Recently, after viewing the captivating film “Mary Queen of Scots,” my curiosity was piqued when I stumbled upon an event at Sheffield Manor Lodge on my Facebook feed. Intrigued, I promptly noted the date in my calendar.
For years, I’ve resided just around the corner from Sheffield Manor Lodge, frequently strolling past its historic walls, yet never having ventured inside. Thus, I was thrilled at the prospect of finally exploring the lodge up close.
Upon reaching the information centre, I was greeted by a lengthy queue of eager visitors. After a 15-minute wait, we reached the front and paid the £5 entry fee. Unfortunately, from this point on, the day’s events took an unforeseen turn. It became apparent that the open day had attracted a larger crowd than anticipated, and the organisation left much to be desired. Attendees milled about, uncertain of where to go or when the next tour would commence. My recommendation for future events would be to allow self-guided tours of the grounds or allocate specific time slots to avoid such confusion.
Eventually, we joined a guided tour, and our experience markedly improved. Our knowledgeable guide regaled us with vivid accounts of the site’s local history and intriguing tidbits about notable visitors. I was particularly fascinated by the tale of Cardinal Wolsey, Henry VIII’s chancellor and a prominent figure in 16th-century England. His fateful visit to the lodge occurred en route to London, where he faced trial for high treason due to his failure to secure the annulment of the king’s marriage to Catherine of Aragon. Wolsey’s stay in Sheffield, lasting 16 to 18 days, ultimately led to his demise; he contracted dysentery and passed away in Leicester merely three days after departing Sheffield.
Regrettably, I didn’t have the opportunity to tour the main lodge itself, as the queues were too lengthy, and the chilly weather was less than inviting. I fully intend to return during the warmer months to explore the interior.
Should you wish to discover Sheffield Manor Lodge for yourself, you may contact them at 0114 276 2828 or visit their website at sheffieldmanorlodge.org. The historic site can be found at 389 Manor Lane, Sheffield, S2 1UL.