TitleSheffield Township - Sheffield Park
DescriptionSheffield Township included not only the town proper, but also the extensive area to the east of the River Sheaf, stretching as far as the Handsworth parish boundary, once the Lord of the Manor's park and known to this day as Park. According to Harrison's Survey, in 1637 the Lord's Park was eight miles in compass and was 'well adorn'd with great store of very stately timber and not meanly furnished with fallow Deare'. Even in Harrison's time, however, considerable areas, especially on the western side, were let as closes. The manorial lord ceased to reside in Sheffield, and his residence, the Manor Lodge in the Park, was in 1699 let to tenants; in 1738 part of it is described as a 'pot house'. The whole of the former park was subsequently let off in farms, a process which was complete before the Fairbank era. There is a good series of plans of these among the Norfolk maps, by William Fairbank II, many of them on parchment and coloured prettily in pink and green. Examples are ACM/MAPS/ACM/MAPS/SheD//713,714 and 719).

At first sight these maps give the impression of a purely agricultural district, but even in Harrison's survey it was noted that 'if you look into the bowels of this Parke, you shall find the inside …stored with very good coales'. Coal working soon became important and a number of the plans will be found to be connected in some way with the collieries in the Park or with the colliery lessees, Townsend and Furness. (ACM/MAPS/ACM/MAPS/SheD//714) shows coal pits and a coal road in a predominantly rural setting in 1768 and there are two plans of the whole length of John Curr's new rail-or wagon-road for bringing coal from pit-head to town in 1776 (ACM/MAPS/ACM/MAPS/SheD/715 and ACM/MAPS/She/160), as well as two colliery plans dated 1773 and 1776 (ACM/MAPS/ACM/MAPS/SheD//742-743), by John BuddIe the elder, the Durham colliery viewer. Curr also built a long row of forty-eight colliers' cottages in the Park, later known as Colliers Row (ACM/MAPS/SheS/1886).

One farm, known as The Farm (ACM/MAPS/ACM/MAPS/SheD//728 and ACM/MAPS/ACM/MAPS/SheD//722) is of particular interest. It was frequently the residence of persons having some official connection with the Duke's estate and was, in the nineteenth century, rebuilt as a residence for the Duke himself.

Though the fine trees in the park were cut down at the end of the 17th century, there were still scattered woods and there are several outline plans of these, particularly by Smilter the woodward.

That part of the park adjoining the town and known as Park Hill contained the Shrewsbury Hospital, a coal yard, brick and timber yards. Fairbank's plans show its development for housing purposes. In particular, Crooks Croft, shown as an open space with a few buildings in 1769 (ACM/MAPS/SheS/1895), was divided into streets in 1789 (ACM/MAPS/SheS/1896); Trickets Croft was similarly laid out in building lots (ACM/MAPS/SheS/1837) and another street layout is shown in ACM/MAPS/SheS/1805). As building took place in this area, some of the old farmsteads were relet on building leases and the fields near the road sub-divided.

In the north and west, the Don and Sheaf bounded the Park. Along these two rivers industrial development was taking place.
Date[early 17th cent] - 1823
Extent156 items
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