Totley History Group
Totley History Group

Lemont House

This Indenture made the twenty fifth day of February One thousand eight hundred and seventy nine Between William Robert Poole of Sheffield in the County of York and of Totley in the parish of Dronfield in the County of Derby, Builder and Farmer of the one part and Thomas Bown of Totley aforesaid Licensed Victualler (who was married at the parish Church of Bawtry in the said county of York on the eleventh day of July One thousand eight hundred and sixty one) of the other part Whereas by Indenture dated the first day of March One thousand eight hundred and seventy five and made between Thomas Kilner of the one part and said William Robert Poole of the other part certain hereditaments of which the hereditaments expressed to be hereby granted are part were granted unto and to the use of the said William Robert Poole his heirs and assigns, And Whereas the said William Robert Poole has agreed with the said Thomas Bown for the sale to him of the said hereditaments expressed to be hereby granted at the price of Fifty pounds subject nevertheless to the covenants by the said Thomas Bown hereinafter contained Now this Indenture Witnesseth that in pursuance and consideration of the premises and in consideration of the sum of Fifty pounds to the said William Robert Poole upon or before the execution hereof paid by the said Thomas Bown (the receipt of which sum the said William Robert Poole doth hereby acknowledge.) The said William Robert Poole Doth hereby grant unto the said Thomas Bown his heirs and assigns All that piece of land situate in the Township of Totley aforesaid (formerly part of a close of land called the Upper Breast Barns) bounded on or towards the North by land now or late of Ebenezer Hall and John Roberts on or towards the South by a new Road twenty six feet wide leading into Mickley lane on or towards the East by other hereditaments of the said William Robert Poole agreed to be sold to William Green and on or towards the West by hereditaments now or late of Miss Hill and containing in the whole (exclusive of any part of the said New Road) no part whereof is intended to be hereby granted) Four hundred and thirteen superficial square yards or thereabouts and more particularly delineated on the plan drawn in the margin of these presents and therein coloured pink and numbered six, Together with full right and liberty for the said Thomas Bown his heirs and assigns and his and their tenants being owners and occupiers of the piece of land hereinbefore described in common with the owners and occupiers of other hereditaments adjoining the said new Road to use as a foot horse and carriage way at all times and for all purposes all or any part of the same new road and to run water and soil from the same hereditaments hereinbefore described in and through all drains and sewers now made or hereafter to be made upon and under the same road, And all other the rights easements and appurtenances to the said hereditaments hereinbefore described belonging or usually held and enjoyed therewith. And all the estate right title interest benefit claim and demand of the said William Robert Poole in to and upon the said hereditaments To have and to hold the said piece of land and hereditaments hereinbefore expressed to be hereby granted Unto and to the use of the said Thomas Bown his heirs and assigns And the said William Robert Poole for himself his heirs executors and administrators doth hereby covenant with the said Thomas Bown his heirs and assigns that notwithstanding in anything by him the said William Robert Poole or any person rightfully claiming through or in trust for him done omitted or knowingly suffered the said William Robert Poole now hath full power to grant the said hereditaments herein before expressed to be hereby granted to the use of the said Thomas Bown his heirs and assigns for free from incumbrance And that the same hereditaments shall be held and enjoyed accordingly And shall at all times hereafter be further assured by the said William Robert Poole and his heirs and every person having or rightfully claiming and estate right title or interest in or to the said hereditaments or any part thereof through or in Trust for him or them to the use of the said Thomas Bown his heirs executors, administrators and assigns doth hereby further covenant with the said Thomas Bown his heirs and assigns at his or their expense and as by him or them shall be reasonably required. And the said William Robert Poole for himself his heirs executors, administrators and assigns doth hereby further covenant with the said Thomas Bown his heirs and assigns that he the said William Robert Poole his heirs or assigns (unless prevented by fire or other inevitable accident) will upon every reasonable request in writing and at the costs of the said Thomas Bown his heirs or assigns produce and show or cause to be produced and shewn to him them or any of them or to such person or persons as he or they shall require all or any of the Indentures specified in the schedule hereto for the manifestation defence and support of the Estate title and possession of the said Thomas Bown his heirs or assigns And will at all times at the like request and cost make and furnish to him or them such True copies Abstracts or Extracts attested or unattested of and from all or any of the same Indentures as he or they may require And will keep the same Indentures safe whole uncancelled and undefaced And the said Thomas Bown for himself his heirs executors administrators and assigns doth hereby covenant with the said William Robert Poole his heirs and assigns That for the term of Fifty years from the first day of January One thousand eight hundred and seventy nine the following regulations shall be observed with regard to the said hereditaments herebefore described and the erections thereon namely (1) No trade business shall be carried on upon the same hereditaments (2) No building shall be erected nearer to the said road than the building line at a distance of six feet from the same road and shewn on the said plan except boundary walls and bow or bay windows projecting in front of Dwellinghouses built up to the said building line (3) Each Dwellinghouse shall be erected up to and in accordance with the said building line and shall front to the said new road and shall have a stone front and be two stories in height and no more with or without attics And that said Thomas Bown his heirs or assigns will at all times until the said new road shall become repairable by the public pay to the said William Robert Poole his heirs or assigns or other the person or persons in whom the site of the said new road shall for the time being be vested a proportionate part of the expenses of repairing and maintaining the said new road and the sewers and drains thereof such proportionate part in case of dispute to be fixed by the Surveyor for the time being of the roads in the Township of Totley aforesaid. In Witness whereof the said parties to these presents have hereunto set their hands and seals the day and year first above written.


The Schedule hereinbefore referred to


20th January 1873 Indenture of this date made between Arthur Burnell and John Cockayne of the first part Elizabeth Hill of the second part Robert Ramsey Swan of the third part and Tedbar Tinker of the fourth part.


29th September 1874 Indenture of this date made between Tedbar Tinker of the one part and Thomas Kilner of the other part.


1st March 1875. Indenture of this date hereinbefore recited.


(signed) William Robert Poole (signed) Thomas Bown



Signed sealed and delivered by the within named William Robert Poole and Thomas Bown in the presence of (signed) J. Barnes Clerk to Messrs Rodgers Thomas & Co, Sols. Sheffield.


Received the sum of Fifty pounds within expressed to be paid to me

(signed) William Robert Poole. Witness (signed) J. Barnes.



Dated 25 February 1879

Mr William Robert Poole to Mr Thomas Bown

Conveyance of the freehold land and hereditaments situate near Mickley Lane in the Township of Totley in the Parish of Dronfield in the County of Derby.





Thomas Bown was the second of eleven children born to Henry Bown, a labourer, and his wife Eliza nee Coxon, who had married on 19 October 1835 at St. Oswald Church, Ashbourne, Derbyshire. Their first child, Sarah, was baptised in Hognaston, Derbyshire on 28 February 1836 and the Bown Family must have moved to Totley soon after because Thomas was baptised at Christ Church, Dore on 6 May 1838.


By the time of the 1851 Census Henry had become a banksman in a coal mine. Sarah and Thomas had left home. Thomas, aged 12, was living with the family of Joseph Hancock in Causeway Head and was working as a farm labourer. His parents went on to have seven further children born in Totley: Elizabeth (1840), Charles (1842), William (1845), Henry (1847), George (1850), Mary (1852) and Edward (1854) but they later moved to Abbey Houses, Beauchief, where a fourth daughter Frances was born in 1858 and a seventh son, John, in 1860.


In the next Census on 7 April 1861, Henry Bown was said to be an overlooker in a brick yard. His son Thomas was living in Totley Hall Road and was working as a blacksmith. On 11 July that year Thomas married Jane Wood, the daughter of George Wood, a hostler and his wife Hannah, at St. Nicholas Church, in Bawtry. The couple may have met when Jane was living at the Parsonage in the household of Rev. John Aldred, the Perpetual Curate of Dore. Jane was employed as a Ladies Maid possibly by Mrs. Aldred.


In 1866 Thomas was sworn in as one of Totley's two constables and by 1867 Thomas and had become the publican at the Cross Scythes, an occupation he initially combined with those of farmer and blacksmith. The couple had seven children in all of which five lived into adulthood, Hannah Elizabeth (1861), George Henry (1864), Mary Elizabeth (1865), Margaret Jane, (1870), John Charles (1874), Tom William (1878) whilst two others died in infancy, Tom Edward (1875-1876) and Emily Ethel (1882-1882). The children were all baptised at Christ Church, Dore and records have survived showing that George, Margaret and Thomas attended Totley Church School; perhaps the others did too. Thomas became an Overseer to the Poor around 1884, and in 1886 he gave up farming, selling off all his stock and equipment.


In the 1891 Census, Thomas and Jane were being helped at the Cross Scythes by four of their children: George, Polly (Mary Elizabeth), Maggie and John. Hannah had married Charles Henry Hill, a fruit and vegetable merchant, on 6 October 1880 at Dore Christ Church and the couple had made their home in Sheffield.


Eventually Thomas and Jane left the Cross Scythes and also moved to Sheffield and in 1901 they were running the Hallamshire Hotel on West Street. In September 1903 they sold Cross Grove House, a property adjoining the Cross Scythes which they had built for their own family use.


Jane Bown died on 27 August 1905 and was buried in Dore churchyard two days later. She was aged 65. Perhaps it was at this time that Thomas decided to retire as in 1911 he was living at 46 Hands Road in Sheffield with his daughter Polly who had married Hugh Clynes, a letter cutter and engraver, in Sheffield in 1904. Thomas Bown died on 29 July 1914, aged 77, and was buried with his wife Jane on 4 August. 







William Robert Poole, was born in Harvest Lane, Neepsend, Sheffield on 1 February 1842, the son of Timothy Poole, a joiner and carpenter from Worksop, and his Sheffield born wife Mary, nee Rhodes. William had an older sister, Sarah Ann, who had been born in 1838 but she died two months after William's birth and was buried at St. George's Churchyard on 5 April 1842.


By the time of the 1861 Census, the family were living at nearby Cross Duke Street and Timothy Poole now employed two men and two boys including his son William and his nephew Jabez Poole who lived with them. Shortly afterwards, William's mother died at the age of 54 and was buried on 4 July 1861 at Burngreave Cemetery.


On 22 November 1866 William married Hannah Culley at the Church of St. Mary Magdalene, Newark on Trent, Nottinghamshire. Hannah was the third daughter of John Culley, a farmer, and his wife Hannah, nee Harpham who had married in 1838. William and Hannah's first child, Albert Preston Poole was born on 28 August 1867 and baptised at Christ Church, Pitsmoor on 3 November the same year. He was known as Preston and named after his uncle, Preston Harpham. A daughter, Mary Hannah was born the following year and a son Timothy Edward in 1869 when the family were living at Pye Bank, Bridgehouses, Sheffield.


The 1871 Census shows that they had moved to Totley and were living at the large detached house then known as Totley Brook House (now the listed building Brook Hall) on Mickley Lane. William's occupation is shown as farmer and contractor and the family were sufficiently well off to employ two live-in servants. This wealth was the result of an inheritance from William's father who had died on 12 December 1869. At the same time William took over his father's builder's business. For a while the business prospered but by 1875, with many of his newly-built houses unsold and untenanted, the Poole Family had downsized to Woodland Villa, (Queen) Victoria Road. Sadly, William and Hannah's son Preston died there aged just 8. He was buried in Burngreave Cemetery in the same plot as his grandparents on 31 May 1875.


In January 1880 William found himself the defendant in a series of five 'interpleader' cases brought before the Sheffield County Court by his creditors, principally John Capel Darlow together with his father Eli Darlow and mother-in-law Mary Charlesworth. Eli Darlow was a builder who had seized William's brickyard in Rutland Road and had begun to sell off its plant and machinery. It was claimed that this action was taken in non-fulfilment of a contract under which William was to sell the brickyard to Eli Darlow in consideration for ten houses at Walkley owned by Mrs Charlesworth. His Honour, Judge T. Ellison decided in favour of the creditors and costs were allowed.


By November 1880, when the Poole Family had moved to Cyprus Mount, (Queen) Victoria Road, their quality furniture was being advertised for auction as well as a quantity of builder's materials. In the Census of the following year, the family were living at 118 Hoole Street, Walkley. Worse was soon to follow when William was forced into an accommodation with his creditors to avoid bankruptcy. Against liabilities of £22,369 there were assets of just £2024 17s. (approx £2,670,000 and £245,000 in today's terms). On 10 June 1882, at a meeting of creditors, the business was liquidated and William was allowed his discharge.


In the 1891 Census William and Hannah Poole were living at 560 Brightside Lane with their son Timothy who was working as a mason. Hannah Poole died in 1894, aged 50, and was buried at Burngreave Cemetery on 20 June. By the following year both father and son had become coal dealers but that venture also seems to have been short-lived because the Census of 1901 records William as a pauper in Sheffield Union Workhouse, Fir Vale (later the Northern General Hospital). He died there in 1902, aged 60, and was buried in the family grave at Burngreave Cemetery on 31 May.


His son Timothy Poole married Sarah Emma Myers, the daughter of John Myers, a steel roller, at St. Matthews Church, Carver Street, Sheffield on 18 March 1895. The couple went on to have nine children: Edith Hannah (1896), William Henry (1898), Alice Martha (1900), Lily (1902), Albert Robert (1905), Eva (1907), Edward Timothy (1909), Elsie (1911) and John (1914). Timothy was shown as a labourer in the 1901 and 1911 Censuses and again in the 1939 National Register. He died in Sheffield in 1944 at the age of 74.


Daughter Mary Poole married Tom Bartholomew Spink, a blacksmith's striker and widower at St. Bartholomew's Church, Walkley on 22 July 1889. Tom's first marriage to Jane Ellen Shepherd had lasted for less than a year when Jane died in April 1887 at the age of 22. Mary had earlier given birth to a daughter Lillian Gosnay Poole in 1887. Mary and Tom Spink had eight children of their own: Edith Annie (1891), Ethel May (1893), Tom (1894) Florence (1895), Frank (1897), Mary Hannah (1898), Marian (1900) and Gladys (1901). Their youngest child, Gladys, was born on 2 November 1901 and baptised at Attercliffe on 20 November. Mary, however, had died shortly after Gladys's birth, presumably from complications. She was buried at Burngreave on 11 November alongside no fewer than six of her children who had died under the age of eight months. Only Ethel May and Gladys survived until adulthood. Their father married for a third time on 1 June 1909 at Holy Trinity, Darnall to Sarah Jane Overall and went on to have six daughters with her between 1910 and 1921, all of whom survived infancy. Tom Bartholomew Spink died in 1935 at the age of 68.  







Thomas Biggin Kilner was born in 1827 and baptised at Norton St. James on 28 October that year. He was the son of John Kilner, a file cutter of Bradway, and his wife Hannah Biggin who had married at the same church on 6 August 1826. Thomas had a younger sister, Hannah, but she died aged 3 months in August 1829. Their mother died in the same month and they were buried together at St. James Churchyard.


By the time of the 1851 Census, Thomas had become an agricultural labourer and was living at Abbeydale with the family of Thomas Godber, a farmer. Also lodging there was Tedbar Tinker, a chemist, with whom Thomas Kilner would become closely associated for many years.


On 7 May 1854 Thomas Kilner married Elizabeth Mather, a widow, at Norton St. James. She was the daughter of William Barber, a labourer and his wife Hannah. Elizabeth had earlier married John Mather at the Sheffield Parish Church on 29 July 1838. She and John had seven children: Joseph (1841), Anne (1842), William (1844), John junior (1847), Elizabeth I (1848), Elizabeth II (1850), and Hannah (1853). Only Anne, William and the second daughter to be named Elizabeth survived infancy. In the 1851 Census the family of five were living at Bradway Mill and John Mather was employed as a labourer and carter. He died later the same year.


By the time of the 1861 Census, Thomas Kilner was working for Tedbar Tinker as the manager of Totley Chemical Yard which was located at the Bradway end of Back Lane, between Totley Brook and Victoria Road. The principal product appears to have been charcoal but the yard also manufactured pyroligneous acid and naphtha. In April 1868 Thomas took over the business from Tedbar who was then free to concentrate on his numerous other business interests.


Elizabeth Kilner, Thomas's wife, died in 1870. There were no children from the marriage but Thomas's unmarried step-daughter, Elizabeth Mather, continued to live at home. In the Census the following year Thomas was described as a manufacturing chemist employing four men.


The Chemical Yard was a dangerous place to work or simply to visit, to deliver cordwood and waste hard wood and to collect charcoal, for example. A labourer called William Howe, who worked at the yard, was found dead on 5 June 1871, having suffocated from gas escaping from a pipe that passed through the building he was in. Being so close to the Totley Brook, the yard was liable to flooding and on one occasion in 1880, a horse and cart were swept some distance downstream before they could be extricated. Another accident in 1888 resulted in a youth named Walter Bradshaw being fatally scalded when he accidentally fell into the vat of boiling lime that he had been stirring.


There were a number of workers cottages in the Chemical Yard itself and immediately above it at Cliff Cottages on Victoria Road, but the Kilner Family lived at Woodbine Cottage, a substantial eight-roomed villa with stables, carriage-house, piggery and ornamental gardens. Thomas Kilner died there on 11 December 1890 at the age of 63 and was buried at Norton Cemetery three days later. The chemical business was closed after his death but his step-daughter continued to live at the house on Bradway Bank until her own death in 1908.







Tedbar Tinker was the third son of Abel Tinker, a farmer, and his wife Susannah, nee Roberts who had married on 18 September 1817 at Sandal Magna, Wakefield. Tedbar was baptised at Shelley, near Kirkburton in the West Riding of Yorkshire on 7 April 1826.


His forename is a traditional Tinker Family name. His great grandfather was Tedbald Tinker (1711-1792), both names being old Yorkshire variations of the name Theobold. Tedbar had two older brothers Henry Horncastle (1818-1844) and William John (1821-1857). His younger sister Harriet (1828-1884) was baptised at Kirkburton shortly after her father's death.


By the time of the first census in 1841, Tedbar, aged 14, was living at Thunderbridge, Shelley and was a mechanic's apprentice. In 1844 Tedbar's brother Henry died and was buried at All Hallows, Kirkburton, on 26 January. He was aged 25 and left a widow, Anne, and two sons William John and David McNicholl. They went to live with Anne's widowed aunt, Ann Hudson, in Dewsbury.


By 1851 Tedbar Tinker was lodging at Abbeydale with Thomas Godber a farmer, and had become a chemist. We don't know how or when Tedbar met George Siddall, who was a fellow chemist living at Dronfield but the two men became business partners in the firm of Tinker and Siddall, manufacturing chemists of Totley Chemical Yard. The firm probably started in the late 1840s and by the mid 1850s they had extensive works producing a number of chemicals from pyroligneous acid or wood vinegar as it was commonly known. The acid involved the destruction of wood with naphtha, an inflammable gas, and charcoal as by-products.


On 29 November 1854 Tedbar married Sarah Fox at St. Giles Parish Church, Matlock. She appears to have been born in Beauchief around 1832, the eldest of ten children born to John Fox, a farmer, and his wife Rebecca, nee Steel who were married at Beauchief Abbey in 1831.


Tedbar and Sarah Tinker went on to have 14 children over the course of the next 24 years: Harriet (1854), Sarah Emily (1856), Frances (1857), Tedbar John (1859), Alice (1860), Helena Blanche (1862), Florence Annie (1864), Clara (1866), Ellen (1868), Charles William (1871), Mary (1872), Clara May (1873), Kate Adelaide (1875) and Frank Stanley (1878). The oldest seven children were all baptised on 9 August 1865 at Norton St. James, the family having set up home at The Grange, Bradway where Tedbar, freed from running the Totley Chemical Yard in 1868, now combined farming with other diverse business interests which included coal mining, quarrying, woollen mills, and land and property ownership.


Around this time, Tedbar Tinker and George Siddall started the Twentywell Brickworks, adjacent to an old quarry on Bradway Bank. It is probable that their intention was to supply stone and bricks to George Thompson & Co., who was contracted to build the Bradway Tunnel for the Sheffield and Chesterfield Railway. The tunnel was built between 1865 and 1870 but we have yet to see proof that the Twentywell brickyard actually supplied the tunnel with any bricks. The company running the brickworks, the Twenty Well-Sick Stone and Brick Company Ltd., went into voluntary liquidation in 1875, to be replaced by a new company owned by George Siddall, Tedbar Tinker and William Fox. By 1876 it seemed to be prospering, employing around forty men working shifts around the clock and manufacturing an expanded range of products which now included sanitary and drain pipes, chimney tops, grave and headstones.


The operation was not without its share of fatal accidents. In August 1871 John Frost was killed in the quarry when he was crushed by a fall of stone. In July 1876 one man, Isaac Wain, was killed and two others injured when a boiler in the brickyard exploded with such force that the front of the boiler was blown through the brick wall of the shed and landed in a field 150 yards away. Considerable damage was done to the buildings and equipment causing all work at the brickyard to cease until repairs could be effected.


On 12 February 1884 Tedbar Tinker died at the Grange, Bradway, aged 58. He was buried on 15 February at Norton Cemetery. Many of his business interests, including the brickworks were taken on by his oldest son, Tedbar John Tinker. In 1898 there was an auction of 18 lots of the Tinker Family's land and property in Bradway, Dronfield and Sheffield which included the Castle Inn and the Twentywell Brickyard. The sale yielded more than £15,000, the equivalent of £2 million in today's terms. A further sale in 1902 included the land formerly occupied by the Totley Chemical Yard and the three properties at the top of Bricky Row, then occupied by James Boot, Colin Thompson and Leonard Thompson together with their various outbuildings adjoining Back Lane. The sale also included houses, building land and a farm in Dronfield. In total it yielded £5,215 or £635,000 in today's terms.


Sarah Tinker continued to live at The Grange with her son Tedbar John for the rest of her life. She died on 11 August 1928, aged 96, and was buried in the same grave as her husband three days later. She had survived him by 44 years and was one of the oldest women in Derbyshire when she died. Tedbar John Tinker died at The Grange on 18 March 1932 and was buried in the same grave as his parents on 22 March.






Robert Ramsey Swan was born in Longhorsley, Northumberland in 1826 the son of James Swan, an agricultural labourer, and his wife Mary. Robert's early life included a time in Ireland where he graduated from Trinity College, Dublin. He became a schoolteacher in Liverpool and on 1 January 1857 married Emily Penn Cockerton, the only daughter of Rev. John Cockerton and his wife Mary.


In 1834 John Cockerton became the Headmaster of Dronfield Grammar School and in 1850 was appointed also as the incumbent of the Abbey Church at Beauchief. Emily's mother died in 1852 and her father married again to Susan Tasker in 1857. The following year he became insolvent and arrangements were made to repay his creditors from deductions of £52 a year from his stipend. There was much sympathy for him as his annual salary from the grammar school was £120 and the incumbency brought in about a further £30 pounds. Before his debts could be fully repaid, Rev. John Cockerton died on 13 June 1862, aged 57. George Siddall, auctioneer and business partner of Tedbar Tinker, handled the sale of Rev. Cockerton's entire household furniture and effects, including a library of over 400 learned books.


In the 1861 Census Robert and Emily were living at Church Road, West Derby, Liverpool and he was shown to be a mathematics teacher. By the mid 1860s, however, Robert was advertising himself as the Principal of the Stanley College, Church Road, a school to "prepare Young Gentlemen for the universities, learned professions or commercial pursuits".


By 1869 Robert Swan had formed a partnership with Sheffield merchant Harry Leonard Mort to be joint Principals of the Boarding and Day School, The Thorns, Southport Road, Lydiate. Harry's mother was the sister of Rev. Cockerton's second wife who was also living with them at The Thorns in the 1871 Census. Both Robert and Harry are recorded as having secondary occupations as landowners.


Robert and Harry's partnership did not last long, however, and was dissolved in October 1873. It would appear there had been some family fall-out. Whilst Emily, Harry and Susan Cockerton remained at The Thorns where Harry turned his hand to farming and market gardening, Robert returned to Liverpool and a career in teaching. In 1889 Harry Mort was declared bankrupt and by the time of the 1891 Census, Emily, Harry and Susan were recorded at Moorlands, Froggatt, Derbyshire "living on their own means". Robert Swan had retired by this time and was living with his widowed sister Sarah in Sunderland.


On 4 August 1893, Emily Swan, who had being running a florists business, was declared bankrupt. Later the same year Robert Ramsey Swan died in Sunderland, aged 67. In 1895 Susan Cockerton died and was buried at Bradwell on 6 November. in the 1901 Census Emily and Harry were living at Smalldale Head, Bradwell where they continued as florists. They were still there in 1911. Emily Penn Swan died in 1916 aged 79. Harry Leonard Mort died in 1922 aged 81.


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Future Meetings




Unless stated otherwise our meetings are held in Totley Library on the 4th Wednesday of each month at 7.30pm.

Pauline Burnett's book The Rise of Totley Rise has been revised and updated. It tells the story of this small piece of land from 1875 when there was only a rolling mill and chemical yard alongside the river a mile from Totley, through Victorian and Edwardian times, two world wars and up to the present day. It has 94 pages including a useful index and many illustrations from private collections. The book is available now from Totley Rise Post Office priced at £5, or through our website when an additional charge will be made to cover packing and postage.

A few copies are still available of Sally Goldsmith's book Thirteen Acres: John Ruskin and the Totley Communists. Totley was the site of a utopian scheme funded by art critic and social reformer John Ruskin. In 1877 he bought 13-acre St. George’s Farm so that nine Sheffield working men and their families could work the land and, to keep themselves busy, make boots and shoes. Sally tells an engaging story from our history with a quirky cast of characters including Ruskin himself, the poet and gay rights activist Edward Carpenter and Henry Swan, a cycling, vegetarian artist and Quaker. The book is available to order online from the The Guild of St. George by following this link.

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 local shops and via our website.  Further information about the correspondence is in this inside page of our website: Dore & Totley Minesweeping Trawlers Comforts Fund

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.

Totley All Saints' Church Parish Magazines for the years 1985-2006 with notices of baptisms, marriages and funerals and accounts of spiritual, educational, charitable and social matters in the village. Scanned in full, including advertisements from local traders.

In 1893 during the building of the Totley Tunnel there was an outbreak of smallpox amongst the navvies which spread to some of the local population. 17 people were buried in communal graves in Dore Churchyard, 6 from "Green Oak" (Lemont Road). The severity of the outbreak was principally caused by overcrowding and insanitary conditions in lodging houses .

Kathleen Grayson was a 39 year old housewife when WW2 broke out. She volunteered for the ARP and became an ambulance driver. During an air raid on Sheffield in July 1941, and despite her own injuries, she managed to get a seriously injured casualty to hospital. For this she was awarded a commendation from King George VI. Together with her friend Hilda Duffy, Kathleen also assembled a team of knitters to provide essential warm clothing for the men serving on the minesweepers patrolling the North Sea.

We have recently bought at auction the WW2 memorabilia of Douglas Platts whose family home was at Hillside, 98 Queen Victoria Road. After the war Douglas returned to his civilian occupation working in the family scissors manufacturing business. He lived in our area for the rest of his life.

We are very grateful to Mrs Valerie Taylor of Dore for lending us the title deeds to Lower Bents Farmhouse which is reputed to be the oldest surviving building in the area with a proven history back to 1621. We have now scanned and transcribed the deeds which could be particularly interesting to anyone with a connection to the local Fisher, Dalton and Marshall Families. 

Until 1844, when Dore Christ Church parish was created, Totley township was part of Dronfield parish. We have now transcribed the burial records for former Totley residents at St. John the Baptist, Dronfield for the period 1678-1870 and at St. Swithin, Holmesfield for the period 1766-1901.

Whilst researching the history of the Dalton Family we found it useful to transcribe a number of early Wills and Inventories. These and those of many other Totley, Dore and Holmesfield people dating from between 1594 and 1856 have now been added to our website.

St. Swithin's Church, Holmesfield pre-dates Dore Christ Church and was the place where many of the people from Totley worshipped and were baptised, married and buried. Read the inscriptions on more than 750 gravestones in the churchyard including those of Mr. and Mrs. William Aldam Milner of Totley Hall, Jessie Matilda Tyzack (nee Fisher) of Avenue Farm, and Rev. J. A. Kerfoot of St. John's, Abbeydale.

Thomas Youdan was a music hall proprietor and benefactor who was living at Grove House, Totley in 1867 when he sponsored the first football knockout competition in the world for The Youdan Cup.

The words Millhouses Cricket Club can be seen in the background of team photos which are likely to date from between 1905 and the early 1920s, very probably pre-war. They were lent to us by Garth Inman who can identify his great uncle, Cecil Inman, in some of the photos and would like to know when they were taken and, if possible, the names of others present. Please take a look to see whether you can put names to any of the faces. 

Josiah Hibberd was seriously injured whilst working on the construction of the Totley Tunnel in 1892. He died on 9 May 1897 at the age of 38 having apparently spent most of previous five years in hospital.

Bradway House was built around 1832 by Henry Greaves, a farmer, together with two adjacent cottages. We have traced most of the occupants of the property from these early days up to the start of World War Two.

We have transcribed the baptisms records at St. John the Evangelist, Abbeydale from when the church was consecrated in 1876 until just after the start of World War 1. The records are arranged in alphabetical order based upon the child's name and show the date of baptism, the names of the parents, their home location and occupation.

Nick Kuhn bought an original 1920s poster which had this owners' blind stamp in one corner. The stamp almost certainly refers to a house named Wigmore that was built in the late 1920s or early 1930s. The first occupiers that we can trace are John Howarth Caine, a district mineral agent for the LNER, his wife Florence Jane (nee Prince) and daughter Doris Mary. The Caine family lived at Wigmore until 1936 by which time the house would have been known simply as 12 The Quandrant.

George Griffiths died on 13 December 1888 following an explosion during the sinking of number 3 airshaft at Totley Bents. His widow Florence died shortly afterwards and his two daughters Maud and Annie were adopted separately. Whilst Annie lived the rest of her life in Yorkshire, Maud emigrated to Australia in 1923 with her husband, John Burrows, daughter Margaret and son Jack, pictured above.

George Wainwright was said to have been born in Bamford, Derbyshire in 1714. He learned the trade of linen weaving and moved to Totley after his marriage on 1744. He became an ardent follower of John Wesley who paid many visits to Sheffield and who would have passed through or close to Totley. Preaching was at first conducted out of doors and when Wesley's preachers became harassed by a mob of Totley ruffians in 1760, George offered them safety of his own home. He remained a Methodist for all of his long life, dying in Dore in 1821 at the reputed age of 107.

Oakwood School was started by Mrs Phoebe Holroyd in 1925 initially as the Firth Park Kindergarten and, by 1927, as the Firth Park Preparatory School. Phoebe was still working at the school almost fifty years later when she was well into her seventies. We would like to hear from anyone with memories of the school. 

James Curtis was born at sea aboard HMS Chichester in 1790. He enlisted as a Private in the 1st Grenadier Regiment of Foot Guards in Sheffield in 1812 and served in Spain and Portugal during the Peninsular War. He later fought in France and Belgium taking part in the Battle of Waterloo. In later life James lived at the Cricket Inn where his son-in-law William Anthony was the licensed victualler. He died in Heeley in 1882 aged about 91. 

Charles Paul lived in Totley in later life. He was a local historian and archaeologist who was an authority on the history of Sheffield, especially the two areas he knew best: Attercliffe and Ecclesall. His books and letters to local newspapers were published under the Latin form of his name Carolus Paulus.

Towards the end of the 19th century Totley Hall gardens became a well known beauty spot that attracted many hundreds of visitors from Sheffield on open days and the rock gardens became one of its most popular features. Mrs Annie Charlesworth sent us six glass transparencies of the rock gardens taken, we believe, in the early years following the Great War.

Anton Rodgers send us photographs of three water-colours that had been bought by his grandfather at a sale of the contents of Abbeydale Hall in 1919. One was of a scene said to be in York by A. Wilson. A second was of a seated child with a dog believed to be pianted by Juliana Russell (1841-1898). The third was of Lake Como, by Ainslie Hodson Bean (1851-1918) who lived for much of his life on the Riviera and in North Italy.

A Canadian correspondent sent us photographs of a set of silver spoons that were bought in a small town in British Columbia. The case contained a note signed by Ebenezer Hall indicating that they were a wedding gift to Maurice and Fanny Housley. We think we may have traced how they got to Canada and where they might have been since.

Green Oak Park was opened on 23 March 1929 on land that had been bought by Norton District Council from John Thomas Carr, a farmer and smallholder of Mona Villas. In later years, the buildings were used by the Bowling Club (the green having been built in 1956) and by the park keeper. However, the buildings appear to have been constructed in several phases, the oldest of which predates the park to the time when the land was used for pasture.

We believe the old Totley Police Station at 331 Baslow Road was built around 1882. Two lock-up cells were excavated just below floor level in the summer of 1890. We have traced the Derbyshire Constabulary police officers who lived there from John Burford in 1886 to George Thomas Wood who was there when Totley was absorbed into Sheffield in 1934.

David Stanley lived in Totley Rise in the later years of his life. Born in Bulwell, Nottinghamshire, he joined the 17th Lancers when he was 19 and rode in the Charge of The Light Brigade at the Battle of Balaclava where he was seriously wounded. For the first reunion of veterans in 1875, he told his story to a reporter from the Buxton Herald.

This picture postcard was addressed to Miss Abell, Holly Dene, Totley Brook Road and posted in Rotherham on 10 December 1907. Edith Annie Abell was born on 4 February 1887 in Sheffield and her family came to live in our area in the 1900s, staying for the rest of their lives.

Charles Herbert Nunn enlisted in the British Army on 23 August 1915 and was sent to France on 18 December 1915 to served with the British Expeditionary Force. In March 1916 it was discovered that he was underage and he was returned home. Shortly after his 18th birthday he re-enlisted and was again posted abroad where, in addition to this trio of medals, he was awarded the Military Medal. 

This certificate was awarded jointly by the Red Cross and St. John's Ambulance to Isaac Henry Williams, of Lemont Road, for his services during WW1 as a stretcher bearer. We are seeking anyone who can help us pass it on to a living relative.

In 1832 Samuel Dean pleaded guilty to stealing a quantity of lead from the Totley Rolling Mill and was sentenced to seven years transportation to Australia. He sailed on the Mangles and upon arrival in New South Wales he was sent to work for William Cox, the famous English explorer and pioneer. After receiving his Certificate of Freedom in 1840, Samuel became a farmer and went on to have a very large family. Samuel was born in Whitechapel around 1811 to parents Samuel Dean Snr. and Susannah Duck. His descendant Sarah Dean would like help in tracing his ancestry.

Ellen Topham was born in 1889 in Nottingham. Her parents had been living together since 1862 but had never married so it was most unusual that, after their deaths, Ellen was accepted into Cherrytree Orphanage. Even more so since her father, Snowden Topham, had been acquitted somewhat unexpectedly in a widely reported manslaughter trial. Ellen remained at Cherrytree until her death from pulmonary tuberculosis at the age of 15.

Mabel Wilkes was a resident in Cherrytree Orphanage between 1897 and 1905. Her granddaughter Sally Knights sent us these images of a book presented to Mabel as a prize for her writing. Sally also sent us some personal memories of her grandmother and a photograph of a locket which contains portraits of Mabel and her husband Septimus Gale.

John Henry Manby Keighley was living at Avenue Farm when he enlisted in 1916. He fought in France with the Cheshire Regiment but after home leave in early 1918 he went missing. The Army were unable to determine whether he had deserted or returned to the front and been either killed or captured by the enemy. In August 1919 he was formally presumed killed in action but it appears he did not die but returned home to his family.

Horace Ford was admitted to Cherrytree Orphanage on 26 October 1888 at the age of six. He left at the age of 14 to become an apprentice blacksmith and farrier. Soon after his 18th birthday Horace enlisted in the Imperial Yeomanry to serve his country in the war in South Africa. His letter home to his Orphanage mentor tells of the lucky escape he had in battle.

Pat Skidmore (née Sampy) lived on Totley Brook Road from 1932 to 1948 before her family moved to Main Avenue. In this short article she remembers her time at Totley All Saints School where she was a contemporary of Eric Renshaw and Bob Carr.

As we have nowhere to exhibit memorabilia and artifacts, we have created a Virtual Museum instead. The latest addition to our collection is this double-sided Totley Rise Post Office oval illuminated sign which was on the wall of 67 Baslow Road before the Post Office business transferred to number 71. Please contact us by email if you have things that you own and would like to see added to the virtual museum.

Conway Plumbe was a man of many talents who came to live in Totley Rise around 1912. As a young man he had poems published by Punch magazine and is remembered in modern collections of WW1 poetry. A number of his paintings were accepted by the Royal Academy. An engineering graduate of London University, he joined the Civil Service where he rose to a high level as a factory inspector, publishing two books on the subject and giving a series of talks on workplace health and safety on BBC radio during WW2. In retirement he wrote a philosophical-spiritual work called Release From Time.

Inside Totley Rise Methodist Church there is a Roll of Honour commemorating the soldiers from its congregation who served their king and country during the Great War. For all but one of the 28 names the soldier's regiment is recorded in the next column. The exception is David Cockshott for whom 'killed in action' is written alongside yet he appears on no war memorial in our area and no record of a mortally wounded soldier of that name is to be found. We think we have solved the mystery.

Mrs. Kate Plumbe moved from Mansfield to Totley Rise with a number of her family in 1913 and became closely involved with the Totley Union Church. Her daughter Winifred became a missionary and headmistress in Calcutta for over 38 years following which she returned home to live with her sister Hilda on Furniss Avenue. Hilda had also been a teacher, missionary and, like her mother, a volunteer at St. John's VAD during WW1.

Thomas Glossop was a cutler and razor manufacturer who was well known amongst cricketing and gardening circles. Despite going blind, he was able to continue his hobbies with remarkable success

The Totley Union Cycling Society Prize Giving and Fete was held on the fields near Abbeydale Hall on 18 July 1914. Anne Rafferty and Gordon Wainwright have named some of the people in two wonderful photographs of the event. Can you identify any more for us? 

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"

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 The Plumbe Family, Thomas Glossop and accidents during the construction of Totley Tunnel.

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 700 gravestones in  the churchyard.


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