Public Art Research Archive, Sheffield
Hallam University PUBLIC ART IN SHEFFIELD
(stonemason); M.E. Hadfield (architect)
Duke of Norfolk's coat of arms, 1880
Above the archway of the tower of
Clark & Partners, Clough Road, Sheffield S2 4EE. (A-Z p99 4F)
This stone carved feature is set into a window-shaped frame, with stone
lintels and brick sides. It contains a shield surmounted by a crowned helmet
above and behind which is a banner whose lettering is no longer decipherable.
The helmet is also in poor condition.
The Howard family motto: "SOLA VIRTUS INVICTA" (Virtue alone cannot
be conquered). The lettering is badly worn and unreadable.
The building was raised as a drill
hall for the 4th West York Artillery Volunteers. Hadfield put forward two
designs for the Drill Hall, that built being the smaller and less ambitious
of the two. The foundation stone was laid on 25th September 1878 by Flora
Fitzalan-Howard, 15th Duchess of Norfolk. The building completed, after some
delays, in 1880, being formally opened on 2nd June 1880 with a grand dinner
The cost, originally estimated at £9,000 was eventually £13,000.
The money was raised from sales of shares in a joint stock company formed
from the Officers of the Artillery Volunteers. Henry Fitzalan-Howard, 15th
Duke of Norfolk, purchased 30 shares.
Following the national re-organistion of volunteer corps in 1908 the building
became Crown property in 1910 and after some refurbishment was reopened on
24th May 1912 by General Sir John French. In the two World Wars the building
was used as a base for a Royal Artillery units and also by the Home Guard.
In peace time it was the HQ for Sheffield's Artillery Volunteers until 1967,
after which the building was empty for more than ten years. 
For much of the Drill Hall's active
military life it was also available for a hire as a venue being one of the
largest spaces in Sheffield at that time. It housed flower shows, Trades Exhibitions,
Ideal Home Exhibitions, and weekend dances and recitals. There were a number
of political meetings held in the building; the Prime Minister spoke there
in 1903 and another meeting was wrecked by suffragettes in 1906. Sporting
events were held there: roller skating, boxing matches, and walking marathons
from 1882. Charles Blondin the tightrope walker appeared there in 1885.
The building is now occupied by Clark & Partners who specialise in repairs
and conversions of vehicles, chairs and othfor other equipment for disabled
users. It was bought by them in 1979.
Sources: Johnson, S. "From Bailey to
Bailey", 1998. p.30-33