BARNSLEY historians are being urged to dig deep into the past to unearth more about the origins of a historic village pub after its long-awaited refurbishment kicked-off this week.

Developers who are reviving the Fountain Inn at Ingbirchworth - which will see the pub reopen - are keen to uncover more about its history.

The earliest reference Conroy Brook has been able to find is in the 1871 census which shows it existed.

The landlord was George Huscroft, 45, who ran the pub with his wife, Sarah, and his occupation was listed as ‘beer house keeper’.

By 1881, the landlady was widow Caroline Sykes, 63, born locally in 1818. She lived at the pub with her son, Albert, her husband David seemingly having passed away a few years earlier.

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By 1901, Edward Woodward and his wife Elizabeth Ann were holding the fort and still noted as doing so in 1911.

“We are looking for help from local historians to piece together more of the Fountain’s history,” said marketing manager Jake Brook.

“While work is progressing at a pace, we are looking for help again - this time from local historians.

“We have been looking into the origins of the Fountain Inn but it is not as easy as you might think.”

Initial plans for the site would have seen the old inn demolished - leaving Ingbirchworth with no community space or facility at all.

However, after a local outcry and a planning refusal from Barnsley Council, the firm decided to build fewer homes - nine - and bring the Fountain back to life.

Jake added: “It’s good the Fountain is about to re-emerge on the 150th anniversary of the first historical note,” said Jake. “As the oldest remaining pub in the village - there were three at one time - it seems to have held its name throughout the timeline.

“Does anyone know anything more? When was it built or converted? We would love to find out more.”

Contractors are now on site for the demolition of the extension to the pub, leaving only the original building, which will be completely refurbished.

“The Fountain is central to the whole project as we know how much the pub meant to the village and how disappointed everybody was that it had been empty for so many years,” said Conroy Brook’s chief executive, Richard Conroy.

“We are delighted to be on site with a scheme that will be entirely sympathetic with the surrounding neighbourhood and which we are confident will prove extremely popular.

“We look forward to bringing a revitalised pub back to life with the support of the local community.”