While you were sleeping last night. This is a wet and deserted Earl Way, which lies parallel between The Moor and Eyre Street.
If we go back to Norman times, and the time of Thomas de Furnival, this was thought to have been the site of a large ditch at the edge of Sheffield Deer Park, one of England’s largest deer parks, and spanning a circumference of eight miles in total.
Earl Way is modern compared to most Sheffield roads. It was created in the second half of the twentieth century when this part of the city centre was redeveloped. Prior to this, there were three significant roads in the vicinity.
These were Porter Street, that ran diagonally from Hereford Street, towards Moorhead, and Porter Lane, a narrow road that linked it with Union Lane.
Union Lane once ran from Charles Street, near to the Roebuck Tavern, across Furnival Road (now Furnival Gate) and ended at Jessop Street (where the Moor Market now stands). The only surviving section of Union Lane is behind Derwent House, near The Roebuck (think deer).
In this photograph, it would have run along the left hand side where the former Plug nightclub and Kit-Kat car-park stand. Porter Street would have been to the right.
If we could go back in time, right in the centre of the picture, and in the middle of the road, would have been Porter Street School.
There were two reasons why Earl Way came into being.
Up until the 1930s, this was an area of back-to-back housing and designated for slum clearance. Then came World War Two. German bombs caused extensive damage around The Moor, Porter Street, and Eyre Street, leaving the site to be redeveloped afterwards.
Union Lane disappeared, and Earl Way was built as a link road to Earl Street (seen running across the end of the road here).
And familiar landmarks appeared too, including the Pump Tavern, later demolished to make way for the Moor Market, and Violet May, a record shop, run by a pivotal figure in the development of the music scene in Sheffield.
Perhaps the most dramatic modern building is the Kit-Kat car-park, designed by Broadway Malyan in 2008, and sold for £9m last month by joint owners NewRiver and BRAVO Strategies.
©2022 David Poole. All Rights Reserved.