Industrious Revolutions

Industrious Revolutions is a life size sculpture of a horse made from corten steel. It celebrates the history of the historic village of Elsecar and beauty of the nearby Trans Pennine Trail.

Elsecar was built by the Earls Fitzwilliam, close to their vast family home at Wentworth Woodhouse, from the late 1700s. The village was home to their deep coal mines and monumental iron works, whose huge furnaces would be seen for miles. When the first deep colliery was sunk in Elsecar, a Newcomen beam engine was installed in 1795 to pump water from the pit. The steam engine became one of the most important remnants of the Industrial Revolution in the area.

All this rich history was formed the basis of Patrick’s research at the start of  developing a sculpture for Elsecar.

Patrick says: “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 Industrial Revolution; the phrase ‘Horse Power’ sums up their importance in this period and in shaping this region, as well as their connection to 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. Within the body of the horse are all the elements that have shaped this place over the last 250 years, including the railway, canals, mines and Elsecar itself. These are surrounded by the nature, birds, flowers and wildlife that now shape the contemporary landscape found on the Trans Pennine Trail. I enjoyed adding the modern day elements of dog walkers and cyclists to the body of the horse as there are many who pass by the sculpture everyday when using the trail.

I wrote a verse which is featured at the base of the sculpture that takes us on a journey from the days fueled by past industry to the experiences found today of quiet contemplation and bird song “

The sculpture is located at the entrance 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 215 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.

The sculpture also connects to themes of ‘Active travel’ which aims to promote walking, cycling and other forms of sustainable transport across the borough.

Mandy Loach, Trans Pennine Trail National Officer, said:

“This sculpture 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.”

Cllr Robin Franklin, Cabinet Spokesperson in charge of Regeneration and Culture, 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 TransPennine trail, which is a wonderful way to explore our beautiful brough.”


Commission: Trans Pennine Trail / Barnsley Council
Place: Elsecar
Year: 2024
The horse being created in the workshop
Industrious Revolutions installed in position looking down the Trans Pennine Trail
The sculpture looking toward the 1795 Newcomen Beam Engine.
Patrick stood next to Industrious Revolutions after unveiling. Photo by Asadour Guzelian
Above photographs by Asadour Guzelian