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Location within Sheffield
Population5,631  [1]
OS grid reference SK321905
Metropolitan borough
Metropolitan county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district S6
Dialling code 0114
Police South Yorkshire
Fire South Yorkshire
Ambulance Yorkshire
UK Parliament
List of places
53°25′N1°31′W / 53.41°N 1.52°W / 53.41; -1.52 Coordinates: 53°25′N1°31′W / 53.41°N 1.52°W / 53.41; -1.52
The medieval stocks still stand outside the Wadsley Jack pub, they are a grade two listed monument. Wadsley Jack Stocks.jpg
The medieval stocks still stand outside the Wadsley Jack pub, they are a grade two listed monument.

Wadsley is a suburb of the City of Sheffield in South Yorkshire, England. It stands 3 miles (5 km) north-west of the city centre at an approximate grid reference of SK321905 . At the 2011 Census the suburb fell within the Hillsborough ward of the City. Wadsley was formerly a rural village which was engulfed by the expansion of Sheffield in the early part of the 20th century.



The origin of the name Wadsley is thought to come from a personal or mythological name, possibly Wad, Wadde, Wade or Wada, in conjunction with the Old English word “leah” which means an open space or glade in a wood. A feudal manorial system existed in Wadsley in the Early Middle Ages under the control of Aldene. [2] The Anglo-Saxon estate of Wadesleah is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 in its genitive form of Wadesleia. After the Norman conquest of England Waltheof, the last of the Saxon lords retained Hallamshire of which Wadsley was a part; however he was beheaded in 1076 for rebellion against William the Conqueror and his lands passed to his wife Judith of Lens, with Roger de Busli, first Lord of Hallamshire, holding power.

Wadsley eventually became a manor under the control of the De Wadsley family; [2] they were a knightly family of some power in southern Yorkshire. The family had manorial rights and built a manor hall, a deer park and chapel within the parish of Ecclesfield. Their surname was first recorded in 1227,there are still Wadsleys today. The ownership of the manor of Wadsley changed many times over the following centuries.

Eventually all indications of the former medieval way of life were slowly eradicated; the deer were removed from the park in 1621, Wadsley Hall was rebuilt in 1722 and the chapel was replaced by Wadsley Parish Church in 1834. In 1790 Joseph Clay bought the manor of Wadsley from Michael Burton, upon his death in 1797 he bequeathed it to his daughter, Ellen, the wife of George Bustard Greaves, of Page Hall. [3] As Lord of the Manor, Greaves commissioned a survey of the manor in 1802, this was carried out by the Sheffield surveyors Fairbanks. The survey revealed 200 people as landowners within the manor and between them they possessed almost 2,400 acres. The largest landowner at the time was Samuel Turner who owned almost 650 acres, most individuals held smallholdings of between one and three acres. [4]

From the 16th century up to the 1920s Wadsley’s main industry was cutlery manufacturing; at the end of the 19th century there were over 100 cutler's shops in the village. The industry declined as the small workshops of Wadsley lost business to the large cutlery works of Sheffield. It is generally believed that the last little mester operating as a knife maker in Wadsley was Harry Horsfield who died in 1938. [5] In 1901 Sheffield extended its boundaries [6] and part of Wadsley came within the city; a further expansion in 1923 brought the rest of the village inside the city boundary. The recent history of Wadsley has been its development as a residential suburb with many houses built, especially in the area between Wadsley Lane and Langsett Avenue, in the 1930s. [7] [8] The original manor house that stood on Laird Road was controversially sold and demolished in 1958 to make way for the Laird Road Flats - after this happened the Wadsley conservation campaign ceased to be a coherent force. Over the next fifteen years most of the small old shops, houses and workshops of Wadsley were demolished virtually without opposition - culminating in the City Council's Wadsley redevelopment programme in 1968.

Wadsley House is now a social club. Wadsley House.jpg
Wadsley House is now a social club.

Historical buildings and eminent residents

Due to its former rural setting Wadsley has several country houses which are still standing within the now built-up suburb.

Wadsley House

Wadsley House ( SK325906 ) is a grade two listed building which stands on a cul-de-sac called The Drive. George Calvert Holland M.D. lived in the house in the mid-19th century; his writings include “The Philosophy of Animated Nature” and “Vital Statistics of Sheffield”. George Miller, a railway contractor who was involved in building the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway bought the house in 1851 and lived there till his death in 1884. The house is now a social club with a bowling green attached. [9]

Wadsley Hall. Wadsley Hall 4.jpg
Wadsley Hall.

Wadsley Hall

Wadsley Hall, ( SK327904 ) which stands in Far Lane, is also a grade two listed building and a structure of some antiquity. It was probably built in the 15th century although it was substantially modernised in 1722 by George Bamforth, the then lord of the manor. Sir Robert Wadsley, Lord of the Manor, built a chapel on to the east end of the hall in the 15th century; this was partly destroyed in the reign of Elizabeth I although not completely demolished until 1813. [10] From 1812 it was the home of the Fowlers, one of Wadsley’s most famous families. Sir John Fowler (1817–1898) was a famous railway engineer who co-constructed the Forth Bridge and completed many other railway projects around the world. William Fowler established the Sheepbridge coal and iron works near Chesterfield while Robert Fowler had a large solicitor's practice in Westminster. There is also some speculation that the artist Thomas Creswick (1811–1869) was born at Wadsley Hall, although two other Sheffield locations are claimed as his birthplace. [11] After World War I the estate was broken up with much of the surrounding land sold off for new housing.

Loxley House

Despite its name, Loxley House ( SK315903 ) is within the Wadsley area; it is also grade two listed and was originally built in 1795 by Thomas Halliday. The house was completely rebuilt it in 1826 by Thomas Payne. [12]

Wadsley Grove

Wadsley Grove ( SK317910 ) stands just off Worrall Road in a secluded situation being well screened by trees. It was the home of John Livesey who was vicar of St. Philip's Church, Shalesmoor in Sheffield between 1831 and 1870. [13] In 1872 Wadsley Grove was purchased by John Marples, a wine merchant who acquired the "Wine and Spirit Commercial Hotel" on the corner of Fitzalan Square, Sheffield. Later known as the Marples Hotel, it was destroyed by bombing in December 1940 with much loss of life. Sheffield's first ever female Lord Mayor Ann Eliza Longden, who was elected in 1936, lived at Wadsley Grove. [5]

Wadsley Almshouses Wadsley Alms Houses 1.jpg
Wadsley Almshouses
The Horse and Jockey pub stands at the junction of Wadsley Lane, Laird Road, Dykes Hall Road and Worrall Road. The centre of medieval Wadsley Horse and Jockey Wadsley.jpg
The Horse and Jockey pub stands at the junction of Wadsley Lane, Laird Road, Dykes Hall Road and Worrall Road. The centre of medieval Wadsley

Wadsley Almshouses

The Wadsley Almshouses are situated on Worrall Road next to the parish church and across the road from the Sportsman pub. They are a collection of six cottages built on land then known as "The Meadows" purchased in April 1839 by Miss Hannah Rawson of Wardsend House, Owlerton. They were constructed as a charitable project to be occupied by six poor widows of the Wadsley Church District. The total cost of the project came to £1,000 1s 5d. In June 1973 the almshouses were designated as a Grade II listed building. [5]

Notable residents

The Victorian writer Reuben Hallam, also known as "Wadsley Jack", was from the area. He is best known for the 1866 book, Wadsley Jack; or, the Humours and Adventures of a Travelling Cutler. A pub, The Wadsley Jack, is named in his honour.

One of Wadsley’s more famous modern residents was the politician Roy Hattersley who spent his youth living on Wadsley Lane and then Airedale Road; this early part of his life is covered in the book, “A Yorkshire Boyhood”. His mother Enid was Lord Mayor of Sheffield in 1981. Professional cyclist and Commonwealth Games double gold medallist Malcolm Elliott was brought up in Prescott Road, Wadsley.

The tool collector and industrial historian Ken Hawley lived in Wadsley from the age of three until his death. [14]

The English baritone, Peter Glossop was born in Wadsley.


Wadsley has two schools, Marlcliffe Community Primary School on Marlcliffe Road and Wisewood Community Primary School on Rural Lane they are both for pupils aged between 4 and 11. Wisewood School and Community Sports College was closed in the Summer of 2011 and demolished in March 2012. The school was merged with Myers Grove School which was also demolished to form the new Forge Valley School on Wood Lane at Malin Bridge. [15] There are four public houses in the area, The Wadsley Jack (formerly called The Star) which has the original village stocks outside, The Rose and Crown (often referred to as The Top House) is 150 years old and was extended in the 1980s by knocking through into adjoining cottages. [16] The Horse and Jockey stands where the original medieval village green was at the top of Wadsley Lane. The Sportsman is on Worrall Road near the church. The few shops in Wadsley are of the smaller variety scattered across the village, the nearest main shopping area is in nearby Hillsborough.

Wadsley Common

Wadsley Common ( SK312906 ) is a piece of land owned and held in trust by Sheffield City Council which is a public open space used as an area of recreation and exercise by the general public. Combined with the adjoining Loxley Common it covers 100 acres (0.40 km2) and is an area of heather, oak, silver birch, bracken and grassland which was declared a local nature reserve in 1999. The Wadsley section of the common is designated as access land under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000. Formerly there were four football pitches which belonged to Wadsley church on a section of the common but these are unused at present. To the north of the common is Hillsborough golf club laid out in 1920.

For a period of 130 years from 1784 the common was in private hands and was an area of mining and quarrying, with coal and ganister being mined and sandstone quarried for building. There were two drift mines on the common, the Bower mine and the Top mine. The Bower mine was owned by the Oughtibridge Silica Firebrick Company and operated between 1890 and 1940 while the Top mine probably ceased production in 1943. [17]

In 1913 the common was given to the council by the descendants of the Payne family, who gave "seventy five acres of land at Loxley Common and Wadsley Common to be used by the public for the purpose of exercise and recreation, and to be known as Loxley Chase". The Common is managed by The Parks, Woodlands and Ranger Service who work for Sheffield City Council. The management plan was drawn up in consultation with local land owners, members of the public, representatives from the Wadsley and Loxley Commoners and local ecologists. The overall broad aim of the plan is: "To maintain and enhance the Commons as a wildlife, landscape, historical and recreational resource for the enjoyment of the local community and visitors alike." [18] [19]

Related Research Articles

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

Hillsborough is an electoral ward which includes the districts of Malin Bridge, Owlerton, Wadsley and Wisewood. It is one of the 28 electoral wards in City of Sheffield, England. It is located in the northwestern part of the city and covers an area of 4.6 km2. The population of this ward in 2011 was 18,605 people in 8,012 households.

Malin Bridge Human settlement in England

Malin Bridge is a suburb of the city of Sheffield, England. It is located at grid reference SK325893 and stands 2½ miles north-west of the city centre where the rivers Loxley and Rivelin meet. Malin Bridge is only a small district centred on the road bridge over the River Loxley which carries the B6076 road to Stannington ; it is surrounded by the suburbs of Hillsborough, Wisewood, Walkley and Stannington.

Worrall Village in South Yorkshire, England

Worrall is a small rural village in the civil parish of Bradfield within the boundary of the City of Sheffield. It stands in an elevated position at a height of approximately 230 metres and is 4 miles (6.5 km) north west of Sheffield City Centre. The village has an area of 233 hectares and a population of 1,306 in 2006. At the time of the 2011 Census this village fell within the Stannington ward of the City. Gives details of population and area of village. Although a distinct village, Worrall has tenuous borders with the Sheffield suburbs of Wadsley, Middlewood and Loxley to the south and east and with the adjoining village of Oughtibridge to the north; to the west is a rural area extending out towards the village of High Bradfield.

Wadsley Bridge Human settlement in England

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Owlerton Human settlement in England

Owlerton is a suburb of the city of Sheffield, it lies 2.2 miles (3.5 km) northwest of the city centre near the confluence of the River Don and River Loxley. Owlerton was formerly a small rural village with its origins in the Early Middle Ages; it became part of Sheffield in the early 1900s as the city expanded. Owlerton stands just east of the adjacent suburb of Hillsborough and the division between the two districts is difficult to delineate. The suburb falls within the Hillsborough ward of the city. This is further complicated by the fact that certain buildings such as Hillsborough Stadium, Hillsborough Leisure Centre and Hillsborough College lie firmly within Owlerton. The name Owlerton is believed to come from the abundant growth of alder trees in the area

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.

Oughtibridge Village in South Yorkshire, England

Oughtibridge is a residential village on the northern outskirts of Sheffield within the bounds of Bradfield civil parish. The village stands 5 miles (8 km) northwest of the city centre in the valley of the River Don. The population of the village has increased significantly in recent years due to much private housing development and stood at 3,542 in 2006 over an area of 355 hectares. The population of Oughtibridge increased to 3,584 in 2011.

Middlewood, South Yorkshire Suburb of Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England

Middlewood is a north western suburb of Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England. The suburb falls within the Stannington ward of the City.

Hillsborough, Sheffield Suburb of Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England

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Wadsley Parish Church Anglican church in Wadsley, South Yorkshire, England

Wadsley Parish Church is situated within the city of Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England. It is located on Worrall Road, 3 miles (5 km) north west of the city centre in the suburb of Wadsley, which was formerly a village outside the city boundary. The church is quite unusual in that it is not dedicated to a saint. It is a grade II listed building.

Burrowlee House

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Wisewood is a suburb of the city of Sheffield in South Yorkshire, England and situated 2 34 miles (4.4 km) north-west of the city centre. It is a residential suburb consisting almost exclusively of council housing, some of which has been bought by tenants under the right to buy scheme. It is bordered by the adjacent suburbs of Loxley, Wadsley, Malin Bridge and Hillsborough.

Loxley House

Loxley House is a Georgian building situated off Ben Lane in the Wadsley area of Sheffield in South Yorkshire, England. It is a Grade Two Listed building.


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.

Ughill Hamlet in South Yorkshire, England

Ughill is a small, rural hamlet within the City of Sheffield in Bradfield Parish in England. It is 5 mi west-northwest of the city centre. It stands in a lofty position at 918 ft above sea level, on a ridge between Bradfield Dale and the valley of the Ughill Brook. It has traditionally been a farming community, but there was some mining in the area in the late 19th and 20th century. Ughill Hall was the scene of an infamous murder in September 1986. The hamlet falls within the Stannington ward of the City.

Dial House, Sheffield

Dial House is a Grade II listed building located on Ben Lane in the Wisewood area of the City of Sheffield in England. The house was originally a private small country house, before becoming a working men's club and more recently part of a development of modern apartments.

Ann Eliza Longden

Ann Eliza Longden was a British politician, the first woman to serve as Lord Mayor of Sheffield.


  1. Sheffield City Council - Wadsley
  2. 1 2 J. Edward Vickers, The Ancient Suburbs of Sheffield, p.19 (1971)
  3. Rotherhamweb.co.uk. Gives details of Joseph Clay.
  4. "Wadsley Church In Victorian Times", Joe Castle, (Booklet) No ISBN Gives details of 1802 survey.
  5. 1 2 3 "A Wisewood Diary", Joe Castle, no ISBN, Gives info on Anne Eliza Longden, almshouses and last cutler.
  6. With the passing of the Sheffield Corporation Act of 1900
  7. "A History of the Manor and Parish of Wadsley", H. Kirk-Smith, (Booklet) Gives historical details.
  8. "The Wadsley That Was", Keith Savage, ISBN   1-872934-56-0 gives historical details.
  9. "Street Names Of Sheffield", Peter Harvey, ISBN   1-85048-025-7 Page 99 Gives details of Wadsley House.
  10. "The Church Above The Bridge", David Maddock, ISBN   0-9523059-0-9 Page 9 Gives details of Wadsley Hall Chapel.
  11. "Old Ordnance Survey Maps (Hillsborough 1902)", Notes by Sylvia Pybus, ISBN   1-84151-939-1, Gives Wadsley Hall as possible birthplace of Thomas Creswick.
  12. "Old Sheffield Town", J. Edward Vickers, Gives info on Loxley House.
  13. The Story of St. Philip's Church. Gives details of John Livesey.
  14. Barley, Simon (19 August 2014). "Ken Hawley obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 December 2014.
  15. Postcode Gazette. Gives details of school demolition.
  16. www.coffeebeer.co.uk. Gives details of Rose and Crown pub.
  17. "The Forgotten Mines of Sheffield", Ray Battye, ISBN   1-901587-40-1 Gives mining information on Wadsley Common.
  18. The Friends of Loxley and Wadsley Common. Gives details of Wadsley Common.
  19. Wadsley and Loxley Commoners. Gives details of Wadsley Common.