Thornseat Lodge, Mortimer Road, Nr Agden Dam – past Bradfield Sheffield

Thornseat Lodge was originally built in 1855 as a shooting lodge for William Jessop steel maker. Thomas Jessop was born on 30 January 1804 at the family home in Blast Lane, Sheffield. The house was situated next to William Jessop’s works, the company, taking the name of the partners, being known as Mitchell, Raikes and Jessop. With expanding markets in the United States Thomas and his brothers joined the business in 1830 and just two years later the small crucible steelmakers became William Jessop & Sons.

The business moved to a site in the Brightside area of Sheffield and later a works at Kilnhurst was added. The Brightside works eventually covered 30 acres (120,000 m2) and included the site of the former water works. Following the deaths of his father and brothers, Thomas was in sole charge of the business by 1871. The company which was originally established in 1793 became a Limited Company in 1875. Thomas Jessop died on 30 November 1887 and is buried in Ecclesall Parish Churchyard.

Jessops in America. In 1901, with problems in Sheffield caused by the high price of fuel and an adverse American tariff the company was having difficulty offering competitive prices to its U.S. customers. Following an amalgamation of some U.S. crucible steel makers, which would make competition even harder, it was considered that a successful melting facility could be set up in the U.S.A. Many British steelmakers considered that the “Made in England” or “Made in Sheffield” marks were a big selling point for their materials, however Jessop’s did not hold the view and considered that they could use their Sheffield name on steel which was made in America

It became a children’s home in the 1930’s and remained such up until the early 1980’s Since then it has become derelict.

There’s not much about it on the net really. The place is in a terrible condition, the floors are a death trap, there is no way to get upstairs, Not much of a problem as most of the floors have fallen down to ground floor level!

Thornseat lodge was sold in the mid 80’s to a local businessman, Doug Hague who owns it then he is a successful local business man who had a haulage/digger hire firm for many years. he has diversified into land and property over the recent years. he also owns the old waterworks, the old school and house and Wilkin hill centre and numerous other buildings around Bradfield.

All, except the old school have had the roofs removed and just left to fall down The property is owned by Hague Construction according to Land Registry From what we understand, it has never belonged to the local authorities, but been in the posession of the Fitzwilliam (Wentworth) Estates, who are also responsible for the plantations around the lodge.

We have to wonder, why anyone owning such a beautiful property would be prepared to stand by whilst it falls apart, although possibly in the current owners defence, Thornseat Lodge was considered, in 1994, as the possible location for an eight-place secure unit.

At that time the Sheffield City Council advised that the building was unsuitable for conversion (although presumably not for it being derelict), but in any case the Peak National Park planners had advised the council that they would not give permission for any new buildings on the site which is in the Green Belt. Perhaps, just perhaps, red tape being what it is in this country, they have not actually been allowed (or it’s been too much of a hassle to pursue) to do anything to the building, restorative or otherwise?

Although time has worn justly on the upstairs of the lodge, the cellars tell a very different and chilling story, but down there the grandeur of the lodge still remains, in a much less obvious way.

Thornseat lodge is a dangerous place you cannot possibly get to the cellars without putting yourself in danger, especially from the asbestos requiring the wearing of a mask .

1 Comment

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One response to “Thornseat Lodge, Mortimer Road, Nr Agden Dam – past Bradfield Sheffield

  1. Karena

    Thank you for this information. I was very interested to read this as I have spent ages scouring the net for anything about William Jessop. I am descended from one of William’s daughters and while I know how highly regarded her brother Thomas was, I am disappointed to find so little about their father who founded the steelworks that Thomas made so successful. If anyone has any other information about William [birth, death, family origins] I would be extremely grateful.

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