The 1850 Crosspool map (PNG, 3.3MB) shows just a handful of dwellings around the Lydgate junction and Stephen Hill. You can also see landmark buildings that have since been knocked down including Lydgate Hall and The Kings Head pub.
The former Bell Hagg Inn, which has overlooked the Rivelin Valley from the Manchester Road approach in to Crosspool for well over 100 years, is being converted into a seven-bedroom family home.
For a period the public house was also known as The John Thomas before it finally closed in 2005.
It’s commonly believed that the original building was erected in 1832 as a five-storey house for Dr Hodgeson, who had built it as a folly to antagonise the Vicar of Stannington after he turned down a generous donation because he had made much of his fortune from gambling.
Before becoming a pub at the beginning of the last century, the building was used as a tea room by workers from the quarry across the road (now occupied by the Valleyside Garden Centre) and travellers stopping off between Sheffield and Manchester, and on occasion to secure prisoners destined for the assizes.
The present owner, who bought this vandalised property from the receivers, has started to extensively renovate the main five-storey stone built tower that hides the sheer drop at the back.
Some of the tower’s small rooms that can be seen from the road are being knocked together and a covered link is being proposed to the already converted four-storey barn at the back. This link is to facilitate the future maintenance of the pub tower and will have a large glazed area and a sedum roof designed to blend into the surrounding green belt landscape.
In securing planning permission for the changes to this historic building, the new owner has had to get a bat licence to ensure bats are not disturbed. This will limit the times at which work can be carried out.