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Local News

The derelict 16th century farmhouse that was home to a cruel tragedy


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In 2016, tragedy ripped through the community of Stannington, Sheffield.

An elderly couple, well-known in the community and described by neighbours as kind and friendly, were tragically killed in a house fire that engulfed their home in flames during the night.

When firefighters arrived on the scene, the Grade II listed house was considered too unsafe for them to enter and, when the fire was put out, the bodies of a man and a woman were found inside.

Read more: Fury as ducklings tragically killed by diesel sludge in Wakefield pond

Now, five years later, Spout House is still standing – just barely – and local councillors in the area have recently approved plans to restore the fire-ravaged ancient building in Spout Lane.

The grounds are hugely overgrown and the house itself is dirty and derelict, with large parts of the roof missing and the remaining roof tiles caving in.

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Set within 1.30 of an acre, with stone outhousings, the house is thought to date back to 1545 with additions from 1678 and even a cottage that was built in the 1400s.

In what has been called an “ambitious project”, developers will restore and expand the farmhouse, making it habitable and providing housing for the local area.

This month, Sheffield City Council’s Planning and Highways Committee granted approval to extend the existing building and its outbuildings, to make two houses and an additional detached house.

This, one member of the committee said, would be the “last chance” to save the historic building with a tragic past.

Committee member, Councillor Andrew Sangar, voted in favour of the project and said that he believed the development would be “sympathetic” to the building and its surroundings.

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He said: “I think this is the last chance to rescue Spout House, it’s a very ambitious project.

“Over the last few decades we have lost many old farm buildings across the Sheffield area so I think this development is sympathetic to the building and the surroundings.

“Clearly it is not an easy site, both in terms of the loss of trees and the replacement of trees and the landscape and the whole drainage issues.

“I’m sure when Spout House was built they didn’t agonise over the drainage issues as much as they should have done but we quite rightly are spending our time talking about the drainage issues and also the wildlife that has encroached on the site and wouldn’t have been there as a working farm.

“I wish the developers well and I will be supporting the officer’s recommendation [to approve it].”

And Councillor Peter Price, chair of the committee, was also in favour of saving this history-rich building in the west of the city.

He said that the building looks close to falling down, describing it as a building that “hasn’t got much life left in it”.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen a building in such a bad state where all the internals are burnt out and the roof is gone, some of the walls are sloping and the outside was so badly overgrown you could hardly get to it”, he said.

Councillor Price added: “I’d just like to compliment the people attempting to save that building and make it into a nice development.”

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Written by: Rother Radio News

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