Guided tours of the grounds, former stables and staff cottages of Whiteley Wood Hall promise to shine a light on a rich and unique history dating back to 1663.
Purchased by Sheffield Girl Guides in 1935, it has been a centre for outdoor activities ever since. The organisation is throwing its doors open to the public on Saturday September 11 for Heritage Open Days.
Committee member Ann Evans said: “We have over 60 guided tours booked - it will be hectic - but there are still some vacancies. And there are stirrings of interest from possible links to some of the families that have lived in the hall, which we didn't know about. So there will be mysteries solved on the day.”
Alexander Ashton built Whiteley Wood Hall, off Common Lane, in 1663. A date stone can still be seen in the grounds.
Most famously, from 1757 it was home to cutler Thomas Boulsover, inventor of silver plating, known as ‘Sheffield Plate’.
This more affordable substitute for silver saw an explosion in its use on items from jewellery to buttons to snuff boxes.
It was also occupied from 1864 by Samuel Plimsoll, inventor of the Plimsoll Line, indicating maximum safe loading on ships, and from 1913 to 1925 William Clark, managing director of Vickers Ltd which made armour plate, ships, cars, tanks and torpedoes.
The hall was eventually demolished in 1957. The remaining buildings are Girguiding Sheffield’s Outdoor Activity Centre.
The organisation was battling back after being ‘floored’ by Covid shutdowns when a roof survey found repairs of £300,000 were needed.
Visit on Heritage Open Day. See www.whiteleywoods.org.uk/visit-our-heritage-open-day.
Donate to ‘futureproof the roof’ at www.justgiving.com/campaign/whiteleywoodsoac.