If you’re out walking in the delightful Loxley Valley try and take a look at Claremont House. This once grand Victorian mansion, which dates back to the 1890’s, is now nearly at the point of no return as the roof and most of the internal walls have now gone and it is a mere shell. 20 years ago it was in a perfectly sound condition and would have converted admirably to a nursing home or luxury flats. It is now a total ruin and a disgrace that anyone could have allowed what was once a valuable heritage asset to get into this state.
It was built by James Swift who actually lived there and Swift Bros were a famous firebrick manufacturer and at that time the valley was a hive of industry with Olive Mill , Owlerton Rolling Mills and Storrs Bridge Mill amongst the inhabitants. Claremont House was built on land at Storrs Bridge. In the 1920’s and 30’s it was the home of fishmonger George Bott and his wife Emily. George must have been very successful to live in a house such as this. His shop was at Woodseats and in those days it would have been a considerable distance for a daily commute. The family later opened a branch in the town centre on King Street. The Woodseats shop incidentally is now home to the famous Boldock’s fishmongers and game dealers who are nicely carrying on the tradition. Plus ça change!
Thomas Marshall and his family occupied Claremont House through the 1940s to late 1960s and after he died in 1965 and the family moved out, it eventually became the offices of Thomas Marshall’s sports & social club. Their rivals Wraggs, were taken over by Hepworth Refractories, 85 jobs were lost and parent company G.R.Stein moved its offices to Ranmoor. After being used as the social club, the old house was sold off in the early nineties and left to rot. I won’t name and shame the two gentlemen who bought it but a quick search on the Land Registry will tell you who they are. I cannot fathom the thinking, financial or otherwise, behind this wanton neglect and would love to know what their ultimate plans are for this site. Any ideas anyone?