Chesterfield Road in Woodseats
Woodseats, historically Norton Woodseats, is a village in Derbyshire that forms a suburb of Sheffield in neighbouring Yorkshire. The heart of the old village straddles Derbyshire Lane running from Four Lane Ends to Bolehill (now part of Graves Park).
The name Woodseats comes from the Old English Wodesettes, which means a 'fold in a wood'. Nether Woodseats itself was little more than a cluster of cottages around a road called 'The Dale' close to the intersection of Woodseats Road and Chesterfield Road (A61) and Upper Woodseats, near the Abbey Lane and Chesterfield Road junction.
The first annual Woodseats Festival took place in July 2006.
Current public houses
There are a number of public houses situated on Chesterfield Road:
- The Woodseats Palace, was formerly a cinema, opened in 1911. The building later housed various supermarkets (Fine Fare, Kwik Save, Alldays) and is now a Wetherspoons Free House.
- The Chantrey Arms, named after sculptor Sir Francis Chantrey who was born nearby in Norton.
- The Big Tree, was once called Masons Arms but was renamed in 1936 after the large tree which grew in front of the building. Ironically, by the time the name had been changed the tree in question had been pulled down, reputedly by an elephant from a touring circus that had been tethered to it. A new tree was planted in its place that lasted until the 1980s when it blew down after becoming diseased after which it too was replaced. The pub's past links are shown by masonic symbols inlaid into the floor but these are now covered by carpets. The pub was known as Brewburgers for a short period in the 1980s.
- The Abbey, features a trapezoidal bowling green and is one of the last pubs in Sheffield to retain its bowling facilities.
Former public houses
- The Woodseats Hotel, Chesterfield Road, made the National news when Firkin Brewery changed its name to the Floozey and Firkin. The Woodseats Hotel closed in 2010 and was converted into a restaurant, operating as the Viraaj.
Woodseats once boasted two cinemas but neither of these are still in existence.
The Woodseats Palace
Situated on Chesterfield Road the Woodseats Palace opened in 1911 and closed some time in the late 1950s. The building subsequently became a supermarket under various names until it was eventually bought by the Wetherspoons chain and is now The Woodseats Palace public house.
The Chantrey Picture House
Situated on Chesterfield Road this building was subsequently used as offices for a number of years by the construction company Gleesons.
Churches in Woodseats include: St Chad's Parish Church, Woodseats Evangelical Church, Woodseats Baptist Church and Woodseats Methodist Church .
A Roman Catholic church situated at the boundary of Woodseats and Meadowhead. Our Lady of St Thomas was founded at the request of local Catholics who had been meeting at the Big Tree public house due to the lack of a suitable church in the area. The first building was erected in 1910 and remained as a temporary structure until the existing building was erected and opened in 1932.
St Chad's Anglican church was built from 1911-12. The nave and aisles were built first and the church was consecrated on 25 July 1912, costing £5,100. The chancel, vestries and organ were added in 1933 and cost £4,460. The original design of the building was modelled on 14th century English designs and is the only Anglican church designed by the Catholic architects Hadfield & Hadfield.
The church was built using local rubble for the walls, Bath stone for the window tracery and nave arcade, and Westmorland slates for the roof.
The Vicarage was built in 1914 for £1,800 and is one of the last large vicarages to be built.
Other notable buildings
Other places of note include: Woodseats police station, Woodseats Library, The Double Six Youth Club and Woodseats Scout Unit.
Graves Park is situated around the area. Trees rise up on the hillside and the park is home to two playgrounds, tennis courts, golf course, animal farm, waterfall wood, and a large waterfall.
In popular culture
In the 1977 film The Price of Coal, a reference is made to a militant colliery at Woodseats where the officials are Communists and would not endorse a visit by royalty. In fact, there was no colliery at Woodseats at the time.
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