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Where is Barnsley?

Books on J Hudson Taylor’s early life point to Barnsley (his birth town) as being in North Yorkshire or in West Yorkshire.   Why the confusion?

England is divided into regions known as “Counties”    From the map it appears that Yorkshire is the largest of the counties but this is misleading.       Yorkshire is actually 4 separate counties: North Yorkshire, East Yorkshire, West Yorkshire and South Yorkshire.     It’s a bit like the Dakotas or Carolinas in the USA.

At the time of Hudson Taylor’s birth there were 3 Yorkshire Counties known as “Ridings” (meaning 3rd).     At that time Barnsley was in the “West Riding of Yorkshire” but a reorganisation of county boundaries in the 1970s means that Barnsley is now in South Yorkshire.

Barnsley has NEVER been in North Yorkshire or the North Riding.

Now you know!

Barnsley is mid way (about 30 minutes drive) between the cities of Leeds and Sheffield and about one hour from Manchester.      Part of the Barnsley area is in the Peak District National Park and the town centre it’s self is rather hilly.   

Take the drive from Manchester via the A628 Woodhead road through some of the most beautiful countryside in England; in winter the road regularly closes due to snow and ice.