History of the First St John’s Church in Ranmoor with The Victorian Society – A Talk by Mary Grover followed by a Guided Tour

Saturday, 15th June 2024

2:00 pm to 4:00 pm

St John’s Church, Ranmoor Park Road, Sheffield



Surprisingly little is known about the two wealthy men who funded the elegant Victorian Gothic church of St John’s Ranmoor: James William Harrison, the cutler and scissor-maker who donated the land for the church and John Newton Mappin, the successful Rotherham brewer who funded its construction. Both men died childless and left few records of their activities. The masons, carpenters and other artisans who actually built the church left even fewer traces. This talk will focus on the hunt for relevant archives in the hope that other historians in this area may be able to follow in Mary’s steps and avoid her mis-steps.

This event is part of the Scissors Paper Stone community project exploring the origins of St John’s Church in Ranmoor: the people who built it, the community which founded it and the people it served.

The talk and tour will be followed by refreshments at 4.00pm. You are welcome to stay for an exhibition of paintings by our Victorian Society Secretary, Margaret Bennett. Margaret will introduce the exhibition at 5.30pm.
At 6.00pm there is a concert by the choirs of St John’s celebrating the builders of the church. 

Dr Mary Grover founded Reading Sheffield. This group explores the reading habits of Sheffielders in the last three hundred years. Her book about the oral histories the group gathered from readers growing up in Sheffield in the first half of the twentieth century is called Steel City Readers (Liverpool University Press 2023). Her previous books, while at Sheffield Hallam University, concerned the development of reading tastes in the early twentieth century, in particular the cultural snobbery surrounding the emergence of a new reading public in the 1930s and 1940s. Her present community history project, Scissors Paper Stone, founded in 2023, is helping to bring together historians, artists, dramatists and musicians to explore the history of St John’s and its role in the community.

St John’s Church
Ranmoor Park Road
S10 3GX