Sheffield Off The Beaten Path

  • David Attenborough Portrait by Rocket01
    David Attenborough Portrait by Rocket01
    by suvanki
  • David Attenborough Portrait by Rocket01
    David Attenborough Portrait by Rocket01
    by suvanki
  • Rocket01 working on David Attenborough piece
    Rocket01 working on David Attenborough...
    by suvanki

Most Recent Off The Beaten Path in Sheffield

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    Street Art - Can you see what it is yet?

    by suvanki Updated Jul 7, 2014

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    PLEASE DO NOT RATE THIS TIP
    In view of the recent court ruling, with Rolf Harris being awarded a custodial sentence for his many cases of child abuse- Sheffield City Council are planning to remove/paint over this painting - This news item has probably made more people aware of this painting than have known about it for the 20 or so years that it has been here.
    I'm in two minds whether to remove this tip, will wait to see what happens with removing Rolf Harris part, then will probably move it to gone section.

    As a child in the 60's, I remember watching Rolf Harris on Black and White TV, where he'd create paintings, with a large paintbrush, dabbing the paint onto a huge canvas, where, just before the piece was completed he'd ask the question 'Can you see what it is yet'? This became his catch phrase.

    Along with presenting TV programmes, He was also a serious artist, and an honorary member of the Royal Society of British Artists. He has presented some of his work in Sheffield, at the Smart Art Gallery, and during the annual Doc Fest, held at The Showroom.

    One piece of work, was on public display, at The Sheaf Valley Swimming Baths - apparently, this was a huge mural. I used to swim here, during the late 1970's, but I don't remember this mural. Apparently, a local baker 'rescued' the mural, before the baths were demolished, and had it on display in his bakery, which subsequently burnt down.
    The public baths stood in, what is now the bus station/travel Interchange, across from Sheffield train station.
    Well, there IS a piece of his work still on public display, not far from the station.
    On Paternoster Row, next to BBC Radio Sheffield is a wall, where this self portrait can be spotted. Apparently, he painted this, so that Sheffield could still have a piece of his work.

    The 808 above his figure refers to 808 State, a Manchester band, who recorded a version of Sun Arise, with Rolf in 1992. The recording took place in the now defunct FON studios. One bare exterior wall, was, with permission of the studio owners, the 'canvas' for this mural, created by Rolf and members of 808 State. If you check the website below, there is a video of the recording and painting - Oh and some didgeridoo playing!

    Other work has been added, to the left of the wall by local Street Artist Kid Acne.

    Trying to find out more about Street Art in Sheffield, and this piece in particular, I came across an interesting article (see website below) which explained another link between Rolf and Kid Acne.

    When he was 12-years-old Kid Acne appeared on Rolf Harris's Cartoon Club TV programme, then a year later he launched his 'career' in graffiti!

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    An advertisement to fireclay bricks and figures

    by suvanki Updated Nov 12, 2013
    Armitages former showroom facade
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    Located on Devonshire Street, many people must pass this building without realising that this Chinese cake shop Cake R Us, Yummys noodle restaurant and 'Within Reason' were once the warehouse and show rooms of John Armitage and Son, who owned the Wharncliffe Fireclay Works. They specialised in decorative moulded bricks and ornamental figures made from fireclay.

    Fireclay (or refractory clay) was used in the steel industry, to form crucibles and to line Bessemer converters. Armitage, was one of the leaders of the fireclay industry in the late 1880's, with his main works being in Deepcar, quite a distance from Sheffield centre, so in order to advertise his work, this place was purchased in 1888, with the decorative front serving as an advertisement for his work. The sign John Armitage and Son can be seen above the doorway to Yummys
    The bricks and mouldings were designed by Peter Nanetti.
    On the wall facing The Green Room, is a plaque with the date 1888 and above it, Wharncliffe Fire Clay Works sign, along with more examples of floral decorated tiles etc.

    Oh, the cake shop sells delicious goodies including locally produced Yee Kwan Ice Cream I haven't tried Yummys yet, and Within Reason has some lovely gifts and household items.

    John Armitage lived in Broomhill, at Etruria House, a Grade 2 listed Victorian building, now a hotel.
    (Etruria House Hotel, 91 Crookes Road, Sheffield, S10 5BD )

    Etruria, in Italy is noted for its high quality of pottery clay, and Armitage used similar clay to build this property.

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    High Hazels Park

    by suvanki Updated Jul 28, 2013

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    High Hazels Park - Darnall
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    It has been a few years since I last visited High Hazels Park, so I was very pleasantly surprised to see how the park had undergone a transformation.

    Originally the park was the private gardens of William Jeffcock - the first Mayor of Sheffield. High Hazels House was constructed in 1850 "With no expense spared" it had numerous bedrooms and stables for a dozen horses.
    The gardens were designed by Robert Marnock, who was one of the top garden designers of the day. He also designed Weston Park and The Botanical Gardens in Sheffield, as well as Regents Park in London.
    Following the death of his son, the decision was made to rent out the building, rather than letting the empty premises fall into ruin. For a while it was a boarding school for young gentlemen. It has also been used as a museum, a base for the Home Guard during WW2, and is now the Club House of Tinsley Golf Course. There is a cafe here too.

    The gardens were purchased by Sheffield City Council in 1894, to be used as public walks and pleasure grounds for the public to use. A short history of High Hazels Park can be downloaded from the website below.

    Darnall and the surrounding area was noted for its coal mining and steel industry , especially during the 19th century, so this was a pleasant place to view, and escape for a short time to relax. At one time there was an attractive boating lake.

    Over time the park fell into disrepair, became quite neglected, and a bit of a 'no go area'

    Thanks to the efforts of some local residents, the Friends of High Hazels Park was formed, and as a registered charity, working with Sheffield City Council, grants were obtained, which enabled the park to be restored to a pleasant park, with sporting facilities, a circular walk and sensory garden. The grounds are neat and tidy, with some ' natural islands' to attract insects and wild life

    Its location means that from the top of the park are some stunning views over the city and to the Peak District. High Hazels Park links with the Seventy Acre Hill Nature Reserve, which offers a near enough 360 degree panoramic view over Sheffield, including the now defunct Sheffield Airport.

    Markers for the High Hazels circular walk are made of old mining equipment including pick axes, gas masks and battery case etc. A reminder of the past mining industry that at one time flourished in the area.

    As well as Tinsley Golf Course, there are tennis courts, football pitches, a childrens playground with slides and spiders web climbing frame/zip wire, cricket wickets, bowling green and basketball nets.

    Rangers hold regular events, especially during school holidays offering a variety of activities for children.

    I really enjoyed my Sunday morning walk around the park, and onto Seventy Acre Hill, before returning to High Hazels Park. This has now become a regular walk.

    Senior Road, Darnall, S9 4PE is the main entrance
    Bus Number 52 to Woodhouse stops near the park entrance in Darnall - walk down Olivers Mount and turn left into the park.

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    Attercliffe - East End Park - Don Valley Bowl

    by suvanki Updated Jul 28, 2013

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    A useful Viewing Platform
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    On New Years Day, we went for (another)! wander around t'Cliffe, this time heading for a stroll around East End Park - (or Don Valley Bowl as I know it as) This site is part of where the vast 32 acre Brown Bayleys Steelworks was located.

    Brown Bayleys was established in 1888 (from the former Brown Bayley Dixon and Co), where Bessemer Steel was produced and production of railway tracks and speciality metals for transportation. Harry Brearley, the inventer of Stainless Steel was employed by the company - he was to become works manager and eventually a company director in 1925. (2013 is the Centenary Year of Brearley inventing Stainless/rustless steel, with various events to commemorate this throughout the city)

    During WW2 Brown Bayleys produced pieces requiring specialised steels. The works were interrupted by a bomb falling nearby, but resumed production as soon as possible. %L[ http://www.sfbhistory.org.uk/Pages/SheffieldatWar/Page05/page05i.html]Brown Bayleys during WW2

    At the Motorpoint Arena end, up the slope from the tram stop is this relic from a former life at Brown Bayleys. Initially I was told that it was part of a crucible, maybe a ladle, used for transporting molten steel, but it could also be a scrap basket. Nowadays it has been converted into a viewing platform.

    We 'clunked' up the metal steps for a 'Look See' (pic 2) Above the entrance are the numbers 0 0239 18 - not sure of the relevance of these.

    It was a clear day, so we had good views over to Wincobank Hill and down to the City Centre. In the foreground are the impressive buildings English Institute of Sport and Ice Sheffield.

    Judging by the debris strewn around and inside the platform, this is a popular 'drinking and smoking' spot!

    The Don Valley Bowl was quite deserted! It is used as an outdoor music site - I used to enjoy coming here for the free 'Heineken Festival' and Music in The Sun. It is also the venue for Sheffields Official Bonfire Party - 'After Dark'. It's a shame that it isn't utiluised more IMO
    August 10th-11th 2013 United Colours of Music Festival will be held here

    There are a few cycle/foot paths nearby, and it's a short diversion off the Tinsley Canal towpath.

    Off Coleridge Road S9 5DA - free parking on nearby streets
    Super tram - Yellow Route - Arena/Don Valley Stadium stop

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    Attercliffe - Hill Top Chapel

    by suvanki Updated Jul 28, 2013
    Hill Top Chapel Attercliffe
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    A hidden gem! The grade 11 listed, Hill Top Chapel dates back to 1629, with services being held from the 10th October 1630 . It took me a while to find the chapel, where Benjamin Huntsmans memorial can be found (along with other influential families)

    Initially I'd been searching the newer church yard of Christ Church, (which had been built when Hill Top became too small to hold all of the worshippers of Attercliffe. It was destroyed by a bomb during WW2), but realised that there was another grave yard -here at Hill Top, even then it took me a few attempts to locate the chapel!

    At my first attempt, the trees and shrubs of the chapel yard hid the chapel from view from the main road, and I'd driven onto a small industrial park, where I could see the building, but couldn't gain access - the gates were securely locked.

    A second attempt, the gates were locked again, but I had a better view from the perimeter of the Left side and rear of the chapel. I also spotted the LDV History trail blue plaque (pic 5)
    New Years Day, during a stroll around t'Cliffe we realised that the trees and shrubs had been cut back, with a clearer view - the gates were still locked. Mr B suggested that we could climb over the wall -Hmmm yes, I could possibly do this, but getting back over might be a bit trickier - oh and the chapel is directly opposite the Police station! So we just contented ourselves with viewing from the outer wall. I quite liked the plaque above the door (pic 2) with the year 1629 and the letters TAHB underneath -I'm guessing these are the initials of Thomas Bright

    I'll wait patiently for a chance to see the grounds and chapel. and Huntsmans tomb.

    The chapel was built in 1629 as a Chapel of ease to Sheffields Parish Church (now Sheffield Cathedral). At this time Attercliffe was outside the Sheffield boundary, but in the same Parish. Nearly 20 years later it became the Parish Church of Attercliffe to serve around 250 families of the area.
    The Bright family of nearby Carbrook Hall funded the building of the chapel. Thomas Bright was the Lord of the Manor of Ecclesall. John Bright, a descendant of Thomas was a Parliamentarian during the English Civil War and Carbrook Hall was a meeting place for Roundheads during the siege of Sheffield Castle
    Carbrook Hall is now a pub (serving food), with the reputation of being the most haunted pub in Sheffield. It's at 537 Attercliffe Common, Carbrook, Sheffield, S9 2FJ, so handy if visiting the Motorpoint Arena.

    Between 1779 and 1795 construction of the galleries and pews was carried out. Wealthy families rented the pews from the chapel.
    When the Congregational numbers grew too large, a second Church was built (Christ Church), which, in turn drew many members of Hill Top away. From 1894 the chapel was used mainly for funerals. As the congregation dwindled, the building was reduced in size, around 1909 by JD Webster (as is seen today)

    Despite Christ Church being destroyed in 1940, Hill Top didn't return to its Hey Day.
    With the demise of the steel industry and families moving away, along with a move away from the tradition of attending church or following a religion, the chapel closed in 1985.

    The Chapel has had a few programmes of restoration, (including 1993 by Martin Purdy) with sporadic openings - notedly from 2002, when the controversial Nine O'clock Community held services/meetings here until they were disbanded in 2009.

    In 2010 it returned to being the Anglican Parish Church for Attercliffe.

    Most recently, I noticed that it was a venue for a poetry reading during the 2012 'Off The Shelf' Festival - I'd hoped to mosey along for a quick peep around, but didn't get around to it
    It appears that there are services here each Sunday.

    A sign outside on Attercliffe Road gives the name and address of the rector, but the 'phone number is quite out of date - the Sheffield code of 0742 was replaced by 0114 2 on 16 April 1995!

    Attercliffe Common, Attercliffe, South Yorkshire, S9 2AE

    Opposite the Police Station and English Institute for Sport

    MAP

    Tram - Don Valley Stadium then a 5-10 minute walk
    Buses stop nearby including service 69 Sheffield - Rotherham

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    Joseph Thorntons Home -Thornton Chocolates!

    by suvanki Updated Jul 28, 2013

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    JW Thorntons old rented accommodation
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    When I moved to Sheffield in the late 1970's, I soon became aware of Thorntons Chocolates - There was a Thorntons shop on Chapel Walk (not far from Norfolk Street- where the first Thorntons premises were located), where I'd treat myself to a bag of Viennese Truffles on pay day. There might have been about 10 chocs at the most, and I'd have scoffed 6 in the short walk to the bus stop opposite the Cathedral!
    These were luxury chocolates for us, but were just affordable for a treat! Boxes of Thorntons Continentals were a treat to give or receive. As a student nurse, we felt blessed if a discharged patient left us a box of these to share. This was at a time before Belgian Chocolates and 70% cocoa bars were seen, unless you travelled abroad, or could shop at the luxury stores in London.
    At Easter time, I remember queueing to purchase their Easter eggs, which a member of staff would write a name or message in white icing . They also sell a range of toffees and ice cream
    Over the years, I spotted Thorntons shops in other cities, then their products in supermarkets.
    The company now owns 400 shops and cafes, and is the largest independent chocolate and confectionary company in the UK
    Sadly, there are reports that Thorntons are facing closure in the near future.

    Joseph William Thornton(1870-1919) and his family rented this house, at 64, Fitzwalter Road, from a New York businessman . It was from this house near Norfolk Park, that the travelling confectionary salesman Joseph, launched his first shop at 159, Norfolk Street in 1911, along with his 14 year old son Norman, who took over the business when Joseph died in 1919.

    By 1927, JW Thornton Ltd, were established enough to open their first factory in Sheffield - they'd spread their business from Sheffield to the Midlands.

    Over the years they reached a national, then limited international market.
    However, due to over expansion, the company is doomed to close over the next few years, which is a real shame.

    Although I knew that Thorntons originated in Sheffield, I wasn't aware of the whereabouts of this house until I was taking part in a walk around 'Sheffields Secret Spaces' as part of the Environmeet Week events. It is a private dwelling, that apparently wasn't known until research by Peter Thornton, one of Joseph's grandsons, led to the discovery of it's historical importance to Sheffield.
    Family quarrels led to Peter being ousted from the company, but he has since written a book
    Thorntons: My Life in the Family Business.

    Annoyingly, there are very few 'blue plaques' around Sheffield, so I was surprised, but pleased to see one here, especially as it is hardly known of.
    It was erected by the Hallamshire Historic Buildings Society (HHBS)

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    Ornate Facade of Cardboard Box Factory

    by suvanki Written Mar 23, 2013
    The former cardboard box factory
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    I've been intrigued by this building for many years. About 10 years ago, the building was developed into offices. While the façade was preserved, a whole new building was constructed behind it.

    It was the site of J Pickering and Sons' cardboard box factory, which was built in 1908. The building was constructed of fireproof materials- a steel frame with concrete, which was covered with ornate terracotta in the Renaissance style.

    Joseph Pickering was the son of a silversmith, who was apprenticed to James Dixon & Sons. One of his errands was to purchase polishing paste from John Needham, who had invented this paste, and ran his business from his home. Needham' s niece Harriet helped in the business, and she caught the eye of the young Pickering. They married in 1847, a year after the death of John Needham.
    The newly weds took over Needham's business, which prospered.

    to be continued...

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    A Hymn on the wall ...

    by suvanki Written Mar 23, 2013
    Inscribed Hymn at Eyewitness Works
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    I drive past the Eye Witness Works most evenings, but it was only very recently that I decided to explore on foot, as I'd spotted some examples of street art by Kid Acne on a doorway.

    Reading up on the Eye Witness Works later, I was interested to find that on one of the outer walls is an inscription of a hymn - it is uncertain who created this and why?
    Was the creator an employee of the works, a stonemason, or someone who had had experience in this craft.
    Was he devoutly religious or was this a memorial to someone?

    So, back to search for this 'hidden gem'..

    Facing the Eyewitness works on Milton Street walk to the left hand corner of the building and just as you turn the corner, about 5 foot up from the pavement , on one of the ashlar corner stones, you should be able to see this inscribed panel.

    The inscription is quite difficult to read in areas, due to 'wear and tear' and some poor 'tagging' in green spray paint.

    The inscription is of a Lutheran hymn,"My God My Father, While I stray' written by Charlotte Eliot(1789 -1871) It was often associated with funeral services.

    Hmmmmm - need to find out more about this !!!!

    Around this area can be seen many examples of street Art, which Sheffield is becoming famed for.

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    Sheffield Women of Steel plaque

    by suvanki Written Mar 23, 2013
    Sheffield Women of Steel Plaque

    During WW1 and WW2' the steelworks were kept running by the women of Sheffield, for many this was their first work experience. Working long hours, doing heavy, often dangerous work along with running their homes and bringing up families, while their husbands/boyfriends, brothers and fathers were away fighting. Many received half the wages of the men.
    .All this being carried out under the threat of enemy bombings - the steelworks producing artillery and armoury, being a prime target. The women were expected to work during the air raids, and particularly during the Sheffield Blitz of December 12th and 15th 1940

    At the end of the war, the heroic men returned to their jobs in the steelworks, and the women and girls returned to their previous roles. There was no acknowledgement of the work and sacrifices that these women had made for the war effort!!

    I was quite shocked to hear that there had been no official recognition of these heroines, who had contributed so much to the war effort - without them, the outcome of WW2 would without doubt been very different!

    It wasn't until 2009, that a few of the remaining Women of Steel were invited to No 10 Downing Street as a recognition of their work. For a short while this small group of heroines were celebrated by the local and national media.

    On November 5th 2011, there was small ceremony near to the City Hall, when a plaque was unveiled to the Sheffield Women of Steel. Four of the women and a female apprentice unveiled the plaque.
    To my shame, I'd forgotten about this until recently, and was puzzled as to why I hadn't noticed this plaque whenever I'd passed through Barkers Pool - surely it would be quite eye-catching and in a prominent position?

    Well No............. It took me a while to find, even though I had found out that it was to the side of the City Hall on Balm Green.
    Could it have been any more insignificant ?? No wonder that I hadn't spotted it before.
    I felt quite saddened by this, and wondered how the Sheffield Women of Steel and their families felt about this. How ironic that some of these women would have produced tonnes of steel, to end up with a metal tablet about A4 size!

    However....... There are plans to erect a large statue to the women. It was intended to be in place by November 2012, but up to press, it doesn't appear to be near completion. Sheffield City Council have donated £28,000 and fund raisers are hoping to make up the remaining £120,00

    I'm really looking forward to seeing the sculpture, especially as it is to be created by Martin Jennings. I particularly like his statue of John Betjeman in St Pancras Station in London.

    Women of Steel Appeal
    PO Box 4886
    Sheffield
    S11 OFF
    Cheques to 'Women of Steel SYCF'

    So, until the statue is in situ ....... Facing the City Hall, to the right, next to the garden is a small tree. The plaque is set into the paving.

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    The tallest church spire in Sheffield

    by Skillsbus Updated Feb 25, 2013

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    St John's Church
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    St John's Church, Ranmoor is a large parish church in Ranmoor, a suburb of the City of Sheffield. It is a Church of England church in the Diocese of Sheffield, and it is the second church to be built on this site. The original church, designed by E.M. Gibbs, was opened 24 April 1879. This building was almost entirely destroyed by fire on 2 January 1887; all that survived was the 200-foot-tall (61 m) tower and spire (the tallest church spire in Sheffield). A new church, designed by Flockton & Gibbs (the same Gibbs), was built that incorporated the old tower and spire. The church reopened on 9 September 1888; it is a Grade II listed building.

    Located on Fulwood Road. catch a 120 bus towards Fulwood and get off at Ranmoor Inn/ Notre Dame School

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    Attractive cast-iron bridge

    by Skillsbus Written Feb 25, 2013

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    Storth Lane Bridge
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    The late 19th century bridge carrying Stumperlowe Crescent Road over Storth Lane is a listed structure. This attractive cast-iron bridge, with stone steps, is best appreciated from Storth Lane.

    Catch a 120 bus towards Fulwood. Get off 3 stops past Ranmoor Inn. Storth lane is across the road and the bridge is a short walk up Storth Lane. Access to the top is by stone steps on the opposite side of the bridge.

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    Flockton’s Folly

    by Skillsbus Written Feb 25, 2013

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    The Mount
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    The Mount is a Grade II* listed building situated on Glossop Road in the Broomhill area of Sheffield in England. It stands just over 2 km west of the city centre. It is a neoclassical building which was originally a terrace of eight houses but since the 1950s has been used for commercial office space for various businesses. The building is part of the Broomhill Conservation Area, which was set up in March 1977 through an agreement with local residents and Sheffield City Council.
    The Mount was built by the local architect William Flockton in 1830-32. At the time of its construction it stood in a rural situation and was nicknamed “Flockton’s Folly” because it was thought to be too far out of town to attract potential buyers. Flockton was in fact emulating the trend set by Bath’s Royal Crescent and London’s Regent's Park in constructing a building that looked like a country mansion but in fact contained several separate dwellings. The Mount consisted of eight apartments, described as "genteel dwellings", they were numbered 2 to 16 from the Newbold Lane end towards Glossop Road.

    Flockton had no doubt about the quality of The Mount and its location, calling it, “a handsome Ionic edifice … substantially built and in design and taste far exceeding any of the present erections in the neighbourhood of Sheffield”. The Mount with its south-facing views over the Porter valley, became a fashionable location to live, attracting some of the upper echelon of Sheffield society. The success of The Mount greatly enhanced Flockton’s reputation as an architect and he used the design of the house as a basis for his better known and grander Wesley College which he built nearby on Glossop Road in 1838.
    The most famous resident was the editor and poet James Montgomery who lived at number 4 from 1835 until his death in 1854. Other well known people who lived at The Mount included, Walton J. Hadfield, the City Surveyor who lived at number 2 from 1926 to 1934, James Wilkinson, the iron and steel merchant who lived at number 6 from 1837 to 1862 and George Wostenholm, the cutlery manufacturer, who lived at number 8 between 1837 and 1841. Numbers 14 and 16 were lived in by George Wilson, the snuff manufacturer between 1857 and 1867, one house was not big enough for his family.

    The Mount was purchased by the Sheffield department store John Walsh Ltd. in the early years of the 20th century and flat numbers 10 to 16 were used as housing for their staff. The Mount was used as a temporary retail outlet when Walsh’s store on High Street was destroyed in the Sheffield Blitz of December 1940. By the end of 1941 Walsh’s had moved back to the city centre, taking up short-term residences on Fargate and Church Street until a new permanent store was built after the war. In 1958 The Mount was purchased by the United Steel Companies for offices, being converted by the Sheffield architects Mansell Jenkinson Parnership who also installed lifts in the building. In 1967 it became the regional headquarters of British Steel. In 1978 the building was purchased by the insurance company Norwich Union.

    In July 2009 the building was let out to A+ English, a Sheffield based Language school who carried out an extensive refurbishment before opening for business in September 2009. The building has 1,385 square metres of floor space on three floors with an integrated basement car park. The Mount is owned by Aviva, the parent company of Norwich Union.

    catch a 120 bus to Fulwood and get off the stop after the Royal Hallamshire Hospital

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    Hillsborough Walled Garden

    by Skillsbus Written Feb 22, 2013

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    Hillsborough Walled Garden
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    Hillsborough Walled Garden is situated in Hillsborough Park next to Middlewood Road in the Sheffield 6 area.

    The walled garden site dates back to 1779 when it was probably used to grow soft fruit for Hillsborough Hall. Food was grown there for many years for the various owners of the hall.

    In 1903 the ownership of the hall and parkland passed to us, the garden becoming a nursery and training centre for the council’s gardeners for 80 years.

    Like many local authority sites throughout the country, the garden suffered several years of decline during the 1980's due to cutbacks in park maintenance budgets.

    The garden's fortunes improved during the early 1990's when Hillsborough Community Development Trust redeveloped it as a tribute to the people who died in the Hillsborough Disaster.

    Liverpool F.C. donated a replica of Anfield's Shankly Gates as an entrance to the garden. The trust continued to manage the garden to a high standard until December 2005, when it once again became under our management.

    The garden provides a green oasis in an urban environment, containing borders in a range of styles, a greenhouse, a wildlife area, 2 ponds, a willow play den, an example of an 18th century heated wall and the Stable Block.

    This building was actually used by the gardeners rather than for stabling horses - a function it retains to this day.

    The garden is available for use by the general public. It supports volunteer work placements and school visits, and also hosts a range of events and activities.

    Opening times
    Summer (April – September): Every day 9am – 4pm
    Winter (October – March): Mon – Fri 9am – 3pm

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    Hillsborough House

    by Skillsbus Updated Feb 22, 2013

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    Hillsborough House
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    Hillsborough House was built in 1779 as a dwelling for Thomas Steade (1728-1793) and his wife Meliscent, who had been living in nearby Burrowlee House, which is situated just 250 yards to the east. The Steades were a family of local landowners whose history went back to at least the 14th century. When built the house stood in rural countryside well outside the Sheffield boundary. Steade named his new residence in honour of Wills Hill who at the time was known as the Earl of Hillsborough, an eminent politician of the period and a patron of the Steades.

    Stead acquired more land and the grounds eventually had an area of 103 acres (0.42 km2). The grounds were much more extensive than the present Hillsborough Park, stretching north to the current junction of Leppings Lane and Penistone Road, and included the site on which Hillsborough Stadium now stands. It extended further south encompassing the site now occupied by the Hillsborough arena. The grounds had areas given over to agriculture but there was also extensive parkland featuring a lake, two lodges, and a tree-lined avenue. There was also a walled garden, which still exists today, that provided fresh produce for the house’s kitchens.

    Broughton Steade inherited the house upon his father's death in 1793 but sold it in 1801 to John Rimington Wilson of the Broomhead Hall family. In 1838 it was sold again to John Rodgers, the owner of a well-known local cutlery firm. Rodgers renamed his residence Hillsborough Hall as he thought this better reflected the significance of the property. Between 1852 and 1860 the Hall was occupied by the family of Edward Bury (1794-1858), the pioneer locomotive builder and part founder of the Sheffield steel firm of Bedford, Burys & Co. A plaque by the front door of the present day building commemorates the residency of Bury and his family. In 1860 the Hall was sold to Ernest Benzon, a German-born financial advisor.

    In 1865 Benzon sold the house to James Willis Dixon, son of the founder of the well-known Sheffield firm James Dixon & Sons, silver and metal smiths. Dixon made considerable alterations and redecorated the property. Archives record that at that time there were six servants' bedrooms with a nursery on the second floor and five family bedrooms on the first floor. On the death of James Willis Dixon in 1876 his extensive library of over 1,000 books was sold off, his art collection, which included works by Rembrandt, Rubens, and Watteau, was also auctioned.

    The death of J.W. Dixon junior in 1890 caused the hall and its grounds to be divided into 14 lots and auctioned off. Sheffield Corporation (now Sheffield City Council) bought Lot 1, which included the hall and the surrounding 50 acres (200,000 m2) of land. A northern section of the estate on the far side of the River Don was sold to Sheffield Wednesday Football Club which needed a new home ground as the lease on their Olive Grove ground had expired. Lands on the western side of the estate were sold to build Hillsborough Trinity Methodist Church and to accommodate new housing as the city of Sheffield expanded. The streets that these new houses were built on were named Dixon, Wynyard, Willis, Lennox and Shepperson, all names connected to the Dixon family.

    In 1906 the house opened as Hillsborough library, although there were suggestions that it could be an art gallery and museum. The surrounding 50 acres (200,000 m2) of land purchased by the council became Hillsborough Park. Hillsborough’s first librarian was Henry A. Valantine; his salary amounted to £111. In 1929 a single storey extension was added to accommodate a new junior library. In the 1940s and 1950s a maternity and child-welfare clinic was located on the first floor. In 1978 the building was found to have dry and wet rot and was closed for repairs. The rooms on the library’s upper floors are used by local councillors and Members of Parliament for surgeries.

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    Royal Exchange Buildings, Lady's Bridge

    by suvanki Updated Feb 16, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Royal Exchange Buildings from Castle Market
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    For many a year, I've passed by this attractive building and wondered about its origin. For many years it's ground floor has been a bargain 'roll end' carpet shop owned by Hancock and Lant.
    I've always liked the glazed brickwork and 'dutch gables' My usual view has been of the facade from Lady's Bridge when entering or leaving Wicker.

    I've 'recently discovered' the pathway that leads around the edge of this building towards the Victoria Quays canal basin. Adjacent to the Royal Exchange is Castle House (not to be confused with the 1960's Co-Op Castle House building), where I spotted some attractive stained glass windows and two doorways with stone carvings. One has a coat of arms (Bryars ?) and the motto 'Vis Unita Fortier' - United Force is Stronger! (pic 5)

    Visiting the Castle Market to view the castle foundations, the man showing me round pointed to this building and said that it used to be a horse hospital and that the winch on the side of the building was used to hoist horses up to the upper floors. Well I understood that there had been stables around here, but wasn't too sure about sick and injured horses being moved this way. I guess horses would have been used to transport goods too and from the markets as well as the drays that worked for the nearby breweries.

    Well, I now know that The Royal Exchange Buildings are Grade 11 listed. They were built around 1900 and refurbished in 1996.

    John Henry Bryars, a vet and animal breeder, who practised on nearby Blonk Street, was responsible for the construction of the building on land which he owned. Flockton, Gibbs & Flockton were the architects/builders who created 20 two bedroomed flats, a house for a veterinary surgeon and a surgery at the rear of the building, (The entrance is apparently marked with a horses head design) There was also a house for a groom and shops. At the rear was a dog shelter 'The Home for Lost Dogs at Lady's Bridge' opened on 26th July 1900, but closed ten years or so later due to damp from the River Don. For more info about the architecture and purpose ofRoyal Exchange Buildings

    Bryars was responsible for the care of the Midland Railway Company's dray horses. Four floors of the five storeyed Castle House , adjacent to the Exchange Buildings (also constructed by Flockton et al) housed the horses. Ramps provided access to the upper floors. There was a farriers shop and 'Sick Bay'
    Tommy Ward, a scrap metal merchant, (Thomas Ward Ltd, which still operates today) employed' an elephant during WW1 to replace the horses that were commandeered for war duties. Lizzie was to become the most famous resident of these stables. She was an Indian elephant that was one of the acts of a travelling animal show, Sedgwicks Menagerie.
    There was once a public house nearby called The Elephant and Castle, which was probably named after Lizzy.

    With the increase in motorised transport, horses were no longer required for haulage purposes. The stables were converted into a pea canning factory around 1928/31, and made history - This was to be the first canning factory of Batchelors - who continue to market their mushy peas today. William Batchelor was born in Sheffield. In 1895, he discovered how to preserve food such as peas by canning them, and formed Batchelors Foods. He died aged 53 whilst on holiday in 1913. His 22 year old daughter Ella took over the running of the company and was responsible for its developement.

    The Royal Victoria Buildings on the opposite side of Ladys Bridge were also part of Bryars project, again constructed by Flockton, Gibbs and Flockton.

    Lady's Bridge, Wicker Sheffield 1

    10 -15 minute walk from bus/train station
    Nearest Tram Stop - Castle Square or Commercial Street.

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