Stone Extension (c. 1878), and Possible Door from Kitchen

Extension Now Absorbed into Ruskin House, July 2009 [Copyright Marcus Waithe, 2009]

The room to the east of the hallway was the kitchen, used by the curator, Henry Swan, and his family. It is still in use as a kitchen, although its dimensions are altered.

Original Dimensions

The kitchen originally measured approximately 353 cm (frontal width) x 415 cm (depth) x 273 cm (height).

The chimney breast (see photograph) is located on the east side wall. It measures 143 cm across at its widest point. It is flanked by alcoves of 119 cm (left-hand) and 155 cm (right-hand).

At the south side of the west side wall, a doorway leads into a small pantry. This space gives access to the cellar stairs

Possible Door to 1878 Extension

The recessed shelves now situated to the right of the fireplace (see photograph) have a wooden frame. This frame may once have marked a doorway, giving access to the small stone extension erected in 1878.

The extension was subsequently blocked off, and is now part of two separate flats (above and below). On the ground floor, the extension area is in use as a bedroom. On the floor above, it is a bathroom.

Copyright Marcus Waithe, 2009; with thanks to John Smith, landlord of Ruskin House

Evidence of Further Extension

The kitchen was extended on the Bole Hill Road side, most probably as part of the construction of Ruskin House. The space added at the back of the room measures 353 cm (frontal width) x 156 cm (depth).

A red brick extension was subsequently added to the upper floors. The brick does not match the stone used elsewhere in Ruskin House, suggesting that the work was executed after the first major phase of expansion that followed the sale of the property.

An alternative explanation is that the kitchen was extended in Ruskin's time to serve the Museum's rear extension, erected in 1885. This might account for the lintel and blocked up door visible on the south-facing exterior wall of the pantry (link to photograph below).

The practical difficulties involved in leading visitors through the kitchen to the rear extension make this explanation less likely than the first. More research into the history the building is required to answer these questions definitively.

Inside the Museum
Extension, View 1
Extension, View 2
Extension, View 3
other Exhibits
History of the Museum
John Ruskin
About the Project
Museums Sheffield
Useful Links

Please leave feedback
on Facebook