Heritage Open Day, Sunday 15th September 2019, 10:30am - 04:00pm
One of the most significant buildings in Rotherham's history will be open to the public as part of the Heritage Open Day Scheme.
Thundercliffe Grange was an iron working centre for the Medieval monks of Kirkstead Abbey as the Cistercians developed the industrial and agricultural wealth of Yorkshire through their large estates. Once the Monasteries were dissolved it passed to a local gentry family. After playing a minor part in the Civil War it was purchased by the 3rd Earl of Effingham and became the Manor house for Rotherham and Kimberworth. The Earl was involved in the development of iron and steel in Rotherham because he owned the iron rich lands of Kimberworth where the Walkers developed their furnaces and forges. He is also famous (especially in the U.S.A.) for refusing to fight against the American colonists in their fight for independence, and as a leading Freemason for granting the charter to initiate the first lodge of black people in Boston. He was the creator of Boston Castle off Moorgate.
A later Earl was one of Wellington's Peninsular Generals, and it was he who put an extra floor on the building, giving it its present square appearance. The house and grounds then became, from the late Victorian era until World War II, a mental asylum for women, under the apparently enlightened regime of Dr. Gilbert Mould (whence possibly one of the ghosts). After the war, the building became a home and school for children with severe mental problems and thalidomide sufferers. When that was closed it was bought in 1980 by a number of local people who turned it into residential units under a sharing scheme called "Co-housing"
They kept the ground floor state rooms and the grounds for communal use, and it is these rooms and grounds which will be open to the public.
In the grounds are a small part of the excavated remains of the 12th to 18th century grange and houses, and an important private 18th century plunge bath (requires outdoor footwear to visit)
Admission is free, as always in The Heritage Open Day Scheme, and parties will be conducted round in an approximately hour long tour. The house is open only on Sunday 15th Sept, from 10.30am to last tour 4:00pm. Refreshments will be available. Thundercliffe Grange: Heritage Open Days
Any large parties should book in advance ( 0114 2453660 [email protected]). The house will be available to wheel chairs, as will the grounds unless the weather is poor. Parking is in the house car park. The house is off Grange Lane between Upper Wortley Road and Shiregreen:
Thundercliffe Grange, circa 1805
Thundercliffe Grange: Garden Front today