Curiosities of Derbyshire and South Yorkshire
20 July 2016
The speaker on Wednesday 20th July was John B. Taylor who talked to us about the Curiosities of Derbyshire and South Yorkshire. John told us about many interesting people and
places in our local area.
Sir Francis Chantry grew up on a farm at Jordanthorpe, he was a sculptor and produced work for Queen Victoria, George III and George Washington and many other dignitaries.
John showed us a picture of the lovely buildings at Oakes Park which date back to the 1400s where the Bagshawes and Wigfields once lived, famous local families. Sir John Nash designed the garden and had a lake created, it was the Napoleonic prisoners of war who dug this lake out for him.
The Lucas Arch on Sheffield Road, Dronfield, depicts where many cannon balls were made.
A building on Lower Pavement, Chesterfield which is now occupied by the Yorkshire Building Society was a coaching inn where French officers were stationed on parole, the curfew bell was sounded for their time to return in the evening.
The Crooked Spire, Chesterfield, this has the Pancake bell which was the
curfew bell. There is a grave at the rear of the church which has details of an officer captured on the coast of Sardinia who was put on a floating prisoner boat and then in 1807 offered parole to Chesterfield.
Near the Chesterfield train station is a building that is the only remaining part of the first train station. It was designed by Francis Thompson and built in 1840.
George Stevenson lived in Chesterfield for the last of 10 years of his life. Tapton House is a lovely building and gardens, it is now part of the University of Derby, Chesterfield College. George Stevenson lived here until his death. It later became a school. There is a statue of George Stevenson outside the entrance to Chesterfield station. He is buried at the church on Newbold Road.
The Crispin pub at Ashover dates back to 1415 and is where Sir Thomas Babbington had a drink before setting off for the Battle of Agincourt. The church at Ashover has an effigy inside of Sir Thomas Babbington. The font is made from lead and was made at the time of King Stephen, around 1150. There is a Butts Road at Ashover and this is a reference to archery; it was mandatory for men of certain ages to go for archery practice after church.
At the top of Matlock Bank stands the old tram depot building, this opened in 1893 and was the first single tram system in Europe, it had many famous visitors including Queen Victoria and Noel Coward, In 1927 it went out of business in the same year as Glossop and Chesterfield trams. The Rockside Hydro at Matlock was used as an RAF hospital during WW2.
Violet Carson played piano at th Winter Gardens, Matlock and it was here that the School of Military Intelligence was located during WW2. Dirk Bogart and Evelyn Waugh trained here. The ticket office is now in the park.
St Helen's Church, Darley Dale has one of the oldest yew trees in the world.
Joseph Paxton, who built the Crystal Palace, also built the station at Rowsley. This was the Duke of Devonshire’s own station and the last train was run in 1969. The Peacock Inn at Rowsley was built in 1652, a large building. Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, Keira Knightley have all stayed here.
Sir Joseph Paxton came to Chatsworth House in 1826 to be the Head Gardener. He designed Edensor village which was moved across the road so that it did not spoil the Duke’s view. He also designed the Emperor fountain. He is buried at Edensor with his wife and three of his children.
Rutland House, Bakewell, was built in 1804 and is where Jane Austen wrote Pride and Prejudice.
Baslow Church has the name of Victoria on its clock face instead of numerals to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee. The bridge by the Rutland was built in the 1500s.
The river at Stoney Middleton runs crystal clear after the water has flowed through the limestone. At St Martin’s Church the nave burnt down and was replaced with an octagonal building; there are only two in Britain. The fish and chip shop was a tollhouse.
Dore Christ Churchyard has graves for the navvies who were building the Totley tunnel, many of whom died of cholera and small pox or accidents during its construction.
Sheffield’s last horse drawn tram shed was situated on Valley Road, Heeley; this has now unfortunately been demolished.
The Botanical Gardens were opened to the public in 1835; it was aimed for the upper class with a token or voucher required for entry; this was relaxed in 1898. Heritage lottery funds have been used to refurbish the gardens.
The Wicker Arches were designed by the architects Weightman and Hadfield and built by the engineer John Fowler in 1848. There are 40 arches, the one spanning the road is 72 feet wide.
John Wesley preached in Paradise Square at the bottom of the square. Charlie Peace was taught here and lived on Orchard Lane. At the bottom of the square is the house of David Daniel Davis who presided over the birth of Queen Victoria.
John was thanked for a very interesting talk.
The Story of the Sheffield Cathedral
Wednesday 27 April 2012
The speaker for our April meeting was Janet Ridler who talked to us about the history of Sheffield and its Cathedral: 900 years of history in one building.
The earliest Christian worship in Sheffield was in the early 9th century where the Sheffield Cross dating from Saxon times was on the site of the Sheffield Cathedral. Elizabeth I ordered it to be taken down and it eventually turned up minus the cross in Park Hill and was being used by a cutler as a trough. It is now displayed in the British Museum.
We were told about influential Sheffield people in the stained glass windows of the Cathedral.
Earl Waltheof was the last surviving Saxon lord of the Manor of Hallamshire, an ancient area including Sheffield, parts of Rotherham and North Derbyshire.
William de Lovetot was a Norman Lord of the Manor who created the first Castle with a boundary moat and built the first church on the site around 1101. It was where his great granddaughter married into the Furnival family which then began the Furnival era.
Gerard de Furnival was a Norman knight who inherited the lordship of Hallamshire upon marriage to Maud de Lovetot. He fought in the Crusades and died there in 1219.
In 1266 the castle and church were burnt down and then rebuilt by 1280. In 1386 Sheffield was established as a market town by Royal Charter. Cutlery and blades had already been made here for many years.
At the end of the 1300s the Sheffield population was 2,200. It was the end of the Furnival male line and the estate passed to the Nevil family, Maud Nevil married John Talbot. John was a famous soldier who served under Henry IV, V and VI and who was mentioned in Shakespeare’s play Henry IV part I. He had much military success and was given the title of the first Earl of Shrewsbury. He was the person who was in charge in Sheffield and was someone with local significance and nationally known. He did not spend much time in Sheffield.
The eastern part of the Cathedral is the oldest part of the building where the medieval church was rebuilt and materials reused from Norman masonry. In 1468 the 4th Earl of Shrewsbury was born and called George. He made his home at Sheffield Castle, but it was not grand enough for him so he decided to build a new manor house on the land above where the railway station now stands. At the time this land was one of the largest deer parks in the country. This became Manor Lodge. It was high standard accommodation, top people stayed here including Cardinal Wolsey. He also built his family a private chapel at the Cathedral with a burial vault underneath. He died in 1538 and was buried in the vault.
The 6th Earl of Shrewsbury, George Talbot, was the most powerful of the Talbots; he was a member of Elizabeth I’s court. His first wife had 7 children and, after her death, he married again to Bess of Hardwick. He was Bess’s 4th husband and she became the Countess of Shrewsbury, a very rich lady. Her eldest son married George’s daughter and his daughter married one of her sons. A year later George and Bess were asked by Elizabeth I to look after Mary Queen of Scots who was under house arrest. This lasted for 18 years, 14 of them in Sheffield in both the castle and the Manor Lodge.
George spent a lot of time with Mary, and Bess was unhappy about this. By the time of Mary’s death he was a broken man and after this time up to his death in 1590 he lived his last few years in Handsworth with his housekeeper. There is a monument dedicated to him in the cathedral.
The 17th century was the time of the civil war and in 1644 there was a siege at the castle and the castle was destroyed.
In the 18th century housing started to increase and the population grew. This also brought filthy living conditions and disease. In just over 50 years the population had tripled. Sheffield was known nationally as a producer of steel, people lived amongst the factories. Workhouses were built to look after the destitute; children as young as 5 were working in the steel factories and a grinder’s life expectancy was 27 years. The church was finding it hard to cater for these people so major work was planned to enlarge the church with existing galleries and pews being removed.
On the western side of Sheffield, houses were built for the middle class and the factory owners; there are memorials to some of these in the cathedral.
In 1893 Sheffield was granted City status and a new diocese was created. In 1914 the Parish Church became the Sheffield Cathedral and architects were invited to put forward plans to make it more imposing. Funds were raised and work began in 1930s. The north side was completed in 1939 and was officially opened by Princess Mary. However, no further work took place due to the start of World War II. The stained glass was hidden down a mineshaft and windows were boarded up.
By the end of the war there was no appetite to continue with the project.
During the 1950s and 1960s the slum clearances took place and again the question of what to do about the Cathedral was raised and work was completed to allow more light in the west end. The Cathedral now comprised of 15th , 19th and 20th century work. Work has been completed in the last few years to improve the accessibility of the entrance and there is also now a shop.
Janet was thanked for a very fascinating talk.
On Wednesday 28th June, we welcome back Ann Beedham whose talk is called Days of Sunshine and Rain: Peak District Rambling in the 1920s, with words and photographs from the life of George Willis Marshall who was a keen walker and who took lots of photos in the 1920s and 1930s as he wandered the hills of Derbyshire with his friends. They were pioneers of the ‘right to roam’ and took part in the famous Kinder Trespass of 1932. The meeting is in Totley Library beginning at 7.30 p.m.
On Wednesday 26th July Alan Powell will tells us about The History of Newspapers in Sheffield. Alan is a former Editor of the Sheffield Telegraph and The Star newspapers and had a career of more than 44 years in journalism in Sheffield. The meeting as usual is in Totley Library beginning at 7.30 p.m. Non-members are welcome.
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.
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.
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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