Sheffield attraction steeped in history and home to Mary Queen of Scots will open to visitors this weekend – and will educate historians of the future
The ‘only remaining building in England that Mary Queen of Scots will have known’, Sheffield Manor Lodge goes back to the 12th century – and as it finally welcomes back visitors to its final remains, the Telegraph discovers how it will be used to educate the historians of the future.
Sheffield Manor Lodge began life as a 12th century hunting lodge, before the 4th Earl of Shrewsbury built a grand manor on the estate.
Most buildings were demolished in the early 1700s, but to this day the Turret House has remained, along with a picturesque flower meadow that blooms into a carpet of colour each summer.
Having been closed to the public due to Covid-19, the Turret House will now reopen to visitors this Sunday, May 30, and the site will be open every Sunday, and Monday to Thursday in school holidays.
Kate Hughes, assistant visitor services manager at the Green Estate community interest company which manages the site, said: “We were able to open our open spaces for families, but this will be the first time we have opened the turret house for a while.
"We have been really, really busy – particularly over the school holidays and with families, so that has been really fantastic. A lot of our dates sold out.”
The site, also known by many as Manor Castle and located on Manor Lane with wide-ranging views over the city below, is most famous as it was one of the places where Mary Queen of Scots was held in the custody of George Talbot for 14 years before her execution in 1587.
It is thought that the former Queen of Scotland and France may have even helped design the Turret House ceiling, which can now be seen by visitors from across the world.
It has also been confirmed that the site will now be focused on by students at schools across the country as part of the GCSE syllabus, which it is hoped will translate to welcoming thousands more visitors to Sheffield and putting a spotlight on a location that should be part of Britain’s heritage.
"We are getting more and more awareness about Manor Lodge,” Kate added.
"One of the fantastic things that has happened recently is that we are a study site for the GCSE History, which means that 50,000 pupils across the country will be studying us from next year, which will be lovely.
"We think the Mary Queen of Scots story is important. We are the only building left in England that she would have known, and she spent a good deal of her captivity at Manor Loge and in Sheffield, and we would love that story to be much more well known – it is an important part of English history.”
The lodge will also be inviting guests to events over summer, including an open meadows event on July 4, and a historical re-enactment in September
The Rhubarb Shed cafe based at the Manor Lodge site has also reopened to visitors.
The gold rosary beads Mary Queen of Scots clutched as the executioner’s axe ended her life have been stolen in a £1 million raid.
Thieves who broke into Arundel Castle in West Sussex late on Friday evening netted a gold, silver and antiques haul from the Duke of Norfolk’s collection before triggering an alarm.
Despite police officers arriving at the historic castle within minutes the culprits cabinet had fled.
Detectives investigating the break-in and theft believe a 4X4 vehicle found on fire nearby is linked to the crime.
A spokesman for Arundel Castle Trustees said; “The stolen items have significant monetary value, but as unique artefacts of the Duke of Norfolk’s collection have immeasurably greater and priceless historical importance.
“We therefore urge anyone with information to come forward to the police to assist them in returning these treasures back where they belong.”
Sussex Police said: “We are seeking thieves who broke into Arundel Castle and stole gold and silver items worth in excess of £1 million.
"At 10.30pm on Friday 21 May castle staff were alerted of a break in after a burglar alarm had sounded. Police were on the scene within minutes.
“Various items have been stolen of great historical significance. These include the Gold rosary beads carried by Mary Queen of Scots at her execution in 1587, several coronation cups given by the Sovereign to the Earl Marshal of the day, and other gold and silver treasures.
“The rosary is of little intrinsic value as metal, but as a piece of the Howard family history and the nation’s heritage it is irreplaceable.”