Darnall – ‘From Medieval Manor to Industrial Centre’
Friday 28 November – 1.00 pm – 3.00 pm
This circular walk of about 2 miles around the centre of Darnall will look at the growth of the area from a medieval village to becoming a central part of Sheffield’s Industry. It will also include the tale of Charles Peace – a notorious 19th Century Sheffield murderer, who was subsequently mentioned in Sherlock Holmes novels. Meet Chris Hobbs at the junction of Staniforth Road and Prince of Wales Road
Darnall was initially a small hamlet usually included with Attercliffe
Attercliffe - Worksop 1761 turnpike road up until 1860's called Worksop Road but then the section through Darnall became Darnall Road and Main Road
Older route going back to C12th
Little documentation C17th and C18th Transfers of property by sale and inheritance
1763 Coal mining 1810 Enclosures 1815 Sheffield - Tinsley Canal started
1819 - 158 houses 7 homesteads 2 schools 2 public houses - The Ball and The Old Bradley Well 1 butchers 1 blacksmith 1 wheelwright 1 cutler 8 workshops 2 steel furnaces assortment of farm buildings - just 7 owned rest tennants/rented
1861 243 1871 492 1881 760 1891 870 houses - Dunkirk Square - Main Road
C19th housing expansion - earlier houses on main routes and then side streets - 1855 map
Blurred boundaries with surrounding districts - 340 acres
A Hall was built by the Staniforth family in the centre of Darnall in 1723; in 1845 this became a private lunatic asylum
Transport in those days consisted of trams and a few cars. Darnall was a terminus for tram cars with tram lines on Staniforth Road and Darnall Main Road.
Darnall New Ground was laid out for cricket in the 1820s. Although only used for a few years before being replaced by a ground at Hyde Park, it was described as the finest in England.
Holy Trinity church, the first in Darnall, was built in 1840, followed by a hospital in 1855 and a school in 1875. By the mid C19th, it was a centre for farming and coal mining, and was known for its amateur greyhound racing.
There were three cinemas in Darnall called the Balfour Cinema, the Lyric and the Darnall Cinema. They have all been pulled down.
12 out of the 20 schools which were thriving in the area during the 1950's have been closed down, though some have been converted into community centres, store places and orkshops.
Name: Former Sanderson's Darnall Steelworks and Don Valley Glassworks, Darnall Road
List entry Number: 1021424 Date first scheduled: 24-Oct-1977 Date of most recent amendment: 17-May-2007 - Reasons for Designation
By the late 19th century, Sheffield was one of the world's most influential industrial cities. Underpinning its manufacturing base was the quality of the steel it produced contributing to the international success of the city's cutlery and edge-tool industries. A particularly significant development in this supremacy was the invention, by Benjamin Huntsman in 1745, of crucible steel: cast steel produced using crucible furnaces. This technique allowed the production of high quality carbon steel of superior quality to blister steel that was produced in cementation furnaces. This major technological innovation secured Sheffield's economic position as a major metal trades centre; the two manufacturing processes (cementation and crucible) together were known as the 'Sheffield Methods'.
By 1843 Sheffield was producing 90% of British steel and almost 50% of European output. Although by later in the 19th century other countries had developed bulk steelmaking industries which outstripped Sheffield in terms of quantity, the city retained its reputation for quality with a wide range of special steels, the preferred means of production remaining the crucible process which continued to be used up until the 1970s. In 1860 there were over 200 cementation furnaces in Sheffield of which only a single example, in Hoyle Street, still survives in complete form.
Over half of their output of blister steel was then converted to crucible steel in large numbers of crucible shops spread across the city. Darnall's large crucible shop and continuous range of four small interconnecting crucible shops with their ancillary rooms are unique survivals in Britain. The large crucible shop is the sole remaining example of a building used to produce the quantity of crucible steel required for large-scale castings, a method which was generally superseded by new methods of bulk steel production in the later C19th . Small crucible shops are also rare survivals with only fifteen other small crucible shops remaining in the Sheffield area. None of these other examples are organised as an integrated unit as are the four at Darnall, and few are of such a complete state of survival. Although long disused, the features that provide the technological and historical interest of these buildings all survive well. The national importance of the monument is further heightened by the in situ survival of archaeological remains. This includes the remains of the Siemens gas fired crucible shop with its gas plant which are of particular national significance because no other surviving remains of a gas fired works are known to survive in the country.
The archaeological remains of the 1830s steel works are also of particular interest as they will allow an understanding of the development of steel production through the mid 19th century, complementing the evidence provided by the later standing buildings. Any surviving remains related to the cementation furnaces will be of particular importance given the very rare survival of such furnaces nationally. The surviving standing structures including the offices, boundary wall and entrance buildings, contribute significantly to the site by allowing an appreciation of the character and appearance of the original works, as well as an understanding of its organisation. Any deposits of waste materials and discarded tools and equipment will retain technological information that will compliment surviving documentary evidence.
The Don Glass Works dates from a period of rapid growth in the glass industry, when technological advances facilitated the mass production of glass for a growing market. Glass has been produced in England since the Roman period, although field evidence is scarce until the late medieval period. From the early 17th century there was a change in the fuel generally used from wood to coal resulting in a shift in glass production centres to the coalfields, Sheffield and Barnsley being important areas for the industry nationally. The manufacturing process involves three stages, fritting, melting and annealing.
Limited archaeological work at the Don Glass Works site in 2005 confirmed that there is good potential for the survival of significant buried remains such as the lower level of the glass cone complete with its below ground flue system and other furnace features, together with ancillary buildings and deposits of glassmaking waste and other material. This archaeological potential combined with the documentary evidence for the site justifies its inclusion within the scheduling.
The association of the glassworks with the establishment of Darnall steelworks provides additional interest with the potential for surviving evidence of the cross fertilisation of technology between glass and steel production in the mid 19th century. Taken as a whole the monument represents a uniquely well preserved, nationally important complex tracing the evolution of the site from an early 19th century glassworks to a 20th century steelmaking centre.
The monument includes standing, earthwork and associated buried remains of a steelworks established in the late 1830s, as well as the buried remains of a late eighteenth century glassworks. The site retains its original boundaries to the north (Darnall Road), east (Wilfrid Road) and south, but has been partly truncated to the west in the 20th century by later steel works and other redevelopment.
HISTORY Originally agricultural land in the 18th century, the Don Glassworks is possibly the glassworks that was advertised for rent in the 1793 Sheffield Register. It first appears, but is not named, on a survey of 1795 which matches a more detailed plan of 1819. This 1819 plan labels the glassworks and shows other details such as a short terrace of houses within the work's plot to the east of the glass cone. In 1835 the glassworks was leased by Sanderson Brothers, one of Sheffield's largest steel producers, who then established Darnall Steelworks on adjacent land to the south. It is thought that Sanderson Brothers leased the glassworks to aid their steel business, learning from glass manufacturing technology, possibly adapting the glass cone into a cementation furnace.
However the glassworks, still shown by the 1853 Ordnance Survey map, reverted to glass manufacture by 1859 under the management of Melling, Carr and Co., and ceased production, with the demolition of the glass cone, by 1905.
Sanderson's 1830s steelworks complex, incorporating both cementation and crucible furnaces, was depicted in a contemporary illustration and shown on the 1853 Ordnance Survey map. After Sanderson's became a limited company in 1869, they abandoned their works at West Street, Sheffield, and expanded their operations at Darnall. Additional land was purchased and further crucible furnaces and administrative buildings were built in 1871-2. This included two parallel ranges of small, single storey crucible shops with a large crucible shop to the south. All of these shops were coke-fired,providing a total of 132 melting holes, the large shop housing 48 melting holes, with the small shops having 12 each. In 1873-4 a Siemens gas-fired crucible shop, complete with an adjacent gas production plant, was built to the west of the large coke fired shop. This gas-fired shop was about the same size as the coke-fired large shop and provided the equivalent capacity of 60 coke-fired melting holes. In 1934 Sanderson's passed their Darnall works to Kayser Ellison, the operators of the steelworks on land immediately to the west that was established in 1913. Kayser Ellison used electric arc furnaces and although they operated the older Darnall works plant for a while, soon switched to all-electric melting, expanding their works with the demolition of the 1830s cementation furnaces, which had been working into the 1920s, and the western range of small 1870s crucible shops. In 1960 a company merger resulted in the whole complex being operated by Sanderson Kayser Ltd. Following the merger, the gas-fired plant was demolished, but its site was not redeveloped and significant buried remains are believed to still survive in situ.
His will dated February 7, 1879, and made at Armley Gaol, Leeds. Peace, a murderer twice over and probably the most famous cat burglar in Victorian England, was hanged on Shrove Tuesday, February 25. It had taken the jury just 12 minutes to convict him of the murder in Sheffield of Arthur Dyson at Banner Cross three years before.
In it Peace bequeaths all he has "to my dear wife Hannah Peace now residing now residing with my son in law William Bolsover, of Hazel Road, Darnall." According to JP Bean, author of Sheffield Gang Wars and writer on the city's history, the story went that Charlie signed the will the day before he was due to hang, when his brother Dan visited him.
In Darnall, the Peace family lived near Mr. Arthur Dyson, an American civil engineer and his English wife, Katherine. "Mrs. Dyson is described as an attractive woman, 'buxom and blooming'; she was dark-haired, and about twenty-five years of age," Irving writes.
Surprisingly, the 6-foot-5-inch Dyson was no match for the diminutive Peace, and Charlie, who apparently had a roving eye, soon became enamored of Katherine. The extent of their relationship remains in dispute to this day, with Peace swearing as he readied himself for the hangman, that Katherine Dyson was at one time his mistress. Mrs. Dyson, for her part absolutely refused to admit anything other than an innocent friendship with the burglar."
Shortly before he was hanged for murder, Charles Peace expressed remorse for having lived a life of crime and told his parish minister that he hoped after death humanity would forget his name. While nearly everyone who knew him during his last weeks agrees that his repentance for his crimes was sincere, his humility in the face of his demise is certainly uncharacteristic. He may have simply been trying to appear humble and contrite before an old friend. In any event, heartfelt or not, Charlie's wish did not come true.
It is a testament to his notoriety and skill as a criminal that Charles Peace would be immortalized by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and included as one of the few real criminals to ever attract the attention of the world's greatest consulting detective, Mr. Sherlock Holmes. In the short story The Adventure of the Illustrious Client, Holmes is discussing how the most brilliant criminals often have talents outside their chosen fields: "A complex mind," said Holmes. "All great criminals have that. My old friend Charlie Peace was a violin virtuoso."
Peace was indeed skilled with musical instruments, particularly violins and other strings, although it was his ability as a cat burglar that gained him wealth and fame in late 19th century England. As adept as he was with music, Peace was equally accomplished as a cat burglar, or "portico thief" as they were known in Victorian England. During his lifetime, few people knew his face, but many all over England knew his name and his deeds. Charles Peace epitomized the master criminal, and like the foppish highwaymen of earlier times, helped cast crime in a romantic light that obfuscated its true nature. His bold offenses and almost supernatural ability to escape from the clutches of the law embarrassed Scotland Yard and entertained the public. When he was finally caught, his bizarre life story captivated readers and spawned stage plays, novels and stories of England's master thief.
Even as a murderer and burglar, Peace has his admirers: "Not only had he reduced house-breaking to a science, but, being ostensibly nothing better than a picture-frame maker, he had invented an incomparable set of tools wherewith to enter and evade his neighbour's house," wrote historian Charles Whibley in his work, A Book of Scoundrels. "He lived the king of housebreakers, and he died a warning to all evildoers, with a prayer of intercession trembling upon his lips. At a single stride he surpassed his predecessors; nor has the greatest of his imitators been worthy to hand on the candle which he left at the gallows.
DUKE OF DARNALL - RUSSIAN EDNA
William Walker, a resident of the settlement, is one of several people rumoured to have been the executioner of Charles I of England. At the door of the chancel of St Peters Parish Church, in 1700, was buried William Walker of Darnall Sheffield, who is supposed to have been the executioner of Charles I. Walker was a person of considerable standing in the neighbourhood, and was at all events a violent republican, and the translator of a book entitled " Vindicire contra Tyrannos." ' Handbook of Yorkshire
SHEFFIELD BLITZ - 15th December 1940
Largest loss of life in a single incident on the "second night" of the blitz
Appleby John 60 yrs 15 Dec 1940 Coleford Road ARP Post,
Armstrong Joseph 44 yrs 15 Dec 1940 Coleford Road ARP Post,
Armstrong Leonora 41 yrs 15 Dec 1940 Coleford Road ARP Post,
Bloor Arthur 18 yrs 15 Dec 1940 117 Coleford Road,
Bloor Harry 54 yrs 15 Dec 1940 117 Coleford Road,
Brown Frederick 38 yrs 15 12 1940 Coleford Road ARP Post,
Gascoigne Cecelia 46 yrs 15 Dec 1940 Coleford Road ARP Post,
Gascoigne John 50 yrs 15 Dec 1940 Coleford Road ARP Post,
Hall Lawrence 38 yrs 15 Dec 1940 Coleford Road ARP Post,
Hallam Winifred 15 yrs 15 Dec 1940 117 Coleford Road,
Hemmingfield Walter 54 yrs 15 Dec 1940 Coleford Road ARP Post,
Howard Edward 62 yrs 12 Dec 1940 Coleford Rd ? Sheffield,
Salisbury Victor 42 yrs 15 Dec 1940 Coleford Road ARP Post,
Air Raid Warden. Husband of Florence May Salisbury, of 300 Greenland Road, Darnall.
Winter Frank 50 yrs 15 Dec 1940 Coleford Road ARP Post
Winter Frank, corn merchant, 110 Coleford Rd, Attercliffe. (1925)
Now a Business Park