Yorkshire Chess History



Mount Villa, Newbold Lane, Sheffield











Made in Yorkshire



Sheffield Sub-Site


Mount Villa, now known more prosaically as 2 Newbould Lane, Sheffield, was the Sheffield residence of Michael Wynne Thorold and his young fmily, which included future chess-players Edmund Thorold, William Thorold, and Eliza Mary Thorold.


It is a semi-detached property.  The rightmost bay windows on the right of the picture belong to what was contemporaneously known as Broom Spring, but is now 5 Broomfield Road.


The front faces south-west, but, as the photograph shows, the front is significantly shaded by a large tree.


Mount Villa and Broom Spring constitute a pair of semi-detached villas standing in the angle of what are now Newbould Lane and Broomfield Road, which meet Glossop Road and Melbourne Avenue at a six-way junction.


When Mount Villa was built, the name of Newbould Lane had not come into use.  It was described in early directories etc as Mount Villa, Glossop Road.  Later it was described as Mount Villa, Broomfield, the latter name referring to the area bounded in part by the modern Glossop Road, Newbould Lane and Whitham Road, and now preserved in the name of Broomfield Road.  Eventually it became referred to as Mount Villa, Newbould Lane.


The “Mount” element of the name is clearly taken from the ornate south-facing terrace of what were originally seventeen residences, fronted by a portico of Ionic pillars, called “The Mount”, and built on the other side of Newbould Lane in the early 1830s.  Number 1 Melbourne Avenue is similarly names Mount View.


A map of 1850 in Sheffield Local Studies Library clearly labels the two semi-detached properties as Mount Villa and Broom Spring.


The name is not evident on the gateposts or elsewhere, but it is likely to have been painted on the gateposts as were some houses’ names in St. Mark’s Crescent, for instance.  The surface of the appropriate area of the gateposts has deteriorated to the extent that any such painted name will have disappeared or have been rendered illegible.


The Sheffield volume in the series of Pevsner Architectural Guides, which rewrites and updates the original works of (Sir) Niklaus Pevsner, describes this pair of villas as “a pair of severe ashlar-fronted villas of 1840 by William Flockton [architect], perfectly symmetrical, with only the thinnest of Tudor veneers overlaying a classical plan.”


Mount Villa, as was, now houses Hallamshire Physiotherapy,  The wheelchair access now provided at the front somewhat mars the straight-on view from the front gate.





Copyright © 2013 Stephen John Mann

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