Charnock takes it's name from an old mansion located in the extreme northeast of the area, called Charnock Hall. Indeed, Charnock was officially called Charnockhall until 1997, although locals had been calling it Charnock for decades beforehand. This has since been refurbished and turned into a farm known as Charnockhall Farm.
Charnock is bordered by Hemsworth and Herdings to the west, Gleadless Townend to the north-west, Basegreen to the north, and unpopulated Derbyshire countryside to the south and east. Villages nearby include Troway and Apperknowle to the south and Ridgeway and Ford to the east.
The area on which Charnock sits has only been a part of Sheffield since the 1950s, and it has retained it's "little village" feel as a result, especially with the countryside and woodland literally right next door.
Much of the Charnock estate was built in the late 1940s and early 1950s, to provide housing for those displaced in bombing raids across Sheffield during the war. The vast majority of houses are nice, fairly large semi-detached affairs. In several locations, including Kew Crescent, there are some lovely high-quality terraced houses. These were mainly built in the 1970s. The most expensive street is Bowman Close, where there are a variety of different houses, including detached houses, cottages, and modern houses meet on a peaceful villagey-feely cul-de-sac. Three blocks of four-storey suburban flats were built on Bowman Drive in the 1980s, and are now mainly the homes of retired pensioners who are looking for a break from the city life. The Stoneley area in the south-east of the suburb was built in the late 1990s and consists of a number of houses, mainly modern detached ones. The Stoneley area is named after the Stoneley Woods nearby.
A primary school opened in the area in 1949, and is distinctive in that it has a clock tower which towers over the school, and much of that area of Charnock, with a brooding prescence.
Lightwood Hospital opened to the south of Norton Airfield in the early 1970s, as well as a small number of semi-detached homes close by. This area has since become known as the Lightwood area of Charnock, after the hospital. In 1978, a forest fire occurred in Lightwood, destroying an area of forest. After the fire, residents planted a number of replacement trees, which have grown into what is now called the Lightwood Plantation.
Despite the village feel, it is well connected with the rest of the city, with the Outer Ring Road running along it's north-western border, as well as six bus routes (38, 51, 252, 294, 701, PS1) just a couple of minutes walk away and two Sheffield Supertram routes (Blue, Purple) close by as well. The 38/252/294/701/PS1 can be caught from Gleadless Townend shortly to the northeast of Charnock, while the 51 runs through the heart of Charnock itself. Charnock is also served by trams. The Blue Route can be caught from both White Lane and Gleadless Townend, and the Purple Route can be caught from Leighton Road and Gleadless Townend.
Charnock is also well served facility-wise, with a local primary school (Charnock Hall Primary School), two adjoined nurseries (Charnock Children's Centre and Sunflowers Nursery), a Co-operative shop on White Lane, several small shopping areas on White Lane and Charnock Dale Road, a much larger shopping area, church, and transport interchange at nearby Gleadless Townend, several farms, Charnock Hall house and farm, a recreation ground, and Lightwood Hospital.
Things to see and doEdit
Charnock has several interesting sites to see. One of these is a fantastic little-known site for anyone who has an interest in World War 2, Norton Airfield. The airfield is located just off the Outer Ring Road, accessed from Lightwood Lane, close to Lightwood Hospital. The airfield was a barrage balloon station during the war, and also had some form of military detention centre on site. Following the end of the war, it was used as a ground radio command station until closure in January 1965. The airfield has been unused since then, and so no work has been taken to keep it in good repair. The main hangar and another nearby building (radio control centre) are in fairly good repair, how the military terminal suffered a suspected arson attack in 2008 and is badly damaged, especially with a lack of a roof.
Another historic site, for nature lovers, are the Stoneley Woods and adjoining Raeburn Moor. Stoneley Woods are an ancient woodland carved into the valley of the Robin Brook river, which has it's source in Charnock; Raeburn Moor is an area of moorland and heathland right next to it. These can both be accessed from Bowman Drive. Close to Raeburn Moor are several football pitches, which are home to local football team Charnock Ridgeway.
The Stoneley Woods interlink with a series of ancient woodlands that follow the valley of the Robin Brook for several miles until the river joins The Moss river in Ford, Derbyshire. This area itself is a fascinating site, known as Moss Valley, named after the river which formed it, The Moss (note that the name of the river includes the "the", strangely). Moss Valley is a very nice area, with several beautiful secluded Derbyshire villages such as Troway, Apperknowle, and Ridgeway. It also includes it's fair share of woodland, and the Moss Valley Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). An abandoned railway line can be found in some woodlands in the valley, including an abandoned Rolls-Royce shunter and other railway miscellania, if you look hard enough, for railway enthusiasts. These railways used to run to the quarries in the valley. Although the railway is long gone, one quarry, at Troway, still operates on a very small scale, providing jobs for many people in the valley. The valley is bordered to the north by Sheffield and the south by open countryside not far from the towns of Dronfield and Chesterfield. The western end of the valley is at Jordanthorpe, Sheffield, while the eastern end is at Eckington, Sheffield.
There is a children's play area at Charnock Recreation Ground, which has had much investment over the past five years to provide new equipment including a zipwire and climbing pyramid. There are also two full-size football pitches and a gravel fitness circuit around it for those who like to nip out for some exercise. There are also some picnic benches and and a stone ampitheatre looking out over the countryside towards Birley and Ridgeway.
Where to stayEdit
A nice place to stay is Carter Lodge. This is a little lodging located down a country track known as Carter Lane, which is accessed from a junction which Charnock Dale Road close to the school. Carterhall Lane runs past the school and recreation ground, before reaching the lodge. It continues past the lodge down to Carterhall Farm. There are also numerous places to stay a short distance from Charnock in Moss Valley, especially around the village of Apperknowle, where there is also a grass airfield, which is still in use.
If you are looking for a longer-term stay, there are rentable flats in two locations on Bowman Drive; a large 1980s complex close to the Stoneley Woods, and several converted 1940s semi-detached houses close to the Outer Ring Road for those who prefer a more homely feel.