Coal had been mined in the park since Tudor times, but during the 18th century it was turned over almost entirely to that purpose. The Manor Colliery was in operation close to the ruins. It helped supply increased demand from the growing town and industry.
By the beginning of the 19th century, there was little to remind people of the former grandeur of Sheffield Manor Lodge. Local farmers, cutlers and coal miners had transformed it into a self-contained hamlet; a small rough-and-ready community clustered almost entirely around the colliery. It was largely remote from urban Sheffield and devoted to industrial tasks. In the 1840s, the former long gallery was converted into collier’s cottages. There was also shops, a school, a Methodist chapel and a public house, the Norfolk Arms, on-site, some of them built into the ruins.
The working conditions of the miners at the time were hard. “Anything more squalid, more wretched, or more dangerous than the dwellings that have been formed out of its remains would be difficult to conceive”, wrote local historian JD Leader in 1875.
During that time, the Turret House was used as the farm house for the Manor Farm, with the tenant farmers, the White family, living inside. In the 1870s, the 15th Duke of Norfolk commissioned his architect Charles Hadfield to restore it, which involved removing the surrounding farm buildings and renovating the house. The stained glass windows on the upper floors date from this Victorian restoration.
After a century of ongoing usage, the cottages in the ruins were being abandoned, and the tenants had moved out by the 1890s. The colliery closed in 1896 and shortly after 1900, all the post-16th century buildings were demolished and the site cleared.