The writer of this piece describing a walk in Attercliffe in 1806 is unknown, he simply signed it as one of Attercliffe's oldest inhabitants.
Walking through Attercliffe at that time and starting at Washford Bridge at the Sheffield end of the village, one would first see at the back of a row of houses newly erected on the cliff running sheer above the Don, the remains of a very old house occupied by Jonathon Oakes, a scissor manufacturer. Nearby was Blast Lane, so called from the blast furnaces that stood there. There also was the home of Mark Oakes, a crucible maker. Up Bacon Lane and over the canal bridge, was a large brick house built by William Blagden, builder of boats and barges at the Sheffield Canal Basin. Nearby were the extensive grounds and stables occupied by William Wright, of the King's Head Hotel, Change Alley, for the breeding and training of race horses. Mr Wright also trained piebald horses for circus performances! A large field opposite Mr Blagden's house was used for the annual Attercliffe Races.
A little higher up the lane was the entrance to the ornamental grounds, flower and kitchen gardens, in the centre of which stood the fine mansion, Woodburn House. This was the residence of Henry Sorby of the firm J. Sorby and Sons in Spital Hill. Retracing our steps to the main road, we would have seen on our left the old corn mill and mansion of John Shirley, miller, corn merchant and maltser. Delightful gardens stretched up the road. Nearby was the old Green Dragon, occupied by George Drabble, a notable character. Over the way was the Hope and Anchor, kept by Benjamin Blythe, and a little further on, the Robin Hood, occupied by Isaac Bailey, a file grinder. Almost immediately opposite was Carlton House, a fine building and residence of Samuel Jackson, of the firm Spear and Jackson. The grounds of this house were very extensive, occupying a large space fronting the main road and also considerable distance down Oakes Green. The grounds contained plantations of fine trees, flower gardens and a pleasant fish pond.
Bull and bear baiting were carried on until about this period. The bouts were staged at the annual village feast, held in a field at the bottom of Oakes Green, near the river. These cruel sports were finally ended when a bear killed it's owner, a man named Runcorn.
A little beyond Oakes Green, on the same side, was a fine brick house occupied by the Misses Green as 'Ladies Seminary'. On the left was the old public house, the Horse and Jockey, kept for many years by George Twigg. A little further on was the house of Dr Richardson, who was a great favourite with his patients. Crossing over Back Lane (now Shirland Lane) we would have seen the public house known as The Queen's Head, whose landlord was Jake Smith. Back again, to the left, was the residence of Charles Hancock. The house had a large front garden, orchard and wood, in which there was a big rookery. On the right was the old established shop of Benjamin Johnson, one of the three boot and shoe makers in Attercliffe. Further on, the Masons' Arms was occupied by George Hague, an old native of the village, whilst nearby were the wheelrights shops of Billy and Bobby Goodwin. A little further on were the stack yard and farm buildings of David Deakin, who was a well liked farmer.
Crossing over the road gain, we would have seen the Wesleyan Chapel, this, with Zion, were the only Nonconformist places of worship in the village. Near the Wesleyan Chapel was Thomas Fawley's butchers shop, whilst next door was the Coach and Horses, one of the oldest public houses, occupied by Tommy Corker, a joiner by trade. At the corner of Worksop Road was a house and shop owned by Philip Whitham, who was a grocer and tallow chandler. Next was the Travellers Inn, a most respectable public house, occupied by William Banks, then next door the workshops of John Hawksworth, pen and pocket knife manufacturer.
Retracing our steps back to Church Street (now Attercliffe Road) we would have seen the residence Benjamin Hancock, fender manufacturer. Nearby, standing in it's own grounds, was the fine stone mansion erected by Mr. F. Huntsman, steel manufacturer. He was the great grandson of Benjamin Huntsman, the inventor of crucible steel.
A little way above was the Old Blue Bell public house, occupied by Molly Whiteley and her son Billy. Over the road we would have seen the Old Bowling Green public house whose landlord was Sally Wheatman. This was a favourite resort by many of the respectable inhabitants of the village, for there could be enjoyed a very good game of bowls. Nearby was the Plough Inn kept by Billy Grey, who was also employed by the firm of Huntsman as a steel smelter.
We would then come to the mansion and grounds of the Milner family. Gamabiel Milner was a fine old English gentleman who commanded the respect and esteem of all who knew him. Again on the main road, we would have seen the Golden Ball public house, occupied by George Watson, who was also a butcher. Next was the brick house and workshop of William Parker, a spade and shovel maker.
A little further on we reach New Hall Estate, which was the seat of Mr. Swallow, iron founder. Here were plantations extending from the Vicarage to the commencement of Attercliffe Common. A stone lodge stood on either side of the Estate entrance, with large gates between. These opened onto a splendid coach drive down to the Hall, with an avenue of fine trees on either side. (This drive is now Newhall Road). Standing on Swallow Bridge over the Don, the view is perfect! The Hall was surrounded by trees and large pleasure grounds. Orchards were stacked with rich fruit trees, there were massive flower gardens and a large shrubbery. Past the house was a wood and rockery and then extensive meadows full of cattle. The clean and silvery Don, it's banks occupied by lofty trees overhanging the water, was a most picturesque site.
Retracing our steps to the main road again, we would have found on the left hand at Hill Top the residence and workshops of William Walkland, a wheelwright, whose family was of long standing in Attercliffe. Not far from Walkland's was an old house situated at the top of a garden, where lived Samuel Foster, a noted chisel maker. A couple of hundred yards further on we would have come to the Old Chapel, built in 1629, and its extensive burial ground.
Nearby was the old windmill, with its house and a good garden. George Hill was the miller and corn factor. Across the road was Pot House Lane and there we would have seen the dwelling and a pottery worked by William Fearnley. Next we should come to Broughton Lane, named after Spence Broughton, the robber whose body was hung here in chains on a gibbet for thirty six years!
We finish our walk at Carbrook Hall, occupied by George Bradford, the largest farmer in the district.