Beauchief Abbey main tower
|Location||City of Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England|
Beauchief Abbey is a medieval monastic house now serving as a parish church in the southern suburbs of Sheffield, England. Beauchief is pronounced bee-chiff.
The abbey was founded by Robert FitzRanulph de Alfreton. Thomas Tanner, writing in 1695, stated that it was founded in 1183.However, Samuel Pegge in his History of Beauchief Abbey noted that Albinas, the abbot of Derby, who was one of the witnesses to the charter of foundation, died in 1176, placing foundation before that date. The abbey was dedicated to Saint Mary and Saint Thomas Becket, who had been canonised in 1172. Tanner stated that Robert FitzRanulf was one of the murderers of Thomas Becket and founded the abbey to expiate his guilt. Pegge also disputed this fact, showing that Robert FitzRanulf had no connection with the murder.
The abbey was of the Premonstratensian order founded by Saint Norbert at Prémontré in France. Members of the order are known as White Canons. Beauchief was a small house comprising around 12 to 15 canons plus lay brothers. It had the full range of monastic buildings including the abbey church, cloisters, chapter house, dormitory and refectory. A stream provided water to the Abbey and to fish ponds.
As with most monastic sites, Beauchief was an industrial as well as a religious centre. Farming on the Beauchief estate and on outlying manors was important, and the monastery also controlled iron smelting, mineral extraction, woodland industries and mills on the River Sheaf from which Sheffield takes its name.
The Abbey was dissolved in 1537and the estate became the property of Sir Nicholas Strelley, from whom it descended to the Pegge family through the marriage of Edward Pegge of Ashbourne, Derbyshire to Gertrude Strelley, heiress of the Strelley's, in Norton on 17 July 1648. In 1671 Edward Pegge built Beauchief Hall using stone from the now ruined Abbey. In 1923 the estate was purchased by Mr Frank Crawshaw. Some of the land was sold for housing development but much was presented to Sheffield Corporation.
Today only the western tower of the Abbey remains, together with some ruins (including a wall) to the immediate south-east. The tower is attached to a chapel (now a church) built in the 17th century, but what remains is a Scheduled Ancient Monument. The foundations of other buildings are visible and the medieval fishponds still exist. Much of the old estate is now occupied by two golf courses (Abbeydale Golf Club and Beauchief Golf Club), but several areas of ancient woodland remain: Parkbank Wood to the East of the Abbey, Old Park Wood and Little Wood Bank to the south, Gulleys Wood in the centre of the park and Ladies Spring Wood to the west. Public footpaths run through the estate, including across the golf courses and through several of the woods. The Sheffield Round Walk arrives from Park Bank Wood, running eastwards through Chancet Wood and on to Graves Park.
This is an arc-shaped area of mature deciduous woodland on a steep bank facing the River Sheaf to the west. It was formerly managed for coppicing with standards—the remains of charcoal platforms and q-pits are still to be found here. It is currently managed by Sheffield City Council for wildlife and public recreation, and has two public footpaths running through. The trees today are mainly sessile oak, with birch and rowan on the upper slopes and ash and alder on the lower slopes and on the river terrace, with small numbers of other species also represented. The upper terrace is dominated by rhododendrons. The wood supports many birds, including dippers by the river and several species of hole-nesting birds including all the nuthatch, the green woodpecker, the great spotted woodpecker and the lesser spotted woodpecker. There is significant evidence that this is primary ancient woodland, including:
It has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest for its biological interest, under the name "Totley Wood".
This is also an old mature wood, though it has seen more active use in the past and may not be primary ancient woodland. There is again evidence of charcoal and white coal manufacture in the form of charcoal hearths and Q-pits, and also evidence of former quarrying and boundary ditches, which may indicate that the area was at one time cleared for agriculture.This is also now mostly mature sessile oak, and has public footpaths granting access, including the Sheffield Round Walk.
The parkland, though it has had its topography altered for the golf courses, still includes evidence of mediaeval ridge and furrow farming.
The River Sheaf in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England, flows northwards, past Dore, through Abbeydale and north of Heeley. It then passes into a culvert, through which it flows under the centre of Sheffield before joining the River Don. This lower section of the River Sheaf, together with the River Don between the Blonk Street and Lady's Bridges, formed two sides of the boundary of Sheffield Castle.
Ecclesall Ward—which includes the neighbourhoods of Bents Green, Ecclesall, Greystones, Millhouses, and Ringinglow—is one of the 28 electoral wards in City of Sheffield, England. It is located in the southwestern part of the city and covers an area of 3.6 square miles. The population of this ward in 2007 was 19,211 people in 7,626 households, reducing to 6,657 at the 2011 Census. Ecclesall ward is one of the four wards that make up the South West Community Assembly and one of five wards that make up the Sheffield Hallam Parliamentary constituency. The Member of Parliament is Olivia Blake, a Labour MP. Ecclesall is one of the least socially deprived wards in the entire country, with a 2002 deprivation score of 4.7—making it the 8,105th most deprived ward out of 8,414 wards in the country. The demographic consists largely of white, middle-class families.
Totley is a suburb on the extreme southwest of the City of Sheffield, in South Yorkshire, England. Lying in the historic county boundaries of Derbyshire, Totley was amalgamated into the city of Sheffield in 1933, and is today part of the Dore and Totley electoral ward in the city, though it remains close to the contemporary county boundary of Derbyshire. Totley had a population of 7,963 in 2011. Totley was shown at the 2011 census as being part of the ward of Dore and Totley.
Millhouses is a neighbourhood in the City of Sheffield, England. It is located in Ecclesall ward; in the south-western portion of the city on the northwest bank of the River Sheaf. Its origins lie in a small hamlet that grew around the Ecclesall Corn Mill. It has a population of 4,424.
Beauchief and Greenhill ward—which includes the districts of Batemoor, Beauchief, Chancet Wood, Greenhill, Jordanthorpe, and Lowedges—is one of the 28 electoral wards in City of Sheffield, England. It is located in the southern part of the city and covers an area of 2.4 square miles (6.2 km2). The population of this ward in 2016 was estimated to be 19,669 people in 9,209 houses.
Whirlow is a suburb of the City of Sheffield in England, it lies 3.7 miles (6 km) south-west of the city centre. The suburb falls within the Dore and Totley ward of the City. It is one of the most affluent areas of Sheffield, with much high class housing and several notable small country houses within it. During the Victorian era it was home to some of Sheffield's most influential citizens. Whirlow straddles the A625, the main Sheffield to Hathersage road. The suburb covers the area from Parkhead in the north to Whirlow Bridge in the south and from Ecclesall Woods in the east to Broad Elms Lane in the west. Whirlow had a population of 1,663 in 2011.
The area known as Sheffield was probably founded in the second half of 1AD in a clearing by the River Sheaf although humans may have lived in the area for at least 10,000 years.
Sheffield is the most geographically diverse city in England. Lying in the eastern foothills of the Pennines, the city nestles in a natural amphitheatre created by several hills and the confluence of five rivers: Don, Sheaf, Rivelin, Loxley and Porter. As such, much of the city is built on hillsides, with views into the city centre or out to the countryside. The city is roughly one third urban, one third rural and one third in the Peak District. At its lowest point the city stands just 29 metres above sea level at Blackburn Meadows on the Rotherham border, rising up to over 500 m in some parts of the city to a peak of 548m at High Stones on the Derbyshire border; however, 89% of the housing in the city is between 100 and 200 metres above sea level. Over 95% of the population resides in the main urban area.
This timeline of Sheffield history summarises key events in the history of Sheffield, a city in England. The origins of the city can be traced back to the founding of a settlement in a clearing beside the River Sheaf in the second half of the 1st millennium AD. The area had seen human occupation since at least the last ice age, but significant growth in the settlements that are now incorporated into the city did not occur until the industrial revolution.
Leiston Abbey in Suffolk, England, was a religious house of Canons Regular following the Premonstratensian rule, dedicated to St Mary. Founded in c. 1183 by Ranulf de Glanville, Chief Justiciar to King Henry II (1180-1189), it was originally built on a marshland isle near the sea, and was called "St Mary de Insula". Around 1363 the abbey suffered so much from flooding that a new site was chosen and it was rebuilt further inland for its patron, Robert de Ufford, 1st Earl of Suffolk (1298-1369). However, there was a great fire in c. 1379 and further rebuilding was necessary.
Beeley Wood is a woodland in the north of the City of Sheffield, near Middlewood, South Yorkshire, England. It is one of 35 ancient woodland areas within the Sheffield city boundary. An ancient woodland is defined as a site that has been continuously occupied by woodland from the year 1600 or before.
Hutcliff Wood and Marriott Wood are two areas of ancient woodland in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England. They occupy the steep southeastern side of the Abbeydale valley between Archer Road and Abbey Lane, separated by the River Sheaf and the railway line from Millhouses Park. Hutcliffe Wood Road divides the two areas of woodland, Hutcliff Wood to the west and Marriott Wood to the east.
The Limb Brook is a stream in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England. It rises at the village of Ringinglow, flowing east through Whirlow and Ecclesall Woods into Abbeydale in the Beauchief area, where it merges with the River Sheaf. Near this point part of the stream has been diverted to provide the goit for the Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet millpond, and this channel flows through what is now Beauchief Gardens.
Coverham Abbey, North Yorkshire, England, was a Premonstratensian monastery that was founded at Swainby in 1190 by Helewisia, daughter of the Chief Justiciar Ranulf de Glanville. It was refounded at Coverham in about 1212 by her son Ranulf fitzRalph, who had the body of his late mother reinterred in the chapter house at Coverham.
Broughton Benjamin Pegge Burnell was a landowner who lived at Beauchief Abbey and Winkbourn Hall. He was High Sheriff and Deputy Lieutenant of Derbyshire and a magistrate for Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire.
Eustace fitz John, Constable of Chester, was a powerful magnate in northern England during the reigns of Henry I, Stephen and Henry II. From a relatively humble background in South East England, Eustace made his career serving Henry I, and was elevated by the king through marriage and office into one of the most important figures in the north of England. Eustace acquired a great deal of property in the region, controlled Bamburgh Castle, and served jointly with Walter Espec as justiciar of the North.
Frithy and Chadacre Woods is a 28.7 hectare biological Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) in the parishes of Lawshall and Shimpling in Suffolk, England.
Collinpark Wood is a 66.69-hectare (164.8-acre) biological Site of Special Scientific Interest in Gloucestershire, notified in 1966, revised in 1974 and renotified in 1983. There was a boundary change in 1983. There are seven units of assessment. Unit 1 is a 15-hectare (37-acre) area owned and managed by the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust. The trust purchased this part of the wood in 1979 with grant aid from WWF. The site is listed in the 'Forest of Dean Local Plan Review' as a Key Wildlife Site (KWS).
Norton Hall is an English country house situated on Norton Church Road in the suburb of Norton in Sheffield, England. For most of its history it has been a private residence, in its latter history it has been used as a NHS hospital, a private hospital and has now been converted into high quality apartments. It is a Grade II* listed building.
Robert FitzRanulf also known as Robert de Alfreton was a Saxon lord from Alfreton. He is notable for building a number of churches in Derbyshire, most notable of which is Beauchief Abbey. The abbey was dedicated to St. Thomas Becket, and it is believed Robert founded the abbey to expiate his guilt for taking part in the murder of Thomas, however this has been disputed. Robert was also responsible for founding churches in Norton, on the site of the present St James, Norton church.
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