TitleSheffield Township - The Old Town
DescriptionTown planners are well aware that it is much easier to develop comparatively open spaces than to replan built-up areas. The old town proper, stretching from Lady's Bridge to the Parish Church and Fargate, was a jumble of tenements, with uneven frontages and narrow yards congested with stables and pigstyes, with access from the street by means of intricate passages. On the High Street and Market Place long narrow tenements had developed, stretching back from narrow frontages on the street. These are well shown in ACM/MAPS/SheS/1961. ACM/MAPS/SheS/1787 shows uneven frontages on Fargate. In the less congested areas towards the outskirts, one is struck by the confused jumble of premises rather than the cramped position: an orchard, a garden, a house and garden, a workshop and yard, a malt kiln and appendages, a waggon warehouse and stables, a smithy, as for example in the area between Castle Hill and the Sheaf and Don. The maps illustrate several attempts to provide better access by the opening of new streets through the old properties, for example Watson's Walk ACM/MAPS/SheS/1961. Norfolk Row (ACM/MAPS/SheS/1791) was slightly more pretentious, as became a street skirting the Duke's own house, known as the Lord's House.

Some boldness was shown by the authorities in their re-planning of the Market and its environs. An Act of Parliament was obtained in 1784, which gave powers for purchasing freehold tenements and land adjoining the old market "in order that a more spacious and suitable market place may be set out"; and also gave to the Duke the power to raise money by enfranchising certain copyhold estates, for financing the project. At about the same time the new coaching inn, the Tontine, was planned and built near the Market.

Paradise Square, a pleasant eighteenth century feature, is not represented either among the Duke's maps, or in the Fairbank Collection. It was built in an entirely haphazard way on land belonging to the Shrewsbury Hospital and such maps as exist are among the Hospital records
Date1763 - 1899
Extent62 items
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