History uncovered at sites around Sheffield

Ruins of North America House near Langsett Woods
Ruins of North America House near Langsett Woods
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Secrets of the past have been revealed within a total 78 new areas of historical interest just discovered in stretches of South Yorkshire’s woodland.

Archaeologists’ surveys have found interesting historical assets at 13 wooded sites, some of which date back to the medieval era.

All the surveyed land is owned by Yorkshire Water and includes Langsett Wood near Barnsley, Underbank Reservoir woods and Rivelin Valley near Sheffield.

The utility giant wants to understand more about the history and heritage of its ancient woodland so that it can be well protected.

JB Archaeology Ltd worked on the sites, with other local groups and specialists.

There is new data based around the once critically important WWII training area on the edge of Langsett Woods.

During the war, troops undertook bomb and weapon training there, and protected the reservoir from a dambuster type bombing raid.

It also features the remains of the nineteenth century North America farmhouse which was used as target practice by military tanks during wartime.

At Redmires Reservoir woods in Sheffield, the Grouse and Trout Inn was demolished, demonstrating changes within a few decades.

Geoff Lomas, recreation and catchment manager at Yorkshire Water, said: “We want to do our best to be a responsible landowner and one way we can do this is to conserve the ecology of woodland that we own for future generations to enjoy.

“Lots of these places have a rich history and it’s nice to think that this will be preserved for posterity’s sake.”

Survey results have been shared with the Historical Environment Record offices. These public archives hold information that is an important starting point for anyone interested in archaeology, built heritage and the history of an area.

Dinah Saich, Principal Archaeologist with South Yorkshire Archaeology Service, said: “This project has doubled the number of archaeological assets that we know of in the surveyed woodlands.

“As well as adding to our knowledge of the historic development of these areas, it is good to know that the results will help Yorkshire Water to manage and conserve these assets in the future.”

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