RETRO: Our regular ramble in city arrives in Norton

The Bagshawe Arms, Norton, Sheffield
The Bagshawe Arms, Norton, Sheffield
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This week, our tour of the streets, suburbs, towns and villages of Sheffield reaches the letter N - and that means taking a trip to Norton.

Situated within the Graves Park ward, the area is of course dominated by the aforementioned park.

President of the Sheffield Astronomical Society, Stuart Lonsdale, pictured sighting the telescope at the society's observatory at Norton, Sheffield - 7th September 1981

President of the Sheffield Astronomical Society, Stuart Lonsdale, pictured sighting the telescope at the society's observatory at Norton, Sheffield - 7th September 1981

The area includes the districts of Norton, Norton Lees, Norton Woodseats and Woodseats and is just one of the 28 electoral wards in the City of Sheffield.

With a total population of 16,705, the ward is located in the southern part of the city and covers an area of 5.8 km2.

The population is based within 7,464 households and Graves Park is one of the five wards that form the Sheffield Heeley parliamentary constituency whose Member of Parliament elected at the 2001 general election was Meg Munn.

The districts were originally in the historic county of Derbyshire, but they have now been absorbed into the metropolitan borough of Sheffield, thus placing them in the ceremonial county of South Yorkshire.

Skating on Graves Park Lake (Norton Hall Lake, Sheffield - 1892

Skating on Graves Park Lake (Norton Hall Lake, Sheffield - 1892

The area takes its name after Graves Park, the large expanse of greenery between Woodseats and Norton.

The 248-acre park is the largest in Sheffield and was presented to the city by J.G.Graves in 1925 - hence its name.

Historically, Norton Woodseats was a village that straddled Derbyshire Lane running from Four Lane Ends to Bolehill (now part of Graves Park).

The name Woodseats comes from the Old English Wodesettes, which means a ‘fold in a wood’. Woodseats itself was little more than a cluster of cottages around a road called ‘The Dale’ close to the intersection of Woodseats Road and Chesterfield Road.

Norton Rectory, Sheffield - 1983

Norton Rectory, Sheffield - 1983

Norton, meanwhile, was a village, now a district of Sheffield, and there has been a settlement here since at least Saxon times.

St James’ Church dates from before 1172. The grave of the sculptor Sir Francis Chantrey (7 April 1782 – 25 November 1841) — who was born in the village — can be seen just outside the church. Other significant buildings in the area include Norton Hall and Oakes Park.

Norton Lees, meanwhile, is a residential suburb located to the east of Woodseats.

Notable buildings in Norton Lees include Bishops’ House — a half-timbered house that was built circa 1500 and St Paul’s Church and Centre, a parish church that was originally built in 1875-7 and extended in 1935.

Little Norton Lane, Sheffield, 1910

Little Norton Lane, Sheffield, 1910

The octagonal spire of the building is visible from more than three miles away.

Below Newfield School is the former site of Lees Hall, built in the 15th century, but demolished by the local council in the 1950s. The orchard and other features can still be found however.

Also in the area is the Thorpe House housing estate, a popular development built in the 1930s.

The tree-lined roads generous sized gardens, and numerous three bedroom semi detached houses with gardens are popular with families of all ages through to retired people.

The Brindley council housing estate also lies alongside Warminster Road and was built in 1976-1977.

Unlike numerous other examples of council housing, built with row after row of identical houses, this estate was built with curving roads, open communal areas and footpaths and so was popular with tenants. Many houses have converted to private ownership under the right to buy scheme.

Chantrey Memorial, Norton, Sheffield

Chantrey Memorial, Norton, Sheffield

Schools in the area include Newfield Secondary School, recently rebuilt and Mundella Primary School on Derbyshire Lane.

Many parts of Norton Lees offer views towards other parts of Sheffield and it is possible to see across towards Wincobank, Crookes, Hallam, and outlying areas to the west, north and east.

Norton, Sheffield, taken near the water tower and the Church.

Norton, Sheffield, taken near the water tower and the Church.