Main event at Sheffield Manor Lodge is the Friends sponsored “History through the ages re-enactment day” on Saturday June 3rd 2017 details below:


Saturday July 15th 2017 2.30pm Dr. David Starkey

Our Patron returns for another spellbinding talk. This time the politics of Henry VIII compared to the Modern times. Henry VIII is the only king whose shape you remember. He bestrides our history like a colossus and the decisions he took still reverberate today. The Reformation is the first Brexit; his ministers devised the doctrine of parliamentary sovereignty and his tumultuous personal life pitted religion against politics as brutally as in our own age of Isis. In this lecture David Starkey draws on his unique knowledge of Henry’s reign on the one hand, and his insights as a leading commentator on modern politics on the other, to illuminate both the Tudor age and our own.

Please note for this event only, Non Members attending must be accompanied by Members. Price of tickets for this event are £10.00 Members and £12.00 Non Members. Also see our Talks Programme page

Mary QOS, Arbella, Bess and George Talbot
Mary QOS, Arbella, Bess and George Talbot

 Previous events are listed below. .

“Lady Arbella Stuart-the Queen that never was” returned for one night only on the day she died 400 years ago Sept 25 2015-1615

We were proud to present a major event in conjunction with Sheffield Cathedral when a special commemoration of Lady Arbella Stuart took place at Sheffield Cathedral on Friday Sept 25 2015. Lady Arbella is ranked 47th in top 100 Historical personage in BBC History Magazine ahead of Queen Victoria, William the Conqueror and many others. This proved to be very dramatic as it culminated in the wreath being laid on the Shrewsbury Chapel.


The Friends of Manor Lodge and Sheffield Cathedral were pleased to present a commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the death of Lady Arbella Stuart, 1615 – 2015.

Sheffield Cathedral. Friday 25 September at 7.15pm

It was an evening of history, drama and music in the magnificent surroundings of Sheffield Cathedral as we enjoyed a talk by David Templeman on the Life of Lady Arbella Stuart, followed after the interval by a dramatic interpretation of her life, featuring the characters of Lady Arbella, Bess of Hardwick and Mary, Queen of Scots and live Tudor music from the Doncaster Waites.”

The evening concluded with a grand procession, with music by Tudor musicians together with the principal characters and their ladies-in-waiting laid a wreath at the Tudor Shrewsbury Chapel within the Cathedral.

Sheffield Cathedral (then Sheffield Parish Church), would have been very familiar to Arbella Stuart, who visited regularly as a child and later as an adult. Her uncle, Gilbert (7th Earl of Shrewsbury) and her aunt, the Countess Mary, lived at Sheffield Manor Lodge and are buried in the Shrewsbury Chapel vault, together with Arbella’s mother, Elizabeth, Countess of Lennox.

In recognition of this close association we were proud to present this event to honour Arbella’s memory on the anniversary of the date of her death.

The event proved a great success  as per the quotes and letters received afterwards. Mr Alan York’s letter  printed in both the Sheffield Star and Telegraph best sums up the event:

Friday 25th September was the 400th Anniversary of the death in The Tower of London of Lady Arbella Stuart, “The Queen who Never Was”.
Many in Sheffield do not know that Arbella was the granddaughter of Bess of Hardwick, Countess of Shrewsbury and inherited her legitimate claim to be the heir of Queen Elizabeth 1, from her grandmother, The Countess of Lennox.

Bess of course, was the great entrepreneur who built Chatsworth, Hardwick Hall and Oldcotes Manor- no feminism here!

To mark the occasion, Sheffield Cathedral and the Friends of Sheffield Manor Lodge provided an outstanding evening of history, drama and music in period costume, including an absorbing and highly illuminating lecture on Arbella’s life from the well known historian David Templeman, followed by a series of playlets to illustrate key events in her fascinating but ultimately tragic story, culminating in a most moving speech by the ghost of Arbella played by Louisa Harris, explaining why she failed to fulfil her promise to inherit the throne.

This great performance concluded with a solemn procession of all the players in period costume and included, Lady Arbella Stuart, Mary Queen of Scots, Bess of Hardwick, George 6th Earl of Shrewsbury, a Narrator and Ladies in Waiting. All accompanied by the haunting music of the Tudor musicians of The Doncaster Waites. They proceeded to the magnificent Shrewsbury Chapel, towards a period painting of our heroine as a child, placed on display, where a wreath was laid to her memory.

Just surpassing words..

It was a truly moving ceremony to a monumental evening which told so much about our City’s history and its National significance in Tudor Times.

Sheffield Cathedral, then the Sheffield Parish Church would have been so familiar with Lady Arbella Stuart, who visited regularly as a child and later as an adult.

Her parents died when she was young and therefore her grandmother Bess of Hardwick brought her up – and education and decorum fit for a Queen – literally!

She died of Anorexia in The Tower -having tried to escape to France to meet with her husband (whom she had been forbidden to marry) – the only control she had left in her life!

This performance was so wonderful – it deserves to be a TV series- and soon!!

Alan York Commander RN Ret’d

S17 3EP

0114 2621902 EMAIL: alanyork@talktalk.net

Other quotes and letters are below:

What a wonderful evening you arranged for us at the Cathedral last Friday!! It really was a special occasion and you must be so proud of its success which was due, I’m sure, in large part to your vision and to your organisation of the programme and content of the evening, not to mention your talk which was excellent.  Afterwards the Cathedral was full of congratulatory comments.

Many congratulations.

Kind Regards

Roy G.


David, It was a great occasion Congratulations to everybody

Ann B.


Hello David,

What a wonderful evening in the Cathedral ! It was quite spectacular and was very well received by everyone.

Coreen Q. —————————————————————————————————————————————-

Some telephone comments were:

“Brilliant Evening” “outstanding –one I will never forget” “I thought it would be good but not that good!!”

Ron Clayton’s full review which was edited by the Star is as follows:

300 Sheffielders attended what was a poignant, interesting and thoroughly entertaining night, performed against the backdrop of the ancient stones of what is my favourite Sheffield building, subtly illuminated as opposed to the gloomy shadows of Wolf Hall. It was a commemoration of the 400th anniversary of Arbella’s tragic death performed with dignity and pomp and circumstance and accompanied by the authentic music of the Doncaster Waites with costumed players and a cast dressed in their Tudor best. David’s talk- which took up the first part of the event- climaxed- with the ultimate tragedy of this victim of circumstance which her heartbroken but stoic shade later reflected upon before a solemn and dignified promenade and a laying of a floral tribute – which the Cathedral does like no other in the city. History and a human tragedy brought to life in a manner with does credit to all those concerned. Little wonder I was on my feet applauding with the audience and calling Bravo ! Bravo!

Ron Clayton
The audience being entertained at the Lady Arbella event



Audience 300 strong at the Cathedral
Audience 300 strong at the Cathedral