An 18th century Reading Room for the villagers of Grenoside to engage with books, snooker, debates and music. Now restored as a community hub with talks, craft workshops, exhibitions, and a Monday morning cafe.
Our Favourite Places would be nothing without our contributors — a massive thanks to all of them!
Tell us about yourself...
I am a disabled parent, now pensioner. I was a social scientist, now I research local history, and network, mostly online, with heritage groups in Sheffield and Rotherham. I spend most of my time advertising their activities on social media, and when I can taking photos of our old buildings and events. I am coordinator for Timewalk Project, member of Joined Up Heritage, and research historic content for heritage walks for Now n Then Heritage.
What does Sheffield mean to you?
It is a very warm, friendly, vibrant place, with a lot of heritage events going on every day of the week, many totally free. Over 2,500 a year and growing every year. Our Heritage Open Days events are one of the biggest in the country. But six years ago publicity was poor. I started to realise that someone had to try and make people aware what is out there. Sheffield has a strong heritage culture which is both distinctly northern and uniquely Sheffield – the Sheffield Carols, folklore, rapper dancers, and brass bands, as well as a cultural diversity introduced by incomers over the centuries. Sheffield is a culturally rich city.
What’s your favourite Sheffield place?
That’s a difficult one because I keep finding new places or old ones that have been revitalised, so can change from month to month. At present it’s Birley Spa and surrounding area. There are some interesting historic buildings and great countryside.
What would I do to improve the city?
Better access maps for outdoors. The mapping of parks and green spaces need more detailed mapping to help people with disabilities and people with young children to plan their trips out. Accessible public transport for people to get there. Tourist office and website to help visitors, especially disabled visitors, plan their visits, including booking for accommodation and events.
A pretty ancient woodland turned magical gallery – now home to a sleeping giant, a rearing horse, and a changing and charming array of grindstone carvings and sculptures.
Right at the very edge of Meersbrook Park stands the 16th-century Tudor gem that is Bishops' House. It's a small, slightly squint half-timbered building. This is no stately home with servants. This is a home our ancestors might have lived in.