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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...
Written Mar 23, 2013
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.
Written Mar 23, 2013
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
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.
Written Mar 23, 2013
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
Updated Feb 25, 2013
Phone: (0114) 230 1199
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.
Written Feb 25, 2013
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
Written Feb 25, 2013
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.
Summer (April – September): Every day 9am – 4pm
Winter (October – March): Mon – Fri 9am – 3pm
Written Feb 22, 2013
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.
Updated Feb 22, 2013
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.
Updated Feb 16, 2013
I found out recently that you could view the foundations of Sheffield Castle that are hidden under the Castle Markets - I thought that you could just turn up to the Information desk and be shown round, but now know that You have to make an appointment, so after enquiring at Castle Market Info desk, I was directed to the Castle Markets desk on 5th floor, via lift, left my details, then was called to make an appointment
At the appointed time and date I turned up at the info desk and was presented with an info pack which included an interesting booklet of the history of Sheffield Castle and Sheffield Markets along with photo copied articles from the local Star Newspaper.
After a short wait, a market staff member appeared to take me through the market, to the entrance to the foundations, which is above the ramp paralell to the river and Castle Gate.
I'd done my home work, so realised that I'd just be seeing a small rock wall, so wasn't expecting too much, but it was still quite exciting to see a part of Sheffield History, that many aren't aware of! When the Castle Market is finally demolished, there are plans to open up the foundations for public viewing, possibly making it a feature of the link between the Victoria Quays and the City Centre.
The original Sheffield Castle was constructed of timber in the motte and Bailey style, thought to be planned by William de Lovetot, Lord of the Manor, in 1100. It was destroyed in 1266 during the de Montfort rebellion against Henry 111. Thomas de Furnival was Lord of the Manor at the time. In 1270, he was granted permission by Henry 111 to rebuild the castle in stone. The castle. Thomas died before his castle could be completed. He was buried in the castle chapel
The castle extended from the confluence of the Rivers Don and Sheaf at Castlegate, near the Castle Market to the Sheffield transport interchange at Pond Street. Waingate is curved due to following the castle walls!
Besides the chapel, the castle contained "A Great Hall, A Great Chamber (Dining Room?) a wardrobe, The Lords Chamber and outer chamber, the Ladies Chamber along with a bakery, brew house, pantry, wash house and low wash house,a round tower, a square tower and a turret, round towers on either side of the gate house and walls running alongside the waterside, a porters lodge, a dungeon, a square room, little kitchen, old kitchen, a kennel and a range of stables" These were recorded during an inventory of all the household goods of the Earl of Shrewsbury
Deer Parks where the Lords of the manor hunted, stretched as far as Handsworth, which was outside the Sheffield boundary.
One of the most famous visitors to Sheffield Castle was Mary Queen of Scots, who spent 14 years in the custody of the 6th Earl of Shrewsbury from 4th February 1569. Most of this time was spent at Sheffield Castle and the Manor House, along with visits to Buxton (to 'take the healing spa waters' ) and Chatsworth House. The above named inventory was conducted during her stay at the castle, which also itemised her "stuff" and her people. She had quite a large entourage - a modern day Diva? including her doctor and a surgeon.
The itinary also lists the hawle at the Poandes This is The Old Queens Head pub in Pond Street.
In August 1584, Queen Elizabeth finally released George, Earl of Shrewsbury from the role of Marys custodian, which he thankfully handed to Sir Ralph Tutbury.
George was broken by this experience - ill health, a failed marriage (to Bess of Hardwick) and the realisation that his political aspirations were to remain dreams.
Three Years later on 8th February 1587, Mary, Queen of Scots was tried and executed at Fotheringay, Northamptonshire.
Updated Feb 9, 2013
Phone: 0114 273 5281
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