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Lees House, Norton Lees


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duckweed

Joseph Higginbottom left Lees House to retire to Canada in 1930 so if he owned the house it must have gone up for sale then. However I have seen no Sale Notice in Local Studies Files but there may be one posted with photo in Local Paper. The property exchange would be in Yorkshire by then so there may be property details in Wakefield. There would have had to be somewhere evidence of ownership in documents. Till the Archives are open I can't see if they have it in Solicitor or Estate Agents papers. Have to wait till September I am afraid.

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duckweed

6 June 1924

Port of departure Quebec Canada

Joseph Higginbottom age 62 - Lees House, Norton Lees Sheffied occ insurance manager.

The last listing (as far as I could see) for Joseph on the incoming passenger list (edited ) 25 Feb 1930, he is now retired. Port of embarkation La Palice.

Sorry was told he retired to Canada but may just be he was retired and visiting Canada. There does not appear to be a Telephone number for him in the directories.

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Regarding RichardB's post above, ... the Higginbottom post... Per "192.com" (link below) there is a Brian D. Higginbottom living in Barnsley, and Iris Higginbottom also shows as an additional occupant. It appears 192.com is a pay as you go site so if anybody has a subscription to that site already, Brian D. Higginbottom could be fairly easily contacted.

http://www.192.com/atoz/people/higginbottom/brian/

Who knows, maybe somtime over the past 10 yrs Brian Higginbottom finally found an old photo of Lees House.

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St Annington

Hi Mike,

I was born in 1971 and grew up in Meersbrook, and I remember Lees House well, although suprisingly unitil stumbling across this forum never knew what it was called !!!!

We used to play in the grounds regularly, by the late 70's/early 80's the house was derelict and much of the garden was overgrown with thick brambles. It was quite an easy task to scale the walls, with not much attempt to keep people out, with only the occassional workman or gardener to chase us off.

As you would expect there were many folk tales of ghosts etc, with the one I particularly remember was that in one of the upper windows was a black spot and if you stared at it your eyes would instantly and uncontrollably start streaming with tears, but funnily enough no matter how hard i tried I could never locate the 'exact' black spot that caused the phenomena.

Although many of the older boys 'claimed' to have been inside the house, not just merely the gardens, I never actually saw anyone go inside. The house was securely locked and stories of secret doors and entries into the house we probably just older boys attempts to impress!!

I remember a distinct sense of foreboding when in the gardens and in truth I probably only ever went in with my older brother and his friends. Even on the balmiest of summer days it was always dark and uninviting and I was always relieved to leave.

The house was demolished and the present housing estate built sometime in the late 80's (at a guess 1989/1990)

One tragic story I can tell is that around the time I refer to one of my schoolboy friends younger brother built a den in the grounds with his mates, started playing with matches and unfortunately ..... well you can insert your own ending.

I apologise profusely for any distress that retelling the above story may cause to those family or friends that will obviously know and remember who the story relates to.

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St Annington

I've done some digging on the Sheffield City Council website looking for the earliest mention of Lees House Court (and hence the demise of Lees House).

The table below is copied from their website and relates to a Tree Preservation Order

099 Norton Lees Lane/Road Lees House Court S8 Gleadless Valley 1985.11.12

Norton Lees Lane S8 Gleadless Valley 1985.11.12

Norton Lees Road S8 Gleadless Valley 1985.11.12

My thinking is the Order would have been enforced at roughly the same time planning permission was granted for the new development or do you need permission for demolition? Although i'm still pretty certain the building work wasn't started until the late 80's.

The link is here http://www.sheffield.gov.uk/planning-and-city-development/urban-design--conservation/trees/tpo

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St Annington, Thanks for your memories of the place. I have to believe that there has to be at least one old Norton Lees family photo album out there in the world somewhere that contains a photo or two of the one-time dark and imposing Lees House.... and if there is, then there is also the problem of whether or not somebody had the foresight to identify the photo as such.

Mike

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St Annington

Hi Mike,

I've been to the planning department of Sheffield City Council and had a look at their historical records.

In 1975 British Telecom (BT) applied for planning permission to build a new telephone exchange on the site of Lees House. Permission was finally granted in September 1979. However the new exchange was never built and in 1984 a new application (not by BT) was submitted for a housing development. Sometime between 1979 and 1984 BT demolished Lees House.

However the good news is that in 1975 in response to the original BT application someone at the City Council had the foresight to go to site and take some photographs, and here they are .............

The historical records are kept on microfiche so they are 'negative' images and all I was able to do was to take 'screen shots' with my mobile. So quality isn't great, but at least you get to see Lees House

Steve.

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SteveHB

The historical records are kept on microfiche so they are 'negative' images and all I was able to do was to take 'screen shots' with my mobile. So quality isn't great, but at least you get to see Lees House

Steve.

Fine work Steve,

I have edited your images.

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St Annington

I also contacted Sheffield Local Studies Library and here is their reply.

Thank you for your e-mail. Unfortunately we do not appear to have any photographs of Lees House. The only information I have been able to find is an article which appeared in the Sheffield Daily Telegraph of 24 September 1926 which was published when the house became a children's home. This includes a very poor photograph of the entrance porch, and a written description of the house itself. Other than this we have no other information about Lees House at all. I can send you a photocopy of the article on receipt of a cheque made payable to 'Sheffield City Council' for £5.30, although I should stress that the photograph is of very poor quality.

If you require any further information you could try contacting Sheffield Archives at archives@sheffield.gov.uk . They are closed at the moment due to refurbishment but if you contact them after 5 September 2011 your enquiry will be dealt with. I should perhaps also point out however, that we are the main collection point for photographs here at Local Studies.

You could also try Norton Lees History Group. Their contact is Vivienne Bentley, e-mail address vivienne.bentley@hotmail.co.uk

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A tremendous effort there Steve, and another mystery solved. Thanks Heaps!

Besides myself, a young lady in Devon will be pleased.

Mike

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Another mystery solved by Sheffield History online. Strangely I have been just researching my husbands family history and have found there is a family connection with the Higginbottom family. So here I was researching the House as a Bishops House Historian and now I've found a totally different reason for researching the House.

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I used to go to Lees House as a kid and cut the grass with my grandfather in the late 60's early 70's. A relative lived there - I know she was called Lilly and I think her surname was Higginbottom. My mother told me that her husband left the house to charity in his will but that there was a clause that she could live there as long as she survived. After she moved out the house went to a charity who decided that the site should be sold for development. When I used to visit the house was divided up into flats.

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Hello and Welcome to the Site Swivelhead. Hope you find much to enjoy.

I live around the corner. Fascinating thread.
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Guest ceejaycoll

Hello. I lived with my mother and father Nora and Michael Coll in rented rooms at Lees House from the age of eleven (1967) for several years. In fact I recall receiving my 11-plus results there. My Aunty Ivy also lived there at the time. I have many clear and vivid memories of Lees House, although no photos. We had the rooms downstairs.

An elderley lady held the house with her companion Miss Chapman.

When I arrived at the house I was given an apple tree in the small walled orchard and i remember all the grounds and the drive well. Not all were happy memories though.

If I can share information with interested parties then I should be happy to do so. Lees House and the area were a key part of my formative years.

I can be contacted at ceejaycoll@yahoo.co.uk

Christopher John Coll

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Guest ceejaycoll

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

I used to live at Lees House from about 1967 and can describe quite a lot about the building and my time there, before it was destroyed,

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

if you are still interested. ceejaycoll@yahoo.co.uk

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duckweed

This topic has been thoroughly discussed before and there is the estate agents description plus photos etc. Just put Lees House in the search and you will see at all. Sorry I don't know how to link you to it direct.

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Just stumbled across this thread and found it really informative. My grandmother was Nelly Chapman or Nelly Higginbottom before her 2nd marriage. She was living as Joe Higginbottoms daughter although she was actually his neice, at Lees House. I visited a lot as a kid in the 60's and 70's.

The house was left to charity after my great aunt Lilly died in 1970's at 104yrs

Aunt Lilly was a servant at Lees house from being 16yrs old and ended up marrying Jo Higginbottom. He got the house from his previous wife who was of the Cockayne family (department store owners)

I was curious as to when the house was originally built and any details from that period.

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A recent follower of Sheffield History site, I was very interested in the conversation about Lees House. I lived very close for several years during the 60's and early 70's and remember it well. I only went into the house a few times when my friend and I were delivering the parish magazine to an old lady who lived upstairs. I remember a very large, dark and imposing hall with a staircase complete with polished dark wood banister that led to the flat we delivered to. We left the magazine by the door and ran as fast as we could to get out of the place. It was definitely creepy. We never saw any occupants on any of the times we were there. The outside of the building was black and very overgrown but from my bedroom window I could see the roof and upper floor. The entrance was via a driveway at the bottom of Beverley's Road. I think the large stone gate posts and part of the wall are still there.

The other large house of interest and probably of a similar age in the area was West House, or West View as it is called in some maps and documents. I don't remember anyone living there, in fact it was quite derelict when I knew it. It was right at the end of Norton Lees Road and was demolished and replaced with flats during the late 60's? This is one house I wish I had investigated and would love to know more about it. It is mentioned in the 1850 Norton Estate Sale as being occupied by a Mrs Parker but if anyone has any more information or a photograph that would be great. I've seen a photo of the gate posts with partially obscured house behind on Picture Sheffield but that's the only one (apart from the illustration in the Norton Estate Sale of 1850)

As Lees House isn't mentioned in the sale it presumably wasn't part of the Norton Estate?

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SteveHB
1 hour ago, PaulE said:

A recent follower of Sheffield History site, I was very interested in the conversation about Lees House. I lived very close for several years during the 60's and early 70's and remember it well. I only went into the house a few times when my friend and I were delivering the parish magazine to an old lady who lived upstairs. I remember a very large, dark and imposing hall with a staircase complete with polished dark wood banister that led to the flat we delivered to. We left the magazine by the door and ran as fast as we could to get out of the place. It was definitely creepy. We never saw any occupants on any of the times we were there. The outside of the building was black and very overgrown but from my bedroom window I could see the roof and upper floor. The entrance was via a driveway at the bottom of Beverley's Road. I think the large stone gate posts and part of the wall are still there.

The other large house of interest and probably of a similar age in the area was West House, or West View as it is called in some maps and documents. I don't remember anyone living there, in fact it was quite derelict when I knew it. It was right at the end of Norton Lees Road and was demolished and replaced with flats during the late 60's? This is one house I wish I had investigated and would love to know more about it. It is mentioned in the 1850 Norton Estate Sale as being occupied by a Mrs Parker but if anyone has any more information or a photograph that would be great. I've seen a photo of the gate posts with partially obscured house behind on Picture Sheffield but that's the only one (apart from the illustration in the Norton Estate Sale of 1850)

As Lees House isn't mentioned in the sale it presumably wasn't part of the Norton Estate?

Brilliant, thak you.

https://goo.gl/maps/Ku855KAzEqeJ69eJA

lees_house.jpg

 

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Davey1889

Remember this very well although it was derelict. After Scouts on Crawford Road we would often go into the grounds and if very brave would go into the cellar which was accessible from outside. Also remember the tragic fire mentioned above which was on a Saturday afternoon. We had been playing football in Meersbrook Park below the allotments and saw / heard the ambulance and fire brigade but didn't find out why until afterwards.

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