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29 October 2014
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July 2003
Elsecar Heritage Centre
steam engine at Elsecar
Steam power at Elsecar!
If you're on a bargain hunt, or if you'd like to see what local crafts are thriving, take a trip to Elsecar Heritage Centre...
Culture listings

Elsecar Heritage Centre
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Opening times:
10am - 5pm, 7 days a week except Christmas day, Boxing Day and New Years Day

Living History Centre open 10.30am - 4.30pm open every day except Monday (not including bank holidays)

Site entry - Free
Living History Centre - £1.50 adults, £1concessions

Getting there:
By car: Junction 36 of the M1; then follow the brown signs.

By train: The Heritage Centre is a short walk from Elsecar Station. Follow the brown signs.

Contact details:
Elsecar Heritage Centre
Wath Road
S74 8HJ

Tel: 01226 740203.
Fax: 01226 350239

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Rory Dollard by BBC South Yorkshire
contributor Rory Dollard

The Elsecar Heritage Centre is free to visit and buzzing with activity.

It manages to strike a balance between tourist attraction and focal point for local businesses.

While there are the usual tea rooms and gift shops that one expects from any cultural honeypot, there are many features that make the EHC unique.

For collectors of all kinds of antiques

Such attractions include the Living History Centre (an annex that can be visited for a very modest price) and the Victorian Classroom.

The latter of these is a recreation of a bygone age of teaching and is open for business on selected days. While this was closed on my visit, a well placed peep though the window revealed it to be an intriguing prospect… let's just hope they don't take the reconstruction all the way to the cane.

Add to this a restored steam engine lying proudly in the courtyard and a shiny new children's playground and one already has an interesting local centre.

But this is only half the story.

inside of antique shop
Nearly 120 antique and craft traders operate from Elsecar

The true revelation about the EHC is that it is simultaneously a family visitor attraction and a working hub of industry.

Workshops cover the complex and at any one time it is possible to see a range of carpenters, craftsmen and traders grafting to create and sell products on site.

In a single trip to Elsecar Heritage Centre, one could (wallet permitting) come back with a rocking horse, a bonsai tree, an antique clock, a barometer and a classical painting.

So, as well as serving as a venue for families and school groups, the centre also provides a network of antique and craft traders (nearly 120 dealers operate with Elsecar as their base) that would put a traditional Dickensian city centre to shame.

antique bottle
On a bargain hunt? Elsecar could be the tonic!

As if this were not enough, there are many seasonal extras.

Look out for auctions (bargain hunters be on their toes), natural health shows and large craft shows.

Buyers, sellers, window shoppers and those who have just a fleeting interest in the crafts, either past or present, should make a trip to the EHC top of their to-do list.

- Rory Dollard

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