Saturday, 11 June 2022

A Walk From Burngreave to Owlerton

Victorian gravestones at Wardsend Cemetery

I finished my brief investigation of the historic architecture of Burngreave at Shirecliffe House, where the Grenoside Sandstone upon which it is set dips at an angle of 16 degrees and which can be appreciated by looking down Cooks Wood Road.
A view down Cooks Wood Road
Making my way up to Shirecliffe Road, where the Spirit of Parkwood by Jason Turpin-Thomson marks the entrance to Parkwood Springs, my plan was to walk along the escarpment to Wardsend Cemetery and then follow part of the Upper Don Trail to Herries Road.
The Spirit of Parkwood

From this approach, I didn’t encounter any of the very interesting geological features that I had previously seen in the exposures of the Greenmoor Rock near to Neepsend Brickworks, but I did encounter further exposures of flaggy sandstone in the paths. 
Flaggy sandstone in Parkwood Springs

On this occasion I didn’t have my Estwing hammer with me, but I managed to prise off a small piece to add to my collection. Although I had obtained a sample of Greenmoor Rock from Mushroom Lane, the proportions of fine sandstone, siltstone and mudstone in this formation vary considerably and I wanted to see how this very thinly bedded rock compared.
A specimen of Greenmoor Rock from Parkwood Springs

During my last brief visit to Parkwood Springs, one of the highlights of the walk were the spectacular views of Sheffield city centre, Walkley, Hillsborough and the rural landscape that stretches to the Peak District National Park.
A view of Hillsborough barracks from Parkwood Springs
Arriving at a point where there are excellent views of the sprawling complex of buildings at Hillsborough Barracks, I continued to the now fully landscaped landfill site and was very disappointed to discover that the boundary fence completed obscured the views and the scrubland through which the path descended wasn't particularly attractive.
Wardsend Cemetery

Following the path down the moderately steep slope towards the railway line, which was largely covered in woodland, thick undergrowth and bracken in the open areas, I was somewhat surprised to discover it was full of well preserved Victorian gravestones – made of the extremely durable Brincliffe Edge variety of the Greenmoor Rock.
An ornately carved carved gravestone

All I knew about Wardsend Cemetery was that it was located in a part of Owlerton near the River Don and I had always assumed that it was located on the lower, flatter ground and not set on the steep slopes that straddle the railway line.
A war memorial
Continuing down to the river, where I hoped to join the Upper Don Trail, I didn’t notice any signs and just followed the path along the river bank; however, instead of taking me near to the large exposure of Greenmoor Rock that I had seen from Hillsborough Park, the path followed the river through an industrial area and I could only see this from a distance. 
An exposure of Greenmoor Rock at Hillsborough
Finally arriving at Herries Road and making my way towards Hillsborough along the Penistone Road, I was interested to see the inscription for the former Wards End Steelworks had been salvaged and reset into the boundary wall of the industrial estate that has been built on the site.
An inscription salvaged from Wards End Steelworks

Before catching the tram back to Sheffield from Hillsborough, I decided to finish my day out by photographing a couple of buildings for the British Listed Buildings website; however, although there was no problem with taking photographs of the church of St. John the Baptist, an officious steward at the Tramlines festival would not let me take a photo of East Lodge at Hillsborough Park.
The church of St. John the Baptist

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