Nestling in the hills in the north of Sheffield is Grenoside, the latest stop on our Retro A to Z tour of the city and surrounding areas.
It’s a suburb that retains its traditional feel with lots of old stone buildings.
One theory about the name Grenoside says it is Anglo-Saxon in origin. Documents from the 12th and 13th centuries call it Gravenho or Gravenhowe. Grave means ‘to dig’ and How means ‘hollow’, so it may refer to quarrying of stone that took place from the ninth century up to 1939.
Sandstone of different qualities was put to a number of uses, including building stone, grindstones for the cutlery trade and furnace linings.
Local landmark the Birley Stone can be found in a lay-by on Oughtibridge Lane and is believed to have been on the same spot since 1161. It may be an old boundary stone and stands on a hill which provides magnificent views over the city.
The ridge nearby is known as Jawbone or Whalebone Hill, apparently because a huge whale’s jawbone stood there forming a gateway arch at one time, like the one in Whitby.
Grenoside was once a centre for metal trades. An early example was nail-making.
According to Sheffield City Council: “The Walker brothers, farmers and nail makers of Grenoside, established an iron foundry at The Cupola in 1754, producing flat irons and simple cast objects.
“The Walker brothers went on to develop some of the earliest crucible workshops in the Sheffield area, in premises on Cupola Lane, following the invention of the crucible steel making process by Benjamin Huntsman, in Handsworth, in the 1740s.
“Subsequently several other crucible works were established, on Top Side, Cupola Lane and Stephen Lane.
“The Walker brothers later expanded (after moving to Masbrough and Rotherham) to become one of the four biggest iron producers in England, famed for making cannons and shot for the British Army between the Napoleonic Wars and the Crimean War.”
The foundries became the centre for a group of independent metal finishers.
The Old Harrow pub dates back to the Enclosures Act of 1789, when Matthew Ellison was awarded about quarter of an acre of land and a cottage on the westward side of the Sheffield to Halifax Turnpike.
The Grenoside Sword Dancers, who date back at least 150 years, traditionally perform outside the Old Harrow in Main Street every Boxing Day at 11am.
Main Street is an old turnpike road that ran from Sheffield to Huddersfield.