The story of Sheffield Manor Lodge is one of a changing landscape. While most famous for its Tudor owners and captive Queen it is place that has been used throughout the centuries, adapting to the needs to the people that lived and worked there.

A whistle stop tour

A Working Deer Park: The site of Sheffield Manor Lodge has a history dating back to the medieval era. It was originally a 12th century hunting lodge in the midst of a 2,500 acre deer park. The park provided timber and stone for building, wood and coal for fuel as well as meat and skins. The right to hunt and later to farm and mine was jealously guarded by its landowners for hundreds of years, right through to the 20th century.

The Talbot Family: In the 16th century, Sheffield Manor Lodge came into the possession of the influential Talbot family. George Talbot, the 6th Earl of Shrewsbury, and his wife, Bess of Hardwick, are particularly notable. Bess of Hardwick was a remarkable woman who became one of the richest and most powerful women of her time.

Tudor Buildings: During the Talbot family’s ownership, the Manor Lodge underwent significant renovations and expansions. They constructed various buildings, including the Turret House and the long gallery which is one of the earliest long galleries in England. 

Cardinal Wolsey: In 1530, a newly built tower housed Henry VIII’s chancellor, Cardinal Wolsey, on his way to stand trial for high treason in London. He stayed in Sheffield for 16-18 days before being taken ill with violent stomach pains toward the end of his stay. He died in Leicester 3 days after leaving Sheffield.

Imprisonment of Mary, Queen of Scots: One of the most significant events in our history was the imprisonment of Mary, Queen of Scots. From 1570 to 1584, Mary was held in captivity under the custody of George Talbot, including at Manor Lodge. She was initially treated with relative leniency but was later subjected to stricter confinement.

Decline and Demolition: After George’s death, Sheffield Manor Lodge gradually fell into disrepair and the land was leased to tenant farmers. It fell to the Duke of Norfolks in 1616 who have owned the land ever since. In 1708 most buildings were demolished and used for local building works. One tower stood until 1793 when it collapsed during a storm. The Turret House remains to this day having been used as part of farm buildings.

Industrial Hamlet: Coal had been mined in the park since the Tudor period however in the 1800’s miners transformed the ruins into a self-contained hamlet focused around a nearby colliery. The long gallery was converted into cottages and the Norfolk Arms pub built next to the remaining chimney. 

Manor Castle Village: The colliery closed in 1896 and shortly after all post-16th century buildings were demolished. Some of the families who had lived within the ruins did not move away but lived in cottages in the bend of Manor Lane. Another self-contained community developed here and became known as the ‘Manor Castle Village’.  

Restoration and Preservation: The Green Estate Community Interest Company has been managing the Sheffield Manor Lodge site for over 20 years. We look after this important part of Sheffield’s history, bringing it to life through open days and activities. We also manage green spaces throughout the area including Manor Fields Park, final remnants of this once great Deer Park.

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