Retro: Rural spot’s working past

The scene at Longshaw Lake as skaters take advantage of the thick ice - 3rd January 1970'''snow'ice skating
The scene at Longshaw Lake as skaters take advantage of the thick ice - 3rd January 1970'''snow'ice skating
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Our Retro A to Z tour of Sheffield and surrounding areas has already been to Fox House and we’re back to look at Longshaw, across the road.

This is now a peaceful part of the Peak District and a lovely place for a stroll through the National Trust-owned estate but a century ago there was a hive of industry nearby with quarrying operations taking place.

Longshaw - Children at play in Burbage Brook - 27th August 1975

Longshaw - Children at play in Burbage Brook - 27th August 1975

The abandoned Bole Hill Quarry now attracts climbers and walkers but 100 years ago it was a major industrial undertaking, with the millstone grit being hauled uphill via a counterweight rail system, to be used for the Derwent Valley dams.

Some remnants of the railway and winding drum can still be seen, as well as an old gunpowder store and a valve house that pumps water from Derwent Dam.

A short walk away in Lawrence Field, there are still some abandoned millstones near the path.

This is an ancient technology but in modern times the millstones were manufactured on the spot for export to paper mills in Scandinavia.

Sunshine brings a touch of the promise of spring to the Longshaw Estate at its Froggatt Edge boundary - 3rd Februry 1975

Sunshine brings a touch of the promise of spring to the Longshaw Estate at its Froggatt Edge boundary - 3rd Februry 1975

Many millstones were just left abandoned when the industry collapsed in the 1930s.

The Longshaw Estate was used for shooting by the Duke of Rutland.

The 11,533-acre estate was put up for sale in July 1927, advertising the parklands as suitable for a golf course.

Sheffield organisations raised money to buy the lodge and 747 acres of grounds for £13,000. Four years later the estate was given to the National Trust.

Longshaw Sheepdog Trials - September 1983

Longshaw Sheepdog Trials - September 1983

Longshaw Sheep Dog Trials claim to be the oldest continuous trials in the country, running from 1898, interrupted only by two world wars.

According to the trials website, www.longshawsheepdog.co.uk, the most interesting account of their origins had the head shepherd and head keeper to the Duke of Rutland competing to see who could shoot most pigeons. The shepherd won.

The furious keeper challenged the shepherd to a return match. As the shepherd had no gun licence, he was worried that the keeper was going to tell the police, so he suggested that they should see whose dog was the best at rounding up sheep.

The first official trial was held on March 24, 1898, attracting 21 competitors.

One of the sheepdogs having a rest in the boot of a vehicle at Longshaw Sheepdog trials - 1984

One of the sheepdogs having a rest in the boot of a vehicle at Longshaw Sheepdog trials - 1984

A second trial held that September attracted a large crowd. A special train was run from Manchester and 700 spectators came.

By 1925 the crowd had expanded to 8,000 people. Women were first allowed to compete two years later.

The last trials were held on September 1-3.

Longshaw Sheepdog Trials 'Thomas Longton (left) and John Harvey with their trophies

Longshaw Sheepdog Trials 'Thomas Longton (left) and John Harvey with their trophies