Oakes Park, Sheffield, England
Record Id: 2465
The following is from the Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest. For the most up-to-date Register entry, please visit the The National Heritage List for England (NHLE):
Gardens and pleasure grounds with early to mid-18th-century origins, an early 19th-century terrace and parkland probably of early 19th-century date.
LOCATION, AREA, BOUNDARIES, LANDFORM, SETTING
Oakes Park is situated south-east of Sheffield immediately east of the village of Norton. The c 46ha site is on land which slopes gently down to the south and is bordered by suburban areas to the north and west, and by agricultural land beyond the A5102 to the south and east. The A5102, constructed on this line in the 1980s, cuts off an area of former parkland which is now outside the registered area. The boundaries are defined by Norton Lane to the north, School Lane to the west, the A5102 (Bochum Parkway) to the south and Hereward's Road to the east. The boundary is marked by a wall, which is ruinous in places, along the north and west sides, and by fencing along the south and east sides.
ENTRANCES AND APPROACHES
The principal entrance is from the junction of Norton Lane and School Lane where there is a stone lodge with attached flanking walls and ornate iron gates (early C18 and early C19, all listed grade II*) from which a drive leads east and then south-east to the north side of the house. A secondary entrance is situated at the junction of Norton Lane and Hereward's Road from which a drive runs south-west and then divides, with one branch running south to the stable block and kitchen garden and the other leading south-west to join the drive from the main entrance. The route from the point at which the drives merge is shown on a map of 1753 and it has the remains of an avenue of chestnut and lime trees which is shown on the 1850 OS map.
Oakes Park, also known as The Oakes (listed grade II*), is a late C17 house remodelled c 1721 for Richard Bagshawe and remodelled again 1811(27 by Joseph Badger of Lancaster for Sir William Chambers Bagshawe. The principal front faces south. Immediately to the north of the house is a stable block and other ancillary buildings (listed grade II) of late C17 and mid C18 date ranged around a courtyard within which is a pigeoncote (early C18, listed grade II). These buildings have been converted to residential use (1997).
GARDENS AND PLEASURE GROUNDS
The north side of the house has a wall attached to its west side which runs westwards to a gateway with ornamental iron gates (early C18/early C19, listed grade II*) leading into the gardens. This gateway is at the head of the main drive and it is shown on an undated C18 map leading to a turning circle west of the house. A ha-ha runs south from the gateway and continues along the west and south side of the gardens except at the south-west corner where a pond breaks through it, and at the south-east corner where the wall of the kitchen garden forms the boundary.
Immediately south of the house there is a flagged stone terrace with central steps (early C19, listed grade II* with the house) leading down into the garden. Extensive long-distance views are available from the terrace over parkland which slopes down to the south, and rising agricultural land beyond. The grounds consist of lawns, now (1997) overgrown, with specimen trees including exotics probably dating from the late C19 and some mature native specimens which may relate to an earlier phase of planting.
Paths lead south to the kitchen garden and to an elongated fishpond which runs along the southern edge of the pleasure grounds within the ha-ha and continues westwards into the parkland, as shown on the 1850 OS map. The pond is shown with a more regular outline on a plan of 1809 (SCEEM 1995).
The 1753 map shows that the area south of the house was laid out with extensive formal gardens covering an area which corresponds approximately with both the present extent of the pleasure grounds and with an enclosure shown around the house in a map of 1707. The undated C18 map which describes The Oakes as 'seat of R. Bagshaw Esq.' shows the gardens in similar but more elaborate form to those on the 1753 map. The map may have been made for Richard Bagshawe who inherited in 1721.
Immediately north of the stables there is a canal, which is shown on the 1753 map and the undated C18 map with a single line of trees planted on each side. A tree-lined walk, called the Daffodil Walk, with specimens of broadleaved trees at various stages of maturity, runs along the north side of the canal and the remains of cast-iron fencing divides the west side from parkland.
There is parkland on all sides of the house which consists of grassland with scattered mature trees and clumps, and a band of perimeter planting extending along the west edge of the park, much as shown on the 1850 OS map. It is possible that the land was imparked by Dr William Chambers Darling who died in 1832 and was responsible for remodelling the house during the 1820s. A map of 1707 shows the area around the house divided into fields, and a similar pattern of fields is shown on the 1753 map. The undated C18 map shows the area to the west of the pleasure grounds planted with rectangular and circular clumps of trees.
A study of the tree cover was undertaken in 1995 by the Sheffield Centre for Ecology and Environmental Management (SCEEM) which identified planting of three broadly separate phases with a scattering of trees probably of pre-early C19 date, some of which are on the lines of former field boundaries. A larger number of trees, including the vestiges of a planting pattern shown on the 1850 and 1914 OS map, appear to be of pre-1900 date, and others were planted during the C20.
On the west side of the park, immediately south of the principal entrance, there are two pairs of late C18 estate cottages (listed grade II) which are concealed from view from within the park by planting, as shown on the 1850 OS map.
A kitchen garden is situated c 150m south of the house and it is reached via a winding path leading through the gardens and from the drive from Hereward's Road. It is of irregular sub-rectangular shape and it is walled in red brick though some of the walls are in a ruinous condition (1997). A gardener's house lies on the east side and in the centre there is a range of ruinous glasshouses on the north side of a brick wall. The remains of beds lined by box hedging are discernible and there are some ornamental trees including a Gingko Biloba.
The garden is shown in this position on a plan of 1809 (SCEEM 1995) and it is on the site of an enclosure and a building marked on the 1753 map. The undated C18 map shows the same area in more detail with a rectangular pond and a building on the east side.
Oakes Park, (Sheffield Centre for Ecology and Environmental Management (SCEEM) 1995)
Maps (all reproduced in SCEEM 1995)
R Willson, A Mappe of The Oaks in the Parish of Norton, 1707
William [illegible], A Plan of Norton Oakes in the County of Derby The seat of R. Bagshawe Esq., (no date, 18th century)
F Richardson, Survey of Norton Oaks the seat of Willm Bagshawe in the County of Darby, 1753
OS 6" to 1 mile: 1st edition surveyed 1850; 2nd edition published 1893
OS 25" to 1 mile: 2nd edition 1914
The Oakes Deeds are held in Sheffield City Archive Department, ref OD.
Description written: June 1998
Edited: November 1999
The National Heritage List for England: Register of Parks and Gardens Grade II Reference GD2164
House Created 1681 to 1699
The late-17th-century house was standing empty by 1997.
Terrain: The site is on land which slopes gently down to the south and is bordered by suburban areas to the north and west.
External web site link: https://www.historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1001160