Retro: Sheffield industrial village

A view of part of High Green, Sheffield - the so quiet village'31st December 1957
A view of part of High Green, Sheffield - the so quiet village'31st December 1957
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The latest stop on our Retro A to Z tour of Sheffield and surrounding areas stops at High Green, the last of three neighbouring suburbs.

We’ve already called in at nearby Ecclesfield and Chapeltown. High Green is around eight miles from central Sheffield and is said to be the most northerly suburb in the city.

Potter Hill Camp, High Green, Sheffield - former camp for German prisoners of war

Potter Hill Camp, High Green, Sheffield - former camp for German prisoners of war

The invaluable work done on Ecclesfield parish by Joan and Mel Jones of Chapeltown and High Green Archive says that “High Green, as its name suggests, began life as a straggling hamlet around a green and remained largely agricultural until the establishment of Thorncliffe Ironworks at the end of the 18th century.

“Together with neighbouring Mortomley it then expanded steadily as an industrial village to house the workers in the nearby collieries and ironworks.”

They say that High Green became a separate church district in 1872 with the building of St Saviour’s Parish Church in memory of Parkin Jeffcock, who was killed when attempting a rescue in the Oaks Colliery disaster at Barnsley in 1866.

His obituary from the Institution of Civil Engineers said: “Six feet in height, he was a good rider, and a good shot. His personal endurance and bravery, however, were seen to the truest advantage when linked with his Christian philanthropy in those harrowing scenes which from time to time cast a gloom over the life of a Mining Engineer.

“For instance, at the accidents at Stavely, Swanwick, and Clay Cross Colliery, where he was nearly drowned, he freely exposed himself in his attempts to recover the living pent up in the recesses and the dead.

“It was while engaged on such a work that he lost his life at the Oaks Colliery, Barnsley, on the morning of December 13, 1866.

“An explosion on the previous day had killed 300 men; and it was while with an exploring party, and after he had been in the pit 10 hours continuously, that a second explosion occurred, destroying him and the band of 30 explorers still in the ruins.”

Potter Hill camp, also called Bracken Hill, was built near Barnes Hall at High Green in 1940 to accommodate people made homeless by the war.

During the war Italian prisoners and US servicemen were billeted there.

After the war it housed Dutch refugee children and later homeless Sheffield families were settled there before it eventually became a housing estate.