Totley History Group
Totley History Group

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We hope you enjoy your visit to our site which celebrates the history of Yorkshire's most southerly village. New material is added all the time, so to keep up with our research, make your visits frequent! 


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Grove Road and the Totley Brook Estate

A tree lined Grove Road with gas lamps. A tree lined Grove Road with gas lamps.

Following an enquiry from a resident, we have been looking into the history of Grove Road and the first Totley Brook Estate. The land that later became the original Totley Brook Estate had been owned in the early 19th century by the Duke of Devonshire before it was acquired for development by Mr Edmund H. Sanderson, a Sheffield estate agent, in 1873.


A Freehold Land Society, the Totley Brook Estate Company, was formed and its inaugural meeting was held on 12 June 1873 at the Royal Hotel, Abbeydale Road, Highfield, when a committee of nine was appointed to manage the estate. The Chairman was Mr Fairmaner of Cemetery Road, Sheffield, and the remainder were professional men, small businessmen and manufacturers.


Freehold Land Societies played an important part in the urban development of 19th century England. They differed from Building Societies in that they were not dealing with negotiations for single properties, but with the development of estates. In some cases there was a political element to the society in the provision of homes for the ‘working man’. In encouraging the population to acquire their own homes, this also made them eligible to vote. There was also the better ordered environment for the professional and business classes in the planned estate, which led to the ‘garden city’ and ‘garden suburb’ of the early 20th century.


An early development was to plan out the estate into allotments, to remove the dam and construct it elsewhere, and to sell the plots. The construction of a dam and reservoir at what is now the entrance to the back drive to Grove House was advertised:


Saturday 23rd August 1873 Sheffield Daily Telegraph (page 4)
Contractors willing to Tender for the Construction of a Reservoir for the Totley Brook Estate, Abbeydale, can inspect the Plans at my Offices, from Monday, the 25th of August, to   Monday, the 1st of September, on which latter day Tenders must be delivered to me not later than One o'clock. J.B. Mitchell-Withers, Architect, St. James'-street, Sheffield. 


A tender of £275 was accepted from Mr Reuben Clarke and Mr Harvey was appointed as auctioneer at a fee of £3 3s. 0d. The auction of the plots took place at the Royal Hotel on 15 September 1873. All 105 plots were sold at prices ranging from 5s. to £24. 

Totley Brook Estate allotment plan 1876, eastern part Totley Brook Estate allotment plan 1876, eastern part

There were thefts and vandalism on the site, In February 1874, two guineas was paid for the cost of prosecuting Peter Pinder for committing wilful damage to a fence wall. Several committee meetings were cancelled due to poor attendance, causing the introduction of fines of 3 pence if members were more than 15 minutes late for meetings and 6 pence in the event of failure to attend ‘except in the case of sickness or absence more than six miles from Town.’ 


A road was built through the estate from the main road to Baslow by 1875. 


Saturday 12th June 1875 Sheffield Daily Telegraph (page 5)
Totley. To be Sold, two Plots of Land, lying together, forming part of the Totley Brook Estate, running from the newly-formed road to the Brook side. Water pipes have recently been laid down, by which water from the Estate's Reservoir is conveyed to each plot, and a good supply of water will thus be obtained free of cost. - Apply Elias Needham, Accountant, Norfolk-street.


At this time roads in rural areas didn’t have formal names. Local authorities had no responsibility for erecting road name signs until after 1925. The road to Baslow, for example, was called variously  “the Baslow road”, “Abbeydale road”, “Main road”, or “the Turnpike road” (they always used lower case in those days).  The new road, which was really an improvement to the back drive to Totley Grove, was referred to as “the Totley Brook Estate road” or simply “Totley Brook road”.  This road connected the plots on the estate to the main Baslow road at the corner shown on the 1876 plan i.e. at Grove Lodge (built as a lodge to Totley Grove in 1836).  

Totley Brook Estate allotment plan 1876, western part Totley Brook Estate allotment plan 1876, western part

The estate road was severed by the building of the railway line and it was only in 1892 that a new stretch of road to the north of the railway line was built to connect the severed western end of the estate road with Abbeydale Road. The name “Totley Brook road”  then became used for the road as we know it now and “Totley Grove road”, later “Grove road”, was used for the truncated eastern section of the estate road although people still referred to it by its old name well into the new century.


Totley and Dore in those days were attractive places to visit at weekend for city dwellers, with fresh air, walks on the moors and numerous pubs and ale houses. The opening of Dore & Totley Railway Station in 1872 had made the journey time much shorter and people came in huge numbers:


26th May 1877 Weekly Supplement to the Sheffield Daily Telegraph
Local Railway Traffic
On Monday, there was a great increase in the railway traffic to and from both the Midland and Victoria Stations. From the former station there went 30 passengers to Scotland, 350 to London, 170 to Birmingham, 220 to Morecambe, 180 to Nottingham, 400 to Matlock and 2,000 to Dore, Totley and Beauchief.


Property was being built along Abbeydale, moving ever further from the city. Joseph Mountain was one such  land owner and builder who had housing estate schemes at Millhouses, Beauchief, Abbeydale Park and Totley Rise culminating in the opening of the Victoria Gardens in 1883 which attracted even more people to area. Lying outside the city and county boundaries, rates were lower in Derbyshire than in Sheffield or adjacent villages in the West Riding of Yorkshire like Heeley.


Sanderson and his associates appear to have named the estate “Totley Brook” to make it more attractive to potential investors and proprietors. No one in the city would have had a clue where Oldhay Brook was.  It was evidently not an error as some people think; it was a marketing ploy.

Totley Brook Estate shown in the OS 6 inch map 1898, surveyed in 1896-97 Totley Brook Estate shown in the OS 6 inch map 1898, surveyed in 1896-97

The building of houses was rather slow; only 8 dwellings had been erected by 1888 and 12 by the time the Ordnance Survey mapped the area in 1896-97, (Grove Lodge and Grove Cottage predated the estate). The conclusion was that the plots were often bought as an investment with a view to selling them to the Midland Railway Company at a vast profit. 


Saturday 22nd December 1883 Sheffield Daily Telegraph (page 15)
The Proposed New Railway in Derbyshire

The customary notices have been served on the property and land owners in the district through which the proposed new railway from Dore to Chinley (near Chapel-en-le-Frith) will pass. At a meeting of proprietors of shares in the Totley Brook estate on Monday night, it was unanimously decided to maintain a neutral position in regard to the scheme, but it is probable that they will, when called upon, take joint action in assenting or otherwise.


Eventually most of the plots on either side of the railway line fell into the hands of the Railway Company.


Thursday 29th August 1889 Sheffield Evening Telegraph (page 4)
The Totley Brook Estate
The land allotments at Totley, known as the Totley Brook Estate, since their acquisition in 1873 by Edward [sic] Sanderson, have, at length, in the main, fallen into the hands of the Midland Railway Company. The usual, or at least very common vicissitudes of most building and land societies, have troubled this one almost from the beginning, and although forfeitures, arrears, expenses, and other matters have from time to time created an amount of anxiety amongst the members, the ultimate holders have succeeded in transferring their interests to very satisfactory advantage. From the time of the Midland Railway Company bringing in their bill for the construction of a railway through the district in 1888, the gentlemen who had paid off the existing mortgages and obtained possession of a remainder of 34 plots, at a cost of about £2,500, entertained an abiding idea of lucratively disposing of their lands or such portions of them as would in all probability be required by the promoters of the Dore and Chinley Railway, which was planned to pass near and through these properties. These opinions were fully warranted, as the sequel proves, and the terms having at length been agreed to, the new owners, the Midland Railway Company, paid over the purchase moneys on the 22nd inst., and the Totley Brook Estate as an investment proprietary ceased to exist. To mark this event, the recipients of the welcome remittances decided to assemble over a social commemorative dinner, which was accordingly provided regardless of cost, and held at the Red Lion Hotel, Heeley, on Tuesday last, the menu on this occasion including the choicest of everything in season, and placed on the tables in a most tasteful manner by host and hostess Bowler. After dinner, with Mr. H. Wragg in the chair, and Mr. A. Benton, vice, a hearty toast to the Midland Railway Company, coupling therewith the prosperity of the Dore and Chinley Line in particular, was drunk, congratulations interchanged, and with excellent musical introductions, a most enjoyable evening brought the celebration to a close.

There were a few instances where proprietors, who had built houses on their plots, brought successful court cases against the Midland Railway Company for damage caused during the construction, but most of the houses were built after the disruption was over.  Before the railway the estate was thought to be on a beautiful part of the countryside.


Thursday 16th April 1891 Sheffield Daily Telegraph (page 6)
A Bakewell correspondent sends me an interesting note, In November, 1888, whilst a number of navvies were at work preparing for the new line which runs through Totley Brook Estate, he engaged two of them to remove for him an old sun dial. In doing so they came across a wooden box containing a sealed bottle, which had been placed there by himself. In the bottle was a manuscript which, with the sun dial and stone pedestal, was brought to him at his then residence, Totley Brook Cottage. The manuscript recorded the death of a favourite cat, which had been worried by a dog, and buried there. The site of the sun dial and grave of the cat are now included in the cutting of the Dore and Chinley line. "The original manuscript," says my correspondent, "serves as a 'movable' relic to remind me of the many hours spent in tilling my garden plot (59) which extended to the brook side. The Totley Brook Estate was laid out by the late Mr. Edmund Sanderson in 1873, and was for many years one of the most beautiful spots in the county. The stream was celebrated for its trout, whilst its banks were a haunt for the kingfisher, woodpecker, and many other rare and beautiful birds. With kind regards from an old Sheffielder, Farewell."


As late as 1893, the village policeman had received a one pound reward for apprehending trespassers on the estate - probably after the trout.


In 1894, the year that the new railway line opened for passenger traffic, the Trustees of the Totley Brook Estate demanded that they be relieved of their duties by plot owners who were resident on the estate. Guy Mitchell, of Brook House, was the Estate Society Secretary for a period. Many of the plot owners could not afford to build to the standards required by the Estate. All building was to be of stone with a minimum value to the property. Trees were planted at 15 yard intervals and the general upkeep of the estate including gas lighting, water supply and drainage was continued until the dissolution of the Estate Society in 1923. The gas lights on Grove Road were still in use apparently as late as 1962 according to Carloyn Howden


Totley Brook Road looking west from Kengarth (no. 90) Totley Brook Road looking west from Kengarth (no. 90)

The Victorian and Edwardian houses on Totley Brook Road were designed by many different architects and erected by many builders and at different times according to the wishes of the proprietors. It was profitable business and all the leading firms of Sheffield architects competed for the work.


By the time of the 1891 Census it would appear that six properties had been built on Grove Road, although Woodleigh House and Brook House are the only ones named. The foundation stone to the Totley Rise Methodist Chapel was laid in May 1895. In the late 1890s they were frequently coming up for sale, particularly the semi-detached villas known as Horton Villa and Glenroyd, Dalston Villas (a semi-detached pair) and Brook House.


Saturday 27 February 1897 Sheffield Independent (page 4)
Tuesday next, at 3 p.m.
At the very low upset price of £900 to ensure a sale
Valuable Freehold Residence at Totley Brook, Dore

To be sold by Auction, by Messrs William Bush an Sons, at their Estate Sale Rooms, Church street, Sheffield, on Tuesday, 2nd March, 1897, at 3 for 3.15 prompt, subject to Conditions:

The Excellent Detached Stone-built Residence, situate on the Totley Brook Estate, and known as Brook House, formerly in the occupation of the owner, Mr. H. B. Atkinson, together with the Gardens, Conservatories, Forcing Houses, and Outbuildings. The house contains Dining, Drawing, and Breakfast Rooms, First-rate Billiard Room, Large Kitchen, Five Bedrooms, with Box Room, Bath, Lavatory, and W.C. Also comfortable Cottage for coachman or gardener, containing Kitchen, Scullery, and two Bedrooms, and with a separate Garden.
Additional Bedrooms could easily be erected over the Billiard Room.
There are also extensive Stabling for several horses, Loose Box, Coach-house, and yard with glass roof, Cow Houses, and other convenient Outbuildings. The Garden is fully stocked with fruit trees and well-grown shrubs.

The Dore and Totley Station is less than a quarter of an hour's walk from the houses, and the new Dore and Chinley Line affords ready access to one of the most attractive  districts of Derbyshire. The water supplied from the reservoir on the Totley Brook Estate is plentiful and good, the cost being nominal. The site is freehold, contains 2118 square yards or thereabouts, and has an extensive frontage to Totley Brook road. The piece of land on the opposite side of the road, and half an acre in extent, is used as ornamental garden ground, and held under the Midland Railway Company on a yearly tenancy of £2 per annum, and as it is surmised that a considerable period must elapse before the Railway Company will require this land for extensions, it is extremely improbable that the tenancy will be disturbed.Possession can be given 25th March next.

For further particulars apply to the Auctioneers, Church street; or to: G.T. Fernell, Solicitor, 23 Bank street, Sheffield. 


But there were still empty plots offered for sale up to the turn of the century and beyond.


Saturday 29 May 1897 Sheffield Independent (page 4)
Eighth Sale. Tuesday Next, 4.30.
Totley Brook Estate
Freehold Building Land

To be Sold by Auction, by Messrs Nicholson, Greaves, Barber, and Hastings, in the Sheffield Estate Auction Mart, 2, High street, on Tuesday, 1st June, at 4, for 4.30 precisely, subject to the Sheffield Law Society's Conditions:
The Two Plots of Freehold Building Land, being Plots Nos. 24 and 25, on the Totley Brook Estate, containing together 2183 Square Yards, Exclusive of Roads. Further information of the Auctioneers; or Messrs Hy. Vickers, Son, and Brown, Solicitors, Bank street, Sheffield.


As with the Mountville Estate at Totley Rise, estate agents claims were not always truthful about the water supply and drainage.


Thursday 16 June 1898, The Sheffield Daily Telegraph (page 7)
Norton Rural District Council (extract)

... A letter was read from Mr. W. Terrey, general manager of the Sheffield Corporation Water Department, stating that he found that the guarantee required to extend the mains necessary to supply the houses on the Totley Brook estate with water would be £20 per annum; that he had had a valuation made of the properties in Totley Brook and Grove Roads, and ascertained that if the owners of property agreed to have the water laid on the annual revenue derived therefrom would be £46 8s. 3d., which would more than meet the necessary guarantee. Dr. Gale again pointed out the danger that might arise from drinking the present supply of water. There was, he said, no supply in their district where there was greater danger of contamination. The brook received sewerage from houses, and in summer time, when enteric fever was very prevalent, and when the water was low, if an outbreak of fever was to occur, it would give rise to a great outcry....


Nor was the walk to the station as easy as claimed. 


Wednesday 2nd March 1910, Sheffield Daily Telegraph (page 9)
Totley Rise, Feb. 28, 1910
Sir, - With reference to Mr. Hancock's recent letter re the above and more particularly the last paragraph, whilst not pretending to know the condition of "the whole of the roads," I for one, do certainly think the main road between Dore and Totley Station and Totley Rise is "a disgrace" to which ever authority has the roads under its care; and after the unanimous opinion of the residents expressed at the recent meeting in connection with the matter, one would have thought that steps would have been taken to remedy the state of affairs before now. The footpath is, if possible, worse than the road; there are, in places, some remains of prehistoric asphalt which is rapidly getting broken up, and disappearing, leaving holes which are generally full of water (or mud). One can see, any morning, a string of people walking single file from Totley Brook Road to the Station, as the only place fit to walk on is the kerbstone. I fully agree with "Resident's" remarks and hope the agitation will continue until the main road, at any rate, is made good. Yours truly, Another Resident. 

The Methodist Church Sunday School which faces on to Grove Road was built in 1913. We believe that the original names of the two adjacent semi-detached properties were Horton Villa and Glenroyd but the carvings on the gatepiers are very badly worn. The pair of semi-detached houses at numbers 7 and 9 were built in 1925.

Dore & Totley High School moved to Brook House, Grove Road, in 1933 Dore & Totley High School moved to Brook House, Grove Road, in 1933

Dorothy A. Trott moved her Dore & Totley High School to Grove Road in 1933, initially occupying Brook House, but later expanding into Woodleigh House in 1938-39, Brook Lynne during WW2, and Marlborough Villas in 1957. The school also purchased the allotments at the end of the cul-de-sac in 1955. The land was cleared and levelled and became playing fields. The High School closed in 1966 and the properties became part of Sheffield Polytechnic.


When the latter relocated to other sites, including the former Totley Hall College of Education on Totley Hall Lane, the Grove Road properties became surplus to requirements and the site was deemed to be of greater value for the development of executive housing without them rather than with them.

Brook House boarded up in 1978 Brook House boarded up in 1978, one a set of 5 photographs by Bob Warburton

The houses were demolished in 1978 and were replaced by the Hassall Homes Estate which also extended into the old High School playing fields. Five old stone-built properties built as part of the Totley Brook Estate were demolished, namely Marlborough Villas (25-27), Woodleigh House (23), Brook House (19-21), Brook Lynn (17), and Dalston Villas (13-15).  Of the houses built on Grove Road before 1911, only Holly Bank (11), Glenroyd (5), Horton Villa (3), Grove Lodge (1), Sunny Vale (now Westgrove 6), and Grove Villa (now Bridge House, 6 Baslow Road) remain.


Research continues... If you have any further information or photographs of the demolished properties, we would be delighted to hear from you.

Your Correspondence

We would like to thank our many readers for their correspondence in recent times.

We have been surprised and delighted to receive correspondence from members of the family of Dr. Rice K. Evans, the American Vice and Deputy Consul in Sheffield, who lived in Totley from 1909 to 1928. Our article on the Evans Family was one of the earliest to appear on our website in the spring of 2013. Brian Duckworth, from West Roxbury, Massachusetts, wrote to say how much he enjoyed reading the article. Brian married Rice's great granddaughter Katherine Evans Eskin. Katherine's sister, Cornelia (Neal), who lives in Munich, had come across the article and mentioned it to other members of the family. Brian's email was followed shortly afterwards by one from the sisters' father, Otho Evans Eskin. Otho has sent us extracts from his memoirs and given us permission to publish them together with several family photographs.


Mark Day wrote to us to see whether it was still possible to purchase a copy of Edward Mayor's fine historical map of Totley. We have none left ourselves but we were able to put Mark in touch with Edward who was able to send him a copy. Arrangements have been made with Edward to undertake a small reprint and offer the maps for sale through the Totley History Group website price £5.


Over the years there has been a good deal of debate in the pages of Totley Independent about the origins and history of Scouting in our area. Andrew Jones has pointed out an error in the article A Little Scouting History which we have now amended. Andrew also told us about the excellent website at which tells the history of Scouting in the City of Sheffield from 1909 until the mid-1990s when the City Association was discontinued and Sheffield Districts were absorbed into the County. 


Wylma Stevenson has read the first instalment of Anne White's article in issue 379 of Totley Independent and asks where the Chemical Yard was located. We have been able to send her a map of the Totley Rise area in 1898 with Totley Chemical Works clearly marked between the Totley Brook and Queen Victoria Road. The yard was where Tinker & Siddall first manufactured chemicals in the 1840s. By 1857 Tinker & Co. had extensive chemical works there and, by 1889, Thomas Kilner was manufacturing pyroliginous acid, naptha and charcoal. The area was later used for various purposes including a blacksmiths, the Brookvale Laundry and C. J. Marcroft's builders yard. The structures that remain from those early days are Back Lane, Brookvale Cottage, Ford Cottage and the cobbles from the old ford across the brook that was later replaced by a footbridge. We have also provided Wylma with links to Anne's earlier articles and the Oral History she kindly recorded for us.

The Chemical Yard in 1972 The Chemical Yard in 1972


We had two enquires from New Zealand within 24 hours of each other. Jenny Roberts is putting together a family history and is interested in finding out more about her husband's second great uncle, John Roberts, the silversmith and benefactor who lived at Abbeydale Hall from 1851 until his death in 1888 and who paid for the building of St. John's Church. In particular, Jenny would love to find a portrait or photograph of her ancestor. So far we have been unable to help so if you know of one we would be delighted to hear from you. Murray Bardsley, who lives in Hamilton, will be visiting our area and hopes to find the grave of Robert Bardsley, his grandfather's brother, who died in infancy and was buried at Christ Church, Dore in 1902. It seems probable that there is no gravestone. We have contacted the Parish Office who inform us that there is a plan to the location of burials but, as the graveyard is full, responsibility now rests with Sheffield City Council and they have kindly agreed to pursue the enquiry on our behalf.


John Johnson has sent us two more photographs of his father Maurice Johnson. One photograph shows Maurice in his WW1 uniform and we have added it to the short biography that we compiled after our exhibition at the United Reformed Church. The other photograph shows Maurice together with other members of the Cross Scythes Bowling Club, and is the second of such photographs that John has sent us. We would like to know when these two photographs were taken and the names of other people in them.

Jerry Wilkes wrote in appreciation of Ted Hancock's latest talk and of our website as an information source for the family history that he and his cousin Brian Ward are undertaking. Jerry was born in Totley, the son of Bertha and Ted Wilkes who had a painter and decorator's business at 329 Baslow Road. For a few years after leaving school, Jerry worked on Totley Hall and Moneybrook Farms before a career change in 1959 took him into Sheffield City Police. For a time he worked on the Dore and Totley motorcycle beats where his local knowledge was put to good use. In 1965 he transferred to the police force in Somerset, where he now lives.


Paul Hibberd was a schoolmate of Clive Bellamy between 1953 and 1959 and was delighted to see the Totley County School class photographs that Clive and wife Sue have sent in. Paul reckons that between them they could probably name around 90 per cent of the children.


Jonathan Nicholas has read Christine Weaving's article on our website about George Edward Hukin, a Totley razor grinder and friend of Edward Carpenter, the academic, poet, writer and free-thinker. Jonathan has traced The Hukin Family history back to the early 1800s when the family first arrived in England.


Clive and Sue Bellamy sent us two wonderful pictures of a May Queen ceremony and a puzzle. The event took place around 1953 and Sue knew the identity of three of the five girls in the pictures but couldn't name the other two. With the help of Peter Swift we now think we have found the answer to this particular puzzle. Clive went on to tell us that his father was Harry Bellamy who was park keeper in Greenoak Park for several years until he died in 1970 at the early age of 51. Clive would love to have a picture of his dad in his uniform, but unfortunately he hasn't been able to find one. Can anyone help please?


Annie Bradford has been looking for images of Totley Grange, the big house that she lived in as child from around 1954 to 1960. Annie remembers an elderly lady called Mrs Flowerday who was a trustee of the Earnshaw Trust which owned the property. The house had been divided into flats and Annie remembers the grounds included a sunken garden, a semi-circular paddock, woods which were home to a large rookery, and a huge monkey puzzle tree. She also remembers the long sweeping drive with a lodge house at the entrance on Baslow Road. Picture Sheffield has a photo of this lodge house (ref S05413) but we have never seen a photo of the Grange itself other than in the background of a photograph that appeared in Totley Independent Issue 352, when it was being used by J G Graves Ltd. as a wireless depot. We would be delighted to hear from anyone who has, or who knows of, any photos of Totley Grange which was demolished in 1964-65 to make way for the Wimpey estate.


Phil Kelly has seen our article on the Evans Family of Ohio. Dr. Rice Kemper Evans, the American Vice and Deputy Consul in Sheffield, who lived in Totley from 1909 until 1928 when he returned to the United States. He was an acclaimed rock climber and Phil has located several photographs of Evans, three of which are included in the book Peak Rock which Phil co-authored.


Robert Lunn, from Melton Mowbray, was one of many railway enthusiasts who came to listen to Ted Hancock's excellent talk about the Dore and Chinley Railway. Both of Robert's maternal great grandfathers worked on this railway line; one was a stone mason who lived in Hathersage and the other, Duncan Macfarlane, who lived on Totley Rise, was the cashier for Thomas Oliver & Sons, the contractors who built the section of line between Dore & Totley and Hope stations. 


Brinkburn Grange and Lodge Brinkburn Grange and Lodge

Kevin Randell has recently moved into a house on Abbeydale Road South and is interested in learning more about the history of the area, being fascinated by the old carved gateposts that stand close to his house. These belonged to Brinkburn Grange which was demolished around 1938. The history of the Grange has appeared in several of the books written by Brian Edwards and in articles he wrote for Totley Independent and Dore to Door. At first Brian believed that the Grange had been built in the late 1880s but he later revised this date to 1882-83, saying that it had been built by Thomas B. Matthews, head of Turton Brothers and Matthews, the Sheffield steel, file and spring manufacturers, who lived there until 1892. On looking at newspaper articles and advertisements, however, we now believe that Brinkburn Grange was built in 1873, around the same time as St. John's Church, Abbeydale, and probably by the same person, John Roberts of Abbeydale Hall. The crenellated styles of the two buildings are similar and it was John Roberts who in March 1872 sold off the fixtures and fittings of the old Bradway Mill which stood nearby. When Roberts sold the Abbeydale Park estate to Ebenezer Hall in 1880 it would have included Brinkburn Grange and West View Cottage. Certainly by March 1884, Hall owned the whole of this estate as witnessed by his protracted dispute with the promoters of the Dore and Chinley Railway. Brinkburn Grange was offered to let in September 1873. The first occupant appears to have been John Unwin Wing, a chartered accountant, who lived there from 1874 until he moved to Totley Hall in 1881. After Thomas Matthews, Brinkburn Grange was occupied by Douglas Vickers, director of Vickers, Sons & Co., engineers, until 1897, then James William Elliot, a cutlery manufacturer, until 1904. By the  time of the 1911 Census, Dr. John Henry Wales Laverick, the managing directory of Tinsley Park Colliery Co. Ltd, was living at Brinkburn Grange, and the Lavericks were still living there after the war. Our research continues.


Fred Row has written to us to see whether we know anything about the old stone ruins by the side of the railway line at the foot of Poynton Wood, where Fred played as a youth in the 1950s. We strongly suspect that Fred is referring to the remains of the grotto (or folly) belonging to Ebenezer Hall of Abbeydale Hall whose grounds were cut in two by the building of the railway line in the latter part of the 19th century. The grotto was built against a spring at the foot of the wooded Bradway Bank and Ebenezer would take his guests across a now lost footbridge over the River Sheaf to have afternoon tea in this shady spot. The remains including two large stone pillars can still be found amongst the undergrowth.

Clive and Sue Bellamy (nee Beatson) have sent us six class photographs dating from the 1950s which we have added to our Totley County School photo gallery. Sue seems to remember that the teacher in this June 1956 photograph was not at the school for very long before moving to Hong Kong but she cannot remember her name. Perhaps you can assist?

Totley County School, June 1956 Totley County School, June 1956

Paul Gardner has alerted us to the death in Totley of his great grandmother's brother, Frederick Charles Bell, a 24 year old engine tenter who died on 17 July 1891. The death certificate shows the place of death as "Totley Bents" and the cause of death as "accidentally crushed between the cogwheels of a winding engine". Paul had assumed that Frederick was working on the construction of Totley Tunnel and he wanted to know more about the accident. We have been able to trace a newspaper account (now added to our Newspaper Archive) which says that Frederick was employed by the Totley Moor Fire Brick Company to operate a stationary engine used to haul heavy waggons up a steep slope out of the brickyard. We know that in response to numerous fines for conveying heavily laded waggons along the public highway, a light tramway had been built from the brickyard running about half a mile over Totley Moor to number 4 airshaft where the bricks could be lowered down the shaft. It would appear that Frederick died when he was attempting to lift the engine and his clothes became trapped in the machinery. His body was taken to the Cricket Inn which in those days was used both as a temporary mortuary and as a place for holding inquests.


Vicky Marsh has written to us about her grandmother, Mary Shaw, who was brought up in Cherrytree Orphanage between 1919 and 1930 and who went on to marry a bank manager, settle in the south-east and retire to a lovely thatched farmhouse cottage in Cornwall. With three children and five grandchildren of her own, Mary gave the appearance of having a completely conventional background, only revealing her upbringing in an orphanage later in her life. We were delighted to be able to give Vicky copies of the Cherrytree records that we hold and identify her grandmother in a 1927 All Saints' School photograph. It was the first time the family had seen a photo of Mary as a child.


Richard Verrill has told us the story of how, in 1940, his father came to buy and rebuild a wrecked MG P-type car, registration MG 3880, that previously belonged to Pilot Officer Douglas Shepley of Woodthorpe Hall. The car had been borrowed by another RAF pilot who had unfortunately driven it into the back of a tramcar during the blackout. Richard hopes to trace any early photographs or recollections of the vehicle, and also to find out what became of the car after it was sold by his father. We have been able to put him in touch with Dick Shepley, himself an MG enthusiast, who has old photographs of the car and the log book dating from when it belonged to his uncle.


David Bindley tells us that his father Lawrence Ernald Bindley was born in 1899 and lived at Rose Villa, Totley Brook Road. He was called up to serve in WW1 and was listed as a schoolboy; subsquently he was called up again in 1939 for WW2 and was sent to France with the British Expeditionary Force, lucky to return to Britain through Dunkirk. David has more family history information which he has kindly offered to send us.


Madame Ruth Theaker, Ethelbert's Mother, in 1904 Madame Ruth Theaker, Ethelbert's Mother, in 1904

Ted Jones has been in touch with us regarding the family of Ethelbert Theaker who, with his wife Helena, ran a newsagent and tobacconist shop at the bottom of Totley Rise in the early part of the 20th century. Ted is the great grandson of Ethelbert's sister, Harriet Maud TheakerWe are very grateful to Ted for the information he has supplied including a family tree and this delightful photo card of Ethelbert's mother, Ruth, which dates from 1904 when she ran the Britannia Acadamy at Old Havelock House, 2 Myrtle Street, Heeley. She styled herself Mme. Theaker M.B.A.T.D., (Member of the British Association of Teachers of Dancing) and later U.K.A (United Kingdom Alliance of Professional Teachers of Dance). She advertised her Adult Learners' and Improvers Classes regularly in the Sheffield newspapers teaching "Waltz, Schottische, Lancers and Veleta" in one term.

Chris Hobbs has sent us a cutting from the Sheffield Daily Telegraph of Monday, 23rd February 1920 which we have transcribed and added to our Newspaper Archive. The cutting relates to the death and funeral of Jack Slack, a well-known and much loved local man who received a very favourable mention in part five of the memoirs of Dan Reynolds. Dore Christ Church parish records show the burial of John Hollely Slack, aged 58, of Croft House Farm on 21st February 1920.


Eric Renshaw has been in touch with us from South Staffordshire. Eric grew up and lived in Totley from 1932 to 1960 and he remembers many of the people and places mentioned in articles that feature on our website. Eric has very kindly written down his memories, many of which are of a sporting nature, and supplied us with a lot of photographs.


The photograph below is of Dore and Totley High School in May 1933. It was given to us by Gordon Grayson of Brook Hall. Gordon, who is in his nineties, cannot now remember any of the names of the students other than his own. Perhaps there is someone on the photograph that you can recognize?

Dore and Totley High School, May 1933 Dore and Totley High School, May 1933

When our website was created in September 2012, one of the first items it carried was a request for information about Eileen Keatley from her daughter Vita (or Vida?) Anderson. Whilst our own research uncovered a few facts about Eileen's family links in Totley, that's as far as it went. Recently, however, Chris Foster and Gladys Smith have separately been in touch with us to say they think they may be able to help. Unfortunately with the passing of time and changes in our administration, we have lost the enquirer's address. If you are out there Mrs Anderson, can you please get it touch with us? 


Linda Roberts contacted us asking for help in tracing her great grandfather, James Hunter Smith. who had married Maria Sutherland at Dore, Christ Church in 1886. We were able to tell Linda that James came to Totley as head gardener to William Aldam Milner of Totley Hall, probably in 1884. James and Maria Smith had two sons. William James was baptized in March 1889 and Albert in July 1890, both at Dore, Christ Church but by 1891 the family had moved to Attercliffe, where James and Maria remained for the rest of their lives.


Mark Richards spotted on Facebook a Memorial in Crookes Cemetery "to commemorate the unknown Irish navvies who died building the Totley Tunnel circa 1880 R.I.P." and wanted to know who placed it there and why. The question of whether significant numbers of Irish navvies were involved in building the Totley Tunnel has long been debated. Official records say not but stories passed down through generations say that scores of Irish navvies may have died from accidents and disease but, being immigrants, their deaths were never recorded.

Margaret Bailey has written to us from New Zealand enquiring about her mother's cousin, Samuel Wright. Cpl. Samuel Wright, 26/950, served with 4th Battalion New Zealand Rifle Brigade during WW1 and died on the Somme on 15 September 1916. He is buried at Bulls Road Cemetery, Flers in France and is commemorated on the Auckland Museum Memorial. Margaret would like to know more about Samuel, especially when and why he went to live in New Zealand and whether he is  commemorated on any war memorial in our area (no, he isn't).  Samuel was born in Dore in 1883, the son of Levi Wright and Ann Elizabeth Pickering, who lived at Oldhay Forge for most of their married lives. Samuel is shown as living there in the 1891 and 1901 censuses but we are unable to trace him in the 1911 census which suggests he may well have emigrated by then. Are there any descendants of the large Wright family who can add to what we have discovered? 
Martin Dykes, the Vice Captain of Abbeydale Golf Club has written to us recently. Martin is trying to locate photographs of several past Captains for inclusion in club archives and wonders whether anyone has a photograph of Maurice Henry Grayson who was Club Captain in 1917. The Grayson family were solicitors and it is thought that there was a connection with All Saints' Church. If you can help, please contact us through our usual email address at the top of this page.


John Skelton wonders whether anyone can shed any light on the origin of Sarah Booker, who was born in Totley around 1783. Sarah married John's great great grandfather, James Skelton, at Handsworth in September 1811 and was a farmer and widow by the time of the 1851 census when she was living at Hollins End, Handsworth with her four children, John (bc. 1815), Elizabeth (bc. 1823) James (bc 1828) and Sophia (bc. 1831). She died in 1867 aged 84 and is buried at Christ Church, Gleadless. At the time of Sarah's birth, Totley was part of Dronfield Parish, of course, and many baptisms would have taken place there or at Holmesfield. The Derbyshire Baptism Index 1538-1910 Transcription indeed shows a baptism at Holmesfield on 19 July 1782 of a Sarah Booker, daughter of Rebeckah Booker; the father's name is not recorded. Could this be John's great great grandmother?  


Although no longer living in our area, Marlene Marshall continues to follow the progress of the history group and to send us items from time to time, the latest being a photograph of the grave of David Stanley, who fought with the Light Brigade at the Battle of Balaclava and who later lived at the top of Queen Victoria Road where the block of flats named Balaclava House now stands.


David Baldwin is helping to set up an archive of items of historical interest relating to the former Sheffield Hospitals including a collection of brass and stainless steel plaques which were once affixed to the walls of wards at the former Royal Hospital and Royal Infirmary to commemorate the generosity of donors in giving funds for the endowment of beds. David recently came across a plaque saying "This Cot was Endowed by the "Dots and Tots" Concert Party from the Proceeds of Concerts Given Between the Years 1922-1929" and believes this could refer to the Totley Rise Dots and Tots group of Pierrots which, according to a brief report in the Sheffield Telegraph, comprised Miss Muriel Gummer, Miss Lorna Skill, Miss Muriel Dyson together with Messrs Gilbert Smith, F. Chambers and J. Kay plus accompanist. David would like to know more about the troupe. Lorna Skill is mentioned as a soprano in the All Saints' Parish Magazine in 1923 and again in 1924. She also performed with the Croft House Settlement Operatic Society. She was "Susan" in their 1927 production of The Toreador. The Sheffield Star of 21 February 1928 reports their production of The Arcadians at the Lyseum and mentions "Lorna Skill has some difficulty with the Irish brogue, but otherwise on the whole is satisfactory as Eileen Cavanagh." 


Heather Rotherham has written to us concerning her great grandfather, John Thomas Osborne, who was a general labourer and who came to live in Totley around the time of the building of the Totley tunnel and remained until his death in 1936. He married twice, firstly to Ada Eliza Dalton in 1893, and then to Mary Jackson in 1903, both times at Christ Church, Dore. Follow the link to an inside page for more information on the children of the two marriages and a connection with the family of Albert Green. Heather believes that she has traced John's birth in Downham Market, on 29 March 1871 but she would love to know more about his earlier life and would also like to contact any of his descendants. 


Anthony Cosgrove has written to us asking about a property in our area known as The Dingle, Totley Bank, designed by the arts and crafts movement architect Edgar Wood. Anthony had spotted a newspaper advertisement for the auction of the property in the 1920s. The first appearance in our records of The Dingle, 172 Prospect Road, is in White's Trade Directory for 1904 when the property was inhabited by Rev. William Blackshaw, a Congregational Minister for the Croft House Settlement. In 1922 it was bought at auction by Bill Carter's father, Walter Carter, a steel worker with Armstrong Whitworth.

Sheffield Harriers outside The Stanhope Arms at Dunford, c.1900–1910 Sheffield Harriers outside The Stanhope Arms at Dunford, c.1900–1910
Michael Hardy of Dronfield has sent us a number of stories about hunting in in our area. One of them refers to the discovery of a naked Totley man, Edward Vaughan on the Moors; the others you can read by following this link to the Sheffield Harriers Hunt page. Michael has also sent us the background to a newpaper report on the death of Thomas Chapman who was killed by an express train in Totley Tunnel in 1906. 

Val Brodie has sent us memories of Cherry Tree where her mother Barbara Spring worked from about 1935 until she left to marry in June 1940, when she was termed assistant matron. Val's letter and a lovely photograph of her mum are reproduced in full in this inside page about Cherry Tree Orphanage in the 1930s.


Stephen Acaster, a local military historian, has responded to our request for help in identifying two unknown WW1 soldiers from our area. From elements of their uniforms, Stephen has been able to positively identify their regiments. 


We are delighted to hear again from Stella McGuire who has sent us a copy of the January 2015 edition of ACID (Archaeology and Conservation in Derbyshire). The magazine contains a fascinating article which Stella has written with colleague Stuart Nunn of the Eastern Moors Partnership on The Search for the Totley Towers: the missing sighting towers used in connection with the construction of the Totley Tunnel. The article includes a spectacular photograph of a similar surving observation tower at Carlesmoor, North Yorkshire. 


The Old School House, Totley Hall Lane The Old School House, Totley Hall Lane, built in 1827

Sandra Woods is helping a friend to research the family of Charles Smith, who lived at the Old School House in Totley Hall Lane. Although there were several similarly named men in Totley in the early part of the 20th century, we have been able to confirm we have the correct one from the 1936-37 Register of Electors. We have then been able to trace his wife, Lucy Isabella Hill, and their children and several of Lucy's ancestors from transcriptions of Dore Christ Church Parish Registers. Before moving to the Old School House, the Smiths were neighbours of Jo Rundle at Lane Head and she mentions them several times in her autobiography and in the articles she wrote for Totley Independent.


Jacqueline A. Gibbons has written to us from Toronto, Canada about her father, John Humphrey Gibbons, who went into WW1 as a Royal Naval mechanic, then a pilot with the Royal Flying Corps and later RAF. John had two brothers, Tom and George. The family lived at Inglewood, Totley Brook Road in 1916. She would like more information about her family and the house they lived in. After some investigation, we believe the house to be number 24, one of the pair of Victorian semis next to the new URC church hall. We have been able to trace Jacqueline's father in census and military records, of which more later. Jacqueline's email has stimulated us into making faster progress with a gazetteer of street and house names which we hope will be useful; a first step has been to catalogue all of the 1900 or so current Totley addresses and postcodes.


Andrew Russell, who now lives in Hertfordshire, has told us about an article he is writing on the way the railway coming to Totley from Sheffield had an impact on the village and over time changed the area. Part of the article looks at John Ruskin's St. George's Farm. Andrew's article is to be published in The Companion, the journal of the Guild of St. George.


We have exchanged several emails with John Johnson, the youngest of Maurice and Annie Johnson's six sons, about his parents who lived at Lane Head, Baslow Road. Maurice was another of Totley's young men who fought in and survived the First World War and later played an active role in the community.


Paul Wise has written to us to clarify some of the detail in Bill Glossop's article about Harry Brearley. Paul's mother was Barbara Brearley Wise, the daughter of George Henry (Harry) and Nellie Bull who are mentioned in the article. We have appended Paul's letter in full at the foot of Bill's article for you to read.


We have heard from Reg Stones who was an under gardener at Beauchief Hall in the early 1950s, although for the last fifty years has lived in Dorset. Reg has been recounting his memories of the house and work at that time. There are connections with the Milner and Wilson families of course.


Chris Fletcher has written to us about a possible family history connection with Samuel Hopkinson, the local farmer and scythe maker who in or around 1818 opened the Cross Scythes Inn.


Howard Clay is another correspondent with an interest in family history. Howard noticed an article on our website about Charles and Elsie Coates, who were children of Charles and Elizabeth Coates, living at Oldway (Oldhay) Forge at the time of the 1901 census. Elsie Coates was Howard's grandmother.


Professor Martin Jones has written to us to try to obtain information about the history of his new home, Cotsford, Totley Brook Road. The house is built on the plot previously occupied by Rose Bank, which itself was the subject of a recent enquiry by Maggie O'Keefe.


The tower on the day before its demolition.


We are delighted to hear from Paul Bennett who is a new resident to Totley and who works at the Sheffield Business School, Sheffield Hallam University. Paul has sent us a video clip of the demolition of the Totley Hall College tower which took place on Thursday, 12 August 1999. Tap or click on the photograph above to see the video and read about the demolition.


Chris Pearson, who lives in Somerset, has written to us to see whether we can help him find out more about a railway accident in Totley Tunnel in which his wife's grandfather was killed. We have been able to trace a report of the accident in the Derbyshire Times for 18 August 1944. A Hathersage man, Oscar Andrews was a platelayer working in the tunnel when he was struck by a passing light engine. 


Whilst mentioning the tunnel, Ted Hancock - who gave us a fascinating and well-attended talk on the Railway Navvies - has been in touch about material he has spotted on our website. We are very grateful to Ted for his expertise in putting us right on a couple of matters and look forward to seeing his forthcoming book on the whole of the Dore & Chinley Railway.


Ian Denney has written to us about Tom Salt, who farmed at Woodthorpe Hall Farm. Ian had spotted the article written by Tom's daughter Carmen Salt, which was one of about fifty items from back issues of Totley Independent that we have added recently to our Life in Totley pages. Ian wonders whether anyone has footage from David Bellamy's television programme mentioned in the article or knows Carmen's email address. If you can help, please contact us through the email address at the foot of this column.
Maurice Ward Senior (1867-1916) taken on Penny Lane

Roy Wardwhose mother Nora Green lived on Chapel Walk, contacted us with the offer of material from the period of the Great War. Roy has now sent us a number of photographs that belonged to his parents. In some cases the subject of the photograph is known, in other cases not. The photograph above is of Roy's grandfather, Maurice Ward Senior who lived at 1 Grange Terrace. Maurice worked for the Derbyshire County Council as a road foreman.


Maggie O'Keefe has been in touch with us regarding her great grandfather's sister, Elizabeth Peel, who lived at Rose Bank on Totley Brook Road in the 1900s and who is buried in Dore churchyard.


Helen Thorne has written to us about her grandfather Frank Clarke and his sister Lucy Clarke who were at Cherrytree in the 1920s. We have been able to provide Helen with some additional information about what happened to her relatives after they left the orphanage.

Vince Bodsworth, who now lives in Wiltshire, has contacted us with the offer of a comprehensive history of the Ellison Family going back to around 1500. Vince is a grandson of Cymbert Edward Ellison, the younger son of the barrister Thomas Edward Ellison who lived at Totley Grove from the late 1890s until his death in 1920.


We have heard from George Howard Waterfall, great great grandson of John Waterfall, the landowner and businessman who is thought to have built Totley Grove. He has given us some further information about descendants of his great grandfather and his namesake and also pointed out an erroneous date in our article on the Waterfall Brothers which has now been corrected.


Totley brick by "C B & Co" being used to secure a gate on West View Close.

Frank Lawson has an interest in old South Yorkshire bricks and recently came across one with C B & Co impressed in the frog on one side of the brick and Totley impressed on the reverse side. Totley has a long history of brickmaking at Moor Edge. Around 1877 George Chadwick began brick and terra cotta manufacture there. Chadwick later entered a partnership with a Mr. Barker, and Frank's brick is likely to have been made by Chadwick, Barker & Co. which in 1881 became the Totley Terra Cotta & Fire Brick Company Limited although the old partnership name was still in use for trading purposes in 1883-84.


Tim Mole, The Editor of The New Mosquito, The Journal of the Salonika Campaign Society, 1915-1918, was kind enough to send us a copy of the issue containing an article by Norman Briffa on Early Heart Surgery on Salonika Casualty. The article tells the remarkable story of Robert Hugh Martin and makes use of a photograph and some material from our booklet Totley War Memorial WW1, 1914-1918.


Diane Neal has written to us from Leicestershire. Diane is researching the Hopkinson family in our area and believes she may be related to the farmer and scythe maker Samuel Hopkinson, who in about 1818 took the opportunity to open the Cross Scythes pub when the new turnpike road was built past his farm.


Peter Oates asked for our help to find the grave of Thomas Biggin of Dore Fields who died in 1861 and is buried in Christ Church graveyard. The gravestone inscription is rather memorable and it was mentioned in Dore to Door Issue 69. Although not among the photographs of gravestones that we had previously uploaded to the website, we have been able to find a copy in our image archive.  

Midland Railway Company directors train, 1893

Richard Isaac of Brisbane, Queensland, is researching the history of his great grandfather Charles Isaac and his son Arthur Isaac who worked on the Totley Tunnel and were recorded in the 1891 Census at No. 4 Shaft. Charles was an experienced tunnelling worker and had previously worked for Thomas Andrew Walker, the contractor on the Severn tunnel (constructed between 1873 and 1886) and who went with Walker to start work on the Manchester Ship Canal in 1887 before moving to Totley.


John Mottershaw, grandson of the local film producer Frank Mottershaw, has given us a considerable amount of information on the Mottershaw family history and the development of the Sheffield Photo Company which we shall be writing up for the website shortly. John has also very kindly given us permission to publish a photograph taken during the filming of Robbery of the Mailcoach in 1903.


We have also heard from Fiona Lloyd, a great granddaughter of Frank Mottershaw and the granddaughter of Mrs. Spring, who for more than 50 years ran a sweet shop at 51 Baslow Road. Fiona is helping us with her memories of Totley Rise shops and with the Mottershaw family history.


Finally, sisters Jane Wright and Lisa Brassey who run the Rendezvous Cafe are tracing the history of the shops at the top of Mickley Lane and Main Avenue. Any old photographs of the shops that you may have would be of particular interest. If you are able to help, please contact us at our usual email

Latest News

Our first meeting after the summer break will be on Wednesday, 28th September when Mike Spick will give a talk on A-Z of Sheffield. Mike presents a potted history of the city in 26 alphabetically arranged snippets that includes queens, philanthropists and railways. This event has been rearranged from February. It begins at 7.30 p.m. in Totley Library. 

For anyone who may be interested in learning more about the local history of Sheffield, Robin Fielder is offering a course to be held at St John's Church Hall on Thursday mornings (10.15 am to 12.15 pm) starting on 22nd September and lasting for 10 or 11 weeks. Further details of the course can be found at: or by contacting Robin directly at

A recently discovered box of WWII correspondence reveals the story of how a small group of ladies from Dore and Totley recruited knitters from the west of Sheffield and how their efforts made them the country's greatest provider of Comforts for the Minesweeping crews of the Royal Navy. The story is told in Knit For Victory, a new book from Totley History Group. Written by Pauline Burnett, it has 82 pages and many illustrations. It is on sale in Totley Rise Post Office and local shops. Also available in Dore at the Village Store or direct via our website.

Since 1875 when there was only a Rolling Mill and Chemical Yard alongside the river a mile from Totley, the area has changed beyond anyone's imagination  This book by Pauline Burnett tells the story of how it was named and grew into the community we know today. The Rise of Totley Rise has 94 pages including a useful index and is profusely illustrated throughout with many previously unpublished photographs from private collections. 

John Roberts was born in Sheffield in 1798. He became a partner in one of the leading silversmiths firms in the city before moving to Abbeydale Park in 1851 and extending the house in Victorian gothic style. He paid for the building of St. John's Church and was believed to dispense more in charity than any other person in the neighbourhood including his protege Ebenezer Hall.

The Coke Family owned the Totley Hall Estate from 1791 to 1881. With the aid of a family tree to guide us, Josie Dunsmore takes us through the story of their tenure. 

Do you think you recognize this face? More than sixty photographs of the girls and teachers at Abbeydale Grammar School for Girls in the 1940s were given to Totley History Group by Avril Critchley, who was herself a student at the school. The collection includes fifteen form photographs from June 1949. There would have been a number of girls from the Totley area attending the school in those days. 

Like many of his family, George Edward Hukin was a razor grinder. Jonathan Nicholas traces the family history back to his great great grandmother, Jane Maria Hukin, pictured above.

Clive and Sue Bellamy gave us two marvelous pictures of a May Queen ceremony taken around 1953. They could remember some of the names but couldn't name the two elder girls holding the train. Now with the help of Peter Swift, we think we have identified everyone in the pictures.

When the Rev. D'Ewes Coke inherited the Totley Hall Estate in 1791 it had two farms. Josie Dunsmore tells the story of how the two farms were combined under the tenancy of Peter Flint with the aid of field maps drawn by Flint himself and later by the Fairbanks family.

Christine Weaving tells the story of her 2 x great uncle George Edward Hukin, a Totley razor-grinder, and his life-long friendship with the academic, poet, writer, and free-thinker Edward Carpenter.

Eric Renshaw (pictured here on the right with Bob Carr) grew up and lived in Totley from 1932 to 1960. Many of his memories are of a sporting nature.

We are very grateful to Gordon Grayson for giving us this splendid sale document for the Norton Hall Estates, following the death in 1850 of Samuel Shore. The estates included a large part of Totley and the document has maps and illustrations, plus schedules of land and property with the names of tenants. We have also added a transcription of the entries for Totley and Dore. 

Watch this Youtube video of the talk given by Dr. Mark Frost and Sally Goldsmith on Ruskin, Totley and St. George's Farm. The talk was hosted by Totley History Group on 20th May 2015 as part of the Ruskin in Sheffield programme. Also enjoy a video of the outdoor performance Boots, Fresh Air & Ginger Beer written by Sally.

When Jacqueline A. Gibbons became interested in what made her father tick, it began a journey through WW1 archive records and led to her flying from Toronto to visit the house and village where he lived and the countryside that he so much enjoyed. Jacqueline reminds us that in the early 20th century Sheffield was a driving force of industry and that Totley was the place where many of its remarkable people lived and where they formulated their ideas.

Edgar Wood was the designer of The Dingle, 172 Prospect Road, built around 1904 for Rev. William Blackshaw, the founder of the Croft House Settlement. Perhaps you can you help us discover more about this property or you know of other buildings in our area designed by this leading arts and crafts movement architect?

What was probably "the most perfect little garden railway in existence" in 1910 was to be found in the grounds of Brook House, Grove Road, the home of its designer and constructor, Guy Mitchell. Look at some wonderful photographs and read reports in newspapers and a full appreciation in Model Railways magazine. 

We have now completed our transcription of Totley School's Admission Records for the period from 1877 to 1914. There is also a useful index to the names of the scholars and to their parents or guardians. We are very grateful to Sheffield Archives and Local Studies Library for allowing us to transcribe and publish these records and for permission to reproduce the photograph of a specimen page of the register.

On 8, 9 and 11 November 2014 Totley History Group held an exhibition at Dore & Totley United Reformed Church to commemorate the centenary of the First World War. Below are additional links to some of the photographs we were lent and stories we researched especially for the exhibition.


Oscar Creswick was a local farmer who served with the Army Service Corps in Salonika and who after the war returned to Totley to become the innkeeper of the Cricket Inn and a member of the village's successful tug of war team.



Walter Evans was a market gardener who also ran a small grocery shop on Hillfoot Road when war broke out. He fought with the Machine Gun Corps at the fourth battle of Ypres. After the war, Walter ran a grocers shop at the top of Main Avenue.




Fred Cartwright was another Totley soldier who survived the Great War. He fought in France and Belgium and although he wasn't wounded he was gassed and was home on sick leave when his daughter was delivered by Nurse Jessop during a snowstorm in January 1917.



Maurice Johnson joined the Yorkshire Dragoons, a territorial unit, on 1 Jan 1914 and so was called up at the very start of the war. He fought throughout the war on the Somme, at Ypres and at Cambrai. After demobilization in 1919 Maurice returned to his old occupation the steel industry.



Bill Glossop lent us a letter written by his father, William Walton Glossop to his wife describing life in the army during training in the north east of England and asking her to keep him in mind with the children.



The photo above provides a link to an album of photographs taken of WW1 Hospitals at St. John's, Abbeydale and the Longshaw Estate.



Nora Green, of Chapel Lane, was only 14 when war broke out. In 1914 she was ill with diphtheria and was sent to the isolation hospital at Holmley Lane, Dronfield. Nora recovered and wrote a letter of thanks to one of the hospital staff and the reply she received survives. 



We have collected together on this page the names of local men who appear on various War Memorials and Rolls of Honour in Totley, Dore, Abbeydale and Norton.



Unfortunately we were unable to identify all the photographs we were lent of Totley Soldiers. Please take a look at this album to see if you recognize any of the missing names.

This walk visits locations that have strong associations with Totley during the First World War. It includes the homes of the ten soldiers from the village who lost their lives, the auxiliary hospitals, war memorials, and even the rifle range on which the soldiers trained. Take a look at the first draft of a new walk by the authors of "Totley War Memorial WW1 1914-1918"

As we have nowhere to exhibit memorabilia and artifacts, we have decided to create a Virtual Museum instead, starting with old bottles that were found under the floor of the Old Infant School. Please contact us by email if you would like to see the real thing or have things that you own and would like to see added to the virtual museum.

We wish to thank the Trustees of Cherrytree for giving us permission to publish transcriptions of the Cherrytree Orphanage Admissions Book entries for the years 1866-1929. There is also an alphabetical index for you to look at.

With more people having access to faster broadband and mobile networks, we have uploaded seven full and unedited oral history recordings and also added more short excerpts for you to listen to.

Our transcriptions of local trade directories have been expanded to cover the 95 years from 1837-1932 and have also been indexed. From the days when there were a handful of farmers, stone masons, saw handle makers & scythe grinders to the wonders of the Totley Bridge Garage Company, Betty's Boudoir and The Heatherfield Shopping Centre.

We continue to add to our Totley Newspaper Archive. Recent entries have included several about John Roberts and the building of St. John's Church. There are several about the history of Brinkburn Grange and its first occupier, John Unwin Wing, an accountant who later lived at Totley Hall before being convicted of forgery and fraud and sentenced to 7 years imprisonment in Pentonville gaol. There are more than 50 articles from the 1880s and 1890s about Joseph Mountain and the Victoria Gardens, and twenty on the construction of the Totley Tunnel and the Dore and Chinley Railway.

Totley Church of England Parish Magazines for the years 1922-1939 and 1948-1967 with notices of births, marriages and deaths and accounts of spiritual, educational, charitable and social matters in the village. 

Around 90 photographs taken by Stuart Greenhoff for his thesis A Geographical Study of Dore and Totley including several of Totley Moor Brickworks. Superb!  

Chronologically ordered snippets of information recorded by Brian Edwards during his many years of research into our local history.

Read the inscriptions on more than 600 gravestones in  the churchyard.

Find your ancestors in our transcription of the 1911 Census which has been extended to cover the whole of Dore and Totley.


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