The Tankersley ironstone bed was named from its major outcrop at Tankersley near Barnsley in South Yorkshire. The ironstone occurs in the Coal Measures as nodules[a]Small rounded lumps of matter distinct from its surroundings and thin seams of siderite[b]A brown mineral consisting of ferrous carbonate, the main component of some kinds of ironstone in mudstone about 5 to 15 metres above the Flockton Thick coal seam.
The ironstone bell pits in Tankersley Park belonged to the Wentworth Fitzwilliams. Ironstone mined in the Tankersley parish before 1795 was sent to the Chapeltown furnace. Mining expanded with the opening of ironworks at Thorncliffe in 1793, the ElsecarFormer mining village in South Yorkshire, six miles north of Rotherham and six south of Barnsley. Ironworks started in 1795 and the Milton Ironworks started around 1800. Mining from bell and gin pitsHorse-driven engine used in lead and shallow coal mines. in and around the park continued until the 1850s.
A deep engine pit in the park supplied Milton Ironworks after 1840 and another engine pit to the east of the park at Skiers Spring supplied the ironworks from 1849. At the 1851 census two deep pits and several gin pits employed 251 miners. The deep shafts that were sunk in 1830 by Earl Fitzwilliam supplied local ironworks until about 1879, when iron mining ceased and the pit was converted to a colliery.
Mining from the 14-inch-thick ironstone bed became important near Emley in West Yorkshire in the 12th century. Lay brothers came from Cistercian abbeys in other parts of Yorkshire to work the iron ore along its outcrop, particularly at Bentley GrangeShaft mounds and earthworks south of Bentley Grange Farm are the remains of a medieval iron mining site between Emley and West Bretton in West Yorkshire. , which at the time was the main centre of the iron ore industry. James Milnes of Flockton CollieriesFlockton Collieries comprised several pits, some started before 1700, around Flockton and Middlestown between Wakefield and Huddersfield in the West Riding of Yorkshire. leased the Tankersley ironstone at Emroyd Common in MiddlestownAncient township of four villages, renamed from Shitlington to Sitlington in 1929. in the late 1790s.