Lady’s Valley

The North Cliff sandstone quarry – at the top of the stone railway running down to the lime kilns below, became known as Lady’s Valley – a title attributed to the story that a woman once hanged herself there.

The area hosted all kinds of events – both savoury and unsavoury.

Girls from the local Sunday school picnicked there – but in the Depression, prostitutes also met their clients there.

Many young girls were forbidden by their parents – on pains of a fate worse than death! – to go there!

Men also flocked from both Conisbrough and Denaby, for illegal gambling sessions there – some posted at the entrances to the area as lookouts against the local bobbies.

The constabulary would raid The Crags on a regular basis – with chaotic consequences as the gamblers fled in all directions.

The old newspaper cutting on the right shows the results of one such raid – on an illegal prize fight… one of the more common recreations in times gone by.

This went on until the late 1950s, when these activities faded in the new, technological world.

The quarry has now mostly been filled in. But Friends secretary Alan Brocklehurst took the photos of it (below) in early 2020.

Sheffield Independent – Monday 04 September 1899

Sudden Termination of a Prize-Fight At Conisbro’

At the West Riding Police Court, on Saturday, Daniel Edwards, miner, and Abraham Cranage, fitter, of New Conisbro’, were summoned for committing a breach of the peace by fighting at Conisbro’, on the 20th ult.; they were also summoned, along with Richard Dunlavy, Michael Dalton, Joseph Charles Steward, George Barlow, and Arthur Sudworth, for wilful damage to a hedge on the same day.

On the day named Sergeant Brown and two constables were near Conisbro’ crags, when they saw a crowds of about forty persons, including the defendants.

A prize- fight had been arranged, the principals being Edwards and Cranage. When the police were seen the men decamped, bursting through a hedge in order to escape.

The officers pursued and caught several men.The defendants each had to pay 1s. fine, 6d. damages and 6s. 6d. costs.

With acknowledgement to: Conisbrough and Denaby local history society