Jessops Hospital for Women, Leavygreave Road, Sheffield

The place where I was born 

The Hospital site is on the corner of Broad Lane and Upper Hanover Street and replaced the earlier Sheffield Womens Hospital in Figtree Lane (opened 29th June 1864 with just six beds). Designed by Mr J.D.Webster, the hospitals original Victorian building opened in 1878.and was built in the late Gothic style. It takes its name from Sheffield steelmaker Thomas Jessop (1804-1887) who donated £30,000 towards the building costs. Jessop's fortune came from steel; his father was a steel smelter and a partner in a steel firm. Thomas worked his way up through the family business and when his brother died in 1872, Thomas became the owner. The Jessop works at Brightside became one of the biggest steelworks in the country and in 1875 the firm became a limited company with a share capital of £400,000. Jessops specialised in Crucible steel for cutlery, edge tools, and engineering and also gained a reputation in America, particularly for cutlery steel. 

Thomas Jessop was a well known public figure and held many important civic posts including Master Cutler (1863), Mayor (1863-4), Alderman (1864), Town Trustee (1862) and JP (1863). As Mayor in 1864 Jessop had to deal with the aftermath of the great Sheffield flood. He became treasurer of a compensation fund of around £50,000. Jessop was also a member of Sheffield's first town council when the town became a corporate borough in 1843.

All babies born at Jessop's receive a certificate stating they are truly 'made in Sheffield'

Initially the hospital had a bed capacity of 35 but increasing demand led to an extension being added in the early 1900 which ran the length of the upper part of Gell Street to the point where it met Broad Lane. Incidentally it was designed by the same architect as the 1878 building. The six story St Georges block which faces St Georges Church was completed in the 1940's and twenty years later the Antenatal/Postnatal units together with the Physiotherapy Units were opened.

Like many public buildings in the Sheffield area in general and this area in particular, the hospital was allowed to deteriorate and eventually a new hospital was built behind the Royal Hallamshire Hospital. 

The site is derelict (2002) but has been purchased by the University of Sheffield for redevelopment.

The above photograph was taken in 1950 and shows the main entrance to the hospital together with the car park.

An article in the Sheffield Telegraph in March 2004 (pdf format) shows the latest position with regard to the Jessops site. Demolition of the Laundry block began in April 2004.

The Sheffield Star dated 9th April 1906 carried this report


Another announcement came in November 2006 the University of Sheffield eventually announced

"This next phase will see us refurbish and bring back to life the historic Victorian Wing of the old Jessop hospital building and build a landmark new
building on the west corner of the same site. These developments will provide new homes for the departments of Music, English, Law and History, and provide outstanding facilities for staff and students across the University.

The department of Music will move into the Victorian wing, once the careful refurbishment of this Grade II listed building is complete, whilst English, Law and History will all move into the new landmark building on the west corner of the site.

The new landmark building has been designed by Sauerbruch Hutton, award winning architects renowned for delivering iconic buildings, with environmental sustainability as a top priority. Sauerbruch Hutton won the contract as part of an internal architecture competition held by the University last year. This is an exciting time for us and we look forward to starting work early in 2007 and moving departments into their new homes in 2008."

In late January 2007, the demolition of the 1940's St Georges Wing at the Jessop Hospital site began to prepare the site for the development new academic buildings.

In November 2008, the University of Sheffield released the following statement

"One of Sheffield’s most treasured buildings has been given a new lease of life by the University. The Victorian Wing of the old Jessop Hospital for Women was the birth place of thousands of Sheffield residents. Now, thanks to the University, new generations will be able to enjoy the exquisite craftsmanship and grandeur of the building. The Jessop Building, as it will now be known, has been carefully restored and will now become home to the University’s Department of Music.

Contractors Kier Northern and architects careyjones have been overseeing the restoration of the Grade II listed building. The Jessop Building covers a total of 1540 square metres over three floors. It will provide office space and a computer studio for the University´s Department of Music and teaching space for the Faculty of Arts and Humanities as a whole.....

Professor Keith Burnett, Vice-Chancellor of the University, said: "We feel extremely proud to be unveiling the carefully restored and renovated Jessop Building. This is a building that is close to many people´s hearts and is an important part of Sheffield´s history. By bringing the building back to life we have created excellent facilities for our Department of Music and have retained a piece of exquisite Victorian architecture for the city."



 Name  Relation Marital Status Gender Age Birthplace Occupation
 Thomas  JESSOP  Head   Married   Male   77   Sheffield, York, England   Magistrate Retired Steel Manftr 
 F.Y.JESSOP  Wife   Married   Female   63   Liverpool, Lancashire, England    
 Catherine MAKON  Serv   U   Female   31   Monaghan Glebe   Cook (Dom) 
 Elizabeth STANLEY  Serv   U   Female   16   Carlton, Nottingham, England   Housemaid (Dom) 
 Lucy DURRAN  Serv   U   Female   23   Greasbro, York, England   Housemaid (Dom) 
 Maria COOK  Serv   U   Female   23   Sheffield, York, England   Chamber Maid (Dom) 
 Elleanor NORBURN  Serv   U   Female   24   Rotherham, York, England   Cook (Dom) 


This institution, under the name of the Sheffield Hospital for Women, was originated by Dr. Aveling, supported by numerous friends. Its object was to attend cases of midwifery amongst the poor. and to treat diseases peculiar to women. Established in 1864, in a building in
Figtree-lane, its work was carried on there till 1878, when the new hospital in Gell-street, through the munificent liberality of the late Mr.
Thomas Jessop, was built. It is a handsome, capacious, admirably-arranged building, and only requires increased subscriptions, or an endowment, to have all its capabilities fully developed. Mr. Jessop spent more than £30,000 upon it. A steam laundry has since been added by the family of the late Mr. Jessop. at a cost of over £1,000. Mr. J D. Webster was the architect. The medical officers are: Dr. Hime and Mr. F. Woolhouse, consulting; Dr. Keeling, Mr. R. Favell, Dr. Laver, and Dr. Martin, honorary; Mr. Sydney F. Barber, house surgeon; Miss Bourchier, matron; Mr.j. H. Barber, treasurer; Mr. H. B. Warner, 18, York-street, secretary.

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This page was last updated on 16/04/23 16:56