Yorkshire Artspace ceramist Penny Withers has been digging around Manor Lodge site and used its clay and historical significance to create her version of manor pottery that will soon be available for sale at Manor Lodge. This is her story:-
Once upon a time, when Sheffield was just a collection of small villages, a stately manor house was built on a hillside overlooking the river Don. It sat within beautiful parkland which contained a farm, orchards and woods in which deer roamed. The people who lived here were Dukes and Earls. They were born, had families and died here for many generations until one of the Dukes offended the King and had his head cut off.
The house and lands then fell to a new purpose; artisans from the local community moved into the ruins and built cottages, workshops and a pub. The people filled the space with sounds of small industry as they mined coal, made cutlery, baked bread, brewed beer and, made pots.
Nowadays, Manor Lodge is managed by Green Estate who are transforming it to its former natural glory. In summer swathes of native flowers cover the parkland, providing habitats for many species and nectar for the Manor bees. Children come here to hear stories of the people who used to live in the house. Archaeologists from Sheffield University have pieced together the story that you are reading a tiny piece of here. They found the remains of a large pottery kiln and a waste pile of shards. From these remains I have developed a limited range of pots that I call New Manor Ware, fired in the environmentally friendly wood kiln onsite. So let us raise a flagon or a goblet and toast all the people of Sheffield Manor Lodge, nobles and commoners alike.