Just behind the Castle Inn on Twentywell Road, are the site of the former Twentywell Brick and stone Works and the adjacent remains of Victorian buildings known locally as Poynton Villas. Despite the size and importance of the works in their hey-day, with quarrying quite possibly going back to near Medieval times, surprisingly little is known about them. Currently a local archaeology group, The Time Travellers, have launched a project to find out more about the site by means of archival research, tapping local knowledge, and exposing and surveying the remains.
Twentywell Brick Works
The area around the Castle Inn was known as Twentywellsick and is referred to in a twelfth century document as Quintinewelle, from St. Quentin’s Well. The brickworks site appears to have started life as a quarry, which is shown on a map of 1840, and surrounded by fields farmed by the Outram family. The stone and brick works is first listed in the 1872 White’s Directory and shown on a 1876 map. It seems highly probable that it was first built to help supply the vast numbers of bricks needed for Bradway Tunnel.
John Dunstone refers to ‘the quarry owned by Tedbar Tinker’ before the railway works commenced, so it looks as if Mr Tinker was responsible for setting up the brickworks. This is the same Mr Tinker whose name is still commemorated in Tinkers Corner.
The name of the business seems to have varied. An advertisement from 1876 mentions the ‘Twentywell Stone Brick (and Pipe) Works’. One from Saturday 7th June 1890 in the Sheffield Daily Telegraph states: ‘Wanted brick setters and drawers, Twenty Well Brick Works Bradway, near Sheffield.’ In Kelly’s Directory, 1891, the business is listed as ‘Twentywell Stone & Brick Works (T. J. Tinker, proprietor), stone quarries, stone saw mills, & brick manufacturers, Bradway’. This suggests the quarry was active at that time and you can still see a gravestone in Dore Church Yard marked ‘TWENTY WELL STONE CO LTD’ on the reverse.
Tedbar Tinker seems to have owned the company for a long period with the yard finally closing in 1939, but the buildings and offices remained untouched for a further 20 years before the buildings were demolished in the mid 1950s. An entry in the London Gazette of 29th November 1957 mentions a meeting “to discuss the manner in which the books accounts and documents of the company shall be disposed of” following its earlier voluntary liquidation. If only we knew where those documents went !
The large quarry remained disused for another 10 years before being largely filled with material from buildings demolished for Sheffield’s Town Hall extension in the 1970s. The area was eventually built over with housing fronting Castlerow Drive and Close in the late 1970s.
The brickworks were large for the time and supplied a large area of North Derbyshire, with three prominent chimneys which could be seen from some viewpoints a few miles away. The works produced a hard, smooth red brick variously stamped ’20 well’ which can be seen on many local buildings built before 1939. Beyond the outlines of buildings on maps we have little information, but local memories recall a narrow gauge railway network with tipper wagons which provided a fine adventure playground for small boys of the district. There were also ponds on the site.
It seems probable that Castle Row (5 dwellings with the Castle Inn at the end of the block) was built as part of the brickworks development or to serve the accommodation needs of those involved in building Bradway Tunnel.
A pair of semi-detached houses, were built further down towards Poynton Woods sometime between 1876 and 1898. A probable reason for building the ‘Villas’ in this position (so far from any road) is that they were originally part of the Twentywell brickworks complex, possibly houses for a manager or senior staff. However, according to copies of Kelly’s Directories, in later years they were occupied by railway staff, with a station manager and a signalman being occupants. There was a signal box down in the railway cutting near to this area, while what is now Dore & Totley station was a short walk away.
One mystery remains to be solved. A copy of deeds associated with the sale of land for the construction of the spur railway line towards the Hope Valley, suggests there were two pairs of villas. Indeed the only surviving picture of Poynton Villas hints at a further building in the background. Whether these were built or demolished at the same time we do not know, as so far nobody has mentioned remembering them. Can you ?
The Villas were demolished in the 1950s or early 1960s after standing empty for some time. Part of the stone wall that ran on the side of the houses and the foundation walls survive. The site can still be recognized adjacent to the path that runs from the side of the ‘Castle Inn’ to Poynton Wood. They must have been basic by today’s standards and unlikely to have electricity or mains drainage.
If you have any family connections with either the brick works or Poynton Villas, or memories from your childhood please let us know, even the smallest snippet can add to our current understanding. What we would dearly like are any pictures of the site. It seems incredible that none are currently known to exist.
If you can help with memories or photographs of Poynton Villas or Twentywell Brickworks, please get in touch via the Bugle on 0114 236 9025 or you can email details via firstname.lastname@example.org
We wish to thank Jeanne Hammond (nee Sanderson) for pointing out that the date we had given for the demolition of Poynton Villas was wrong. That incorrect date and the photograph above were obtained from the Bradway Bugle for Summer 2000. Jeanne's letter is shown below.
I was looking at your site about Poynton Villas and noticed it said that Poynton Villas was demolished in the 1950s. Maybe you would like to update your records as I
lived at Poynton Villas from 1960 to 1967 and two of my brothers were born at Poynton Villas. My father was a first class signalman named Jock Sanderson who worked the local
signalboxes at Totley, and Totley Tunnel was my sister and my brother's playing grounds. We moved to Wincobank in 1967 as the railway sold the house Poynton Villas to Mr James Childs
who then proceeded to demolish them. I now live in Illinois, USA, so was very happy to see your site and pictures, it brought back many happy memories. Thank you.
Jeanne Hammond (nee Sanderson)
Our local archaeology group, The Time Travellers, were given permission to excavate the site of Poynton Villas and the nearby Twentywell Brickworks in September 2013. Work during winter months was limited by the weather but we have added a few more photographs of their early progress to a photo album which can be found at this page: Poynton Villas.
On Wednesday 28th March there will be an illustrated talk by Stephen Gay called Off The Track in Derbyshire when we shall find out what hides out of sight alongside the Dore and Chinley railway line. The meeting begins at 7.30 p.m. in Totley Library.
Following our Annual General Meeting on Wednesday, 25th April, Penny Rea will be giving us a talk entitled Wincobank: Hill Fort, Hall and Community, a quick trip through 5,000 years of history. The meeting will be in Totley Library beginning at 7.30 p.m.
On Wednesday 23rd May, Pauline Burnett will be giving us an illustrated talk about The Tenants and Workers of Abbeydale Hamlet, 1740-1933. The meeting is in Totley Library and starts 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.
The Tyzack family are well known in our area for owning iron and steel trades at Walk Mill, Abbeydale Works, Totley Rolling Mill and Totley Forge. This article covers the history of the family from the late 18th century when William Tyzack the founder of the company was born until the early 20th century when Joshua Tyzack farmed at Avenue Farm, Dore.
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 in 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, Norton, Holmesfield and Dronfield.
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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