Across from Abbeyfield Park, on Abbeyfield Road there is a derelict lodge, have you ever wondered what it was part of, or why there is a lodge there? The lodge was originally just a small part of a much bigger estate, with a grand house called Holtwood House.
Holtwood House was built for Samuel Smith, corn miller, whose business, Victoria Flour Mills, was sited in the Corn Exchange and on Carlisle Street.
In the 1879, Kelly’s Directory he is listed as residing at Abbey House on Barnsley Road, and in 1883 his address is given as Holtwood House, Abbeyfield Road so it would appear to have been built during this 4-year period. The house was quite large, there were 8 bedrooms but at the time of the 1891 census Samuel, aged 80 years, was living there as a widower with 3 servants. One of the servants, Jane Rooke aged 70years has the title of Housekeeper, she was with the family for many years as she appears on the 1861 census as Governess when Samuel had daughters aged 20 and 17 years and 8 year old son.
On 2 February 1903 Samuel died and the property was put up for sale by auction. The sale plan below lists some of the details:
The sale plan also states:
“The grounds are prettily laid out with walks, lawns, plantations and flowerbeds and there is a productive kitchen garden and paddocks."
“Outbuildings: Substantial Entrance Lodge, stabling, loosebox, harness room, carriage house, potting shed and greenhouse.”
The day after the auction on 25 March 1903, the Sheffield Telegraph reported that no purchaser was forthcoming. The 1905 edition of White’s lists Wm Joseph James as Caretaker.
The 1907 and 1910 editions of Kelly’s list Commander Charles Thomas Scott – chief Constable as residing at Holtwood. Commander Scott was appointed as Chief Constable on 14 November 1898 at a salary of £650. On 9 January 1906 the Sheffield Local Register reported that after long debate Commanders Scott’s salary was to be increased from £650 pa to £800 pa. During the time he was residing at Holtwood, he appears in the newspaper again having led a raid on several hotels in the suburbs of Sheffield during prohibited hours.
According to the Kelly Directory, between 1919 and 1922, Holtwood was a Diocesan Home for Babies; successive Matrons were listed as Miss Lily Leaf, Miss Carter and Mrs George.
By 1948/9, the Electoral Rolls show that the house had multiple occupancy with 18 adults listed including Aaron and John White. 1965/6 shows 10 adults including Aaron and Hilda White. Whites Demolition are known to be the last owners of the property which was demolished around 1969/70. The grounds continued to be used by the demolition company, though now the site has been cleared of all but the lodge, which survives in a derelict state.
This article forms part of a display now at Burngreave Library , produced by learners from the Local History Class run by Life Long Learning and Skills and the Burngreave Messenger. The display will continue until 3rd October during Library opening hours.
If you would like to join the local history class, please contact the Messenger on 242 0564. Courses will run from September and January.