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Gymnasium on Clarkehouse Road


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Im researching the background of this gym and fencing school that opened in 1854 by a Mr Percy. I do not know the exact location and would love to know anything more about the gym or Mr Percy.

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boginspro
5 hours ago, Martin W said:

Im researching the background of this gym and fencing school that opened in 1854 by a Mr Percy. I do not know the exact location and would love to know anything more about the gym or Mr Percy.

1856 Whites has    

"The GYMNASIUM and SCHOOL of ARMS, in Clarkehouse road, was erected in 1854, by a company of shareholders, and is under the able superintendence of Mr. Wm. Percy. It is an extensive brick building, comprising billiard and news room, a rifle gallery, an American bowling alley, a racket court, commodious dressing rooms, and a large gymnasium, well fitted up for the practice of athletic exercises, fencing, &c."

1854 Kelly's has William Percy at 4 Clarkehouse Lane. (I believe this was renamed Clarkehouse Road)

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Thank you very much. I didn't know his christian name and I didnt have an address so I can go back to Ancestry.com now .

From the look of Google street the original building must have been demolished like pretty much everything else to do with Sheffield's football heritage.

Im publishing a blog on this topic tomorrow as there is some new research in respect of Sheffield FC I have found. I will post a link here when it goes live. Thanks again.

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boginspro
3 hours ago, Martin W said:

From the look of Google street the original building must have been demolished like pretty much everything else to do with Sheffield's football heritage.

I think that 4 Clarkehouse Road must have just been his private residence  because that row of houses are Grade II listed buildings dating from around 1845. So it looks like he may have built the gym and fencing school on some empty ground not too far away.

https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1247254

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22 hours ago, Martin W said:

Im researching the background of this gym and fencing school that opened in 1854 by a Mr Percy. I do not know the exact location and would love to know anything more about the gym or Mr Percy.

I've found this 1853 article that mentions the gymnasium.

Sheffield Independent 02 July 1853

Sheffield 1A.JPG

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hilldweller

Bit of a mystery as to just where this gym was. The adverts mention that it was adjacent to Wesley College and within the boundaries was a detached house.

Looking at the 1853 large scale map it shows what my aged eyes reckon to be a swimming baths where the present King Edwards swimming bath is situated and a detached house called Clark Cottage next to the baths. From the map the bath may well have been open air with just a changing room by the road. My own memory of trips to the baths in the early sixtiies is that the building was of wooden construction, but it was a long time ago !

The baths seem to be clad with a modern ashlar cladding but looking down the side you can see evidence of much older rough rubble walling. The property on the corner of College Street where Clark Cottage was located seems to be a substantial Victorian villa. Is this Clark Cottage and perhaps the gym was re-purposed as a swimming bath by the college ? The dates don't seem right somehow.

It seems strange that the 1853 and later maps show no sign of any other development around the perimeter of the college.

PS I've just established that the King Teds swimming baths were only opened in 1936 by the council for use by other schools as well as KES.

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boginspro
3 hours ago, hilldweller said:

Looking at the 1853 large scale map it shows what my aged eyes reckon to be a swimming baths where the present King Edwards swimming bath is situated and a detached house called Clark Cottage next to the baths. From the map the bath may well have been open air with just a changing room by the road.

I think the swimming baths would be the early Victorian built Wesley College open air pool which pre-seeded the 1936 pool.  The stone building that is now at the side of the new baths only dates from 1895 so presumably Clarke Cottage was demolished at that time.. I see that there is a large brick building the other side of College Street which in 1890 is called St. George Villa now apparently split up in to flats.

This is the order of occupants from White's 1856, Only five names before the Gymnasium though there are currently 9 houses, one of them divided, in the 1845 terraces. It also looks like Mr. Percy vacated number 4 and moved to the gymnasium premises when they were built.  ----------- 

2 Hague Samuel, mert

Jackson W. Paxton pl

Hetherington Samuel, do

Howson Mrs. Ann

Brittain S. S. mfr

Percy Wm. Gymnasium

Mappin J. N. Moor Ldg

Wilson Mrs, Oakholme

Wilson Thos. Mfr, do

EDIT Google view added   ---   https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/24+Clarkehouse+Rd,+Sheffield+S10+2LA/@53.3757324,-1.4920275,126a,35y,326.3h,45t/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x48798276c8db6e65:0x8da3ec31c381d451!8m2!3d53.3764157!4d-1.4935255?hl=en

clarkehouse.png

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On 24/10/2019 at 14:29, boginspro said:

I think the swimming baths would be the early Victorian built Wesley College open air pool

There was indeed an open air pool replaced by the current pool.

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  • 5 months later...
Hopman

Might the reason for the short life of the gymnasium be the realisation that  although sabres against bayonets were  roughly equal, events in the Crimea turned people off the idea of noble military exercises?

@syrup's post of the event at the Music Hall mentions a J B Prest who was the brother of William Prest of Sheffield FC fame.

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