Sheffield past and present

Leisure spaces

Weston Park, Ebenezer Elliott Memorial

Weston Park was the first park in Sheffield that had been ‘bought with public funds to be made available to the people of Sheffield’. It was opened in September 1875 and covers around 5 hectares of ground. It is bordered by the University of Sheffield on one side and Weston Park Museum on the other. Near the War Memorials in the south-east corner of the park is the Memorial to Ebenezer Elliott (1781-1849), a local steel maker, poet and political campaigner known locally as the ‘Corn Law Rhymer’, because he used his poetry to attack the Corn Laws which taxed bread and thus made it more expensive from 1815 to 1846. The statue was originally erected in Market Place (today Castle Square), but was moved to Weston Park in 1875.

Weston Park

Weston Park 2014

Endcliffe Park, Bathing Pool

Endcliffe Park forms the lowest of the Porter Valley Parks, a string of green spaces strung along the Porter Brook, incorporating a number of former water wheels and mill sites. A walk from Sheffield along the Porter Valley up to Porter Clough on the edge of the Peak District seems already to have been popular in 1862, and in 1885 the lower end of this area was established as a public park. It incorporated three dams, the lowest of which, Endcliffe Wheel near Hunter’s Bar, was set up as a bathing pool. It was used as such until after 1931, but later filled in. It was located beyond the trees at the end of the playground.

Endcliffe Park Bathing Pool

Endcliffe bathing pool 14

Endcliffe Park, Boating Lake

The second or middle dam used to power Holmes Wheel, a grinding mill , and was used as a boating lake until at least the 1950s, according to OS National Grid Tile SK3285 from 1952.

Endcliffe Park Boating Lake

Endcliffe Reservoir 2014

Endcliffe Park, Third Dam

The third dam once belonged to Nether Spur-Gear, another grinding mill. It was set out as a waterfowl refuge from the time of the establishment of the park and has remained so. Its two islands provide ideal hiding and nesting places and its location furthest away from the leisure facilities and the main green ensures comparative peace and quiet.

Endcliffe Park Third Dam

Endcliffe Park Pool 2014

Botanical Gardens

The Botanical Gardens were established in 1836, but open only to shareholders and subscribers. They were opened to the general public only after Sheffield Town trust bought the gardens in 1898. The three greenhouses were built in 1837/8. There were glass colonnades linking the individual buildings, but they were demolished around the time of the sale of the gardens. After extensive restoration work around the new millennium, the greenhouses are once more linked.

Botanical Gardens

Botanical Gardens 2014