Remembering amazing South Yorkshire house lost in sands of time

The cloister tunnel under Sand House, Doncaster
The cloister tunnel under Sand House, Doncaster
0
Have your say

A lost South Yorkshire Victorian mansion carved from solid sandstone with intricate tunnels underneath will be celebrated in a new project looking back at its unique history.

The Sand House was a prominent feature in Doncaster from the mid-1850s until the Second World War.

An old postcard of the Sand House showing carvings of an elephant and a mahout

An old postcard of the Sand House showing carvings of an elephant and a mahout

The mansion-sized dwelling was carved from solid sandstone by Victorian businessman Henry Senior.

As well as carving the house itself, which stood in a former quarry, Senior excavated into the adjacent ground and created a network of tunnels, decorated with fine and unusual carvings.

In later years after the house was abandoned, local youngsters used to explore the tunnels.

The Sand House stood near Doncaster town centre about 200 metres north-east of Balby Bridge, which is where the A630 crosses the East Coast Main Line railway. The St James Street site is now occupied by a 17-storey block of flats, Silverwood House.

A view of the Sand House in Doncaster, where a 17-storey block of flats now stands

A view of the Sand House in Doncaster, where a 17-storey block of flats now stands

The Sand House Charity, based in Doncaster, has received £3,900 from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, the project will create an exhibition with a range of display materials for continuing educational use. It will also deliver sand modelling sessions for families, illustrated talks and guided walks.

This news comes just weeks after the charity announced a £23,483 grant from Arts Council England for a Sand House play at the Cast theatre in Doncaster.

A free exhibition will be staged at Cast in May and June.

Free fun sand modelling sessions will take place on May 31, and June 1, 2, 8 and 9 June in the town’s Central Children’s Library. Families will be introduced to the subject of the Sand House, while having fun making carvings.

Illustrated talks at Cast on June 14 will tell the story of the Sand House, from its origins to its eventual demise.