19 February 2020

Manor

A view of The Turret House (1574), Sheffield Manor
On Tuesday, I parked on Skye Edge - sometimes spelt Sky Edge. It's a grassy wasteland east of the city centre and it sits on high ground. The southern section of Skye Edge was once the location of some of Sheffield's poorest housing -  leading to the vast  Manor Estate.

Going back much further in time and close to Skye Edge are the ruins of Sheffield Manor. Once this stone campus was at the centre of  vast hunting grounds known as Sheffield Park. In the late sixteenth century this land and The Manor itself were owned by the Talbot family. They were fabulously rich and headed by George Talbot, the Sixth Earl of Shrewsbury. 

In 1570, Queen Elizabeth I  asked or told Talbot to detain Mary Queen of Scots and to keep her under house arrest. She was brought to Sheffield Manor and pretty much kept there for fourteen years though there were occasional costly processions to some of Talbot's other properties.

In 1587, Talbot witnessed Mary's execution at Fotheringay Castle in Northamptonshire. Her story was one of political intrigue, religious prejudice and power brokerage. Far too complicated for me to explain here.
Social housing on Skye Edge
As she looked out from her wooded Sheffield hilltop, it is unlikely that she would have imagined for one moment - dog walkers on Skye Edge, lads on motorbikes or skateboards and squat social housing with all the streets named after British birds - like the kestrel, the plover and the starling. Of course, she belonged to a very different time. For one thing, the population of England and Wales in 1570 was around 3.7 million compared with an estimated 58 million today.
Skateboarders shelter on Skye Edge
Anyway, I enjoyed my walk on Skye Edge and along to the ruins of The Manor. It was only when I returned to Clint and began to read my next book that the BBC weatherman's  promised rain began to fall upon Clint's windows.

"Can't we go now?" he snapped. "It's bloody windy up here!"

I finished the promising introduction to "Map Addict" by Mike Parker before heading home.

"About time too!" grumbled Clint, quickly moving through the gears to sixth and galloping down the hill like one of George Talbot's prized steeds.
Sheffield city centre from Skye Edge

27 comments:

  1. A lot of history surrounds the area, that is for sure.

    The name "Talbot" has been a familiar name throughout my life. A Dr. Talbot was our family doctor...of my grandparents their family, which included my mother...when they lived in Rockhampton. Dr. Talbot attended the births of my older brother, Graham, and me.

    In Rockhampton there is...to this present day...quote "Talbot Estate has a total of 78 cottages and units servicing aged pensioners with low cost rental housing. Talbot Estate is unique, in that, it is the only facility of its type still operating in Queensland today. Initial funding for the building of the cottages was gained with public donations , the Annual Christmas Tree Appeal located at East and Denham Streets and subsidies from the State and Federal Governments."

    https://www.talbotestate.com.au/history/

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    1. Who knows? Perhaps there is a distant Talbot link. It's possible. That couple on the Talbot Estates booklet sure do look happy. I wonder what they had been up to?

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    2. Living a happy life in the estate built in honour of a highly-respected man, I imagine, Yorkie.

      Dr. Talbot was a much-loved man. He lived a good life...and his memory will last long in the city of Rockhampton.

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  2. I think it's amazing and also pretty darn cool that the English have been able to preserve written records of their history that go so far back in time. Although six or five hundred years isn't exactly ANCIENT history, it's old. And here are the places where this history unfolded for you to visit and walk about on. Or around, as the case may be. It's truly fascinating! What WOULD Mary, Queen of Scots have thought about the modern version of her world? I suppose this is a theme that resonates with all of us- to be able to travel in time to see what it shall be like or what it WAS like. One or the other. Thus the popularity of "Outlander." Or at least one explanation.
    Anyway, thanks for sharing your part of history.

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    Replies
    1. I am happy to have shared this Mary and even happier to learn that it caused your mind to buzz.

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  3. I know a little about that period in history from reading Phillipa Gregory books (I went on a PG binge this past summer). You're so lucky to have so much history right outside your door!

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    1. Sheffield is far less "historic" than many other English places - like York or Nottingham or Shrewsbury for example but at least we have a bit of real history here too.

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  4. Walks with the knowledge of a little history are very interesting...at least to me.

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    Replies
    1. It's nice to have a perspective on time.

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  5. The bench in the last picture seems to have a fire pit in front, or a recent fire. The bench seems to have a fire on it, too. These are the sorts of things that catch my eye. Yes or No? I hope NO, but Yes would be a lot like home.

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    1. Well-observed Joanne. You are right. When I saw that I imagined a small gang of teenagers larking about by a night-time fire. There aren't any houses overlooking that spot.

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  6. When my sister and I stayed in Sheffield for a few days some years ago, Sheffield Manor was one place we looked up before and would have liked to see, but in the end we decided against it; our hotel was so far away from it and we didn't really know our way around and rather went on other walks where we didn't need public transport. Therefore I am glad now to see a bit more of what we would have discovered there. Thank you!

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    1. I wish I had been here when you and your sister came to Sheffield. I would have loved to take you to Stanage Edge for example - and/or Chatsworth House near Bakewell. You probably didn't get the best impression of the city from where you were staying.

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    2. An organised YP walk could be well-attended.

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    3. And there would be strict discipline. No sniggering at the back Young Dunham!

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  7. I love that you have so much history going so far back in your country. It must really enhance your walks to know so much about the places you visit.

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    1. You are right there Bonnie. I am always very conscious that I am walking across a landscape with so many human stories to tell even though I only know a fraction of them.

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  8. Didn't know Mary QoS spent 14 years in Sheffield. The things one learns from your erudite blog.

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    Replies
    1. I am a mine of information. A lead mine!

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  9. I went down a rabbit hole last night after I read your blog last night, reading about the royal family and then it was bedtime. I am glad I'm not royal. As my grandfather put it, "We were peasants".

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    1. Join the club Lily. The peasants are revolting!

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  10. Where do the skateboarders skateboard? It looks very grassy around there!

    When my parents were going through their divorce in the early 1970s, my mom read Antonia Fraser's biography of Mary, Queen of Scots. She said later that she found it oddly comforting, because no matter how bad things seemed in her own life, it was a breeze compared to the life of Mary!

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    Replies
    1. I was standing on a hard surface next to three decrepit skateboard ramps. I doubt that Mary Queen of Scots would have been into skateboarding. Embroidery was more her thing.

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