We owe a lot to James Longden (1847-1907), the Chesterfield-born son of George and Mary Ann Longden. His father trained as a stone mason in Uppermill, on Saddleworth Moor, and James would have been about six when the family moved to Sheffield.
His father founded a building and construction firm on St. Phillip’s Road, a modest success, but one which allowed James to become a partner in 1868.
George Longden and Son relocated to Park Wood Road at Neepsend and by the end of the nineteenth century had grown into one of the best known building firms in the country.
After George Longden retired in 1884, James took over the business, one which went on to build some of Sheffield’s most iconic buildings – reconstruction of the Old City Theatre to become the Lyceum, Montgomery Hall, Sheffield City Hall, Town Hall extensions, the Sheffield Telegraph and Star Building, alterations to Midland Station, the Prudential Assurance Building, extensions to Sheffield Cathedral, Victoria Hall as well as the old Royal Infirmary Hospital.
After World War Two, the company’s fortunes declined, eventually moving into house building, before being liquidated in 1978. The name lived on as Longden Doors, reduced to door-making, until it went into administration earlier this year.