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Lees House, Norton Lees


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I'm interested in any scrap of information regarding a now non-existent large house (alleged to have been 22 rooms or more), called Lees House, built in the 18th century, and which once stood in the triangle formed by the intersections of Beverley's Road, Lees Hall Ave, and Lees Hall Lane, Norton Lees.

This house is not to be confused with the fairly profusely documented Lees Hall, which was yet another large mansion-type house less than a mile to the east of the Lees House location.

There appears to be no known photo of Lees House on PictureSheffield, and documentation of its one-time existence is limited to one short paragraph on a Meersbrook-related Wikipedia page.

Any ideas or info?

Thanks,

Mike

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Thanks Steve. I had noticed William Cockayne mentioned in at least two old threads elsewhere on the net. It appears that for a time, circa 1872, he also lived at Thorpe House.

Described in a list of other Norton Lees residents as a "Gentleman" at one site, and presumptively as a Meersbrook banker per Kelly's, 1891.

It would be most interesting to know what happened to Lees House after Mr. Cockayne, and most specifically, in what capacity was Lees House circa 1930 - 1945.

Has anybody visited the nearby Bishop's House museum? ... and what are the chances that the Bishop's House museum might have images of the surrounding area and that one of those images might include a view of Lees House - which appears to have stood literally diagonally across the road.

I'm thinking that it's fairly incredible that there were so many photos taken of Less Hall and Bishops House, but seemingly none (that are known so far) of Lees House.

Mike

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Oldbloke

In the 1960s Lees House was divided into flats, in which a friend lived. It was a very foreboding place to visit, like the set of a horror film to us kids.

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In the 1960s Lees House was divided into flats, in which a friend lived. It was a very foreboding place to visit, like the set of a horror film to us kids.

lol... I'm thinking that Lees Hall had that same sort of brooding or haunted appearance, but then both buildings were very old, with maybe Lees Hall being even older than Lees House.

There must be a photo of Lees House somewhere on this planet !

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SteveHB

William Cockayne, Lees house, Norton Lees, Meersbrook bank.

Kelly's 1891.

Thanks Steve. I had noticed William Cockayne mentioned in at least two old threads elsewhere on the net. It appears that for a time, circa 1872, he also lived at Thorpe House.

Described in a list of other Norton Lees residents as a "Gentleman" at one site, and presumptively as a Meersbrook banker per Kelly's, 1891.

It would be most interesting to know what happened to Lees House after Mr. Cockayne, and most specifically, in what capacity was Lees House circa 1930 - 1945.

Has anybody visited the nearby Bishop's House museum? ... and what are the chances that the Bishop's House museum might have images of the surrounding area and that one of those images might include a view of Lees House - which appears to have stood literally diagonally across the road.

I'm thinking that it's fairly incredible that there were so many photos taken of Less Hall and Bishops House, but seemingly none (that are known so far) of Lees House.

Mike

Mike.

A Mr.William Cockayne passed away at Thorpe House in 1884, aged 77.

So the William Cockayne at Lees house in 1891 could have been William Cockayne junior,

Not sure about the 'Meersbrook banker' being correct ?

The area of Lees House was known as Meersbrook Bank,

wasn't William Cockayne the co - founder of Cockayn's store on Angel Street.

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Oldbloke ... This is an old and unfortunately small postcard image of Bishop's House taken from an angle not shown in any photo posted on PictureSheffield. This particular photo/angle shows what appears to be a very large house in the background, right side. Could that be Lees House ??

Mike

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Mike.

A Mr.William Cockayne passed away at Thorpe House in 1884, aged 77.

So the William Cockayne at Lees house in 1891 could have been William Cockayne junior,

Not sure about the 'Meersbrook banker' being correct ?

The area of Lees House was known as Meersbrook Bank,

wasn't William Cockayne the co - founder of Cockayn's store on Angel Street.

OK... much needed clarification there, and I stand corrected. I agree, this particular Wm Cockayne would have been Junior, and until now I didn't know that the area around Lees House was known as Meersbrook Bank, so that clears-up the misconception which I got from some now forgotten thread at some now forgotten site where I had seen Wm Cockayne listed among a bunch of other notables, and what I thought was his occupation was actually his location, i.e. bank vs banker.

Thanks for that!

Mike

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Oldbloke

Oldbloke ... This is an old and unfortunately small postcard image of Bishop's House taken from an angle not shown in any photo posted on PictureSheffield. This particular photo/angle shows what appears to be a very large house in the background, right side. Could that be Lees House ??

Mike

Yes that does look like Lees House in all it's gothic horror glory. It was completely black outside, as were most buildings prior to the clean air act and subsequent stone cleaning work. The trees around it more or less hid it from view. I can't even say when it was demolished, as with many things I suddenly realised one day that it wasn't there anymore.

As for it being Meersbrook Bank, it could well have been, the area names seem to slide around the map quite a lot as houses are built and new roads are added over the years. The hill between our house and Bishops House is pretty steep :)

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Yes that does look like Lees House in all it's gothic horror glory. It was completely black outside, as were most buildings prior to the clean air act and subsequent stone cleaning work. The trees around it more or less hid it from view. I can't even say when it was demolished, as with many things I suddenly realised one day that it wasn't there anymore.

As for it being Meersbrook Bank, it could well have been, the area names seem to slide around the map quite a lot as houses are built and new roads are added over the years. The hill between our house and Bishops House is pretty steep :)

What a relief! I knew that sooner or later, what with all of the photos that have been taken of Bishop's House through the years, one of them would (by accident) also show Lees House within a stone's throw across the road... all of it dependent upon the angle.

Thanks Oldbloke! Maybe, hopefully, an even better shot of Lees House will surface somewhere.

Mike

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RichardB

William Cockayne, Lees house, Norton Lees, Meersbrook bank.

Kelly's 1891.

1950's OS map.

William Cockayne, Draper, Lees House, Norton Lees (Kelly's 1893)

Mrs Emily Cockayne, Lees House, Norton Lees Road, Meersbrook Bank (White's 1905 and 1911)

Joe Higginbottom, District Manager, Canada Life Assurance Co., 11 Fargate; home Lees House, Norton Lees (White's 1919 & 1925) (no occupation shown for 1925 entry).

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RichardB

What a relief! I knew that sooner or later, what with all of the photos that have been taken of Bishop's House through the years, one of them would (by accident) also show Lees House within a stone's throw across the road... all of it dependent upon the angle.

Thanks Oldbloke! Maybe, hopefully, an even better shot of Lees House will surface somewhere.

Mike

Have a bit of remaining wall ... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meersbrook Rather poor ...

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RichardB

:( Joe Higginbottom, District Manager, Canada Life Assurance Co., 11 Fargate; home Lees House, Norton Lees (White's 1919 & 1925) (no occupation shown for 1925 entry).

I am at present researching one of my ancestors JOSEPH WALTER HIGGINBOTTOM b

1862 @ Newbold, Chesterfield.

In 1908 he is working at Fargate in Sheffield for Canada Life Assurance Co.

as District Manager whilst still living in Chesterfield.

In 1917 he has moved to Lees House, Norton Lees, Sheffield and remained at

Canada Life until 1923 when he appears to have retired. He lived at Lees

House until his death in 1945 at the age of 83.

Talking to local residents of Norton Lees it appears that Lees House was

demolished about eight years ago & replaced with a modern development of

nine detached houses.

Does anyone have, or know where I may be able to obtain, a copy of a

photograph of this property?

Also does anyone know anything about JOSEPH HIGGINBOTTOM himself that I may

find interesting?

I await with baited breath.

Brian D Higginbottom.

--------------

Brian has been waiting since 1999 ...

http://archiver.root...9-05/0926662783

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RichardB

I have my doubts about the wall shown in the wiki photo,

the remaining wall is on the opposite side of Norton Lees Road.

Thanks Steve, caution, as ever, with Wiki stuff. I like the idea of a lost Gothic monstrosity but I'm having no look at all with any pictures.

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Oldbloke

I am at present researching one of my ancestors JOSEPH WALTER HIGGINBOTTOM b

1862 @ Newbold, Chesterfield.

In 1908 he is working at Fargate in Sheffield for Canada Life Assurance Co.

as District Manager whilst still living in Chesterfield.

In 1917 he has moved to Lees House, Norton Lees, Sheffield and remained at

Canada Life until 1923 when he appears to have retired. He lived at Lees

House until his death in 1945 at the age of 83.

Talking to local residents of Norton Lees it appears that Lees House was

demolished about eight years ago & replaced with a modern development of

nine detached houses.

Does anyone have, or know where I may be able to obtain, a copy of a

photograph of this property?

Also does anyone know anything about JOSEPH HIGGINBOTTOM himself that I may

find interesting?

I await with baited breath.

Brian D Higginbottom.

--------------

Brian has been waiting since 1999 ...

http://archiver.root...9-05/0926662783

Hmm coincidence time methinks, my friend's mother's maiden name was ... Higginbottom.

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SteveHB

Oldbloke ... This is an old and unfortunately small postcard image of Bishop's House taken from an angle not shown in any photo posted on PictureSheffield. This particular photo/angle shows what appears to be a very large house in the background, right side. Could that be Lees House ??

Mike

Oldbloke.

Sorry but I disagree, the postcard photo appears to have been taken looking towards what is now Lees Hall Avenue,

both the north and west walls of Bishops House are clearly in view.

The photographer would have had to have turned near on forty five degrees to his right

to be facing in the direction of Lees House.

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Oldbloke

Yes, you're right. It looks like I remember Lees House, but as you say too far over as Lees House was opposite the gardens. Many apologies, I had no intention of misleading anyone.

So is that the lodge? It looks huge.

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I am at present researching one of my ancestors JOSEPH WALTER HIGGINBOTTOM b

1862 @ Newbold, Chesterfield.

In 1908 he is working at Fargate in Sheffield for Canada Life Assurance Co.

as District Manager whilst still living in Chesterfield.

In 1917 he has moved to Lees House, Norton Lees, Sheffield and remained at

Canada Life until 1923 when he appears to have retired. He lived at Lees

House until his death in 1945 at the age of 83.

Talking to local residents of Norton Lees it appears that Lees House was

demolished about eight years ago & replaced with a modern development of

nine detached houses.

Does anyone have, or know where I may be able to obtain, a copy of a

photograph of this property?

Also does anyone know anything about JOSEPH HIGGINBOTTOM himself that I may

find interesting?

I await with baited breath.

Brian D Higginbottom.

--------------

Brian has been waiting since 1999 ...

http://archiver.root...9-05/0926662783

I have been chasing this Lees House thing on behalf of and with the help of another party. As it happens, this other party had a relation (a widowed G-GF) who likewise lived for a time at Lees House, beginning around 1939, and likewise died there in 1945.

Also, we too later noticed that the old postcard photo was shot from the rear of Bishop's House, on the what appears to be the footpath that runs perpendicular to Lees Hall Ave, and in-line (more or less) with Thorpe House Rise ,,,, so, big disappointment there.

Thanks to everybody for all of your help and input!

The Search continues...!

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duckweed

Is there any more information about Lees House. I found one old photo in Sheffield Library photos and I have several old maps with it on, but realise that despite its age I know little about it. I know from the census records who lived there in the 19th century but find I know little of who originally built the house. Anyone know more about it. When was it sold and demolished?

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Is there any more information about Lees House. I found one old photo in Sheffield Library photos and I have several old maps with it on, but realise that despite its age I know little about it. I know from the census records who lived there in the 19th century but find I know little of who originally built the house. Anyone know more about it. When was it sold and demolished?

Steve - Thanks for moving duckweed's post to this thread! Duckweed is potentially the source of some Good News!

Duckweed - The photo of Lees House that you indicate you have (or perhaps more correctly, found or saw at the Sheffield Libraray), is, at this point, Gold. Is there any way that photo could be scanned and posted? ... (more or less difficult to do and dependent entirely upon where it physically is, of course). As far as the age of the house, rumor has it (Wikipedia) that it was built sometime in the 18th century.

(My fingers are crossed, and I'm hoping like hell to get a full nights' sleep soon, lol)

Mike

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duckweed

There is still doubt whether this is the house. I wonder if it might be worth asking on Active8 (local magazine) if anyone has a picture. I have a queue of people wanting me to look for more details of Lees House which I intend to do, hopefully this week.

There is a very detailed description of the house in Heeley and Thereabouts which makes me feel that it is lifted from an estate agents description, possibly when the Cockaynes sold up and I know Local studies have a lot of sales brochures. If I can't find there it gets complicated because of the whole area changing county so there may be ownership details etc in either Wakefield Land Registry and Sheffield Archives or in Matlock Archives.

Any ideas which house it is in the postcard? Could it be the Hollies?

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duckweed

No photo but this is the estate agent details.

September 1916

Sale including a Freehold Property

Property of William Cockayne Esquire Deceased

Sold by Auction

Messrs Nicholson Barber and Hastings.

Sheffield Estate Auction Mart

2 High Street Sheffield

Lucas and Lucas Solicitors, Church Street Chambers Sheffield

Lot 2 Lees House, Norton Lees

Substantially built and well arranged Freehold Family Residence with Extensive grounds, Tennis Lawn and Carriage Drive, together with the Stabling and Loose Boxes, Coach and Motor Houses, Harness Room (with harness cupboard and sliding glass doors) Fowl Pens, Manure Pit, Coal and Coke places, Wash House, Greenhouses, Stoves, Vineries, Peach Houses, Garden Frames, Potting Shed, revolving Summer House, and all the usual outbuildings.

The House contains on the Ground floor; Entrance Poorch, Spacious Tiled Entrance Hall, Front and Back staircases, Drawing Room with Large Bay and Side Windows (26ft 6in x20ft 6in) Dining Room (21ft x14ft 6in) Breakfast Room with Passenger lift, Smoke Room, large kitchen (with Longden Cooking Range), Pantries WC., with provision meat, and wine cellars in the Basement.

On first floor; Full-sized Billiard Room with staging, 5 Principal Bed Rooms, Bath Room with double Lavatory and separate WC

On the second floor: Large Nursery with 4 Maids' Bedrooms

The Site contains 1a. 2r. 1p. or thereabouts, and has extensive frontages to Norton Lees Road and Norton Lees Lane forming a valuable Building site.

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duckweed

No photo but this is the estate agent details.

September 1916

Sale including a Freehold Property

Property of William Cockayne Esquire Deceased

Sold by Auction

Messrs Nicholson Barber and Hastings.

Sheffield Estate Auction Mart

2 High Street Sheffield

Lucas and Lucas Solicitors, Church Street Chambers Sheffield

Lot 2 Lees House, Norton Lees

Substantially built and well arranged Freehold Family Residence with Extensive grounds, Tennis Lawn and Carriage Drive, together with the Stabling and Loose Boxes, Coach and Motor Houses, Harness Room (with harness cupboard and sliding glass doors) Fowl Pens, Manure Pit, Coal and Coke places, Wash House, Greenhouses, Stoves, Vineries, Peach Houses, Garden Frames, Potting Shed, revolving Summer House, and all the usual outbuildings.

The House contains on the Ground floor; Entrance Poorch, Spacious Tiled Entrance Hall, Front and Back staircases, Drawing Room with Large Bay and Side Windows (26ft 6in x20ft 6in) Dining Room (21ft x14ft 6in) Breakfast Room with Passenger lift, Smoke Room, large kitchen (with Longden Cooking Range), Pantries WC., with provision meat, and wine cellars in the Basement.

On first floor; Full-sized Billiard Room with staging, 5 Principal Bed Rooms, Bath Room with double Lavatory and separate WC

On the second floor: Large Nursery with 4 Maids' Bedrooms

The Site contains 1a. 2r. 1p. or thereabouts, and has extensive frontages to Norton Lees Road and Norton Lees Lane forming a valuable Building site.

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