Sheffield ancient place name rings a bell!

The next stop on our Retro A to Z tour of Sheffield and surrounding areas is Ringinglow, on the edge of Sheffield, home to some exotic residents.

Friday, 12th February 2016, 16:48 pm
Updated Friday, 12th February 2016, 16:55 pm
The Norfolk Arms, Ringinglow, pictured in 1981

The word ‘low’ in the name indicates an ancient barrow burial mound. Another example in the Peak District is Arbor Low.

The rest of the name may well refer to the barrow being ringed by a circle of stones.

The Roundhouse in Ringinglow, picture in 1985

Sheffield historian S O Addy, writing in 1888, related ‘low’ to the Old English word hlâw.

Both he and fellow historian J Edward Vickers discount as a myth the idea that the name came from someone hearing the bells of Sheffield parish church ‘ringing low’ over the moors.

The former Peak District village in the Mayfield Valley was once a stop on the Sheffield to Buxton turnpike road, which opened in 1758.

The Norfolk Arms pub was built to serve weary coach travellers. Tolls had to be paid at the Roundhouse toll booth across the road. The distinctive building, dating from the 1770s, is actually octagonal, of course.

The Roundhouse in Ringinglow, picture in 1985

Our esteemed correspondent Vin Malone pointed out in a recent Weer Thi Ell’s That (February 6), looking at the old Ringinglow milestone, that the turnpike route was at one time the major route from Sheffield to the High Peak, Manchester and Lancashire.

It was used for transporting salt and lead.

The Limb Brook tributary of the River Porter that runs through Ringinglow is one of several in the city that were once important boundary markers.

The brook divided the Saxon kingdoms of Mercia and Northumbria and was also the boundary between Yorkshire and Derbyshire into the last century.

In 2004, The Star reported that Elaine and Nigel Sharp had turned their hobby into a business by breeding alpacas in Ringinglow.

The South American member of the camel family is known for its warm fleece.

Their venture has now turned into a successful visitor centre, Mayfield Alpacas.

Residents were furious in 2006 when Sheffield fire chiefs confirmed plans to close Ringinglow fire station, just a year after huge protests had saved it.

Fire service bosses insisted that the Ringinglow Road station’s one full-time engine should be relocated to improve response times across the county.

Coun Sylvia Dunkley said: “This is a slap in the face for the residents who fought so hard to save the station last time.

“Last time local people made it very clear that they really wanted and felt the need for a local fire station.

“A lot of people spent a huge amount of time campaigning to keep the station open. I thought that message had got across but it seems not.”

The station was eventually demolished and the site was used for housing.