Fair House

Fairhouse is an extremely old property in Low Bradfield, near Sheffield in South Yorkshire, built of local stone, perhaps c1700. It gives its name to the road in which it stands.

Fairhouse entry in Wikipedia

Fairhouse Lane

Today it is one dwelling, but as with many other properties in the area, the larger houses gave their names to what may be described as very small hamlets, and were home to several families. There is an even older barn/ workshops at right angles to the house.

The turning circle where the cottages had been.

To the left, there were two further cottages, but these were demolished in the 1960/70’s to make way for the bus turning circle.

On the opposite side of the road, there was also a house, showing on old map’s as Fairhouse. An old barn built or restored in 1826, with an inscription above the door, still remains.

1826, Rebuilt at the Curates sole cost. Nemo soli sibi natus ( No one is born alone).

These separate buildings in the ‘Fairhouse’ locality, have made definite identification of each part more difficult, but it is believed that the present Fairhouse Farm was originally called ‘Swinden House’.

The Sanderson family had a long connection to this property, with the first actual reference to them living there in 1788, that branch of the family remained there until 1860’s, then at the beginning of 20th century, another Sanderson family (more details bottom of the page) moved in as farmers, also opening a tea room to cater for local visitors.

In late 2020, I received contact from the present owners, who I had written to earlier, in the hope that they had historical information, relating to the Sanderson family. In turn, they were hoping for information relating to the history of Fair House, which they were researching. They have spent many years, renovating the property, and have done an amazing job, at returning it as far as possible, to the way it would have been when it was built. I was invited to have a look around, and we exchanged information, as much as we knew.

The first reference we have to Sandersons being at Fair House, was 1st January 1788, and the baptism of Hannah Sanderson to ‘Jonathan of Fair House’.

Hannah was the sixth child of Jonathan and Elizabeth (Barnes), they had married in 1778. (Jonathan had been born at Mill Lee, another farmhouse in Low Bradfield in 1754). The previous five children, Joseph 1778, Jonathan 1779, Mary 1781, Martha 1783 and John 1785, were all described at living at Low Bradfield in the baptism records. Did Jonathan and Elizabeth move into Fair House on their marriage, or was it just prior to the birth of Hannah?

Further children – William 1790, George 1792, Joshua 1794, and Benjamin 1796 were born to Jonathan and Elizabeth Sanderson, births registered as Nether Bradfield. On 21 October 1798, Isaac was baptised, born at Fair house, followed by Thomas 1800, at Nether Bradfield, finally 12 June 1803, Sarah to Jonathan of Fair house

The next generation, then began baptising children from Fair house. (Jonathan born 1779, married Mary Lockwood in Rotherham, 1803), and 4th September 1803 baptised Jonathan, 3rd July 1808 Hannah, 25th November 1810 John, (to Jonathan, Fair House) and Annis 26th April 1814 to Jonathan and Mary of Fair House, Harriett 21st July 1816 to Jonathan and Mary of Fair House (Cutler).

7th May 1807 James son of Jonathan of Fairhouse was buried.

20 July 1815 Elizabeth daughter of Joseph of Fairhouse was buried aged 3, (this is presumed to be Joseph born 1778). On 7th February 1816, Anne daughter of Jonathan and Mary, buried aged 1. Stephen son of Benjamin, buried from Fair House aged 10 months.

And then the next generation – 23rd September 1827 Frances to Jonathan and Elizabeth (nee Wilson) Sanderson, of Fair House, (Labourer). This was the Jonathan born 1803.

There were other children in these families, but only those with references to Fair House have been included here.

14th May 1834 Mary Sanderson (nee Lockwood) aged 61 died at Fair House, and was buried in Bradfield Churchyard.

A simple memorial

25th January 1836 Jonathan Sanderson of Fair House buried aged 81. His wife Elizabeth (nee Barnes), was buried 20th December 1836, ‘widow of Fairhouse’ aged 77.

It appears that there were perhaps three generations of a large Sanderson family living at Fair House during this period.

This reference found in Bradfield Poor Law Records refers to Jonathan Sanderson renting Fair House for many years.

BRADFIELD 60-289 George Sanderson 1836/2/24 Father of Charles Sanderson deceased, who was examined for the settlement of Charles’ widow Martha. George stated that his late son belonged to Bradfield in the right of the examinants late father (Jonathon) who rented and occupied a house and small farm from Mr. Hawkesworth and Mr. Fenton for which he paid above £10 a year for many years and died there a few weeks ago. Charles did not rent a house nor was he apprenticed. Martha stated that she was married to the late Charles at Eccles Old Church on 3 August 1834 and has two children (twins Sarah and Louisa ) now about 5 months old. She and her two children are now sick, and not fit to be removed, and are now chargeable to Brinnington, Stockport(SE). Heard by Jus. Newton and Jonathon Thornhill JP’S.

NB, surprisingly, Martha and her twins survived, with references to them, in and out of Bradfield workhouse in 1840’s.

26 August 1838 Sarah, baptised to Annis Sanderson of Fair House (Spinster). Annis later married Nicodemus Brammall, living at Agden House, with their family, and buried with a headstone, in Bradfield Churchyard.

At this time Fairhouse, was owned by Mr Hawkesworth and Mr Fenton. Mr Hawkesworth seemed to own quite a lot of property in Bradfield at that time, according to the property tax records, and it appears there was a connection to the Sanderson family through marriage. The other property connected with the Sanderson’s was Mill Lee Farm, and this was also owned by Mr Hawkesworth.

(Jonathan Sanderson (b.1720?), married Mary Bramall in 1750. Jonathan died 1760, and Mary re-married – Joshua Hartley. Her father was Joseph Bramall who had married Martha Hawkesworth 1723. (Martha’s father may have been Joseph Hawkesworth). Joseph Hawkesworth purchased land and property from Hoole, in 1719, including Mill Lee, and Joseph Bramall was tenant there).

An informative set of documents details a connection between Mill Lee and the Sanderson – Hartley families. It may be, that Fair House and Nether House which were tenanted by Sanderson’s were also connected in some way. The parcels of land are described, but need more investigating, as unfortunately I do not know them.

1841 Census entry for Fair House occupied by Joshua Sanderson Farmer born 1796

1841 Census Notes

  • Joshua Sanderson was born 1794 at Fairhouse to Jonathan and Elizabeth Sanderson. In 1841 he was working at Fairhouse as a Farmer, with assistance from Alfred Palfreyman a male servant. Joshua was the sixth son, but seems to be the ‘heir’. Oldest brother Joseph, (1778) it appears was living at Low Bradfield in 1841 and 51 with Martha Hudson as a shopkeeper/ Cutler. In 1841 ‘Piggots’ mentioned as a pocket knife manufaturer. He died 1853. Brother Jonathan was in 1841, elderly and living with his daughter Harriet (Firth), and her family at Bolsterstone. Brother John died as a child aged ten, William died 1829 (see below), and George had moved to Stockport, and recently died there. (Younger brothers, Benjamin who married Martha Hall, died probably from cutlery trade related disease in 1831. Isaac still alive, married to Sarah Bocking and living at Bate Green/ Pot House, farmer, no children. Thomas a labourer working in Bradfield Dale as a woodsman, (my ancestor).
  • John Hawke married Ruth Eyre 1810. He died 1847, and has a gravestone in Bradfield Churchyard, mentioning he is of ‘Fairhouse’.
  • Timothy Beever
  • James Crookes
1851 Census entry for Fair House, occupied by Joshua Sanderson Famer born 1794

1851 Census Notes

  • James Sanderson was born 1817 to Joseph Sanderson (1778), and Mary Broomhead. Mary was Joseph’s second wife, his first wife and children from that marriage had died. This would make James the most senior male heir in the family. He married Eliza Senior, and had one son, Harvey, in 1871 he was farming at Thompson House, before moving to Armthorpe (and a 230 acre farm!) by 1881.
  • William Brownell (Brownhill), married Elizabeth (Marsden), widow of William Sanderson (born 1790, probably at Fairhouse). William had been a cutler at Peck Hall, Bradfield. William and Elizabeth had 6 children. Although it isn’t stated, due to age at death in 1829, it is most likely he died from a cutlery trade related death.
  • Joshua Sanderson (see 1841 notes) Farmer of (30? acres), living with nephew Jeremiah Sanderson (5th child/ oldest son of brother William), and Jeremiah’s wife Elizabeth. They had 6 children and Jeremiah died 1867 in Sheffield.
1861 Census Entry for Fair House, occupied by Joshua Sanderson Farmer c1795

1861 Census Notes

  • Joshua Sanderson (see 1841 notes).
  • George Hodgekin
  • John Earnshaw

Following the ‘Sheffield Flood‘ the breach of Dale Dike Reservoir, Joshua Sanderson made a claim for loss of property at Fair House, and was granted £139 12s 6d in 1865.

Particulars of the claim Map details of the claim

By 1871, Joshua Sanderson was living in the reservoir huts, built to house the reservoir workers. Although at the age of 75, he was still farming. Was he still farming the land at Fair House? By 1881 Joshua Sanderson was living in Ecclesfield Workhouse. He died in 1883, aged 90, and was buried in Bradfield Churchyard on 12th June.

In the 1901and 1911 censuses, a Thomas Sanderson, his wife Alice and family, were living at Fairhouse. Although it is a coincidence, it appears there is no connection to our line of Sandersons.

1901 Census entry Fairhouse.

Thomas was born at Birley Car, (Wadsley Bridge), Ecclesfield in 1856, to William Sanderson c1824, who also appears to be from Ecclesfield. William married Theresa Lee in 1847. Both Thomas and William were File cutters. In 1911, Thomas gives his occupation as Farmer.

1911 census entry Fairhouse

According to 1911 census, Thomas married Alice Ann (Richardson) around 1880, they had 8 children, all of whom were still alive in 1911. Search on FreeBMD revealed they married in the Wortley district September Qtr. 1878

Marriages Sep 1878

RICHARDSON Alice Ann  Wortley 9c226 SANDERSON Thomas  Wortley 9c226 

I have been forwarded this photo by Natalie, a descendant of Alice Winifred Sanderson the smallest girl in white. Natalie was given it by the current owners of Fairhouse. As Alice appears to be about 6, the photo must have been taken around 1905, with Fairhouse in the background.

Sanderson family c1905 at Fairhouse