The present day Barnsley Cricket Club was formed by Thomas Edward Taylor and Joseph Cantor in 1864, as a result of the amalgamation of the Clarence Club and the Beechfield Club, who had previously amalgamated with the Locke Club.
The first captain of the club was a local colliery owner, Richard Thorpe who, together with his brother Albert Thorpe, commenced efforts to establish the newly amalgamated club in the town. In September 1864 the club even ventured to France to play against Boulogne.
In 1869 two very important figures energerged, Captain Reg. Bury and William Carr, together they commenced the conversion of a "sloping meadow" into the ground as it is today. Carr had two spells as Secretary, combining this duty with his talent as a "fine batsman".
Professional Cricketers figured largely in the clubs development and in 1895 two "pro's" - Chatterton of Derbyshire and Wainwright of Yorkshire made their debuts for Barnsley at Shaw Lane in front of a large crowd against Pitsmoor in the West Riding League. A large and eager crowd saw a Barnsley win.
Just prior to the Great War the club went through a golden era with Ambrose Williams being one of the notable players. Williams joined Barnsley in 1911 and took 83 wickets in his first season after joining from from Mitchell Main. The club finished runners up in the league that year, largely thanks to Williams efforts under the captaincy of C.W.K Peiffer. This started a run of 3 seasons in which Williams excelled before war intervened. After the war he was eventually picked to play for Yorkshire in 1919, taking 9-29 on his debut, alongside Ernest Smith, another Barnsley CC player.
After the second world war Clifford Hesketh, the chairman, embarked upon a programme to improve the wicket and practice facilites, together with the engagement of professionals who would double up as coaches for "schoolboy talent". This far sighted approach paid dividends as first Edwin "Eddie" Legard and Harold "Dickie" Bird came through the ranks to become first team and eventually county cricketers. It was during this period that a young journalist made his name as an opening batsman at Shaw Lane - Birds opening partner - a certain Michael Parkinson. The team was captained by Norman Umbers and finished 2nd in the Yorkshire League in 1958.
In the sixties and seventies, a number of cricketers came through the ranks and went on to represent Yorkshire and England including Geoff Boycott, Arnie Sidebottom, (who also played football for Manchester United) and the late Graham Stevenson. Despite this galaxy of talent, the team managed a top position of 3rd in the league when the side, captained by club stalwart Trelford Mills, were depleted on an almost weekly basis by county calls.
The eighties saw Martyn Moxon and Darren Gough join from Monk Bretton CC and become England internationals. Again the first XI managed third position at best in 1985.
At last, Barnsley won the Yorkshire League in 2006 for the first time in their history under the captaincy of Richard Wilkinson, who joined the club aged 12. Included in that side were Mark Beardshall and Alex Morris, two home grown players who tasted first-class cricket with Derbyshire and Hampshire respectively. The season was notable in that every team throughout the club, from Under 11 to first team, won its respective league or cup.
A member of the current England squad, Gary Ballance, is a player at Shaw Lane. Ironically though, perhaps the clubs most famous product made his name after retiring from the first class game; umpire Harold "Dickie" Bird.