Dus Tha Fancy A Pint? on Scotland Street
Hello again, this month’s crawl is on one of the most populous and diverse areas of Sheffield Town in the late 1800s, Scotland Street.
First of all I’ll try to shed a bit of light on the name of the street. On the map by Fairbanks, drawn in 1771, and in trade directories in 1774 the area is just named ‘Scotland’. This is strangely enough because of the huge numbers of Irish immigrants who settled there between 1842 and 1852 because of the potato famine that left a million of their countrymen dead, so emigration was the only answer.
Sheffielders, being Sheffielders, mistook the Irish brogue for Scottish. There were possibly some Scottish people there but they were totally outnumbered by the Irish.
This area also had Italians, European jews, Germans etc, all trying to escape the persecution they had in their own country, seems nothing changes.
Scotland Street is a quirky street as the top is in the middle, anyone who’s acquainted with the area knows what I mean.
I do hope that readers will know that all this information is gleaned from books and the wonderful Sheffield History Forum.
Right, back in beer mode, we will start where Edward Street meets Scotland Street and looking up towards the top of this part of the street, on our right at 137 Scotland Street is the Fair Trade Hotel. This busy pub opened in 1887 but I can’t find a closing date,
Crossing over to the left-hand side of the street, the next hostelry is at number 128 and this is the Filesmith Arms. This pub was opened in 1871 and seems to have survived into the 1950s.
On leaving this pub the next one in our sights is the Old Turks Head at number 114. This was opened in 1825 and pulled its last pint in 1913.
In 1893 Mrs Christiana Locke was the licensee, perhaps she was a widow or her husband had a full-time job elsewhere.
The Turks Head is on the left. I cant make out if it’s a man or woman holding the young child in the doorway in the picture.
Crossing over to the right-hand side of the street, the next door we go in is the Crabtree at number 121. This one opened in 1833 and closed in 1902.
Having left the Crabtree, the next one comes into view on the opposite side and it’s the Fortune of War (I would loved to have seen these pub signs). This stood at number 108 and it opened for business in 1822 and closed sometime in the 1900s.
Keeping on our left, we enter the Farmyard Vaults at number 59: the numbers seem a bit haphazard but renumbering didn’t really help. The Vaults opened in 1887 and closed in 1898 – seems a bit strange closing after just 11 short years.
Judging by the flyers on the windows and the smashed upper windows that can be seen in the photograph, it had been closed quite a time. The old lady bent over is at the top of Furnace Hill.
Crossing over to the right-hand side, sidestepping the people going about their business, we come upon the Queens Hotel at number 85. This was built in 1797 and it closed its doors in 1997.
It’s now boarded up awaiting its fate, at least it hasn’t been razed to the ground.
Keeping on our right, we enter the Black Man at number 76. This pub opened its doors in 1879 and closed around 1931, not too sure about the closing year. It seems this pub could have had a few names – in 1818 there is a mention of a pub called the Black Horse on our street (there is one with the same name on Edward Street) and then a pub called the Old Black House is mentioned in Baines Trade Directory of 1822, then the Black Man appears as mentioned above. Could it be all three were the same pub? I can only find one photo of the Black Man and only one reference in all of my books.
Crossing over, the next pub we see is at number 62, the Crooked Billet, probably the result of some steelworker enjoying to much amber nectar!
This pub opened in 1862 and Gilmour’s Brewery public house expansion came in 1940 with the acquisition of the Rawson’s Brewery business after their brewery in Pond Street was destroyed in the Blitz.
In the list of Sheffield public houses acquired by Gilmour’s the Crooked Billet is there, so it was still open in 1940.
Keeping on the right-hand side of the street, our nostrils are filing with the smell of beer being brewed and a sight to make any man feel that life is worth living. We stand outside the Robinson Brewery with our caps doffed to the place.
W H Robinsons at numbers 59, 61 and 63 was opened in 1870. At that time it was Mower & Pearson and round about the 1880s it became Robinsons.
Just one year later it merged with Howe & Alexander of the Cromwell Brewery, Newark on Trent, another new name of Newark & Sheffield Breweries.
Warwick’s bought the Newark part of the brewery and eventually the last brew was done in Scotland Street in 1895 and it subsequently closed.
Our next port of call seems to have confused some people. Still keeping on the right-hand side of the street we enter the Hussar at number 51.
This pub was ready to sell its beers in 1816 and finally closed its doors in 1927, the confusion here is this.
In my books The Old Hussar is said to have stood between the Queens and the brewery but the Hussar I’ve just mentioned stood past the brewery.
I have come to the conclusion the Old Hussar and The Hussar are one in the same pub as the years of opening and closing are exactly the same. It may be the ‘Old’ was just a term the locals put on the Hussar.
Avoiding the horses and carts and the kids running in the street, we enter the Wine Vaults on the right-hand side of the street. This stood at numbers 59-63.
This posh-sounding place had its first customers in 1898. It closed its doors in 1913, a very short life span.
Walking past the Debtor’s Jail my two mates Dawson and Sorsby run past just in case they are recognised and disappear into our next pub, the Crown at number 33.
This, along with the next two pubs, seems to have opened for business in 1797. It closed as a pub sometime in the 2000s.
The Crown was turned into R&Bs Uptown Bar and now it’s a small hotel called Sleep. This pub did have its place in Sheffield history as many of the Chartist rioters met here to plan strategy in 1840, prior to the riot outside what is now Wilkinson’s where several people of the Town were deliberately shot by soldiers from Rotherham.
They disregarded an order to shoot their muskets over the rioters’ heads and shot into the crowd instead.
Keeping on the right-hand pavement and walking down the hill, we find the Ball at number 17. This pub was opened in 1797 and it closed on the October 23, 1916.
Looking at the photo, it seems it was a very small pub and this small area was known as Grindle Gate. I think Grindle is an old term for grinder or to grind. This little gem has long gone.
We cross over again to find our next watering hole which stands at number 14 and is the Union. This too was opened in 1797 and again the year it closed is unknown.
It may be that the Crown, the Ball and the Union went either for road widening or slum clearance. Just a few yards further down at number 8 we have the Evening Gun, opened in 1797, again an unknown closure date, perhaps it met the same fate as the previous three.
I do know it went under different names and perhaps some were just nicknames, like the Cannon and the Cannon Spirit Vaults. The last port of call, although listed in books by Mr W A Banks and Douglas Lamb, I cannot find any information about.
This last pub had the unusual name of the Pie House. All I know is it stood at number 5 and was trading in 1825.
We are now standing on West Bar Green and this place is where we end this month’s delve into the lost pubs of Sheffield.
Please remember that the house and business numbering was changed at around 1900 so if you see property number and think that’s not correct, this is why.