Our next stop in the Retro A to Z tour of Sheffield takes us back to the city centre to Broomhall.
This suburb close to the city centre got its name from Broom Hall, a large house on Broomhall Road. The earliest part of the house dates back to the 15th century.
There is some evidence of Roman activity in the area, according to a Sheffield City Council report into Broomhall Conservation Area.
A map of 1808 shows the area as rural and part of the hall’s estate. In 1829 the owner of Broom Hall, John Watson, split up the estate and leased parts for housing.
Apparently his aim was to separate his land from industrial development taking place on the neighbouring Fitzwilliam estate land.
The chance to build their homes on south-facing slopes west of the city centre appealed to middle-class families who began to settle there, advertising their prosperity from the city’s fast-growing industries.
Many of those big houses around Collegiate Crescent and near the Hallamshire Hospital have been taken over by the University of Sheffield. Hallam University has newer buildings in the area.
The area has become more socially and racially mixed over the years and big council estates in the area included Broomhall Flats, now demolished, and the Sunnybank Estate.
Big changes came around 1978 with the building of the Royal Hallamshire Hospital that dominates the local skyline and the inner ring road that split Broomhall in half.
Some pictures on these pages come from the Our Broomhall project, which has created a website, www.ourbroomhall.org.uk, “showcasing and celebrating the wealth of life and history of the area”.
As reported in The Star last week, the website was created by volunteers based at the Broomhall Centre. It includes a photo archive of 5,000 images, oral history sound and film clips as well as stories about the area.
Project manager Jennie Beard said: “Broomhall, past and present, has always been a diverse neighbourhood but, until we did our research, we didn’t realise just how much!”
She added: “It has had its fair share of negative press in the past but we wanted to show through our project that there is a more positive story to be told about Broomhall and I think we have done this very successfully.”
The project is holding a celebration at the Broomhall Centre on Broomspring Lane on Saturday, March 21 from 5pm-8pm. Everyone is welcome.