Bishops’ House was never called that until the late 19th century. Before that it didn’t have a particular name. Below is a list of various references with the name of the building, or at least, its site. By the late nineteenth century the name ‘Bishops’ House’ was widely used.

 

1620 – ‘A tenement with all and everie the appurtenaunts in Norton’, from the will of William Blythe 1620.

1779 – ‘The Abstract of the title to a freehold estate called ‘The Meersbrook Bank Estate’ situate in the Parish of Norton in the County of Derby’ [1879] lists an amount of £0 15s 6¾d for ‘two messauges and lands’ (a messauge is a dwelling house with its adjacent buildings and the lands appropriated to the use of the household) charged to George and Thomas Wild, recorded on the 11th July 1779. This is available in the Sheffield Local Studies Library on Surrey Street ref. 334.1 SSTQ.

1804/5 – The map of Norton from the survey of W & J Fairbank in the year 1804 and 1805 records field 611, which contains the site of the building as: ‘Homestead and garden’ with an area of 1 rod, 16 perches (0.350 acres) with the tenants as George and Thomas Wild and the landowner as Samuel Shore senior Esq.

1817 – The Norton Land Tax register of 1817 records field 611 as ‘two homes outhouses and garden’ with an area of 1 rod, 16 perches (0.350 acres) with the tenants as George and Thomas Wild.

1818 – A report in the Yorkshire Telegraph and ?Argus for 1927 [I only have a copy of a copy of the article & part of the reference is missing] quotes ‘The Northern Star’ for February 1818 (a monthly production) in which the Editor calls it ‘the ancient Mansion at Norton Lees’. Interestingly, the accompanying drawing, by E Blore, is dated 1818 and is identical to the 1823 reproduction that we usually see.

1824 – Vingettes of Derbyshire (1824) calls it ‘the Hall of Norton-Lees, below Norton, and above Sheffield’ … ‘an old mansion-house, surrounded by ancient woods, once inhabited by a family of Derbyshire gentry.’

1832 – The Mirror of Literature, Amusement and Instruction, Saturday, October 27, 1832, p 273/4 calls it ‘Old Hall, in Derbyshire’.

1841 – The census of 1841 records the building as ‘Norton Lees’ with the occupiers as Joseph White, 45; Saley White, 50; James White, 20; Ann Whitehead, 15 and John Ray, 15.

1845 – The Plan of the Parish of Norton in the County of Derby 1845 by Paul Bright records field 653 as: ‘two cottages and garden’ with an area of 1 rod, 0 perches (0.25 acres) with the tenant as Joseph White and the landowner as Offley Shore.

1846 – Bagshaw’s History and Directory of Derbyshire, 1846, p 657 calls it ‘an old, ancient, half-timbered house in which are several rare oak carvings, on one of which is a date, W.B. 1627, in good preservation’.

1857 – White’s History, Gazetter and Directory of the County of Derby, 1857, p 763 calls it ‘an ancient, half-timbered house, in which are several rare oak carvings, on one of which is a date, “W.B. 1627,” in good preservation’.

1885 – A brief historical sketch of the ancient name and family of BLITHE, BLYTHE OR BLYTH in the counties of Warwickshire, Derbyshire, & Norfolk, by the Reverend William Blyth, M.A. (1885), p 20-21: ‘There were several respectable families at Norton, and one of the principal houses was BLYTH HALL, at the Lees Hamlet, “a half-timbered house, in which are several rare old oak carvings, on one of which is W.B. 1627” – Derbyshire Directory. [This is possibly a reference to the directories of 1846 or 1857].

1885 – The Sheffield and Rotherham Independent, Saturday 11th July 1885, p 8 calls it ‘Old Hall, Norton Lees’.

1886 – The Sheffield and Rotherham Independent, Saturday 29th June 1886, p 4 calls it ‘Norton Lees Hall’.

1886 – Plan referred to in Conveyance to the Sheffield Corporation 25th October 1886. It is called ‘Bishops’ House’. Ref YWD1117 Sheffield Archives.

1890 – TheSheffield and Rotherham Independent, Tuesday 15th April 1890, p 5 calls it ‘The Bishops’ House’.

1891 – The census of 1891 records the building as ‘Bishops’ House’ with occupiers as Harry Ryalls, gardener, 33, of Sheffield, Yorkshire, Lucy Ryalls, 28, his wife of Sheffield, Yorkshire and Ann Ryalls, 66, widowed mother of Derbyshire.

It lists James H Cheetham, gardener – domestic servant, 26, of Stoney Middleton, Derbyshire, Kate Cheetham, 24, his wife of Waleswood, Yorkshire and Elizabeth E Cheetham, 1 month, their daughter of Norton Lees, Derbyshire.

1901 – The census of 1901 records the building as ‘Bishops’ House’ with occupiers as James W Cheetham, Park gardener [non-domestic], 36, of Stoney Middleton Derbyshire, Kate Cheetham, 34, his wife of Whaleswood Yorkshire, their daughters Elizabeth E, 10, Sarah, 8 and Gertrude, 1, and sons Albert H, 5 and Arthur, 3, all of Norton, Derbyshire.

It also lists Harry Ryalls, gardener in public park, 42, and Lucy Ryalls, 38, his wife, both of Sheffield, Yorkshire, their son John W, 9 and daughter Charlotte E, 7, both of Norton, Derbyshire. Also listed is William J Colyer, 47, as a boarder. He is a widower. His profession is silversmith, of Sheffield, Yorkshire. [Microfiche ref: RG13/4347 110 Sheffield Local Studies Library on Surrey Street.]

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