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Report - - Thornsett Lodge, Bradfield Dale, Yorkshire, October 2019 | Residential Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Thornsett Lodge, Bradfield Dale, Yorkshire, October 2019


HughieD

28DL Regular User
Regular User
1. The History
Situated along the Strines Road from Midhopestones to the start of the Snake Pass near the Yorkshire Bridge, Thornsett Lodge is two thirds of the way, near the turn off for Low Bradfield. It was originally built in 1855 by an architect unknown for Sidney Jessop on 102 acres of land sold to him by Joseph Hammerton earlier in 1852. It was built as a shooting lodge and Summer retreat for Jessop, son of Willian Jessop of crucible steel-making fame and founder of William Jessop and Sons in Brightside, Sheffield, in 1830. Shortly after its completion, the construction of a reservoir at Dale Dyke was started in 1859, close to the house in the valley below. The reservoir filled up in 1863 and in 1864 its embankment collapsed leading to the great flood of Sheffield and the loss of 240 lives. This prompted Sidney to try and sell the stigmatized lodge in 1869 but when it failed to sell he hung on to it until his death in 1871, aged 62.

It was then inherited by his better-known and more out-going elder brother Thomas Jessop who, ironically was the Mayor of Sheffield during the great flood. Also remembered for his generous donations to the Jessop Hospital for Women in Sheffield, Thomas made a number of improvements to the property as he spent the long summers and the grouse-shooting season in the lodge.

Thomas Jessop, as painted by Hugh Ford Crighton:

Thomas Jessop (1804-1887), Founder of the Hospital (1846). by HughieDW, on Flickr

On his passing in 1887 at the age of 83 it then passed to his only son, William, until his untimely death in 1905 just eight years later. He died at the lodge which he had made his permanent home during his final year. The use of the lodge was left to his second wife, Frances Watson, with the instruction for it to pass to his son, Thomas when he reached 23. Records show that in 1908 the lodge was offered on a yearly tenancy agreement. The advert makes reference to 3 recepiton rooms and 12 bedrooms. Thomas married in 1909, aged 21, and given the lodge was unoccupied, spent his honeymoon there in July. Having thought in the first world war, Thornsett lodge remained in his ownership but by the 1920s was being used by the Bradfield Game Association for shooting.

In 1928 the contents of the lodge were auctioned off. Shortly after the lodge itself was sold to a Lincolnshire-based property investment company. The lodge was then made available for let in 1933. A year later in 1934 it was sold to Sheffield Corporation who used it for offices. At the outbreak of the Second World War it was announced that children from Sheffield City Council’s children home on Herries Road were to be evacuated here. After the war it became a secondary home to the council’s cottage homes in Fulwood, some 9 miles away. For some reason it also seems to have had a name change to Thornseat lodge. In 1949, the superintendent and matron at Fulwood, Lionel and Freda Hildreth, held the same positions at Thornsett Lodge.

Children at Thornsett lodge in 1956:

Thornsett Lodge archive by HughieDW, on Flickr

In 1973 a swimming pool at the rear had been added and the lodge was described as a mixed-sex home for 16 emotionally-disturbed or ‘difficult’ children. It remained as one up until the early 1980's before the cash-strapped council moth-balled the lodge. It was still used in the early 1990s by the Sheffield Gingerbread Group as a getaway for low-income families. Sadly as the end of the century approached lack of maintenance led to the condition of the property to worsten. Empty and deteriorating, the lodge was bought in 2004 by Hague Plant Excavations Ltd, who also own the old waterworks in Lower Bradfield. In recent years parts of the roof have been removed causing serious water damage and the thieves and vandals have stolen some stone and any valuable metals they could find. It’s now just a matter of time before it falls down.

There's a really interesting thread on Sheffield Forum HERE of people reminiscing about the happy times they spent at the lodge.

2. The Explore
This place has cropped up only occasionally on the forum, perhaps due to its remote location. I last visited this place over five years ago so thought it was rude not to pop in given I was passing. It was in a poor state back in 2014 and predictably it's deteriorated more since then. It's pretty easy to access, however, like the waterworks down the road, it's now been fitted with CCTV cameras and some incredibly annoying loudspeaker system. While nothing epic and difficult to access now the floors have fallen through it was worth an hour of our time. Plus it encouraged me to do a proper history research on the place.

3. The Pictures

The lodge rises up nicely from the road:

img9267 by HughieDW, on Flickr

There's a number of out buildings - this is the former ice house:

img9264 by HughieDW, on Flickr

And an old barn:

img9259 by HughieDW, on Flickr

An outside bath:

img9260 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Side view:

img3516 by HughieDW, on Flickr

The rear view showing the old swimming pool:

img9253 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img3515 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img3501 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Some externals from the front:

img3510 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img9228 by HughieDW, on Flickr

The carving here appears to say "WJ" which would be for Willian Jessop, rather than "SJ" for Sidney Jessop:

img3508 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Some lovely gable end carving here:

img3506 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img3505 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img3502 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Inside it's a real mess:

img3504 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img9239 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img9236 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img9232 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Funny how the radiators always stay in place!

img3509 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img3514 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img3511 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img3513 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img3512 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Didn't go down the cellars this time but here's one from the first time I went:

img9242 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Finally a view over Dale Dike and the cause of the great Sheffield flood of 1864:

img3517 by HughieDW, on Flickr
 

Gsxrwayne

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Nice one I was looking for that they other week after visiting another locatiob but it was getting dark and I ran out of time
 

Calamity Jane

i see beauty in the unloved, places & things
Regular User
Well worth an update. Lovely looking build. Such a shame its decaying so much. Wow what a great history write up. 240 lives lost is alot. We dont hear about them today, and that is sad .
 

Gaz6404

28DL Member
28DL Member
Great review I was in this children's home I remember it before the decay set in such a shame have really good memories of my time here
 

Bellman

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
I was resident in Thornseat Lodge many years ago, it still holds fond memories for me. Shame that the present owner has allowed the building to get into its present state.

The owner answers to no one as to what he plans to do with the lodge, it will fall down one day.
 

Gaz6404

28DL Member
28DL Member
I was resident in Thornseat Lodge many years ago, it still holds fond memories for me. Shame that the present owner has allowed the building to get into its present state.

The owner answers to no one as to what he plans to do with the lodge, it will fall down one day.
Yes I have taken my children to see where I was placed it was in ruin when they saw it looks a lot worse now won't be long before it goes a couple of years if that
 

dynamitejetmoom

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
My favourite place in the world. Used to walk miles from oughtibridge to sit up there listening to music with a packed lunch. So peaceful, amazing view over damflask
 

K2YEC

28DL Member
28DL Member
After seeing this thread I decided to go and see whether anything had been done to this building yet as I only live half an hour away. Nature is quickly reclaiming this beautiful building and if something isn't done soon, it'll be beyond saving. Didn't get to see the back as a loud tanoy shouting at me about it being a "restricted area" scared the life out of me but managed to get some really nice photos first :)
 

HughieD

28DL Regular User
Regular User
After seeing this thread I decided to go and see whether anything had been done to this building yet as I only live half an hour away. Nature is quickly reclaiming this beautiful building and if something isn't done soon, it'll be beyond saving. Didn't get to see the back as a loud tanoy shouting at me about it being a "restricted area" scared the life out of me but managed to get some really nice photos first :)
That tannoy is REALLY annoying.
 

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