Ancient Suburbs of Sheffield — Part 2.   David Templeman 13th January 2020

David is a his­tor­ian and a volun­teer at Manor Lodge.

He began his talk about areas in the south­w­est of Sheffield, start­ing with

Ecclesall.

The name derives from “Hecksel” which meant “witches’ hill/slope”.

Other names in the area, such as “Endcliffe” and “Dobbin Hill” follow a sim­ilar theme.

Endcliffe is derived from “elf cliff” and Dobbin from “dobby” (mean­ing goblin).

Ecclesall was not a vil­lage, just an area, but monks built a chapel, later fol­lowed by a parish church, built in 1788, on the chapel site.

Wilson’s Snuff Mill became a major employer in those early days.

The last rem­nants of Eccles Hall was Eccles Hall Farm, which was demol­ished in 1935.

Many other areas, well-known to the audi­ence, were men­tioned next.

Hunters Bar — was a Toll House where tolls were col­lec­ted from trav­el­lers coming into Sheffield from the Derbyshire area.  The Toll house was closed in 1884.

Ecclesall Woods — The land was owned by Earl Fitzwilliam.  The main occu­pa­tion was making char­coal, which was sold to the steel industry, but besoms (brooms) were man­u­fac­tured there and there were sev­eral other wood­land crafts.

Whiteley Woods — the name derived from “Hwit-Leah-Wudu”, mean­ing “a bright fair clear­ing”.  In the woods by the river is the Shepherd’s Wheel (still in exist­ence) — one of the many cut­lers’ wheels, that were driven by water power, on sev­eral of Sheffield’s rivers.  These wheels, and the men who worked them, made Sheffield famous for its cut­lery industry.

Banner Cross Hall — This was the home of the Bright family until 1748 and much later became the offices of Henry Boot com­pany.  It is now apart­ments?

David also men­tioned Charlie Peace, the infam­ous Banner Cross Murderer, who was hanged in Armley Prison in 1879.

Millhouses — Ralph de Eccles gave a bequest of a corn mill to Beauchief, known as Miln Houses.  In mid-1880s it was only23 houses, a few cut­lers’ shops and 7 small pits.

 

Dore. — in Anglo-Saxon “Dor” means “door or entrance or pass”.

Dore is a very ancient vil­lage and was the place of a famous treaty.

In 829AD Dore formed the bound­ary between Mercia (conquered by King Ecgbert of Wessex) and Northumbria (ruled by King Earnred). At a meet­ing at Kings Croft, Dore Earnred offered “obed­i­ence and con­cord” to Ecgbert.  Through this treaty Ecgbert became Overlord, or King, of England.

In ancient times the only road through Dore was a pack­horse trail.  Most people were employed in agri­cul­ture but there were other trades, such as button maker, saw maker, anvil maker, file cutter and boot and shoe maker.  Dore parish church was at Dronfield but a chapel-of-ease was built at Dore.  This was a nave chapel and a bell.  A new church was built in 1829.

Probably the best know res­id­ent of Dore was Richard Furness, the school­mas­ter.

He was also over­seer, archi­tect, scribe, lawyer, doctor, singer, poet and sur­veyor as he describes (brags?) in his poem…..

 

I, R.F., school­mas­ter of Dore

Keep parish books and pay the poor

Draw plans for build­ings and indite

Letters for those who cannot write

Make wills and recom­mend a proc­tor

Cure wounds, let blood with any doctor

Draw teeth, sing psalms, the haut­boy play

At Chapel on each holy day

Paint sign­boards, cart names at com­mand

Survey and plot estates of land

Collect at Easter, one in ten

And on Sunday say….Amen!!!

 

He had a salary of £18 but in 1841 was cri­ti­cised by school inspect­ors who found his school in chaos, and the chil­dren fight­ing and squab­bling among them­selves.

He even­tu­ally resigned but was gran­ted a pen­sion of £15 annu­ally!

(If his poem is cor­rect, I don’t know how he found time to teach!)

David’s story then moved across the city to:

Gleadless which was so close to sev­eral bound­ar­ies.  The Shirebrook stream marked the bound­ary between Derbyshire and the West Riding.  The name Gleadless was derived from “Glida Leah” which meant “a kite clear­ing in the wood”.  The main occu­pa­tion was farm­ing, but this changed to mining and drift mines in the area pro­duced over 2000 tons of coal in one year.  Not many people had clocks and they guessed the time by the sound of the miners’ clogs as they went on shift.

Hollinsend was a strag­gling hamlet of small farms and cot­tages.  Two of the oldest cot­tages exis­ted until 1970 when they were demol­ished because they were “unfit for human occu­pa­tion”.

Wadsley Bridge — “Waddes Leah” mean­ing a “forest clear­ing”.  Wadsley Hall dated back to the 15th cen­tury and nearby was a ford across the River Don which was used by cattle and carts.  There was a row of step­ping stones for ped­es­tri­ans.  Later a wooden bridge was built and in the 19th cen­tury this was replaced by a stone bridge.

Owlerton — “Alor-tun” mean­ing “a farm­stead by the elder”.

At Owlerton there was a well of holy water that was said to have won­der­ful medi­cinal prop­er­ties.   The Manor Courts were held there too.

Both Wadsley Bridge and Owlerton were ser­i­ously dam­aged by the Sheffield Flood.

This was an enlight­en­ing talk, with lots of inform­a­tion, delivered with great enthu­si­asm by a ded­ic­ated his­tor­ian.