Totley History Walk, 28 December 2012
Despite the heavy rain and wind, on the Friday morning after Christmas, folks from Totley History Group were joined by members of the Time Travellers and set off from the Cross Scythes pub on the Totley history walk. The walk was organised by Pauline Burnett and before we set off from our shelter under the arches of the Cross, Pauline gave us a quick run through of the origins of Totley from the early 8th century when a little settlement in the woods arose here, to the early 19th century and the establishment of a community in Totley that we might recognise today.
We set off down Totley Hall Lane and stopped at Totley Hall; one of the oldest building in Totley. The engravings on the building record its origins and major additions, but the reminiscences from members of the group of their time at the college in the 60's brought the building's place in Totley to life. We remembered the pubs being full of students; the shops on Totley Rise supplying the college with groceries; the first college head who ruled the all female establishment with a rod of iron and who lived in some splendour in the Hall.
Back along Totley Hall Lane to Summer Lane at the top of Hillfoot Road where some of the group recalled the little community of cottages and shops that thrived until after the last war. We wondered whether the stump almost hidden in the tarmac by the side of the road was the remnants of the village cross.
By the time we were walking back down Butt's Hill, the rain had picked up and made the trek down the cobbled path to Penny Lane a bit of a slither. Walking along Penny Lane, the tunnel spoil heap was much more obvious with its trees bare of leaves. The vastness of the heap (it covers to a considerable height the area from Penny Lane to the boundary of the mill buildings by Old Hay Brook) was impressive and a bit of a surprise for some of us.
Up along Hillfoot Road, we passed Totley Grove and beyond it, the site of the mill pond. We peered over the bridge that now spans Old Hay Brook to see if we could see the ford that prior to the bridge being built was the means of crossing the brook. Then up through the houses and fields to come out again on Penny Lane through farm buildings and the old Grouse Inn.
As we looked out over the recreation ground, Pauline told us about the research she has done into the enclosure disputes of the early 19th C. She told us about Lord Middleton's efforts to enclose the common land in Totley and the anger of the locals who repeatedly pulled down the walls, wanting the preserve their common land.
All thoroughly wet by now, we walked up Lane Head Road past the brick remains of the last buttress of the rifle range and onto Baslow Road and so back to the Cross.
Thank you, Pauline for arranging the walk and to all those hardy souls who came along to enjoy a convivial and interesting couple of hours.
Christmas Party, 12 December 2012
Despite the bitter cold evening, members and guests of Totley History Group turned out to celebrate Christmas through the ancient arts of silliness and making your own fun.
A Mummer's play (a Totley tradition revived by THG with lots of help and guidance of Rony Robinson and Sally Goldsmith) was performed with gusto in costumes that on one occasion (the Doctor) drew a round of applause.
We had poems, music, party games and tasty Christmas food. A member of the poetry group who mistook the evening (Tuesday not Wednesday!) stayed anyway and read the poem he had planned to read to the poetry group.
The star of the evening though was The Poor Old Horse performed hilariously by Jill Hnat to the rousing (and rowdy) musical accompaniment of the audience.
A big THANK YOU! to Sally and Rony without whom our party would have been much less of a party.
David Templeman came to the meeting to talk about Sheffield Manor Lodge, Sheffield Castle and the Park and its medieval and tudor history.
The first census was early 1600 and approximately 2,000 people lived in Sheffield, one third poor, one third were servants and one third self-sufficient. They lived in wooden huts called hovels, the cutlery industry was just beginning.
The Medieval Castle in 1270 towered over the town and the River Sheaf and Don. The old walls of the Castle can still be viewed under the Sheffield market area. Many finds have been found on the many digs that have taken place and these are at Weston Park.
John Talbot was the first Earl of Shrewsbury by marriage. He inherited the castle and the huge deer park that came with it. In the middle of the park he built Manor Lodge on top of the hill, there were great views and there were 3,000 deer in the park, these were hunted and killed for the table. The gates of the park have survived and are by Richmond School. The Earl himself was a great warrior and led the Battle of Casterville.
Sheffield Manor Lodge was the first house outside of London to have a gallery. It also had a porters lodge, stables, a brewery where small beer was made. In 1616 the Shrewsburys died out as they had no heirs and it went to the Duke of Norfolk, the house itself was not used and this was when its started its demise.
People who have stayed at the lodge include Cardinal Wolsey, when he was under arrest he stayed here waiting for armed guards, he was there for 18 days and became ill, it was on his journey from here to London that he died at Leicester.
From 1570 it became a Royal prison for Mary Queen of Scots, for 14 years she lived between the Castle and the Lodge, though her main residence was at the Castle. She had an entourage of people as she had to be kept in the lifestyle of a queen so the lodge had to be extended and built for them.
She was in solitary confinement and did a lot of embroidery, over 200 pieces, and a lot have survived. The Earl of Shrewsbury and his wife Bess of Hardwick were in charge of her, Mary eventually left as she was in ill health as was the Earl.
The lodge now has a purpose built visitor centre and groups and individuals are all welcome to visit, it is open every Friday and also Saturdays, depending on the time of year. They also have open days in July and September. Please follow this link to their website www.manorlodge.org.uk and also www.manorlodge-history.org.uk for a more detailed history. All are encouraged to go and see the site and the large area of land around it.
July 2012 A visit to Woodthorpe Hall
A group of people, both members and non-members walked up to Woodthorpe Hall from the Spitfire pub. The owner, Dick Shepley, welcomed us and gave a fascinating history of the house which was bought by his grandfather in 1920's.
His love of the property was obvious as he talked of its origins in the 17th century, its life as a modest farmhouse, and finally to the 90 years in his family's care. His father often purchased artifacts from grand halls that were being demolished, for example a wonderful pair of gateposts that came from Derwent Hall, soon to be drowned by the rising waters of Ladybower Reservoir in 1940's. [These are photographed in their original setting in 'The Silent Valley' by V. J. Hallam, the story of the building of the reservoir.]
We were invited to eat our picnics in the gardens now used to host weddings [a beautiful setting completely free from traffic noise] and were treated to the in house cider, pressed at the Hall.
An open meeting at the library where recent research, and some queries arising, were aired. These discussions always bring a lively cross section of memories from Totley's past. A leaflet of 2 connecting historical walks around the village is in production.
The possibility of holding a 'History of Totley' week sometime next year was raised and this will be pursued at the next committee meeting in September. The evening concluded with time to browse some of Brian Edward's Archive and the recently acquired Postcard Collection.
A Walk through the History of Ecclesall Woods led by John Gilpin, Woodlands Project Manager. Those who were unable to get to one of the walks on which John so expertly guided and informed us missed an absolute treat.
For almost 2 hours we wandered through the 3 sections of ancient woodland where we learned of its history from post ice age to the present, and looked at the evidence of human influence still to be seen.... carvings on a cup and ring stone [3500-6000 BC], the ramparts to an ancient settlement, the Q-pits of the 16th/17th century and the wood collier's grave from an accident during charcoal production in the 18th century.
John also talked of the changing appearance of the woods over the centuries as its use to the various owners altered, deer park, timber production, white charcoal for lead smelting and black charcoal for steel production, the introduction during the 19th century of sweet chestnut, larch and beech, to where it is today, an asset managed for all to enjoy.
From a collection made we were able to pass on nearly £40 to John, which will be used in projects undertaken by a voluntary group of people with special needs.
A short report on the group's activities over the last busy year was given by Christine Shimell [Chair]. This included speakers, visits, oral history recordings, publication of our first book, research projects and the acquisitionof two archives, the purchase of the Peter Thompson Postcard Collection and the donation by Brian Edwards of his extensive archive.
Unfortunately Jim Rieuwerts, our speaker booked to give a short follow-up talk on Lead Smelting in Totley, was unable to come due to ill-health and we hope to reorganise a date in the future.
Instead Christine brought part of our newly acquired collection of postcards [now digitised]. The clarity when they were projected onto the large screen was amazing considering many to be over 100 years old, revealing things missed when viewed normally. The room buzzed with people identifying long built-on fields shops on the Rise, newly built houses sitting in isolation and houses now demolished. I think all there would not have gone home disappointed.
David Hey gave a wonderful insight into the shaping of our local moorland, managed over almost 200 years for grouse shooting. Longshaw Hall being the house built by Duke of Rutland for entertaining his shooting parties.
David's mission has been to trace the numbered drinking bowls carved into boulders on the estate to encourage the birds onto the Duke's land. Only a few from nearly 100 have eluded him.
An open meeting at the library where members brought their recent research to discuss and share. A transcription of a document describing the problems encountered by Lord Middleton during the enclosures of the moors in the mid 18th century was aired. This can be seen in the documents section of this website.
Over 50 people came to our first meeting of 2012 and were not disappointed. A very interesting talk by Ted Hancock on The Navvies. The men who, in their dozens, moved into Totley at the end of 1880’s to build the Totley tunnel and changed the quiet nature of the village for the duration of their time here.
Ted has made a generous offer to share his research on the men with anyone who would like to pursue it in more detail. If interested please contact Pauline Burnett 0114 235 2344.
The first meeting after our summer break will be on Wednesday, 27th September when we present an illustrated talk by David Templeman called Mary, Queen of Scots: The Final Journey - From Sheffield to Fotheringhay (1584-1587). This talk relates the compelling tale of the events leading up to and including Mary’s trial and execution. Mary’s courage and conduct come to the fore as she takes her tragic story through Wingfield Manor, Tutbury Castle, Chartley Manor, Texall and culminating in the climax at Fotheringhay Castle where she is tried and executed for High Treason. But was she guilty? That is the question this talk addresses. The meeting is in Totley Library, starting at 7.30 p.m.
Then on Wednesday, 25th October we will be holding another in our popular series of themed Open Meetings, when you will be invited to share memories of Totley Then and Now. There will be over a hundred pairs of photographs showing how Totley's buildings, lanes, and open spaces looked in the past compared with the same scene today. The meeting will be held in Totley Library beginning as usual at 7.30 p.m.
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.
The story is told in Totley War Memorial WW1 of the ten men from our village who gave their lives in the Great War. Written by Pauline Burnett, Jim Martin and Dorothy Prosser, a chapter is devoted to each of the soldiers with a family tree followed by as much information as could be discovered about the men and their families. There is also information about their military careers and the actions in which they lost their lives. The book has 64 pages and is illustrated throughout with photographs of the men, their families and the houses where they lived.
Walter Waller Marrison moved to Totley around 1897 with his wife and their two young sons. He was a house builder who constructed properties around Totley Brook and Greenoak before ill health forced him to take up less physically demanding work. In 1904 he took over the tenancy of the grocers and off licence at number 71 Baslow Road. After his death in 1908, his widow Kate and later their eldest son Jack continued to run the business until it was sold in 1934.
Ron Wijk of Nieuw-Vennep in the Netherlands has sent us two scanned images of drawings of old cottages made by the celebrated Dutch painter, Anton Pieck (1895-1987) simply annotated "Totley", and wondered whether we could identify their locations.
We would like to thank Christopher Rodgers for bringing to our attention this fascinating log of the 85th Sheffield (St. John's and Totley Orphanage) Wolf Cub Pack for 1927-45. The log is published jointly by Sheffield Scout Archives and Totley History Group as a free PDF download. It is illustrated by no fewer than 92 photographs and is supported by a comprehensive index and biographies of some of the main participants.
Following our Open Meeting event on School Days, Roger Hart, Howard Adams and John Timperley have each written to us with their memories of Norwood School, which was located in the rooms attached to the Dore & Totley United Reformed Church on Totley Brook Road.
On 22nd July 1909 the children of Dore and Totley Schools celebrated by a pageant the union of England under King Ecgbert which took place at Dore in AD 827. The pageant was devised and written by Mrs Sarah Milner and her daughter Marjorie and performed in a field close to Avenue Farm in front of a large audience. Photographs of the event survive together with a fragment of the script.
John Edward Greenwood Pinder had lived all 46 years of his life in Totley but on census night, Sunday 2 April 1911, he was not at home; he was in Derby Gaol serving a sentence of three months hard labour. From the age of 20, John had been in and out of local courts for a series of minor offences including drunkenness, assault, wilful damage and night poaching. Finally he was sent to gaol for cutting down and stealing 86 small trees which he sold in Sheffield market for Christmas.
We have already transcribed the census returns for Totley, Totley Rise and Dore. Now we have transcribed Census Strays. These are people who were born in Totley but are missing from our earlier transcriptions. They may have been living, working or studying elsewhere or just away from home on the night the census was taken. Two people were in prison. Others were in Union Workhouses, hospitals and asylums. Fully indexed strays from the 1851, 1861, 1881, 1891, 1901 and 1911 censuses are available now.
We wish to thank Gillian Walker for allowing us to digitize an archive of material about the 1st Totley Scout Group. Most of the material was collected by Arthur Percival Birley in the period 1949-51 and there are many interesting documents pertaining to the building of the scout hut on Totley Hall Lane. In addition four Newsletters survive, two from the 1940s and two from 1971.
We are grateful to Angela Waite and All Saints' Parish Church for giving us access to baptismal and kindergarten birthday rolls dating from 1926 to 1941. We have transcribed the names, addresses, birthdates and baptismal dates and created an alphabetical index of entries for you to search.
Edmund Sanderson, a Sheffield estate agent, aquired the land on either side of the old drive to Totley Grove in 1874 and divided it into plots for development. He called it the Totley Brook Estate. But before many houses were built, the estate road was severed in two by the building of the Dore & Chinley Railway line. The eastern end of the road became the cul-de-sac we now call Grove Road.
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.
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.
Do you think you recognize this face? More than sixty photographs of the girls and teachers at Hurlfield 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.
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 in 1904 for Rev. William Blackshaw, the founder of the Croft House Settlement. The house, together with its western terrace and boundary walls, has now been awarded Grade II listed building status.
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.
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.
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