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Barnsley Canal Main Page
BARNSLEY CANAL
OLD ROYSTON TO ROYSTON
PAGE 2 - ROYSTON, BEAR CAVE
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 Navigate the Barnsley Canal main sections by using the 'Related Pages' menu on the right. The pages are listed from the River Calder, Wakefield to Barnsley, and on to Barnby Basin.


Click to view canal route diagram. Barnsley Canal Route Diagram.

Click to enlarge


Bear CaveThe Bear Cave Marker
Artist: David Mayne, created: 2001 in mild steel.

The inscription reads:

"The Bear Cave is a local name for a drainage shaft that was constructed for the Barnsley Canal. The canal was last used in 1953 but sections are still clearly visible on the walk. The bear became extinct in this country by the XVI century but there is still a wide variety of life that can be found along the Boundary Walk. A whole range of birds including swans, ducks and other water fowl, herons, woodpeckers, owls and raptors such as the kestrel, sparrow hawk and merlin have all been seen. Badgers, foxes and rabbits are also common, look carefully across the fields and you may see a hare, or, down by a stream, a water vole or even a grass snake, southern hawker or emperor dragonfly."



Click to enlarge

A little bit more about Bear Cave.....

Geoff Penn writes:

I have a great passion for Royston and its industrial heritage. I wrote the railway and canal chapters in "Ryhill In History" (*) back in the early 1980s.

I grew up in Royston and the images help me reminisce about good times and good people. The "Royston Bear Cave" is a puzzle as we never knew it as that as lads.

It was a Rite of Passage to shimmy down the very steep bank, enter ths cave, follow it through and climb up the shaft to the surface some distance away. The shaft was just like a well and I really think that is what it was rather than a drainage shaft?
There was an old tree stuffed down the shaft and this is what we used to climb back out. It was dark, tight and very scary !!

The "old abandoned bridge" carrying the present day footpath was over the"Royston Curve" which connected the Barnsley Coal Railway to the Midland main line. It was opened in 1882 and closed in 1897. The East side of the cutting below it was called "First Valley" and the the West side was called "Second Valley". This used to flood in the 1950s and provide a habitat for newts, frogs, water boatmen etc. There was a "Third Valley" up towards Notton Station but this was a no-go area for us as it was frequented by tramps.

(* Ch. 4 The Barnsley Canal and the Ryhill Area, Ch. 6 Ryhill and the Railways)



Click to enlarge
1. Old Royston and Royston area showing Monckton Main Colliery, the Barnsley Canal and railways. Based on the Ordnance Survey, 1894.
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2. Old Royston and Royston area showing Monckton Main Colliery, the Barnsley Canal and railways. Based on the Ordnance Survey, 1906.
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3. On the right track, a Trans Pennine Trail Way Marker between Royston and Old Royston in the Bear Cave area.
[27 Jul 2010]
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4. This pillar of the old railway viaduct is on the east bank of the canal, and just to the west of the Trans Pennine Trail.
[26 May 2014]


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5. Ahead, past the Bear Cave Marker, the track crosses the Barnsley Canal via a footbridge and continues northwards towards Notton Lane. The old Midland Railway line is to the right.
[26 May 2014]
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6. Looking to the south. Remains of the dismantled Barnsley Coal Railway viaduct that once straddled the canal and the Midland Railway line.
[26 May 2014]
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7. Looking to the north. Remains of the dismantled Barnsley Coal Railway viaduct that once straddled the canal (left) and the Midland Railway (right).
[26 May 2014]
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8. Old railway bridge to the west of the canal, in the Notton junction area.
[26 May 2014]


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9. Another view of the old railway bridge and remains of the dismantled railway.
[26 May 2014]
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10. Monckton Coke and Chemical Works viewed from the dismantled Notton Junction Branch Line area.
[26 May 2014]
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11. The footbridge across the canal.
[28 Jul 2002]
[June 2010]


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