Retro: Suburb’s Danish origins

Jordanthorpe Comprehensive School July 1988'From left Arthur Colledge, Ron Webb and Frank Goodall
Jordanthorpe Comprehensive School July 1988'From left Arthur Colledge, Ron Webb and Frank Goodall
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One of the poorest areas in south Sheffield is the latest stop on our Retro A to Z tour of Sheffield and surrounding areas.

Jordanthorpe is mainly a modern housing estate these days but online historians Sheffield Indexers say that the name Jordanthorpe is of Danish origin and means ‘Jourdain’s outlying farmstead’.

The Chantry block of flats at Jordanthorpe - 25th July 1979

The Chantry block of flats at Jordanthorpe - 25th July 1979

That suggests that Jordanthorpe dates back to possibly the ninth century, when Vikings settled in Britain.

In the 11th century, legal treaties called the Danelaw were set up, outlining Danish and Saxon-controlled areas. Yorkshire fell under the rule of the Danelaw.

Jordanthorpe Farm dates back to at least 1660 and was the birthplace in 1781 of Sir Francis Chantrey, a famous painter and sculptor.

He was commissioned to create sculptures by four reigning monarchs, the last being Queen Victoria.

Jordanthorpe Hall Farm, off Cinderhill Lane - 14th May 1980

Jordanthorpe Hall Farm, off Cinderhill Lane - 14th May 1980

Francis Legatt Chantrey was the son of a tenant farmer turned carpenter.

His father died when he was 12 and he became an apprentice wood carver and gilder in Sheffield.

He managed to buy himself out of his indenture with the help of friends and became a portrait painter, eventually moving down to London in 1802 after spells in Dublin and Edinburgh.

He took up sculpture, establishing a reputation with a portrait bust that was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1811.

Pictured is Jordanthorpe Post Office. Seen Left to right are, Pauline Heathcote staff, Mrs Andrea and Mr Paul Schofield who run the office and Anita Copley staff - 1998

Pictured is Jordanthorpe Post Office. Seen Left to right are, Pauline Heathcote staff, Mrs Andrea and Mr Paul Schofield who run the office and Anita Copley staff - 1998

Ranked as one of the greatest English sculptors, he was knighted in 1835 but died suddenly six years later, when he was brought back from London to be buried at Norton.

Chantrey was also the name of a place that few would call a work of art, the last of three tower blocks at Jordanthorpe to be demolished.

The Star reported in April 2012: “Hundreds huddled under umbrellas in the pouring rain to watch the demise of the 15-storey Chantrey tower in Jordanthorpe, last used as sheltered housing for pensioners.

“Chantrey Tower was the last of three blocks which once stood at Jordanthorpe. They were built in 1967 and the others were demolished in 2001.

“Jordanthorpe residents said they had lost a landmark but were not sorry to see the tower go.

“Robert Sell, aged 55, said: “I’ve lived here since 1985 and saw them take down the other towers 10 years ago. They would have been quite nice when they were built but had become an eyesore.”