RETRO: Sheffield suburb ‘like a health resort’

Crosspool shops - March 1974
Crosspool shops - March 1974
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The Sheffield suburb of Crosspool is the latest stop on our Retro A to Z tour of Sheffield and South Yorkshire.

Once part of a deer park, the area remained very rural into the 19th century. An 1850 map shows a scattering of houses around Stephen Hill and Benty Lane amid fields that look like they were created by the Enclosure Acts.

Crosspool Tavern, Sheffield

Crosspool Tavern, Sheffield

Lydgate Hall is on the map, along with a National School and Hallam Colliery.

In her book Crosspool Through Time, Judith Hanson says that there were several pools in the area, some of them created by quarrying for clay for brick-making.

When the Manchester Road opened in 1821, inns including the Kings Head were built to serve travellers.

Judith Hanson quotes the Daily Independent in 1938 describing Crosspool. “Perched high above the city, amid beautiful surroundings, Crosspool is more like a health resort than a thriving suburb. Actually it is both.”

The area only began to be more built up after the war.

One Crosspool landmark, Tapton Hall, was the 18th-century home of the Shore family, including Mary Shore, great aunt of Florence Nightingale, who visited the house.

In 1855 steel boss Edward Vickers built his grand home on the site which in 1867 was bought by George Wilson of Wilson’s Snuff Mills.

Sheffield Masonic Hall Company acquired the house in the 1960s and refurbished and extended it. These days it is a popular venue for weddings and corporate events.

Victorian steel magnate Horatio Bright lived at Lydgate Hall. Horatio worked as a sales representative for steel firm Turton Brothers and Mappin and married the daughter of Thomas Turton.

His firm, Turton, Bright and Co, made high quality dies for the Royal Mint. Reputed to be a tough boss, he paid his workers well.

He was often seen in a carriage and four horses.

Horatio did not follow his Jewish religion. When he died in 1906 he specified that there should be no funeral when he was laid to rest in a mausoleum at Moscar.

He visited the mausoleum after the deaths of his first wife Mary Alice and son Samuel in 1891 and played an organ while his groom dusted the coffins.

Rumours abounded that valuables were to be found and in May 1982 a break-in at the mausoleum made front page news in The Star.

Picnickers found coffins smashed and skeletons strewn around. They were reburied in Walkley. Thanks to Chris Hobbs’ website, www.chrishobbs.com, for this story.