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This article is about the city in England. For other uses see Sheffield.
City of Sheffield
Status: Metropolitan borough, City (1893)
Region: Yorkshire and the Humber
Ceremonial County: South Yorkshire
- Total
Ranked 129th
367.94 km²
Admin. HQ: Sheffield
ONS code: 00CG
- Total (2002 est.)
- Density
Ranked 3rd
1,392 / km²

Metro area population: 1,366,023.

Ethnicity: 91.2% White
4.6% S.Asian
1.8% Afro-Carib.
Sheffield City Council
Leadership: Leader & Cabinet
Executive: Labour
MPs: Richard Allan, Clive Betts, David Blunkett, Richard Caborn, Helen Jackson, Meg Munn

Sheffield is a city and metropolitan borough in the north of England. The population of the City of Sheffield borough in 2002 was estimated at 512,242. It has grown, from its industrial roots to encompass a wide economic base and is now one of the ten largest cities in England. Sheffield's unofficial metropolitan area has a population of 1,366,200.

The city boundaries of Sheffield include a significant area of the countryside which surrounds the main urban region. One third of Sheffield is within the Peak District National Park (no other English city has a national park within its boundary), and Sheffield is generally recognized as England's greenest city, containing 150 woodlands and 50 public parks.

Sheffield is largely unparished, but Bradfield and Ecclesfield have parish councils and Stocksbridge has a town council.

The present boundaries were set in 1974, when the former county borough of Sheffield merged with Stocksbridge urban district and part of Wortley Rural District .



People from Sheffield are called Sheffielders. They are also colloquially known as "Dee-dars" (which derives from their pronunciation of the "th" in the dialectal words "thee" and "thou") although the term is in decline and is not nearly as prevalent as "Scouse" is for "Liverpudlian" or "Geordie" is for "Novocastrian". Many Yorkshire dialect words and aspects of pronunciation derive from old Norse ([1]) due to the Viking influence in this region.

According to Wikipedia's List of English districts by ethnic diversity (based on the 2001 UK Census) Sheffield's ethnic diversity is as follows:

Rank District White % S.Asian % Afro-Carib % Chinese & other %
62 Sheffield 91.2 4.6 1.8 0.8

Sheffield also has a large Polish and Somali population.


Panorama of Sheffield (Centre and North) 2004
Panorama of Sheffield (Centre and North) 2004

The area, is now part of the region known as South Yorkshire, on its border with the forests of Nottinghamshire and the Derbyshire Dales. Sheffield was historically part of the West Riding of Yorkshire and, before this, the Saxon shire of Hallamshire. It is located at .

The city nestles in a natural amphitheatre of seven hills, at the confluence of five rivers; Don, Sheaf, Rivelin, Loxley and Porter. Directly to the west is the Peak District National Park and the Pennine hill-range. (The Mass Trespass of Kinder Scout, which now forms part of the Peak District N.P., was a landmark in the campaign for national parks and open access to moorland in Britain. It became Britain's first National Park on December 28 1950).


Main article History of Sheffield

The remains of Britain's earliest known "house", a circle of stones in the shape of a hut-base (dated to around 8000 BC) were found at what is now Deepcar, in the north of the city. In fact, evidence of Ice Age middle Paleolithic cave-dwellers (43,000 to 10,000 BC) has been found in the region, at nearby Creswell Crags (the western border of the Creswell Crags Heritage Area overlaps the eastern boundary of Sheffield at the modern M1 motorway).

By the Bronze Age the region which we now call Sheffield was attracting more and more tribal peoples. In about 1500 BC, the Middle Bronze Age tribes reached the area. These people (sometimes called the Urn people) were armed warriors led by fierce chiefs, who subdued the earlier pastoral dwellers. They built numerous stone circles, both large and small. Examples can be found on Moscar Moor, Froggat Edge and Hordron Edge. Two Early Bronze Age urns have been found at Crookes and three Middle Bronze Age barrows found at Lodge Moor (both suburbs of the modern city).

An Iron Age fort was constructed at Wincobank, in what is now northeastern Sheffield. The ramparts of this fort stood on the summit of a steep hill above the River Don. It was built by the Celtic Brigantes tribe in the 1st century AD, possibly to withstand the northward advance of the Roman legions. A minor Roman road also ran through the north of the city, but the settlement which grew into Sheffield is unlikely to have appeared until the Anglo-Saxon period.

The Saxons founded a settlement beside the River Sheaf sometime between 410 and 866, which was called Scafield or Escafeld (both probably pronounced "Sheffeld"), and it was at Dore, some six miles south-west, and now a suburb of Sheffield, that King Egbert of Wessex received the submission of King Eanred of Northumbria in 829 and so became the first Saxon ruler of all England. The Anglo Saxon Chronicle records; "This year [829] was the moon eclipsed, on mid-winter's mass- night; and King Egbert, in the course of the same year, conquered the Mercian kingdom, and all that is south of the Humber".

Areas of Sheffield likely to have existed as settlements in the Anglo-Saxon period include Attercliffe, Bramley, Brightside, Brincliffe, Darnall, Fulwood, Gleadless, Handsworth, Heeley, Longley, Norton, Owlerton, Shirecliffe, Southey, Tinsley, Totley, Wadsley, Walkley and Woodseats. It's interesting to note how many of these names end in 'ley', which signifies a clearing in the forest. 'Ton' at the end of a name means 'an enclosed farmstead', as in Norton and Owlerton.

Sheffield retained its Saxon lord, Waltheof, for some years after the Norman Conquest of 1066. It was at the time of the Norman Conquest that Sheffield and the surrounding district was named for the first time as the manor of "Hallun" or Hallamshire. This is found in the Domesday Book, which William the Conqueror ordered to be compiled so that the value of the townships and manors of England could be assessed. The entries in the Domesday Book are written in a kind of Latin shorthand and the extract for this area begins :

M. hi Hallvn, cu XVI bereuvitis sunt. XXIX. carucate trae
Ad gld. Ibi hb Walleff com aula. . . etc.

Translated it reads:

'In Hallam, one manor with its sixteen hamlets, there are twenty-nine carucates [~14 km²] to be taxed. There Earl Waltheof had an "Aula" [hall or court]. There may have been about twenty ploughs. This land Roger de Busli holds of the Countess Judith. He has himself there two carucates [~1 km²] and thirty-three villeins hold twelve carucates and a half [~6 km²]. There are eight acres [32,000 m²] of meadow, and a pasturable wood, four leuvae in length and four in breadth [~10 km²]. The whole manor is ten leuvae in length and eight broad [207 km²]. In the time of Edward the Confessor it was valued at eight marks of silver [5.33]; now at forty shillings [2.00].
In Ateclive and Escafeld [Attercliffe and Sheffield], two manors, Sweyn had five carucates of land [~2.4 km²] to be taxed. There may have been about three ploughs. This land is said to have been inland, demesne [domain] land of the manor of Hallam.'

In fact, by the time the Domesday survey was completed [1086], Waltheof, Earl of Northumbria, and the last of the Anglo-Saxon earls, still remaining in England, a full decade after the Norman conquest, had been executed [1076] for his part in an uprising against William I. His lands had passed to his wife, Judith of Normandy, niece to William the Conqueror. The lands were held on her behalf by Roger de Busli who died around the end of the 11th century, and was succeeded by a son, who died without issue. The family's lands passed to William de Lovetot , the son of a Norman baron who had come over with the Conqueror, and who had succeeded the powerful Roger de Builli.

William de Lovetot founded the parish church, which today is the cathedral [2], St. Mary's Church at Handsworth, and also built the original wooden Sheffield Castle around which the city grew. (This was replaced by a stone-built structure around 1270)

Mary Queen of Scots spent 14 years, from 28th November 1570 onwards, imprisoned in Sheffield Castle and its dependent buildings. The castle park once extended beyond the present Manor Lane, where the remains of Manor Lodge are to be found. Beside them is the Turret House, an Elizabethan building, which may have been built to accommodate the captive queen. A room, believed to have been the queen's, has an elaborate plaster ceiling and overmantle, with heraldic decorations.

During the English Civil War, Sheffield changed hands several times, finally falling to the Parliamentarians, who demolished the Castle in 1648.

16th. Century "Bishops' House", Sheffield.
16th. Century "Bishops' House", Sheffield.

The Industrial Revolution brought large scale steel making to Sheffield in the 18th. century. Much of the medieval town was swept away to be replaced in some part by Georgian elegance, but also by Victorian squalor. Sheffield's city centre has been largely rebuilt in recent years, but among the concrete and glass of modern buildings, some of the best old buildings have been retained.

Sheffield's oldest surviving building is Sheffield Cathedral, while other notable mediaeval buildings include Beauchief Abbey, the Bishops' House, and the Old Queen's Head pub in Pond Hill, which dates from around 1480, with its timber frame still intact.

Some Robin Hood legends link the character to the Sheffield region, not least the association of "Robert of Locksley" to the Sheffield region of Loxley, and the proximity of the city to the "Barnsdale" Forest.

Parts of the city were devastated by the Great Sheffield Flood, when the Sheffield Waterworks Company's Dale Dyke dam, which was approaching completion after five years' construction work, collapsed on Friday 11 March, 1864.

The city's early success in Steel production unfortunately involved long working hours, in unpleasant conditions which offered little or no safety protection. It was no coincidence, therefore, that Sheffield became one of the main centres for trade union organisation and agitation in the UK. By the 1860s, the inevitable conflict between capital and labour provoked the so-called 'Sheffield Outrages', which culminated in a series of explosions and murders carried out by union militants.

The UK Association of Organised Trades was founded in Sheffield in 1866, a forerunner of the Trades Union Congress (TUC). The Sheffield Trades Council, which is still active today, was founded in 1871.

The Sheffield Coat of Arms, as shown on the Sheffield City Council website [3] were granted to the Sheffield Borough Council on 16th July 1875, and subsequently to the present City Council on 1st September 1977.

The lion on the crest is taken from the Arms of the Dukes of Norfolk, lords of the manor of Sheffield; it appeared also in the Arms of the Talbot family, their predecessors in the lordship.

The sheaf of arrows was the main motif in the seals of the Burgery of Sheffield and the Twelve Capital Burgesses, the two bodies which bore the brunt of local government in Sheffield before the town's incorporation as a Borough in 1843.

The three wheatsheaves on a green field were probably chosen at the College of Arms as a play upon the name Sheffield.

The two supporters, Vulcan and Thor, were chosen for their aptness to represent a place whose prosperity was almost entirely founded on the working of metal. Thor on the left, the smith of the Scandinavian gods has his hand resting on a hammer, and Vulcan on the right, the smith of the Greek and Roman gods, is standing in front of an anvil and is holding a pair of pincers.

The motto Deo Adjuvante Labor Proficit may be roughly translated as "With God's help our labour is successful".


By the 14th century, Sheffield was becoming noted for its manufacture of quality knives, and Chaucer's miller carried a Sheffield knife in the Canterbury Tales. By the 16th century, the city was producing a wide variety of cutlery, and it was Thomas Boulsover's invention of Sheffield Plate (silver-plated copper), in the early 18th century, that made Sheffield world renowned. Cutlery made of Sheffield steel was regarded highly in 19th century England.

Sheffield's Assay Office opened in 1773, and stamps precious metals with the city's crown mark.

Sheffield has an international reputation for steel-making, which dates from 1740, when Benjamin Huntsman discovered the crucible technique for steel manufacture, at his workshop in the district of Handsworth. This process had an enormous impact on the quantity and quality of steel producton and was only made obsolete, a century later, in 1856 by Henry Bessemer's invention of the Bessemer Convertor which allowed the true mass production of steel. Bessemer had moved his Bessemer Steel Company to Sheffield to be at the heart of the industry. A more recent major Sheffield steel invention was that of stainless steel by Harry Brearley in 1912, and the work of Profs. F. B. Pickering and T. Gladman throughout the 1960s, '70s, and '80s was fundamental to the development of modern high strength low alloy steels.

While iron and steel have always been the main industries of Sheffield, coal mining has been a major feature of the outlying areas, and the Palace of Westminster in London was built using limestone from quarries in the nearby village of Anston.

The Sheffield Industrial Museums Trust, a partnership between Sheffield City Council, Sheffield Hallam University and The Cutlers' Company of Hallamshire, has preserved key sites associated with the city's industrial heritage, some of which actually still operate ancient equipment for the public, such as the Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet and the Kelham Island Museum.

Northwest of the city lies Wortley Top Forge, which was a heavy ironworks of international renown. It is a site of historical and industrial importance, contributing to Sheffield's reputation for manufacturing high-quality, precision steel goods, though actually it is located within the boundaries of neighbouring Barnsley

The city once spearheaded the knowledge advances which gave it preeminence in steel and cutlery production, today the transfer of technology from Sheffield's universities is guaranteeing Sheffield's continuing industrial and commercial evolution, creating cutting-edge enterprises across the city.

High technology businesses such as the US company Fluent, for example, have chosen Sheffield as the centre for their international operations and so has Jennic, specialists in semiconductor design for the Internet.

Large scale investment in Sheffield is currently (2004) maintaining a particularly high level, and the recent announcements by leading international companies including Boeing and Insight Enterprises to invest in the City are further fuelling this interest.

Insight Enterprises will invest 50m in a new European headquarters resulting in 1700 jobs over the 2005-2008 period, while Boeing, through its collaboration with the University of Sheffield will be at the centre of an advanced manufacturing park on the edge of the City, home to a cluster of businesses in the advanced manufacturing sector.

Sheffield also hosts one of Europe's largest shopping centre complexes, Meadowhall, with its own transport hub, bringing customers by road, rail and tram, from the city itself, neighbouring towns and the surrounding regions.

Economy and government

Sheffield is governed by an elected City Council. Its Constitution sets out how the Council operates, how decisions are made and the procedures which are followed to ensure that these are efficient, transparent and accountable to local people.

Some of these processes are required by the law, while others are a matter for the Council to choose. The Constitution is divided into 16 articles which set out the basic rules governing the Council's business. More detailed procedures and Codes of Practice are provided in separate rules and protocols.

Sheffield Town Hall and the Peace Gardens.
Sheffield Town Hall and the Peace Gardens.

The city also has a Lord Mayor. In the past, the Office of Mayor had very considerable authority, and carried with it executive powers over the finances and affairs of the Corporation. The Mayor carried out many of the duties later attached to the office of Town Clerk, and as well as presiding over the meetings of the Corporation, the Mayor also presided over the Bench of Magistrates as Chief Magistrate of the Borough Court.

The Lord Mayor's position has most recently been laid down by the Local Government Act 1972. This requires that; he shall be elected annually by the Council from among the Councillors, his/her term of office is for one year commencing at the Annual Meeting of Council, on the third Wednesday in May, during his term of office he shall continue to be a member of the Council, the Lord Mayor shall have precedence in all places in the district but not so as to prejudicially affect Her Majesty's Royal prerogative, and the Council may pay to the Lord Mayor for the purpose of enabling him to meet the expenses of his office such allowance as they think reasonable.

According to the Sheffield City Council Statement of Accounts 2002/2003 the Gross Revenue Expenditure of 1,005 million was financed as follows; Council Tax 13% (139m) Specific Government Grants 25% (263m) Council House Rents 11% (121m) Fees, Charges and Other Income 10% (106m) Other Financing 2% (21m) Central Government Grants 39% (405m)

In May 2002, Sheffield City Council ran an innovative e-Voting pilot scheme to increase voter-participation. The project was funded by the UK Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) and entailed close cooperation between Central and Local Government to ensure that the broader benefits of the pilot extended beyond election day itself via the provision of a strong launching pad for wider e-Democracy initiatives.

This pilot was extended in 2003 to cover half of the City electorate in what was the world's biggest online governmental election to date.

The 2004 Barclays Bank Financial Planning study [4]revealed that, in 2003, the Sheffield district of Hallam was the highest ranking area outside London for overall wealth, the proportion of people earning over 60,000 a year standing at almost 12%.

Sheffield is the largest centre of the civil service outside of London with practically all the major departments represented.


Sheffield has a long sporting heritage. In 1855, a collective of cricketers joined with pupils from Collingswood School to form the world's first ever official football club: Sheffield F.C., and by 1860 there were 15 football clubs in Sheffield. There are now only two local clubs in the Football League: Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday.

Sheffield also has close ties with snooker, due to the fact that the city's Crucible Theatre is the venue for the World Snooker Championships. It also boasts the Sheffield Eagles rugby league, Sheffield Sharks basketball and Sheffield Steelers ice hockey teams.

The Sheffield Ski Village is the largest artificial ski resort in Europe. The city also has two indoor climbing centres and is the home of climber Joe Simpson.

Many of Sheffield's extensive sporting facilities were built for the World Student Games which the city hosted in 1991. They include the Don Valley International Athletics Stadium, Sheffield Arena, and Ponds Forge international diving and swimming complex, where Olympic medallist Leon Taylor trains. There are also facilities for golf, climbing and bowling, as well as a newly inaugurated (2003) ice-skating arena.

In 2004 Sheffield hosted the Eighth World Firefighter Games.

Sheffield is one of the UK's National Cities of Sport and is now home to the English Institute of Sport (EIS).

Culture and attractions

7.2% of Sheffield's working population are employed in the creative industries, well above the national average of 4% (Sheffield City Council Statistics, 2004)


Sheffield has been the home of several well known bands and musicians, with an unusually large number of synth pop and other electronic outfits hailing from there. These include the Human League, Heaven 17, the Thompson Twins, Wavestar and the more industrially inclined Cabaret Voltaire. This electronic tradition has continued: techno label Warp Records was a central pillar of the Yorkshire Bleeps and Bass scene of the early 1990s, and has gone on to become one of Britain's oldest and best-loved dance music labels. Moloko and Autechre, one of the leading lights of so-called intelligent dance music, are also based in Sheffield. The city is also home to Gate Crasher One and Bed, two of the most popular nightclubs in the north of England.

Sheffield has also seen the birth of Pulp, The Human League, Def Leppard, Joe Cocker, The Longpigs and the free improvisors Derek Bailey and Tony Oxley. Mercury Music Prize award winners Gomez are also connected to Sheffield as some of the founding members went to the University of Sheffield together.

The city's ties with music were acknowledged in 1999, when the National Centre for Popular Music, a museum dedicated to the subject of popular music was opened. It was not as successful as was hoped, however, and later evolved to become a live music venue. It was announced in February 2003 that the unusual steel-covered building would be given over to the students' union at Sheffield Hallam University. Live music venues in the city include the Leadmill , the City Hall, the University of Sheffield and the Studio Theatre at the Crucible Theatre

Sheffield is home to the world renowned Lindsay string quartet, who are retiring from the stage in June 2005.


Sheffield has two universities, Sheffield Hallam University and University of Sheffield. The two combined bring 45,000 students to the city every year many from the Far East. As a result of its large student popualtion Sheffield has many bars, cafes, clubs and shops as well as student housing to accomodate them.

National Centre For Popular Music Sheffield.
National Centre For Popular Music Sheffield.

Famous Sheffield people


Sheffield has two major theatres, the Lyceum Theatre and the Crucible, and four major art galleries, including the modern Millennium Galleries and the Site Gallery which specialises in multimedia.

The city also has a number of other attractions such as the Sheffield Winter Gardens and the Peace Gardens.

The city also has several museums, including the Sheffield City Museum, the Kelham Island Museum, the Sheffield Fire and Police Museum and Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet.

Media and film

The films The Full Monty, Threads, and Whatever Happened to Harold Smith? were based in the city (indeed, Threads depicted it being destroyed in a thermonuclear war with the Soviet Union!); F.I.S.T. also included several scenes filmed in Sheffield.

Sheffield's daily newspaper is the Sheffield Star , complemented by the weekly Sheffield Telegraph . The BBC's Radio Sheffield, and the independent Hallam FM and sister station Magic AM broadcast to the city.

Twin cities

Sheffield is twinned or has close links with the following cities:


Although not as well known as neighbouring Manchester for its shopping, Sheffield is still a major retail centre. As well as the Meadowhall Shopping centre, Sheffield City centre has many high-street and department stores as well as designer boutiques. The main shopping areas are on The Moor precinct, Fargate, Orchard Square and the Devonshire Quarter. Major shops in Sheffield City centre include John Lewis, Marks & Spencer, Waitrose and Debenhams.


Motorways and roads

The M1 motorway links Sheffield to London.The M18 links Sheffield to Doncaster and the Humber ports. While the A57 and A61 roads run east-west and north-south through the city centre. The Sheffield Parkway runs connects the city centre with the motorways. An outer ring road relieves congestion in the east of the city, and an inner ring road due to finally be completed over the next few years will allow traffic to avoid the city centre. Congestion is a problem, particularly during rush hours in the west of the city.


The city has a tram system, known as the "Sheffield Supertram", operated by Stagecoach.


There is also a sizable bus infrastructure, the hub of which is the Pond Street bus station and Archway Centre and one at Meadowhall.

Train and rail

Sheffield once had two mainline railway stations, Sheffield Victoria station on the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway, and Sheffield Midland station on the Midland Main Line. The former is now demolished, but the latter is still a major station on the British rail network. There is another major rail station at Meadowhall and more smaller ones in three Sheffield Suburbs.


Sheffield City Airport opened in 1997, although it does not now have any scheduled services. A new International airport Robin Hood Airport Doncaster Sheffield located 18km from Sheffield is due to open in early 2005. Manchester International Airport, Leeds Bradford International Airport and Nottingham East Midlands Airport all lie within one hours drive from Sheffield.

Buildings, landmarks and institutions

Notable buildings, landmarks and institutions in Sheffield include:

Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet, Arts Tower, Attercliffe Chapel
Beauchief Abbey, Birley Spa, Bramall Lane, Broomhill Church
Cathedral Church of St Marie, Cobweb Bridge, Crucible Theatre, Cutlers Hall
Don Valley Stadium
Hallam FM Arena, Hillsborough Stadium, The "Hole in the Road"
Lady's Bridge, Lyceum Theatre
Meadowhall, Millennium Galleries
National Centre for Popular Music
Park Hill Flats, Park Square Bridge, Peace Gardens, Ponds Forge
Sheffield Arena, Sheffield Assay Office, Sheffield Botanical Gardens, Sheffield Castle, Sheffield Cathedral, Sheffield City Hall, Sheffield College , Sheffield General Cemetery, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield Manor, Sheffield Star , Sheffield Town Hall, Sheffield Winter Gardens, Shepherd Wheel, St. Mary's Parish Church, Handsworth
Tinsley viaduct
University of Sheffield


Main article Districts of Sheffield

Parliamentary constituencies in Sheffield:

External links

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