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Barnsdale Bar services

Barnsdale Bar
Barnsdale Bar services
Road:A1 between Doncaster and Pontefract
(Google Maps link)
Address:Great North Road
West Yorkshire
Signposted from the road?Yes
Previous operators:Autogrill, Kenwell
Previous names:Doncaster
Grid reference:SE505146
Services type:Two sites located between junctions, with no public connection between them.

A former dual-sided Little Chef service area on the route to the south.


southbound only: DD's Services
Main Amenities:
southbound only: Meeting Room
southbound only: Southside Lodgewebsite
Forecourt: Shell, Select, Deli2go, Costa Express, Air1 AdBlue, Autogas LPG

Shell operate the filling stations

Trivia and History

Today, the southbound services trades as DD's, an independent and the lodge trades as Southside Lodge which used to be part of the Siestas Inn chain. Within the southbound services, there is also a meeting room.

The former Little Chef on the northbound side is now a Pulse & Cocktails Adult Superstorewebsite.

The site is named after the site of the former Barnsdale toll gate or 'bar', which was situated at the junction between the Great North Road and the Pontefract Road during the era of horse-drawn coaches, before the growth of the railways. For marketing purposes it has often been referred to as 'Doncaster services', but then so have several other nearby facilities.


The restaurant as it opened, as a Fortes Autogrill.

The southbound side of the services was built in the 1960s by Fortes as a large and formal service area under their Autogrill brand, with Kenwell providing the catering. Along with Oxford Peartree on the A34, it was built as a scaled down version of Forte's motorway service station sites, designed for A-roads. The two sites were very similar as they shared the same building design with the exact orange roof. Autogrill supplied the building with a large restaurant and shop and the site was later joined by an American styled Travelodge motel with a bar known as the "Barnsdale Bar" inside of it. Over the years the main services building traded under many names, but all under Forte ownership, including Forte, Autogrill, Motor Chef, Trusthouse Forte and briefly Welcome Break. Restaurant options grew to take in Forte's "The Granary" brand and there was even a carvery option alongside it at one point.

At the time of opening, there were no northbound facilities; just a car park with a linking footbridge to take people to the southbound side. However, in 1980/81, a Little Chef and filling station was built on the northbound side in order to help attract more northbound custom and to also give the services another restaurant option. The southbound building continued to trade as the Granary until it was replaced with a Little ChefHistory in 1988/89. This gave Barnsdale Bar a dual sided Little Chef site.

In the 1980s, the Travelodge was rebuilt in order to give it the up to date "Forte" design of the era.

Owing to its prime location beside the busy A1, Forte gave the southbound Little Chef a Coffee Stop in the 1990s. This later became a Burger King in the Granada era, although it later closed.

In the 2000s, the linking footbridge was demolished as it was no longer needed.

In 2004, both Barnsdale Bar sites closed (under Permira ownership), only to be re-opened in 2005 by Little Chef's new owners People's Restaurant Company. On re-opening the Travelodge became Days Inn, symbolising the breakup of Little Chef and Travelodge. PRC then set about adding Coffee Tempo! to the Little Chef offering on the southbound side in 2006/7 and the site continued to trade as a large Little Chef site.

In 2010 the Shell service stations were demolished and rebuilt, allowing the addition of a Select store on the forecourts, with a Coffee Republic on the go facility. In 2012, Coffee Republic was replaced with Costa Express.

In 2012, Little Chef Express replaced Coffee Tempo! at a time when then owners R Capital had decided to close 67 branches. This seemed positive for Barnsdale Bar as it reinforced their commitment to the site. Thus it was a complete shock when, in September 2012, more surprise closures were announced and these included Barnsdale Bar so there ended a long association with Little Chef and it's various parent companies at the site.


Carcroft (A1 northbound, 3 miles)
Blyth (19 miles)
Services on the A1Darrington (A1 southbound, 3 miles)
Ferrybridge (5 miles)