New public art unveiled in Elsecar

A life size horse sculpture by Patrick Murphy celebrates the history of the village and beauty of the Trans Pennine Trail


Elsecar, a historic village in South Yorkshire, is home to a new stunning piece of public art that will be unveiled on Thursday, 30 May.


Industrious Revolutions, a life size horse sculpture made from corten steel, is the work of artist Patrick Murphy, who was inspired by the industrial heritage and natural landscape of the area. Replicas of the striking artwork in miniature form are available to purchase from Patrick’s studio, based in the workspaces behind the Cooper Gallery, Barnsley.


The sculpture is located close to Elsecar Heritage Centre, at the start of the Trans Pennine Trail, a coast-to-coast route for walkers, cyclists and horse riders that spans 370 miles across the north of England. The sculpture overlooks the original location of the Elsecar canal basin, which was completed 225 years ago this year and played a vital role in the transport of coal and iron from the local mines and works.


Patrick Murphy, who is based in Barnsley, said: "I wanted to create a sculpture that reflects the history and character of Elsecar, as well as the beauty and diversity of the Trans Pennine Trail. The horse is a symbol of the industrious revolutions that was vital in shaping this region, as well as the natural beauty that can be found along the trail. The corten steel material gives the sculpture a rustic and weathered appearance, blending in with the surroundings and changing with the seasons."


The sculpture is being unveiled as part of an 'Active travel showcase' held by the Sport and Physical Activity team at Barnsley Council, which aims to promote walking, cycling and other forms of sustainable transport across the borough. The exciting event will include an action packed RampUp session, free bike safety checks, an opportunity to try an Ebike, balance bikes, and an opportunity for visitors to learn to ride and more. The team will be in The Ironworks in Elsecar Heritage Centre between 10am and 1pm on Thursday 30 May.


John Wilson, Chair of the Trans Pennine Trail Partnership, said: "Elsecar is such a popular place, both for users of the Trail and for those visiting the wonderful Elsecar Heritage Centre. So much hard work is undertaken by partners at Barnsley Council to maintain the Trail and seek every opportunity to engage people using the Trail to visit the Heritage Centre and enjoy the wonderful delights on offer and this unique sculpture really adds to the landscape. The Heritage Centre really is a wonderful day out for all the family to enjoy and having the ability to get there using sustainable means is a credit to all involved."


Mandy Loach, Trans Pennine Trail National Officer, said: "This artwork feature has been a unique project to be involved with, representing not only the history of Elsecar Heritage Centre but also users of the Trans Pennine Trail. It's such an imaginative, striking tactile feature that will draw visitors from near and far."


Jon Finch, Head of Culture and Visitor Economy, said: “It’s an exciting time for Elsecar and there are ambitious plans for the future.  The sculpture is another great edition to the village and represents its fascinating history as a Northern Powerhouse during the Industrial Revolution. It has been installed as part of the improvement works to the Trans Pennine trail, which is a wonderful way to explore our beautiful borough.”


For more information about Elsecar Heritage Centre visit for more information about the Trans Pennine Trail visit

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