Low Bradfield

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Sheffield outline map with UK.svg
Red pog.svg
Low Bradfield shown within Sheffield
Low Bradfield seen from the high ground to the south. Woodfall Lane can be seen climbing to High Bradfield at the top of the picture Low Bradfield - Aerial View.jpg
Low Bradfield seen from the high ground to the south. Woodfall Lane can be seen climbing to High Bradfield at the top of the picture

Low Bradfield is a village within the civil parish of Bradfield in South Yorkshire, England. It is situated within the boundary of the city of Sheffield in the upper part of the Loxley Valley, 6¼ miles west-northwest of the city centre and just inside the northeast boundary of the Peak District National Park. Low Bradfield and the surrounding area is noted for its attractive countryside which draws many visitors from the more urban parts of Sheffield. At weekends the village can become quite crowded, especially when there is a match on the village cricket pitch. Low Bradfield which stands in the shadow of Agden Reservoir has a sister village High Bradfield which is located at a higher altitude, ½ mile to the northeast. The two villages are joined by the steep Woodfall Lane.

Contents

History

Early history

The Bar Dike, nearly 2 miles northwest of Low Bradfield is a Dark Ages tribal boundary. Bar Dike.jpg
The Bar Dike, nearly 2 miles northwest of Low Bradfield is a Dark Ages tribal boundary.

The earliest historical sign of settlement in the Bradfield area is an early to mid Bronze Age ring cairn on Broomhead Moors, three miles to the northwest of Low Bradfield. This is believed to be a ritual or burial site from over 4,000 years ago. [1] On the ridge between Bradfield Dale and the Ewden Valley is the Bar Dike, a 492 yards long trench with a rampart on its southern side which is 10 feet high in places. The dike is believed to have marked the boundary between different Dark Ages tribes in the period following the withdrawal of The Romans from Britain. [2]

Anglo-Saxon cross

The 10th century Saxon cross is now in the nave of St. Nicholas church, High . Saxon cross, high bradfield church.jpg
The 10th century Saxon cross is now in the nave of St. Nicholas church, High .

There is evidence of Anglo-Saxon settlement within the Low Bradfield area with the discovery in 1870 of an Anglo-Saxon cross in a field near the site of the former Cross Inn not far from the village centre. It has been examined by Sheffield University's Phil Sidebottom who has compared it to similar crosses found in Staffordshire that were put up in the middle of the 10th century. He says the cross’s hammer head design confirms that it dates to just before the Norman conquest. The cross can now be seen in the nave of St. Nicholas' Church at High Bradfield. [3]

Norman development

While Bradfied is not documented in the Domesday Book it is inconceivable that it was not settled at that time and it is believed to be one of 16 unnamed Berewicks (an outlying part of a large manor) within Hallamshire that are mentioned. The hamlet of Low Bradfield grew up around the manorial corn mill which was established on the banks of the River Loxley in the shadow of the local church and castle at High Bradfield. The village developed as a farming community with much of the surrounding countryside set aside by the Norman lords as a deer hunting park. The Howard family showed little interest in hunting and the deer were finally removed from the park in the 16th century. [4]

Great Sheffield Flood

Low Bradfield was the first populated place to be flooded by the Great Sheffield Flood when the Dale Dyke Dam broke on 11 March 1864. The original dam wall stood almost one mile west of the village. There was only one fatality in the village mainly because word had spread throughout the immediate area that there was a leak in the earth embankment and the community was partly prepared for the tragedy. The only death was a one-day-old infant, the child of a local couple (Mr. and Mrs. Dawson); despite this the village was extensively damaged. [5] Two stone bridges were swept away, as was the corn mill, blacksmith’s shop, schoolroom, schoolmaster's house and a farmhouse. Samuel Harrison described the flood damage at Low Bradfield thus: “The destruction at Lower Bradfield is so thorough that the rock is torn up from under the foundation of the buildings.” [6]

Present day

Looking across the Ibbotson Memorial Field with the village hall to the left. Low Bradfield Memorial Field.jpg
Looking across the Ibbotson Memorial Field with the village hall to the left.
The Old Wesley Chapel now house the offices of Bradfield Parish Council. Old Wesleyan Chapel, Low Bradfield.jpg
The Old Wesley Chapel now house the offices of Bradfield Parish Council.

Low Bradfield continues its tradition as a farming community into the present day. Cross Farm, Nether Farm and Fair House Farm are situated close to the centre of the village. Fair House is a grade II* listed building and is one of the oldest structures in the area dating from the 1630s and was originally called Swinden House. Nether Farm is Grade II listed and dates from the 1820s. There are several other farms in the outlying areas. One of the great attractions to people from outside the village is the large centrally located recreation ground known as the Ibbotson Memorial Field which is a popular site for picnics and family visits and also serves as the village cricket ground, drawing large crowds to games on summer weekends. The field was named after the Ibbotson family who have lived in Low Bradfield for several centuries. The local tennis and bowls clubs also have facilities at the field.

There are several other notable buildings in the village. The former Wesleyan chapel on Mill Lee Road was built in 1817 and now serves as the offices for Bradfield Parish Council. Just across the road is another former Wesleyan chapel which was built in 1899 to replace its counterpart. It closed in 1993 and was sold for residential use. Also on Mill Lee Road are the former water board filter houses which filtered water from the Agden, Dale Dike and Strines reservoirs in Bradfield Dale. The filter houses were built in 1913 and extended in 1953 before being closed in 1995 when a new water treatment works was opened in the Loxley Valley. The buildings are derelict and unused at present. The Bradfield village hall, situated on the Memorial Field was completely rebuilt recently and re-opened in 2006.

There is just one public house in the village, the Plough. There was a second pub called the Cross Inn which was situated at the foot of Woodfall Lane but this closed in the late 1970s and is now a private house. Just across the road is the village shop which is also the local post office. The former Low Bradfield School is now a private residence which was built in 1867 to replace a school that was washed away in the flood of 1864 in a different part of the village. The school closed in 1985 with its pupils being transferred to nearby Dungworth School. [7] [8]

The Peak District Boundary Walk runs through the village. [9]

Bradfield Dale

The area to the west of the village is a rural area known as Bradfield Dale and contains the three reservoirs of Agden, Dale Dike and Strines which were constructed in the 1860s. The many construction workers who came into the dale prompted the Haychatter Farm to open a public house on its premises known as the Reservoir Inn and then the Haychatter which remained open until 2003. The dale contains Sugworth Hall which dates from a least the 16th century although the building has been much changed since then. Eminent families who have lived there include the Hooles and the Boots. Charles Boot built a folly tower overlooking Strines Reservoir in 1927 known as Boot's Folly, it is a prominent landmark for miles around. [10] Another ancient residence in the dale is Hallfield House which dates from the Elizabethan era and was the seat of the Greaveses, a very old Hallamshire family. The dale also includes the Strines Inn public house. [11]

Related Research Articles

Hallamshire

Hallamshire is the historical name for an area of South Yorkshire, England, in the current city of Sheffield.

Bradfield, South Yorkshire Civil parish in South Yorkshire, England

Bradfield is a civil parish in the City of Sheffield, in South Yorkshire, England.

High Bradfield Village in South Yorkshire, England

High Bradfield is a rural village 6.5 miles (10 km) north-west of the centre of Sheffield in South Yorkshire, England and within the city's boundaries. The village lies just within the Peak District National Park, 1.3 miles (2 km) inside the park's north-eastern border, is at an altitude of 260 metres (850 feet) AOD and has extensive views across Bradfield Dale towards Derwent Edge and the Dark Peak.

Great Sheffield Flood March 1864 flood that devastated parts of Sheffield, England

The Great Sheffield Flood was a flood that devastated parts of Sheffield, England, on 11 March 1864, when the Dale Dyke Dam broke as its reservoir was being filled for the first time. At least 240 people died and more than 600 houses were damaged or destroyed by the flood. The immediate cause was a crack in the embankment, the cause of which was never determined. The dam's failure led to reforms in engineering practice, setting standards on specifics that needed to be met when constructing such large-scale structures. The dam was rebuilt in 1875.

River Loxley

The River Loxley is a river in the City of Sheffield South Yorkshire, England. Its source is a series of streams which rise some 10 miles (16 km) to the north-west of Sheffield on Bradfield Moors, flowing through Bradfield Dale to converge at Low Bradfield. It flows easterly through Damflask Reservoir and is joined by Storrs Brook at Storrs, near Stannington, and the River Rivelin at Malin Bridge, before flowing into the River Don at Owlerton, in Hillsborough. The Loxley valley provided the initial course of the Great Sheffield Flood, which happened after the Dale Dyke Dam collapsed shortly before its completion in March 1864.

Stannington (ward) Electoral ward in the City of Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England

Stannington ward is one of the 28 electoral wards in the City of Sheffield, England. It is located in the western part of the borough, including some westernmost suburbs of the city; most of the land is rural. The population of the ward at the 2011 Census was 18,222.

Loxley, South Yorkshire Human settlement in England

Loxley is a village and a suburb of the city of Sheffield, England. It is a long linear community which stretches by the side of the River Loxley and along the B6077 for almost 2.5 miles (4 km). Loxley extends from its borders with the suburbs of Malin Bridge and Wisewood westward to the hamlet of Stacey Bank near Damflask Reservoir. The centre of the suburb is situated at the junction of Rodney Hill and Loxley Road where the old village green stands and this is located 3 miles (5 km) north west of Sheffield city centre. The suburb falls within the Stannington ward of the City of Sheffield.

Areas of Sheffield

The areas of Sheffield, a city and metropolitan borough in the north of England, vary widely in size and history. Some of the areas developed from villages or hamlets, that were absorbed into Sheffield as the city grew, and thus their centres are well defined, but the boundaries of many areas are ambiguous. The areas of Sheffield do not play a significant administrative role, but the city is divided into 28 electoral wards for local elections and 6 parliamentary constituencies for national elections.

Damflask Reservoir Reservoir in South Yorkshire, England

Damflask Reservoir is situated at grid reference SK277907 five miles west of the centre of Sheffield in the Loxley valley close to the village of Low Bradfield and within the city's boundaries. The hamlet of Stacey Bank is located to the east. The reservoir has a capacity of 4,250.9 million litres and has a surface area of 47 hectares with a maximum depth of 27 metres (88 ft). The dam wall is approximately 400 metres (1,312 ft) wide with a height of 28 metres (92 ft).

Agden Reservoir Reservoir in South Yorkshire, England

Agden Reservoir is a water storage reservoir, situated at grid reference SK260925, 6.5 miles (10 km) west of the centre of Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England. It is owned by Yorkshire Water which is part of the Kelda Group. The reservoir covers an area of 25 hectares and has a capacity of 559 million gallons (2.11x109 litres) of water, the dam wall has a width of approximately 350 metres with a height of 30 metres.

Dale Dike Reservoir Reservoir in the north-east Peak District, England

Dale Dike Reservoir or Dale Dyke Reservoir is a reservoir in the north-east Peak District, in the City of Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England, a mile (1.6 km) west of Bradfield and eight miles (13 km) from the centre of Sheffield, on the Dale Dike, a tributary of the River Loxley.

Church of St Nicholas, Bradfield Listed church in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England

The Church of St. Nicholas, Bradfield is situated in the small village of High Bradfield, which is located 6 miles (10 km) north west of the centre of the city of Sheffield in South Yorkshire, England. It is one of only five Grade One Listed buildings in Sheffield. Apart from its historic architecture, the church is situated in a charming setting, 260 metres (850 ft) above sea level, giving fine views over the northeastern moors and valleys of the Peak District National Park.

Dungworth Hamlet in South Yorkshire, England

Dungworth is a hamlet in the civil parish of Bradfield, west of Sheffield in South Yorkshire, England.

Strines Reservoir Reservoir in South Yorkshire, England

Strines Reservoir is a water storage reservoir situated at 53.4099°N 1.6557°W, 8 miles (13 km) west of the centre of Sheffield in South Yorkshire, England.

Ewden valley Valley in England

Ewden Valley is a valley in the civil parish of Bradfield in the Stocksbridge and Upper Don electoral ward of Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England.

Fair House Farmhouse

Fair House Farmhouse is a 17th-century building situated on Annet Lane in the village of Low Bradfield within the boundary of the City of Sheffield in South Yorkshire, England. The farmhouse is a Grade II* Listed Building while the stable and garage buildings immediately to the west of the main house are Grade II listed..

Holdworth

Holdworth is a small rural hamlet situated within the boundary of the City of Sheffield, England. It is located 4.7 miles (7.5 km) northwest of the city centre at an altitude of 280 metres above sea level, giving it extensive views south over the upper Loxley valley. The hamlet falls within the Stannington ward of the City. It is an ancient farming settlement which was mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086.

Storrs, South Yorkshire Human settlement in England

Storrs is a hamlet within the boundaries of the City of Sheffield in England, it is situated 6.5 km west-northwest of the city centre. Storrs is located between the suburb of Stannington and the village of Dungworth in the civil parish of Bradfield at a height of 210 metres above sea level between the Loxley and Rivelin valleys. Although historically a farming settlement, water-powered milling on the Storrs Brook and small scale cutlery making has also taken place in the hamlet.

Bradfield Dale

Bradfield Dale is a rural valley 12 kilometres (7.5 mi) west-northwest of the City of Sheffield in England. The valley stands within the north-eastern boundary of the Peak District National Park just west of the village of Low Bradfield. The dale is drained by the Strines Dike which becomes the Dale Dike lower down the valley, these being the headwaters of the River Loxley. The dale contains two reservoirs, Strines and Dale Dike, and a third Agden Reservoir stands in a side valley just above Low Bradfield. The dale is characterised by agricultural land interspersed with farming and residential buildings. It is approximately 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) long from its foot at Low Bradfield to its head on Strines Moor.

Broomhead Hall Stately home in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England

Broomhead Hall was a large English country house that stood in the Ewden valley, to the west of Sheffield, England. The hall stood near the hamlet of Wigtwizzle, to the west of Broomhead Reservoir.

References

  1. Chris Collyer. "Ewden Beck / Broomhead Circle - Ring Cairn - Southwest of Stocksbridge, South Yorkshire". Stone-circles.org.uk. Retrieved 24 March 2014.
  2. "The Making Of South Yorkshire", David Hey, ISBN   0-903485-44-3 Page 23, Gives details of Bar Dike.
  3. "Medieval South Yorkshire", David Hey, ISBN   1-84306-080-9 Page 47 Gives details of Saxon cross and other medieval history.
  4. "Historic Hallamshire", David Hey, ISBN   1-84306-049-3, Gives history.
  5. Mick Armitage‘s Sheffield Flood website. Gives details of flood.
  6. A Complete History of the Great Flood at Sheffield. Gives further details of flood.
  7. Bradfield Parish Council. Archived 12 August 2007 at the Wayback Machine Gives present day details.
  8. "Around Bradfield", Malcolm Nunn, ISBN   0-7524-0671-X Gives present day details.
  9. McCloy, Andrew (2017). Peak District Boundary Walk: 190 Miles Around the Edge of the National Park. Friends of the Peak District. ISBN   978-1909461536.
  10. "follytowers.com". follytowers.com. Archived from the original on 8 February 2009. Retrieved 24 March 2014.
  11. "A Look at Life in Bradfield Dale and the Surrounding Area", Joe Castle, ISBN   0-901100-81-1 Gives details of Bradfield Dale.

Coordinates: 53°25′22″N1°36′19″W / 53.4229°N 1.6054°W / 53.4229; -1.6054