Blue plaque unveiled to Joseph Bramah

Inventor Joseph Bramah will be remembered on Tuesday, 12 September when a blue plaque is being unveiled in his honour by the Mayor of Barnsley, Cllr Mick Stowe at Wentworth Castle Gardens.

The event, which has been organised by the Barnsley Civic Trust and the National Trust, begins at 11 am and is taking place on the last day of Wentworth Castle Gardens opening its doors for free during the Heritage Open Days festival.

As part of the national festival, which celebrates local history and culture, Wentworth Castle Gardens will be free to enter from Thursday, 10 to Saturday, 12 September. The stunning visitor attraction, which is home to glorious gardens, woodland, and parkland, will offer lots of other unique experiences to enjoy over the three days, from opening up parts of the site that are not usually accessible, to family theatre and workshops. It will also celebrate Barnsley Heritage Month throughout September.

The plaque, which was designed and funded by the Barnsley Civic Trust, was originally due to be unveiled in 2017 but was delayed due to the Covid pandemic. It is fitting that the unveiling takes place this year, as 2023 marks the 275th anniversary of Joseph Bramah's birth in Stainborough.

Joseph Bramah (1748 to 1814) was one of Britain’s most important inventors and the father of hydraulic power. Inventions included an unpickable lock, a beer pump, a flushing toilet, hydraulic presses, and devices for pulling up trees.

People can find out more about Joseph in Experience Barnsley Museum, the award-winning museum made by the people for the people. On display in the Town Hall atrium is the original 1791 continuous fire pump made by Joseph Bramah.

Wentworth Castle Gardens is a partnership between the National Trust, Barnsley Council, and Northern College, together they host a variety of activities to support the local community and include everything from poetry exhibitions to development programmes.

Cllr Robert Frost, Cabinet Spokesperson for Regeneration and Culture, said: “Joseph Bramah made a significant impact on engineering during the Industrial Revolution with his ideas having a positive impact on our lives today. It is important that he is recognised for his contribution, and it is wonderful that the plaque has been installed in the village where he lived. It will be a very special occasion and we hope that people can go along to celebrate such an important figure in Barnsley’s history.”

John Love, Chair of the Barnsley Civic Trust said: “It has been great to work alongside the National Trust on this project and we are grateful for their support. We are pleased to finally be able to unveil the plaque and thereby complete this worthy project. We very much hope people can join us at the unveiling ceremony.”

For more information about Heritage Open Days visit for heritage activity in Barnsley visit


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