Frecheville Shops on Birley Moor Road
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Frecheville is a suburb five miles (8.0 km) south-east of Sheffield’s city centre. The estate was built in the 1930s when the area was in Derbyshire. However, due to expansion, Frecheville and a number of surrounding villages became part of the city of Sheffield in 1967 and thus the West Riding of Yorkshire.
Frecheville was built as a housing estate to the north of Birley Estate developed in the 1930s by Henry Boot Limited. The firm constructed around 1,600 private houses, mainly traditional brick built 2 or 3 bedroom semi-detached family homes for rent and gave the Frecheville estate its name. A local pub's signboard shows the coat of arms of the Frecheville family, who were lords of the manor at Staveley but there is no evidence that the Frechevilles ever owned land on Birley Moor, so the name given to Frecheville remains something of a mystery.
Prior to the 1940s, Birley Collieries provided employment to much of the surrounding area. The site of the colliery was later transformed into the Shire Brook Valley Local Nature Reserve at Normanton Spring.
On Thursday 26 May 1955 a Gloster Meteor F8 (No. WE916) piloted by 21-year-old John Alexander Cohen from Cardiff on a night flight training exercise from RAF Worksop crashed in Frecheville when he apparently lost control whilst undertaking a controlled descent through cloud. The plane came in low over Stradbroke Road and the pilot was killed instantly as the plane dived steeply into the ground and exploded on impact in the field at the bottom of Silkstone Crescent at 11.22 pm. There was speculation at the time that he had deliberately stayed with the plane to steer away from the houses and into an open area. A memorial stone was placed in the garden at the top of the footpath down to the housing estate but it has since been removed.
Frecheville features a shopping area along Birley Moor Road, known locally as 'Frecheville Shops'. There are a number of public houses including The Birley (formerly the Birley hotel), The Sherwood, and the Jack in a Box located to the south. Another pub, named The Frecheville, once operated to the west of the area, however this has since closed.
Frecheville Pond, a popular fishing site is located behind the main shopping area, close to the parish church of St. Cyprians, and the Methodist church. A library and community centre were also situated near the pond, and were responsible for running the Frecheville carnival between 1937 and 2008. The council run library service in Frecheville was withdrawn in 2014 by the local authority as a cost cutting measure. The replacement of the council run library service in Frecheville by a volunteer-led facility has been controversial, with prominent library campaign group Voices For The Library highlighting major concerns around volunteers having responsibility for the "Books On Prescription" service and issues surrounding data protection. The transfer of the library to volunteers has also resulted in huge decreases in book loans and other usage.
Frecheville Comprehensive and Thornbridge School were the main schools in the area during the 20th Century, with the latter becoming The Birley Academy.
The Scowerdons estate was located to the south of Frecheville. The estate featured a number of Vic Hallam houses that were demolished in 2014. The estate was named after Scowerdons Farm, which was located to the south, on land now occupied by the A57 dual carriageway. The estate was demolished in 2012, and replacement housing has been constructed, but not yet completed as of 2021.
Frecheville Community Sports & Social Club is located on Silkstone Road. The club features a cricket ground, home to the Frecheville Cricket Club.
Frecheville Community Association F.C. also played their home games at the club before dissolving in 2020.
Birley Wood Golf Club is situated to the west of the area.
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