English Saws


The History of Industries and Toolmaking in United Kingdom

  Sheffield - The Story of English Towns by J. S. Fletcher, 1919    


In compiling the following brief account of Sheffield, I have, of course, relied chiefly on the great work of Joseph Hunter, as edited by Dr. Gatty, which is likely to remain for some time the standard history of the city.

But I have found a large amount of interesting and valuable material in the Burgery Accounts of Sheffield which were so thoroughly edited some years ago by Mr. J. D. Leader, and also in some of the papers contributed to the Hunter Archaeological Journal.

Much of the merely statistical matter given here is taken from Mr. John Berry's book written for the Sheffield Education Committee an invaluable work for the use of Sheffield schools. I am once more indebted to Mr. W. T. Lancaster, F.S.A., for the loan of books and papers from the library of the Yorkshire Archaeological Society.

Hallamshire must have looked at its best, its most picturesque, about the time when Cardinal Wolsey was brought a prisoner to Sheffield, on his way from Cawood, on that southward journey which ended so suddenly at Leicester.

Sheffield was then a very small town, nestling in the valley at the foot of a castle which was already gray with age. Northward stood the still formidable keep of Conisborough; eastward the castle of Tickhill, and the great Cistercian house at Roche.  To the south-east lay the Priory of Worksop; the Abbeys of Welbeck and Rufford; the ancient village of Edwinstowe set in the thicknesses of Sherwood Forest; the old hall of Hardwick, and the Castle of Bolsover.

South and south-west stretched the great Peak Forest; in the valley of Sheaf, a little way beyond the town's walls, stood the Abbey of Beauchief. Westward lay the romantic dales through which the Derwent and its many small tributaries flow. West and north-west were Holme Forest and the great sylvan stretches of Wharncliffe Chace, and the valley of the Don, and the vast moorlands which still separate Sheffield from Penistone and Hohnfirth.

July, I918

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