the project and its findings will be held at the completion of the project.

Commenting on the award, Alex Sotheran of Elmet Archaeological Services Ltd said: “We are thrilled to have received the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund as the project will really help to enhance the knowledge of Barnsley’s place in the First World War and engage members of the public in undertaking archaeological investigation with tangible results.”

The Head of Heritage Lottery Fund Yorkshire and the Humber, Fiona Spiers, said: “The impact of the First World War was far reaching, touching and shaping every corner of the UK and beyond. The Heritage Lottery Fund has already invested more than £15million in projects – large and small - that are marking this global Centenary; with our new small grants programme, we are enabling even more communities like those involved in the Road to Deployment project to explore the continuing legacy of this conflict and help local young people in particular to broaden their understanding of how it has shaped our modern world.”

Notes to editors

Elmet Archaeological Services Ltd is a social enterprise and is distinctive because its social purpose is central to what they do - profits are reinvested to sustain and further the mission for positive change. They have delivered many funded projects in the past, included local people in the work they do. Encouraging individuals and groups to explore their heritage is a significant part of Elmet’s purpose and they welcome everyone with an interest to visit and participate.

They provide an archaeological service to private, public and voluntary sectors including building contractors and planning organisations, offering a full range of archaeological services. In addition to this they provide education and training, both socially and academically, for everyone within the community through the use of educational and recreational archaeological and historical studies.

HLF-funded First World War projects include:

First World War Centenary Project, IWM London
An HLF grant of £4.5m is transforming IWM London (part of Imperial War Museums) by creating new ground-breaking First World War Galleries.

Flintham Society – Keeping the Home Fires Burning?
Keep the Homes Fires Burning? is a community history project looking at the impact of the First World War on life in the Nottinghamshire village of Flintham.

Tank Museum – Access all Areas, Dorset
Holding the world’s finest tank and armoured vehicle collection, The Tank Museum is a popular visitor attraction in the heart of Dorset. HLF’s grant is being used to house 130 ‘at risk’ vehicles, putting the entire collection indoors for the first time.

Through its First World War: then and now programme, HLF is making at least £1million available per year for six years until 2019.  It will provide grants between £3,000 and £10,000 enabling communities and groups right across the UK to explore, conserve and share their First World War heritage and deepen their understanding of the impact of the conflict.

To find out how to apply for funding visit First World War: then and now.  If a group needs a grant of more than £10,000 for a First World War project, it can apply to HLF through its open programmes.

Follow us on Twitter @heritagelottery, #understandingWW1

UK Government Centenary plans
In June 2013, the Government set out its plans to mark the centenaries of the First World War commencing in 2014. These plans include a £35m refurbishment of the First World War galleries at the Imperial War Museum (IWM); The Government’s principal partners in the commemorations will be the Heritage Lottery Fund and the IWM, but will encompass support for a multitude of other initiatives, large and small, as they come together in the months and years to come.

Further information

Alex Sotheran, Archaeological Manager at Elmet Archaeological Services Ltd on 01709 873 053 or