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Can anyone name this mystery house / location?

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Hi there. First-time post, so sorry if this isn't in the correct section (@Admin - by all means move it, thanks).

Does anyone here recognise this mystery house / building believed to be in the Sheffield area / region?

I personally don't, but it's an unusual property so I just wondered if anyone on here DID recognise it..?

Cheers,

John Mounsey.

Mystery House.jpg

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Welcome to the site!

I don't know where this is but it certainly looks like an interesting building.

Hugh

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Looks like a Water Board manager's house, especially with the bridge/tunnel outlet.

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Im pretty sure it is the old lock house that sat next to the chesterfield canal running through killamarsh.

The house is still there now off sheffield road at the junction with primrose lane - next to the bridge over whats left of the canal. Some old pics of the canal on killamarsh history forum show it from a different angle:

http://www.killamarsh.org/photo-gallery/house-chesterfield-canal-killamarsh-1978-c-redit-picture-the-past/

Have attached pic of what its like now 


 

Screenshot_20170107-150447.png

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I'd 100% agree with 'Eleanor Batty' that this is one and the same house and I recognised it straight away, having driven and walked past it countless times.

However, I believe the link that has been posted to killamarsh.org is of an entirely different house. This house, formerly The Boatman / Dog and Duck is one of a number of buildings, at the end of a private drive opposite the main entrance to Rother Valley Country Park. This area was just at the western end of the Norwood Tunnel and when the canal was operational (and before the collapse of the tunnel), I would imagine this public house was a stopover and a gathering place for bargees?

I've attached a map, with the location of 'The Boatman' house circled in red and 'Lock House' (the one in the original photo) circled in green.

Well spotted though 'Eleanor Batty'...

Lock House_Boatman.JPG

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A browse through the galleries on the Killamarsh Heritage Society website brings up this:

Plantation House, which is clearly the same building as in the original post.

Shown on this 1898 map as Lock House, but nearby are Plantation Cottages. It is also named Lock House on a 1946 map of the same area

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3 hours ago, Eleanor Batty said:

Apologies re wrong link theres some good pictures of the canal in that gallery somewhere! 

I can find 4...

Gallery 1:

Lock Bridge and side view of house on right

Same photo, different link...

Another Lock House, but not "ours"...

(I've not repeated the link to wedding photo already posted above by 'madannie77')

Nothing in Gallery 2:

and that's your lot!

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Yet more great detective work from the Sheffield History members!

Thank you everyone for your continued use/support of the site :)

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In the original photo the basement of the house is clearly visible. But in the modern photo it looks like the area has been filled in to make a garden.

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On 16/01/2017 at 16:36, LeadFarmer said:

In the original photo the basement of the house is clearly visible. But in the modern photo it looks like the area has been filled in to make a garden.

Working on the assumption that the original photo was taken c.1907 (as with the link to the Plantation House, Wedding Photo - posted by 'madannie77' above), the canal was still in use (or at least still intact), as the Norwood Tunnel would only collapse on 18 October of the same year.

You can see on maps contemporary with that date, the canal passed very close by the house and on 'the Wedding Photo' you can see steps down from the house to the lock and possibly a small wharf, immediately in front of the house. Map c.1920 - Overlaid with modern map

A photo found on the web shows Belklane Lock in 1973, with the lock still clearly visible and steps down from the road bridge.

With the decline of the canal and gradual filling in of its route (although it can still be traced through Killamarsh) the lock would have been back filled and levelled up to the ground floor of Lock House. So the basement windows and the arch to the right would be covered today.

I'll have to have a peek over the bridge, next time I'm walking by and I'll take a cheeky snap on my phone!...

Belklane Lock and Plantation House c1895.jpg

Belklane Lock and Lock House c1920.jpg

Killamarsh 3.jpg

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My ancestors lived in that house in the 1930s and 1940s. My great great grandmother died in it. It is 54 Sheffield Road, Killamarsh. 

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*BELATED* big thanks to all on this one. I don't think I'd turned on notifications - and then promptly forgot I'd posted this!

Great work by all involved - this is clearly the building in question, and a cracker at that!

Cheers,

John

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Hi Everyone, first time poster on here, but I can solve the mystery of this house and also put straight some erroneous information which has been provided by previous posters on this thread.

This is the house where I live with my family and it is indeed quite an extraordinary property.  The house was built for the owner of Killamarsh Steel Forge, we suspect for retirement but we can't be sure, so it is not a Water Board Manager's house, nor is it the old lock keeper's house as previous posters have suggested.  This person who had it built was George Richardson.  The property dates to approx 1860-1876, we know it was here in 1876 because it is on a map of that date, but given the architectural features we suspect it was built several years prior to this.  It is nothing to do with the Chesterfield Canal, although the current back garden of property contains what used to be Belk Lane Lock, the first of a flight of 13 locks leading to Norwood Tunnel, which is now partially collapsed.  There was the original Lock Keeper's cottage (now demolished) in what is now our rear garden, we have hundreds of old bricks found in the garden, which would have been the bricks the cottage was built from.  The wall in the old picture to the left of the house is, we suspect, contemporary with the canal (i.e. approx.1776), not with the house (1800's) as it is more weathered than the house wall, is of different construction and has hand made bricks in it which are the same as those the Lock Keeper's cottage was built from. The garden was purchased from British Waterways in the 1970's.  The house was originally called 'Plantation House', but was changed to 'Lock House' at some unknown point in the past.  The land belonging to the house used to be extensive, and was bought (along with the house) in the late '60's / early '70's by a builder, who erected the modern bungalows on Primrose Lane which now neighbour the property.  In the 1950's / 1960's the house was occupied by Dr. Murray, whose Surgery was in what is now our Dining Room (East elevation).

The old picture of the house in this thread is one we haven't seen before, but we think this was taken around 1900-1901, as we have a similar image of the Hurt family on their golden wedding in 1901 and the trees in the garden / around the house are of very similar proportion to the ones in the image in this thread and all visible paintwork / fixtures and fittings are the same, except the picket style fence in the image within this thread is shorter in the image we have.

Poster RLongden wrote in this thread: "With the decline of the canal and gradual filling in of its route (although it can still be traced through Killamarsh) the lock would have been back filled and levelled up to the ground floor of Lock House. So the basement windows and the arch to the right would be covered today."  Whilst this is partially correct in that the canal has been infilled, it is completely incorrect regarding the current ground level.  We still access the house at basement level from the rear garden (albeit there is now a sun room built on the back, which obscures the basement window / door) and there has been no raising of the ground level where the tunnel / archway was.  The tunnel / arch still exists but is hidden by a substantial stone garden wall which was built in front on the tunnel entrance in the 1970's.  We suspect the tunnel is not infilled, because the house wall in the cellar room that adjoins the tunnel is bone dry, as if it is not actually under the ground.  At some point, funds permitting, we intend to expose the tunnel again to understand why it exists and what its purpose was, which as of today we have no idea.  We think the tunnel extends half way down the length of the house, to the point where the front door is, but we also suspect that a narrower dug-out area extended all the way around to the side of the house which faces East, i.e. the part that now faces our driveway which opens onto Primrose Way.  We know there was an entrance to the cellars on this East elevation, as older residents of the village have told us this and there is evidence of both a door and a window in the cellar room at this end of the property.  The dug-out area was probably extending to approx. 12 feet from the house, with, we suspect, a substantial retaining brick wall to hold back the higher level ground which is now our driveway.  Unfortunately, the builder used this dug-out area to dump his building rubble when constructing the bungalows, thereby hiding all evidence of what it should look like and also causing damp issues in the cellar, which at one time was not underground, but now is below the current ground level on the East elevation.

The house extends over 3 floors, with cellars occupying the whole of the house footprint. The cellars have 10ft. high ceilings, two cellar rooms have fireplaces, one cellar room has a vaulted brick arch ceiling.  These rooms were clearly built to be occupied, one with a large fireplace would have housed a range for cooking, the one with a vaulted brick arch ceiling would have been for food storage?  All the cellar rooms had windows at some point in time.  The south-facing elevation (which faces Sheffield Road) has walls three feet thick at basement level.  This wall is the one which would have supported the forces being exerted by the tunnel / arch roof which can be seen in the old picture attached to this thread.  These forces have had a detrimental impact on the structure of the property, causing the wall to bulge inwards.  At some point in the property's history, brick buttresses were built in the central cellar room to support this wall and prevent the arch from pushing it in.  We have now had these buttresses removed and have replaced them with steel structural supports, embedded deep into the floor, this was done to free up space being taken up by the brick buttresses.

We would welcome any additional information that anyone has regarding our property, in particular about the tunnel / arch which has always intrigued us and for which no-one has offered any explanation of what it is or why it was built this way. Hope everyone finds this information useful / interesting!

Best Regards

David & Nicola Storm

 

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