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Wharncliffe Area

On the Eastern edge of the District is located the area known as Wharncliffe, a lovely woodland area overlooking the River Don and dominated by an outcrop of natural Sandstone the Wharncliffe Crags.

Much of the area is a Nature Reserve and is managed by the Sheffield Wildlife Action Partnership and the Forestry Commission.

Deer have roamed wild over this land for many years, but their presence is not as noticeable nowadays, posing the question are there are any still living wild here?

Wharncliffe Lodge was built by Sir Thomas Wortley in the year 1510 and two hamlets called Stanfield & Whiley were destroyed in the process of extend the chase.

It was Sir Richard Wortley's action 79 years later in enlarging and enclosing his park which caused violent opposition and inspired the satirical Ballard "The Dragon of Wantley".

There is a cave, which goes by the name of the "Dragons Den" located towards the southern end of the crags not far from Wharncliffe Lodge.

This cave was featured in The Dragon of Wantley and also featured in Sir Walter Scott's Novel "Ivanhoe".

James 1st created Sir Francis Wortley a baron and he later fought for the King in the Civil War on the losing side; he was captured and died in prison.

The estate was restored and remains in the family.

Remains on Wharncliffe have been discovered which date back to Roman times and a Mesolithic campsite was discovered here overlooking the ancient crossing place of the River Don at Deepcar.

Beehive type querns in various stages of manufacture have been discovered in this area, indicating that stones were quarried from these Crags from very early times.

It is believed that the name of Wharncliffe is a corruption of "Quern Cliff".

Wharncliffe Crags have a long history in the sport of rock climbing they were at the forefront of the birth of the sport in the late 19th century, it is good to see that this area is still a used by climbers in 2012.

More recently a number of the tracks have been opened to allow for the sport of Mountain biking which is proving to be a very popular pastime in the area.

This area has always been a tranquil retreat for walkers, equestrians and cyclists, who use the many tracks which cross the area.

This stone and plaque was erected to commemorate the start of replanting of the Wharncliffe Forest in 1951, the inscription reads as follows.

“On 23rd November 1951 the first trees of this forest were planted by the Members of the Don Valley Development Association to commemorate the replanting of Wharncliffe Forest”.

From the highest point on the Crags the view takes in most of the areas comprising the "Stocksbridge district", the history of which our Society is dedicate to preserving.

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