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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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 Pauline Wilson from Hemsworth January 2009


 I am researching my Husbands Family History and find his ancestors moved to Brierley from Shafton around 1860ish (The Wilson's) On the 1871 census they are living at Folly Hall Farm. In 1891, the son has moved to Folly Hall Cottages leaving his Father at the farm. I am wondering if there was a Folly Hall, where the landlord of the Farm and cottages would have lived. Do you know of one. I would appreciate any pointers on how to go about getting that sort of information, ie where to look. Hope you can help.


Regards Pauline Wilson Hemsworth


Reply from Richard

Thank you for your enquiry about Folly Hall Brierley Pauline.  

On the 1840 Tithe Award survey Septimus Dobson was the tennant of Folly Hall  Brierley with about 10 acres of land the owner was a widdow called Ann Smith.

There is a note on Folly Hall in my booklet 'Brereley a history of Brierley' on my web site at


in the chapter 'Brierley Manor Court' please see this extract;

"These fines also show that there was another, lesser-known manor in Brierley, the manor of Folly Hall. In a fine dated 1584 Trinity Term, we find Robert Swift as plaintiff and Robert Lee, esquire, as deforciant, the lands in question being this time, the Manor of Follyatt Halle and six messuages and three cottages with lands in Balne, Pollington, Campsall, Snaith, Norton, Kirk-Sandal and Strisethorpe. Folly Hall stands a quarter of a mile to the northwest of the road to Hemsworth. As with all farms in the area, re-building has been carried out throughout the centuries resulting in a mixture of building styles. In Balne there is a piece of woodland called Folly Hall Wood. As the lands mentioned above are all close to Balne and not Brierley it is possible that they belonged to Folly Hall Balne. "

The 'Foliot' family were given land in Fenwick, a hamlet in the Balne area by the de Lacy's of Pontefract. The area of Balne in the lowlands east of the A19 between the rivers Air and Don, marked in the north by the hamlet of Balne and in the south by Thorpe in Balne, could take its name from the ancient spa at Askern which was known to the Romans. The name comes from the Latin 'balneum' meaning bath.

I see from the 1881 census that Richard Wilson a farmer aged 62, and his wife Charlot 62, with their children John a butcher aged 25, and Elizabeth A? 20 all born in Felkirk parish were living at Folly Hall at that time.


Folly Hall stands well back off the left of the road to Hemsworth on its own private lane just before the Brierley roundabout at the start of the Hemsworth By pass. It is possible that the name derives from the family name Foliot. To help you locate it I have attached three photographs, it was a dull day today so the photos are not my best. Two show the notice at the Farm entrance on the road side on the way to Hemsworth. The one of the Farm was taken from Robin Lane near South Hiendley which is the best angle but a long way from the buildings.








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