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Norfolk Heritage Trail

The Norfolk Heritage Trail is a signed route linking a range of historical buildings and open spaces with connections to the Dukes of Norfolk.  It runs for 2¾ miles from Manor Lodge to the Cathedral and is mainly downhill.

The trail has been developed by Sheffield Wildlife Trust thanks to grants from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Viridor Credits.  The funding has paid for:

  • Signposts along the route

  • 4 information boards at Manor Lodge, City Road Cemetery, Cholera Monument Grounds and Park Square

  • A trail leaflet

  • A surfaced path and new entrance in Clay Wood

  • Education Pack for schools

  • A temporary Development Officer to deliver the project

The trail includes the following sites:

Manor Lodge

Manor Lodge was built originally as a medieval hunting lodge for Sheffield’s great deer park.  It was extended in the 1500’s to become an alternative residence for the Lords of Sheffield Manor instead of the draughty castle.

Mary Queen of Scots spent most of her years of ‘captive custody’ within Manor Lodge.


City Road Cemetery

City Road Cemetery opened in 1881 and was originally known as Intake Cemetery (as City Road was originally called Intake Road).  It covers 100 acres, and is the largest owned by us. 

The first burial to take place in the cemetery was of a young boy named Emmaunuel Reid on 27th May 1881. 

The first cremation at City Road took place on 24th April 1905.  The newly completed crematorium was only the tenth to be built in the UK. 

The service in remembrance of Eliza Hawley from Upperthorpe, Sheffield was attended not only by her family but by many other interested parties.  The Town Clerk, the architect that designed the crematorium and even Mrs Hawley’s medical attendant came. 

It was reported that the service took 90 minutes to complete.  Following the cremation, Mrs Hawley’s remains were placed in a niche in the 'columbarium', where they remain to this day.

Belgian Memorial

The memorial was erected to commemorate members of the Belgian Army and Belgian refugees who died in Sheffield during the First World War.  It was refurbished in 2004 by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Catholic Chapel

The chapel was donated to us by the Duke of Norfolk (himself a Catholic) for the use at burial services.  Many of the 'Little Sisters of the Poor', who nursed at the Shrewsbury Hospital (Almshouses) are buried here. 

The area in front of the chapel, known as the Priest Vaults, was not originally designated as land for burial.  However, a special resolution was passed by the Burial Board, that enabled the Catholic Diocese to bury their Priests and Canons in a vault on the land.  The chapel closed in 1980 due to lack of funds and use.

Blitz Garden

134 victims of the Sheffield Blitz (12th & 15th December 1940) are buried in a communal grave, many of whom died in the bomb blast that hit the Marples Public House.  Some of the names of the victims can be seen on the marble blocks that are embedded into the walls.


Norfolk Heritage Park

Norfolk Heritage Park was laid out by the 13th Duke of Norfolk in the 1840’s.  The park was opened to the general public in 1848, making it one of the first public parks in the country.


Clay Wood

Clay Wood used to be part of an ancient coppiced wood and is named after a tenant called Joseph Clay.  Coppiced means a high proportion of the trees were cut to the ground every 10 to 15 years to produce a crop of straight stems.


Cholera Monument Grounds

Cholera Monument Grounds were donated by the 12th Duke as a burial place for 339 victims of the cholera epidemic of 1832.  The monument was built 2 years later as a tribute to all of the victims.


Shrewsbury Hospital

In 1616 Gilbert Talbot the 7th Earl of Shrewsbury died, leaving in his will a provision for the building of a hospital ‘for the perpetual maintenance of twentie poore persons’. (The word hospital didn't have the same meaning as it does now - 'hostel' would be more accurate.)

The Earl had commissioned a survey to determine the extent of the many poor people living in the little township of Sheffield.  At this time Sheffield consisted of 2207 people, of whom 725 were described as ‘begging poor’, 100 ‘self sufficient’ 160 people who ‘could manage for no longer than 2 weeks without support’ and the remaining 1222 were ‘children and servants on small wages dependent on their employers’.

Unfortunately, despite the Earl's generosity there was not enough money to go ahead with the request.  Further arguments over the will and then the civil war meant it was not built until 1673, by the then Lord of the Manor, the Duke of Norfolk.

The hospital was originally built beside Sheaf Bridge in the town centre (near to the current Park Square roundabout).  This location was problematic as it was subject to flooding with the result that in 1811 some residents were actually drowned.

In 1823 the hospital was rebuilt, in the fashionable gothic style of the time, in its present location on Norfolk Road.  When first built they were considered to be amongst the finest almshouses in the country.  There were dwellings for up to 20 people with each of the men receiving 10 shillings a week and the women 8. In addition the residents received a periodical allowance of coal and clothing.  From the outset it retained a monastic calm, which would have been in stark contrast to the squalor of the housing a little way down the hill.

The almshouses continue to provide cheap accommodation for local retired people to the present day.  Please note the Shrewsbury Hospital is private property; there is no public right of way through the site.


The Sweet Factory

This small stone building was originally a non-conformist chapel or Sunday School, but was then a sweet factory well into the 20th century.


Park Hill Flats

In the nineteenth century the Park Hill area was made up of old quarries, untidy waste ground, steep alleyways and some of the worst slums in Sheffield.  This densely populated area consisted of 2 or 3 storey back-to-back housing around central courtyards. 

Often there would be just one standpipe for around a hundred people.  This, combined with the lack of any proper sewage system, allowed diseases such as typhus, dysentery and cholera to ravage the area.  In 1864 back to back housing of this type was prohibited.

During the 1870's Sheffield Corporation built drains and sewers through the city.  Although originally the untreated raw sewage was sent directly into the rivers, at least the sanitation within the housing areas like Park Hill was improved.  During the 1880's the provision of water supplies passed from a private company to the corporation and the first sewage treatment plant was built.

Slum clearance began in the 1930’s but was halted by the Second World War.  By the time the issue was reassessed in 1953, a radical solution was needed.  This took the shape of Park Hill Flats, built between 1957 and 1960. 

The unique design was based on an idea by French architect Le Corbusier of creating ‘Streets in the Sky’.  The 995 flats were built on top of a 1:10 gradient making them range from 4 storeys high at the top end to 13 storeys at the end nearest the city centre.

This layout allowed nearly all of the decks to reach ground at some point, meaning milk floats and other services could access them.  The community feel of the previous traditional streets was recreated where possible by rehousing neighbours next to each other.

Park Hill Flats attracted worldwide attention and were praised for their innovative design.  In December 1998 Park Hill Flats became Grade 2* listed, giving it equal status to the Turret House at Sheffield Manor Lodge, and making it the largest listed building in Europe.


Sheffield Castle

Sheffield Castle was built in 1270 where the Rivers Sheaf and Don meet, replacing an earlier wooden structure.  The castle was badly damaged in the English Civil War and largely demolished in 1648.

Some remnants of the castle are still preserved under the city's Castle Market.


The Old Queen's Head


The Old Queen’s Head is thought to be the oldest surviving domestic building in Sheffield, and is the last remnant of the old timber framed medieval town. 

It was built by the Talbot family in 1475 (some say 1503-1510) and was originally known as the ‘Hawle at the Poandes’.  The building has timbered walls, with the upper storey being built outwards on wooden corbels to give more space.

The location was excellent for fishing and fowling as it was close to the River Sheaf and several ponds (still remembered in the names of nearby Ponds Forge, Pond Hill and Pond Street). 

Gentlemen would retire to the hall for refreshments after the day's fishing or hunting had finished.  As it was situated on an important road leading to Lady’s Bridge and the Castle, it could also potentially have been used as a wash house or laundry for the Castle.

Spring Heeled Jack

The uprights on the face of the building have various figures carved into them including Spring Heeled Jack

He is a legendary figure thought to live in tunnels below the city, who would jump out to scare people.  He was able to jump great distances and reportedly leapt over high walls.  Other interesting carvings can be found within the building.

The building became a Public House in 1851 and was aptly named after the decapitated Mary Queen of Scots.  In 1949 extensive restoration and refurbishment of the building was carried out.

The Old Queen's Head is one of many fascinating historical features on the Norfolk Heritage Trail.

Sheffield Cathedral

Sheffield Cathedral is in Sheffield City Centre on Church Street and is the last building at the end of the Norfolk Heritage Trail. 

It was originally built as a parish church, but has been a Church of England cathedral since the diocese of Sheffield was created in 1914.  It contains the fascinating tombs of the 4th and 6th Earls of Shrewsbury, located within their own private chapel.


A regular 4-hour guided walk begins at Manor Lodge following the trail to the cathedral, with a stop for lunch in Norfolk Heritage Park along the way.  Please ring 0114 2762828 for details of the next walk.

‘Sheffield’s Time Trail: True tales from the Norfolk Heritage Trail’

This fascinating book was written by local historian Peter Machan to accompany the trail.  It is semi-fictional and brings the history of Sheffield to life through the eyes of real people who shaped its development. 

The book is available in many local bookshops or online at the Manor Lodge.


The free leaflet that accompanies the trail is available from several locations including the Centre in the Park, Norfolk Heritage Park.


The trail is being developed and managed by a steering group including representatives from:

  • Modified: Jun 15, 2015 12:06:28 PM