Welcome to the Brierley Village Web site

Pronounced as "bry"-"early"

Introducing the work of Brierley and its people in photographs (Baipip)

Brierley is a small village near Barnsley in South Yorkshire England

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Please email your comments on this web site and any requests to Gary (see email link below)

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Email your history questions about Brierley and the surrounding area to

Richard Watson a local historian and co author of "Brereley a history of Brierley" 


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Question from Laura Hammersley in  Edinburgh December 2008


Hi Richard

  I'm wondering if you would post my email online.  I'm researching my family tree and have traced an ancestor back to Brierley.  I'm interested in finding out a bit more about Brierley and in particular the places associated with my ancestors.

  My great great great grandfather was George Wilson who was the postmaster in Brierley as shown on the 1861 census.  His address was Prospect Cottage - does this still exist?  I believe his mother was called Ann and his daughter Annie Wilson (born around 1847) was my great great grandmother.  The name of his mother is the furthest back I have managed to trace this part of my family tree, I don't know what his fathers name was or what his mother's maiden name was.

  I would be interested to hear from anyone that knows any information about George or his family.  Or if anyone has any photographs old or new of Prospect Cottage or the post office.

  I'm happy for my home email address to be posted online: laura.hammersley@btinternet.com


Much appreciated Laura Hammersley Edinburgh


Reply from Richard

Hello Laura

On my Brierley history web site http://www.brierleyyorkshireengland.net you will find my booklet ‘Brererley A History of Brierley’ which has references to Brierley Post office and George Wilson.

I have also had a chance to look through my local history archives, and found these details.

William White’s West Riding Trades Directory for 1838 lists a George Wilson as a shoemaker at South Hiendley near Brierley. The Directory for 1852 has James Wilson as a farmer in South Hiendley .

  There had been a post office in Brierley since about 1840 when it stood close to the Three Horse Shoes Inn but no one by the name of Wilson on the trades lists.

  The 1861 census has George Wilson aged 40 as a Saddler and Post Master at Prospect Cottage with his wife Martha 34 daughters Ann 14 and Emily? 10, and Ann Wilson 83 born in Royston about 4 miles from Brierley, she was the mother of George. George was born in Shafton about a mile from Brierley. He must have lived in Brierley since 1847 or earlier as his children were born here.

The 1861 census has George  Wilson aged 60 born in Felkirk (Shafton) Postmaster & Saddler on Church St. Brierley, with his wife Martha aged 54 born in Felkirk (Brierley). Later the Post Office was moved to Cross Hills close to the junction with Frickley Bridge Lane Then by 1938 it had been moved to it present location again close to the Three horse Shoes Inn.

  Prospect Cottage on Church Street Brierley stood close to the east side of Brierley School and a few buildings west of the Farriers Arms Inn on the corner of  Common Road , now a renovated cottage. There is a good chance that it was the long house that later became Fiddling farm house. This was recently demolished to make way for the new Church Gate housing estate.




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Richard introduction

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Questions and Answers 

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