Hyde Park, South Yorkshire
Hyde Park is a district in Sheffield, England. The area is named after fields that occupied the area in the early 19th century.
The area was used for cricket matches between 1824 and 1856. It had space for up to 10 cricket matches at a time. It was also the site of the first cricket match between Yorkshire and Lancashire on 20 July 1849.
Hyde Park was the site of the earliest large scale slum clearance in Britain, the previous back-to-back housing having been known as "Little Chicago" in the 1930s, due to the violent crimes sometimes committed there. The area was partially razed before the Second World War.
The nearby Park Hill housing estate was built between 1957 and 1961. Designed by Jack Lynn and Ivor Smith, the deck access scheme, inspired by Le Corbusier's Unité d'Habitation and the Smithson's unbuilt schemes, most notably for Golden Lane in London, was viewed as revolutionary at the time.
The concept of the flats was described as streets in the sky. Broad decks, wide enough for milk floats, had large numbers of front doors opening onto them. Each deck of structure, except the top one, has direct access to ground level at some point on the sloping site. The site also allows the roofline to remain level despite the building varying between four and thirteen stories in height. The scheme incorporates a shopping precinct and a primary school.
Further housing schemes were completed to similar designs, include the nearby Hyde Park estate and the Kelvin Flats. Although initially popular and successful, over time the fabric of the buildings decayed somewhat and some other disadvantages have become apparent. The buildings at Hyde Park were partially demolished and refurbished for use in the 1991 Summer Universiade. The Kelvin estate was demolished in the early nineties, replaced with the smaller Philadelphia housing estate with both private and rented houses. The Park Hill estate still survives as a grade II* listed building, and large scale renovation is under way.
- Several photos of the Hyde Park Estate by Peter Jones
- Sources for the study of the history of Park Hill and Hyde Park flats Produced by Sheffield City Council's Libraries and Archives