Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Guest purplejumper

Methodist Churches in Sheffield

Recommended Posts

neddy

Reading about Ebenezer Elliott, and The Gospel Tree, anyone got any information.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest codeyes

Ebenezer

Elliott

1781 - 1849

In Sheffield's Weston Park, just across from the Children's Hospital, is a statue with the brief inscription

"E L L I O T T.".

When the statue was originally erected in Market Place, there was no need for a plaque explaining who this Elliott was, since he was a legend in Sheffield and beyond. In fact, the £600 cost of the statue was raised in tribute to Elliott by the working people of the town.

Elliott was born in an iron foundry at Masbrough, Rotherham in 1781. Twenty four years later, he was the owner of the foundry, but suffered the total disgrace of going bankrupt in 1816.

Sheffield soon drew Elliott and by 1821 he was living in Burgess Street where he had set up in business as an iron dealer. With a bankruptcy behind him, Elliott's approach was cautious enabling him to prosper, since he didn't overextend during good times; this helped him to ride the downturns in trade which sent others to the wall. In 1829 additional premises in Gibraltar Street were acquired, and trade directories now listed Elliott as an iron merchant and steel manufacturer.

In 1834 Elliott left his Burgess Street home and workshop to concentrate on his Gibraltar Street works and to set up home in a handsome villa in rural Upperthorpe.

Although Elliott was a steel maker and refiner, he was never a member of the Cutlers' Company - that wasn't his style. Elliott's sympathies lay not with the capitalist owners but with the working man, since he was one of them himself. When he was bankrupt, he had been homeless and out of work; he had faced starvation and contemplated suicide. He knew what it was like to be impoverished and desperate and, as a result, he always identified with the poor people of Sheffield.

As a steel maker with a conscience, Elliott was very unusual. He was interested in poetry and politics, believing that the Corn Laws had been responsible for his bankruptcy and campaigning forthrightly against them. He became well known in Sheffield for his strident views demanding changes which would improve conditions both for the manufacturer and the poor worker.

Elliott was ahead of his time in forming the first society in the whole country calling for reform of the Corn Laws: this was the Sheffield Mechanics' Anti-Bread Tax Society founded in 1830. Four years later, he was the prime mover in establishing the Sheffield Anti-Corn Law Society and he just about single-handedly set up the Sheffield Mechanics' Institute in Surrey Street. He was very active, too, in the Sheffield Political Union campaigning hard for the 1832 Reform Bill. Until the Chartist Movement advocated the use of violence, Elliott was a big wheel in the Sheffield organisation. He was the Sheffield delegate to the Great Public Meeting in Westminster in 1838 and he chaired the meeting in Sheffield when the Charter was introduced to local people.

Elliott had dabbled with poetry since he was sixteen and had even written to Robert Southey, the famous poet, for advice on composing poetry. Southey was willing to help out since he recognised that Elliott had a crude talent for writing verse. The correspondence was to last for many years.

In the 1830s Elliott made a breakthrough with his demands for changes in society: he published a volume of poems called the " Corn Law Rhymes " which brought him national fame and earned him the handle " the Corn Law Rhymer ". The poems thundered against the landowners in the government who stifled competition and kept high the price of bread; the poems were aggressive and sarcastic, attacking the status quo and demanding repeal of the Corn Laws. They also drew attention to the dreadful conditions endured by working people such as grinders and ruthlessly contrasted their lot with the sleek and complacent gentry.

The "Corn Law Rhymes" were initially thought to be written by an uneducated Sheffield mechanic who had rejected conventional Romantic ideals for a new style of working class poetry aimed at changing the system. Elliott was described as "a red son of the furnace " and called " the Yorkshire Burns" or " the Burns of the manufacturing city ". Thomas Carlyle, the eminent critic, was impressed by the poems which were also enthusiastically quoted by John Bright, the reformer, while William Wordsworth admitted:

" None of us have done better than he has in his best ".

James Montgomery, the Sheffield poet and hymn writer, claimed that in originality, power and beauty Elliott drew comparison with Byron, Crabbe and Coleridge " while in intensive sympathy with the poor ... he excelled them all ". Elliott was increasingly dubbed " The Poet Of The Poor ".

Not everyone appreciated Elliott's work - he faced much ridicule and hostility from the influential landowners he so boldly attacked. Some of them saw him (wrongly) as a ferocious revolutionary and asked the government to take steps against him. Even his literary friend, Robert Southey, described him as " the demon of anarchy " and found his tone " repulsive and even hateful ".

The Corn Law Rhymer retired from business in 1841 and shocked his admirers by moving to a remote home near Great Houghton in the Barnsley area. He died in 1849 and was buried in Darfield churchyard.

The significance of Elliott was that he dared to challenge the government; here was a humble working man who refused to accept the injustices of society and who clamoured for change through his political activities and through his original, vibrant poetry. He did much to awaken working class political confidence and he did much to end the Corn Laws. According to Professor Sparrow, Elliott's radical ideas helped pave the way to the formation of the Labour Party.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest codeyes

Neddy.

I think the Gospel Tree reference is to one of Elliott's poems called "The Ranter".....its too long to post here but you can find it in Elliott's "Corn Laws and Other Poems". His full works-"The poetical Works of Ebenezer Elliott" contains over 300 poems.

I am now wondering if he was related in any way...........just started researching my ancestors but only as far as my grandparents so far

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest codeyes

The Ranter used to preach at the Gospel Tree......................

The Ranter, Miles Gordon, was based on Mr Blytheman, a Primitive Methodist preacher. Miles Gordon is a poor labourer & a fiery preacher who protests about a society which supports “Alms for the rich! - a bread-tax for the poor!” He denounces the complacency of the church: millions are starving because of the Bread Tax, but the church inhumanely supports the Corn Law. There is room however for some optimism:-

Poor bread-tax’d slaves, have ye no hope on earth?

Yes, God from evil still educes good;

Sublime events are rushing to their birth;

Lo, tyrants by their victims are withstood!

And Freedom’s seed still grows, though steep’d in blood!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
neddy

The place described here is on top of Parkwood Springs, now under what was Shirecliffe College sports field,

Quitting this singular retreat of the Muses, under the guidance of

my worthy friend, Mr. John Fowler, an old friend of the poet's, I proceeded

to visit the Rhymer's haunts in the country round. And first •

we ascended the hills to the east of the town, above Pittsmoor and

Shirecliffe hall, to the place where Elliott makes his most interesting

field-preacher, Miles Gordon, the Ranter, go to his last Sabbath

service in the open air. As we went, all the beautiful imagery

of that exquisitely pathetic poem came before me; the opening of

the poem breathing such a feeling of Sabbath rest to the weary,

such a feeling of the actual life of the pious poor in the manufacturing towns

This striking scene is on the ridge of the hill, about the highest

point, and the Gospel-tree is an ash-tree standing there. From this

point, the view all round the country is most extensive. The poet

has finely described it:

Such was the view to the eye of the poet; to that of the stranger

there are features in it that give it a peculiar picturesqueness.

Below you, the town of Sheffield, on one hand, partly stretching

along the valley of the Don, partly stretching upwards towards the

Mount ; its various churches, and its multitude of tall engine

chimneys, rearing themselves above the mass of houses, as poplars

ascend above the rest of the wood ; and from these chimneys,

and from innumerable shops and forges, volumes of smoke and

steam poured forth in clouds over the whole wilderness of brick,

and with the distant sounds of forge hammers, and roar of the forge

bellows and fires, give you a lively feeling of the stir of industry. In

the other direction, you look into far-off plains, over many a distant

ridge, and upon fine and broad masses of wood dotting the bold hills.

Wincobank and Keppel's column in the more remote woods of

Wentworth, and church spires at vast distances, attest the truth of

the poet's lines; and in a third direction, you look down into the

converging valleys of the Don, the Loxley, and the Rivelin, running

between high, wide-lying, and round hills, on which the whole

country is mapped out as in many parts of Lancashire, or the

Peak. With their very green fields, thinly scattered trees, with

clumps of copse, or a long range of black fir wood here and there ;

their grey, flag-roofed houses, and a good portion of stone walls, the

similarity is striking. From the valleys, full of woods, shine out

winding waters, and peep forth tall chimneys, and roll up volumes

of smoke, betraying the busy life of industry where all looks, from

the distance, wooded silence ; while some manufacturer's great stone

house stands amid its flourishing woods and fronting open lawns, in

stately solemnity of cutler-aristocracy.

On the topmost centre of this unique scene has Elliott fixed his

Ranter on the Sunday morning; and on the piece of table-land

fenced in with woods, over whose heads you still for the most part

look, has congregated his flock, gathered from the cottages of the

neighbouring hamlets, and the smoky wilderness of the great city of

knives and hammers below.

The tree stands now in the line of a stone wall, and upon a little precipice of sandstone,

four or five feet high, so that it would really be —as it no doubt has been,

for Elliott, aa he tells us, draws from the life—a capital position for a preacher.

Into the tree Elliott has driven a nail, about four feet from th« ground,

so that any of his friends who visit the spot can at onoe identify it.

He advises you to climb to the top of the tree, on account of the splendid uninterrupted view,

an exploit not likely to be very often performed, and which yet hnx been done more than once,

and was done by poor Charles Pemberton, the Miles Gordon of social improvement.

Close by, on the hill, two or three men were working in a stone

quarrel, as they called it, where huge blocks of freestone seemed to

have been dug for many and many a year. I asked them why people

visited this tree. They said they could not conceive, except " it was

for th' view." I asked them if they never heard that Thomas a Becket

preached under it in Henry V111s time; at which they set up a perfect

shriek of delight at the joke. A Sheffield quarrell man is not to

be mystified like a Jerry Chopstick.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
neddy

And back to Methodist's, killing two birds with one stone here,

after much thought, memory not keeping up with age, the Time capsule jar i found,

came from the wall of what was left of

Cliff Hall Methodist Mission, Clay Street, Sheffield 9.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest purplejumper

And back to Methodist's, killing two birds with one stone here,

after much thought, memory not keeping up with age, the Time capsule jar i found,

came from the wall of what was left of

Cliff Hall Methodist Mission, Clay Street, Sheffield 9.

Tell me more!

This is all I could see on Clay Street...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
neddy

Tell me more!

This is all I could see on Clay Street...

It was back in the seventies, we went to demolish what was left of the church,

just the outer walls left as a boundary, a transport place was using it as a yard

Emmens transport, thats how i remembered where it was, on looking through

Kelly's dir. it was Clay Street and between Norman Street and Ebury street.

Looking at your photo, it could be the fenced area where the taxis parked,

but i'm stretching the memory here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest purplejumper

It was back in the seventies, we went to demolish what was left of the church,

just the outer walls left as a boundary, a transport place was using it as a yard

Emmens transport, thats how i remembered where it was, on looking through

Kelly's dir. it was Clay Street and between Norman Street and Ebury street.

Looking at your photo, it could be the fenced area where the taxis parked,

but i'm stretching the memory here.

So, what was in the jar???

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
neddy

So, what was in the jar???

There was a newspaper page and a list of who were present

but my mate had these and he eventually chucked them,

so the information is lost.

I kept the jar,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest purplejumper

There was a newspaper page and a list of who were present

but my mate had these and he eventually chucked them,

so the information is lost.

I kept the jar,

lol lol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
neddy

Wonder if i'd get away with re-sealing it and selling it as Wesley's last breath. lol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
dunsbyowl1867

I have asked friends - the building you can see in the background on the left of the photo you pasted was indeed Wesley Hall - I am told they think its now a mosque.

However, they tell me there was also a Chapel further up Wincobank Lane on the left as you go up opposite the top of Wansfell Rd. That maybe the site you found. From the photo on Picture Sheffield linked below ( which they tell me is of that chapel) it appears to have been a Wesleyan Methodist Chapel.

I was approximately right about the one on Grimesthorpe Rd. It was approx half way up the hill between Carlisle Rd and Botham Street on teh left.

John - your link didn't seem to work or maybe it's my computer- hope this does! Picture below! http://www.picturesheffield.com/cgi-bin/pi...ff.refno=s04997

my grandparents lived nearby and I always wondered what had been there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
HughW

This is the Sunday School at Bethel, Cambridge Street. The Chapel was next door to the right....

The chapel itself is still there, it has the frontage of the old Coles sports and toy department built on the front of it. From Coles restaurant you can see the inscription on the gable (I keep meaning to take a photo)..

but it may not be there for long as I believe it may be demolished for 'Heart of the City'.

Hugh

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest purplejumper

I've started adding all my photographs in the gallery.

If you are interested click through on the GALLERY links at the top of this page...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
huthwaite

Here is Broomhill Methodist Church corner of Ashgate and Fulwood Road, sometime after it's spire was removed after being struck by lightning, my Gran was in the toilet at my Mum's in Ashgate Road when this happened, she thought the blitz was happening all over!

There was a Methodist Chapel on Glossop Road between the junction of Westbourne and Ashdell Road, it had columns on the front and a row of steps leading to it, I cannot find any photos or info about it apart from the fact that it was used by John Lewis as a storage facility.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest purplejumper

Here is Broomhill Methodist Church corner of Ashgate and Fulwood Road, sometime after it's spire was removed after being struck by lightning, my Gran was in the toilet at my Mum's in Ashgate Road when this happened, she thought the blitz was happening all over!

There was a Methodist Chapel on Glossop Road between the junction of Westbourne and Ashdell Road, it had columns on the front and a row of steps leading to it, I cannot find any photos or info about it apart from the fact that it was used by John Lewis as a storage facility.

I think the Chapel you mean was called Broomhill Chapel, rather confusingly. In the 1860’s, the Methodist New Connexion built Broomhill Chapel on “a most eligible plot of land” between Westbourne Road and Adshell Road at their junction with Glossop Road. It was decided during the Second World War to amalgamate with Nether Green to form St George’s.

The present day Hallam Methodist Church building began life in 1900 as Nether Green Methodist New Connexion Chapel. It became St George’s in 1942 when Broomhill Chapel came to join them, and then in 1963 it changed its name once more to Hallam Methodist when it merged with the Ranmoor chapel.

All this is is a book called "From Goole Green to Nether Green: the Roots and History of Hallam Methodist Church"

available from http://www.hallammethodistsheffield.org.uk/history.htm

Broomhill_Chapel.BMP

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest belfrybum

does anybody have any pictures or info. of the now non existant st. annes at netherthorpe?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest paulie

haveyou any pictures of parkwoodsprings methodist church long knocked down

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
neddy

haveyou any pictures of parkwoodsprings methodist church long knocked down

One of Mr. Lovell minister on Douglas Road, Whit Walk.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest belfrybum

thanks purplejumper,was a great help.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
huthwaite

I think the Chapel you mean was called Broomhill Chapel, rather confusingly. In the 1860’s, the Methodist New Connexion built Broomhill Chapel on “a most eligible plot of land” between Westbourne Road and Adshell Road at their junction with Glossop Road. It was decided during the Second World War to amalgamate with Nether Green to form St George’s.

The present day Hallam Methodist Church building began life in 1900 as Nether Green Methodist New Connexion Chapel. It became St George’s in 1942 when Broomhill Chapel came to join them, and then in 1963 it changed its name once more to Hallam Methodist when it merged with the Ranmoor chapel.

All this is is a book called "From Goole Green to Nether Green: the Roots and History of Hallam Methodist Church"

available from http://www.hallammethodistsheffield.org.uk/history.htm

This photo is brill! Reminds me of my childhood, playing hide and seek around the outside. Many thanks lol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...