Ernest Jones Blue Plaque Unveiled

16th October 2023

September was Barnsley’s Heritage Month, and as part of the celebrations, a blue plaque was unveiled commemorating the birthplace of Ernest Harold Jones (known as Harold) in Sackville Street.

Harold was born there on 7th March 1877 after his father, William, had relocated to Barnsley from Carmarthen, where William became the first headmaster of Barnsley’s new School of Art. After great success in this role, the family returned to Carmarthen to create a new School of Art there. Harold became a pupil teacher there before gaining a scholarship to the Royal College of Art in 1902.

A diagnosis of tuberculosis meant that Harold was advised to seek a drier climate and this was how he came to be working as an archaeological artist in Egypt, gaining enough experience to oversee excavations himself.

Harold returned to Egypt each year and that is where his path crossed with those of Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon, and the rest, as they say, is (ancient) history!

Unfortunately, the heat and dust badly affected Harold’s health and he died in Egypt just two days after his 34th birthday. The work he completed before his untimely death laid the foundations that Howard Carter was able to build upon and finally discover the real tomb of Tutankhamun.

Harold’s important contribution was acknowledged by the unveiling of his blue plaque in the presence of our Patron, Professor Jo Fletcher, the Countess of Carnarvon, the Deputy Lieutenant of South Yorkshire, the Mayor and Mayoress of Barnsley and members of Barnsley Civic Trust.

For more information about Harold’s fascinating life, you can read Professor Jo Fletcher’s Blog here Ernest Harold Jones honoured in his Barnsley birth place – Barnsley Museums Blogsite (  

Ernest Jones Blue Plaque Unveiled