Although the origins of the Village of Goldthorpe go back over a 1000 years, the Village you see today both in terms of the structures and the people, is here due to the Coal Mining industry. Although there were several Collieries in the Dearne Valley , the people of Goldthorpe had their closest links with Hickleton Main Colliery, Barnburgh Main Colliery, Goldthorpe Colliery and Highgate Colliery.
The whole village from late Victorian times, to the 1980’s was in some way connected to the Mining Industry and the economic fortunes of both individuals and the village as a whole were tied.
Just as the opening of the mines had a dramatic effect on the lives of those living in this place in the late Victorian times, the events that started in 1984 changed Goldthorpe irrevocably.
1984/1985 was undoubtedly the lowest point in the village’s history, Coal was in the blood and was the village’s identity. Money was tight and an uncertain future faced all. Through these times, the Parish Church and its then Vicar Fr Marshall, did all that was possible to tend not only to the spiritual needs of the villagers but also their practical needs. The tree’s around the Vicarage where harshly pruned to provide fire wood, soup kitchens were set up at the Welfare Hall and Fr Marshall appealed nationally for financial support. When donations form all over the country started to arrive, these where converted into £5 vouchers to be spent at G.T. Smiths (now the Coop) and distributed from the Vicarage with queues stretching down the drive and along Lockwood Road.
From the mid 1980’s to the present day the people in this place have had to adjust to a life after mining. In the last 10 years, new industrial estates have opened (on the site of Highgate Colliery) and new housing built (one estate on the sight of the Goldthorpe Colliery). The slag heap the ran the length of the west side of the village has been landscaped and turned into park land known as ‘Phoenix Park’.
The Village now looks to the commencement of a full village regeneration project due to start in the next couple of years. This includes a new school, the creation for more green spaces and the relocation and expansion of the market square. Goldthorpe’s 3 churches St. Alban, St Michael and St John and St Mary Magdalene have changed and evolved with the village as a whole. The current renovated Parish Church stands as a testament to the spirit and tenacity of the people in this place. Within the church is a window dedicated to all those men and boys who have died in the mining industry in the area, together with a book of remembrance.
Hickleton Main Colliery 1892 – 1988
Barnburgh Main Colliery 1912 – 1989
Goldthorpe Colliery 1910 – 1994
Highgate Colliery 1916 -1985