Sheffield facts for kids
Quick facts for kids
"Deo Adjuvante Labor Proficit" "With God's help our labour is successful"
Sheffield shown within South Yorkshire
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|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Region||Yorkshire and the Humber|
|Ceremonial county||South Yorkshire|
Urban core and outlying areas
Some southern suburbs
|Founded||c. 8th century|
|Town charter||10 August 1297|
|Administrative HQ||Sheffield Town Hall|
|• Type||Metropolitan borough, City|
|• City||142.06 sq mi (367.94 km2)|
|• City||(Ranked )|
(Sheffield urban area)
|• Urban density||10,228/sq mi (3,949.2/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC+0 (Greenwich Mean Time)|
Sheffield is a city and metropolitan borough in South Yorkshire, England. Historically part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, its name derives from the River Sheaf, which runs through the city. With some of its southern suburbs annexed from Derbyshire, the city has grown from its largely industrial roots to encompass a wider economic base. The population of the City of Sheffield is (2005 est.) and it is one of the eight largest regional English cities that make up the Core Cities Group. Sheffield is the third largest English district by population. The metropolitan population of Sheffield is 1,569,000.
In the 19th century, Sheffield gained an international reputation for steel production. Known as the Steel City, many innovations were developed locally, including crucible and stainless steel, fuelling an almost tenfold increase in the population in the Industrial Revolution. Sheffield received its municipal charter in 1843, becoming the City of Sheffield in 1893. International competition in iron and steel caused a decline in these industries in the 1970s and 1980s, coinciding with the collapse of coal mining in the area.
The 21st century has seen extensive redevelopment in Sheffield along with other British cities. Sheffield's gross value added (GVA) has increased by 60% since 1997, standing at £9.2 billion in 2007. The economy has experienced steady growth averaging around 5% annually, greater than that of the broader region of Yorkshire and the Humber.
The city is in the eastern foothills of the Pennines, and the valleys of the River Don and its four tributaries, the Loxley, the Porter Brook, the Rivelin and the Sheaf. 61% of Sheffield's entire area is green space, and a third of the city lies within the Peak District national park. There are more than 250 parks, woodlands and gardens in the city, with an often quoted estimated 2 million trees, and claims of Sheffield having the highest ratio of trees to people of any city in Europe.
The city has a long sporting heritage, and is home to the world's oldest football club, Sheffield F.C. Games between the two professional clubs, Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday, are known as the Steel City derby.
The area now occupied by the City of Sheffield is believed to have been inhabited since at least the late Upper Palaeolithic period, about 12,800 years ago. The earliest evidence of human occupation in the Sheffield area was found at Creswell Crags to the east of the city. In the Iron Age the area became the southernmost territory of the Pennine tribe called the Brigantes. It is this tribe who are thought to have constructed several hill forts in and around Sheffield.
Following the departure of the Romans, the Sheffield area may have been the southern part of the Celtic kingdom of Elmet, with the rivers Sheaf and Don forming part of the boundary between this kingdom and the kingdom of Mercia. Gradually, Anglian settlers pushed west from the kingdom of Deira. A Celtic presence within the Sheffield area is evidenced by two settlements called Wales and Waleswood close to Sheffield. The settlements that grew and merged to form Sheffield, however, date from the second half of the first millennium, and are of Anglo-Saxon and Danish origin. In Anglo-Saxon times, the Sheffield area straddled the border between the kingdoms of Mercia and Northumbria. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle reports that King Eanred of Northumbria submitted to King Egbert of Wessex at the hamlet of Dore (now a suburb of Sheffield) in 829, a key event in the unification of the kingdom of England under the House of Wessex. After the Norman conquest, Sheffield Castle was built to protect the local settlements, and a small town developed that is the nucleus of the modern city.
By 1296, a market had been established at what is now known as Castle Square, and Sheffield subsequently grew into a small market town. In the 14th century, Sheffield was already noted for the production of knives, as mentioned in Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales, and by the early 1600s it had become the main centre of cutlery manufacture in England outside London, overseen by the Company of Cutlers in Hallamshire. From 1570 to 1584, Mary, Queen of Scots, was imprisoned in Sheffield Castle and Sheffield Manor.
During the 1740s, a form of the crucible steel process was discovered that allowed the manufacture of a better quality of steel than had previously been possible. In about the same period, a technique was developed for fusing a thin sheet of silver onto a copper ingot to produce silver plating, which became widely known as Sheffield plate. These innovations spurred Sheffield's growth as an industrial town, but the loss of some important export markets led to a recession in the late 18th and early 19th century. The resulting poor conditions culminated in a cholera epidemic that killed 402 people in 1832. The population of the town grew rapidly throughout the 19th century; increasing from 60,095 in 1801 to 451,195 by 1901. The town was incorporated as a borough in 1842 and was granted a city charter in 1893. The influx of people also led to demand for better water supplies, and a number of new reservoirs were constructed on the outskirts of the town.
The collapse of the dam wall of one of these reservoirs in 1864 resulted in the Great Sheffield Flood, which killed 270 people and devastated large parts of the town. The growing population led to the construction of many back-to-back dwellings that, along with severe pollution from the factories, inspired George Orwell in 1937 to write: "Sheffield, I suppose, could justly claim to be called the ugliest town in the Old World".
A recession in the 1930s was halted by increasing international tensions as the Second World War loomed; Sheffield's steel factories were set to work manufacturing weapons and ammunition for the war effort. As a result, the city became a target for bombing raids, the heaviest of which occurred on the nights of 12 and 15 December 1940, now known as the Sheffield Blitz. More than 660 lives were lost and many buildings destroyed.
In the 1950s and 1960s, many of the city's slums were demolished, and replaced with housing schemes such as the Park Hill flats. Large parts of the city centre were also cleared to make way for a new system of roads. Increased automation and competition from abroad resulted in the closure of many steel mills. The 1980s saw the worst of this run-down of Sheffield's industries, along with those of many other areas of the UK. The building of the Meadowhall Centre on the site of a former steelworks in 1990 was a mixed blessing, creating much needed jobs but hastening the decline of the city centre. Attempts to regenerate the city were kick-started when the city hosted the 1991 World Student Games, which saw the construction of new sporting facilities such as the Sheffield Arena, Don Valley Stadium and the Ponds Forge complex.
Sheffield is changing rapidly as new projects regenerate some of the more run-down parts of the city. One such, the Heart of the City Project, has initiated a number of public works in the city centre: the Peace Gardens were renovated in 1998, the Millennium Galleries opened in April 2001, the Winter Gardens were opened in May 2003, and a public space to link these two areas, the Millennium Square, was opened in May 2006. Additional developments included the remodelling of Sheaf Square, in front of the recently refurbished railway station. The new square contains "The Cutting Edge", a sculpture designed by Si Applied Ltd and made from Sheffield steel.
Sheffield was particularly hard-hit during the 2007 United Kingdom floods and the 2010 Big Freeze. Many landmark buildings such as Meadowhall and the Sheffield Wednesday grounds flooded due to being close to nearby rivers that flow through the city.
Sheffield is located at Rotherham, from which it is separated largely by the M1 motorway. Although Barnsley Metropolitan Borough also borders Sheffield to the north, the town itself is a few miles further away. The southern and western borders of the city are shared with Derbyshire; in the first half of the 20th century Sheffield extended its borders south into Derbyshire, annexing a number of villages, including Totley, Dore and the area now known as Mosborough Townships. Directly to the west of the city are the Peak District National Park and the Pennine hill range, while the lowlands of the South Yorkshire Coalfield lie to the east.. It lies directly beside
Sheffield is a geographically diverse city. The city nestles in a natural amphitheatre created by several hills forming the eastern foothills of the Pennines, and the confluence of five rivers: Don, Sheaf, Rivelin, Loxley and Porter. As such, much of the city is built on hillsides with views into the city centre or out to the countryside. Blake Street, in the S6 postcode area is the third steepest residential street England, with a gradient of 16.6°. The city's lowest point is just 29 metres (95 ft) above sea level near Blackburn Meadows, while some parts of the city are at over 500 metres (1,640 ft); the highest point being 548 metres (1,798 ft) at High Stones, near Margery Hill. However, 79% of the housing in the city is between 100 and 200 metres (330 and 660 ft) above sea level.
Estimated to contain over two million trees, Sheffield has more trees per person than any other city in Europe, and according to Sheffield City Council, it is England's greenest city, a claim that was reinforced when it won the 2005 Entente Florale competition. It has over 170 woodlands (covering 10.91 sq mi or 28.3 km2), 78 public parks (covering 7.07 sq mi or 18.3 km2) and 10 public gardens. Added to the 52.0 square miles (134.7 km2) of national park and 4.20 square miles (10.9 km2) of water this means that 61% of the city is greenspace. Despite this, about 64% of Sheffield householders live further than 300 metres (328 yd) from their nearest greenspace, although access is better in less affluent neighbourhoods across the city. Since 2012 there have been disputes between the city council and residents over the fate of the city's 36,000 highway trees, with 2000 having been felled by October 2015 as part of the £2 billion Streets Ahead road improvement scheme.
Sheffield also has a very wide variety of habitat, comparing favourably with any city in the United Kingdom: urban, parkland and woodland, agricultural and arable land, moors, meadows and freshwater-based habitats. There are six areas within the city that are designated as sites of special scientific interest.
The present city boundaries were set in 1974 (with slight modification in 1994), when the former county borough of Sheffield merged with Stocksbridge Urban District and two parishes from the Wortley Rural District. This area includes a significant part of the countryside surrounding the main urban region. Roughly a third of Sheffield lies in the Peak District National Park. No other English city included parts of a national park within its boundary, until the creation in March 2010 of the South Downs National Park, part of which lies within Brighton and Hove.
|Huddersfield, Penistone||Barnsley, Leeds, Wakefield||Rotherham, Doncaster|
|Manchester, Glossop||Worksop, Retford, Lincoln|
|Buxton, Bakewell, Matlock||Chesterfield, Dronfield, Derby||Mansfield, Newark, Nottingham|
Like the rest of the United Kingdom, the climate in Sheffield is generally temperate. The Pennines to the west of the city can create a cool, gloomy and wet environment, but they also provide shelter from the prevailing westerly winds, casting a "rain shadow" across the area. Between 1971 and 2000 Sheffield averaged 824.7 millimetres (32.47 in) of rain per year; December was the wettest month with 91.9 millimetres (3.62 in) and July the driest with 51.0 millimetres (2.01 in). July was also the hottest month, with an average maximum temperature of 20.8 °C (69.4 °F). The average minimum temperature in January and February was 1.6 °C (34.9 °F), though the lowest temperatures recorded in these months can be between −10 and −15 °C (14 and 5 °F), although since 1960, the temperature has never fallen below −9.2 °C (15.4 °F), suggesting that urbanisation around the Weston Park site during the second half of the 20th century may prevent temperatures below −10 °C (14 °F) occurring.
The coldest temperature to be recorded in recent years was −8.2 °C (17.2 °F). (Note: The official Weston Park Weather Station statistics, which can also be viewed at Sheffield Central Library, has the temperature at −8.7 °C (16.3 °F), recorded on 20 December, and states that to be the lowest December temperature since 1981.)
The coldest temperature ever recorded in the city of Sheffield at Weston Park, since records began in 1882, is −14.5 °C (5.9 °F), registered in February 1895.
More recently, a −4.4 °C (24.1 °F) was recorded as a daytime maximum at Weston Park, on 20 December 2010.(from the Weston Park Weather Station statistics, which also can be viewed at Sheffield Central Library.)
On average, through the winter months of December to March, there are 67 days during which ground frost occurs.
|Climate data for Sheffield Cdl, elevation: 131m (1981–2010) extremes (1960–present)|
|Record high °C (°F)||13.9
|Average high °C (°F)||6.8
|Daily mean °C (°F)||4.4
|Average low °C (°F)||1.9
|Record low °C (°F)||-9.2
|Precipitation mm (inches)||83.4
|Avg. rainy days (≥ 1.0 mm)||13.4||10.5||12.3||10.3||9.6||9.1||9.2||9.9||8.9||12.7||12.6||13.0||131.6|
|Source #1: Met Office|
|Source #2: KNMI|
The Weston Park Weather station, established in 1882, is one of the longest running weather stations in the United Kingdom. It has recorded weather for more than 125 years, and a 2008 report showed that the climate of Sheffield is warming faster than it has at any time during this period, with 1990 and 2006 being the hottest years on record. In collaboration with the Stockholm Environment Institute, Sheffield developed a carbon footprint (based on 2004/05 consumption figures) of 5,798,361 tonnes per year. This compares to the UK's total carbon footprint of 698,568,010 tonnes per year. The factors with the greatest impact are housing (34%), transport (25%), consumer (11%), private services (9%), public services (8%), food (8%) and capital investment (5%). Sheffield City Council has signed up to the 10:10 campaign.
Sheffield is made up of many suburbs and neighbourhoods, many of which developed from villages or hamlets that were absorbed into Sheffield as the city grew. These historical areas are largely ignored by the modern administrative and political divisions of the city; instead it is divided into 28 electoral wards, with each ward generally covering 4–6 areas. These electoral wards are grouped into six parliamentary constituencies. Sheffield is largely unparished, but Bradfield and Ecclesfield have parish councils, and Stocksbridge has a town council.
The United Kingdom Census 2001 reported a resident population for Sheffield of 513,234, a 2% decline from the 1991 census. The city is part of the wider Sheffield urban area, which had a population of 640,720. In 2011 the racial composition of Sheffield's population was 84% White (81% White British, 0.5% White Irish, 0.1% Gypsy or Irish Traveller, 2.3% Other White), 2.4% of mixed race (1.0% White and Black Caribbean, 0.2% White and Black African, 0.6% White and Asian, 0.6% Other Mixed), 8% Asian (1.1% Indian, 4% Pakistani, 0.6% Bangladeshi, 1.3% Chinese, 1.0% Other Asian), 3.6% Black (2.1% African, 1% Caribbean, 0.5% Other Black), 1.5% Arab and 0.7% of other ethnic heritage. In terms of religion, 53% of the population are Christian, 6% are Muslim, 0.6% are Hindu, 0.4% are Buddhist, 0.2% are Sikh, 0.1% are Jewish, 0.4% belong to another religion, 31% have no religion and 7% did not state their religion. The largest quinary group is 20- to 24-year-olds (9%) because of the large university student population.
The population of Sheffield peaked in 1951 at 577,050, and has since declined steadily. However, the mid-2007 population estimate was 530,300, representing an increase of about 17,000 residents since 2001.
Although a city, Sheffield is informally known as "the largest village in England", because of a combination of topographical isolation and demographic stability. It is relatively geographically isolated, being cut off from other places by a ring of hills. (Local folklore insists that, like Rome, Sheffield was built "on seven hills".) The land surrounding Sheffield was unsuitable for industrial use, and now includes several protected green belt areas. These topographical factors have served to restrict urban spread, resulting in a relatively stable population size and a low degree of mobility.
National and international travel
Sheffield is linked into the national motorway network via the M1 and M18 motorways. The M1 skirts the north-east of the city, linking Sheffield with London to the south and Leeds to the north, and crosses Tinsley Viaduct near Rotherham; the M18 branches from the M1 close to Sheffield, linking the city with Doncaster, Robin Hood Doncaster Sheffield Airport, and the Humber ports. The Sheffield Parkway connects the city centre with the motorways.
Major railway routes through Sheffield railway station include the Midland Main Line, which links the city to London via the East Midlands, the Cross Country Route which links the East of Scotland and Northeast of England with the West Midlands and the Southwest, and the lines linking Liverpool and Manchester with Hull and East Anglia. With the redevelopment of London St Pancras station (now St Pancras International) complete, Sheffield has a direct connection to continental Europe. East Midlands Trains run services to St Pancras International and Eurostar run services from there to France and Belgium. The Master Cutler, a named passenger express train running from Sheffield railway station to London St Pancras, provides a direct connection to the capital.
The coalition government announced in October 2010 that Sheffield would be included in the proposed High Speed Rail network connecting the North of England with London. The plan will see Sheffield and Leeds served by the same line which will connect with another to Manchester just south of Birmingham, with London Euston station being the probable London terminus. Construction of the Yorkshire/East Midlands High Speed line is likely to begin 2025 and services begin operation in 2032.
Other trains serving Sheffield (apart from East Midland Trains) are provided by CrossCountry, TransPennine Express and Northern. Aside from the main railway station there are five other stations in Sheffield. Meadowhall, a bus, rail and tram interchange, is the second largest station and accommodates a number of services including the long distance CrossCountry service. Dore and Totley, Woodhouse, Chapeltown and Darnall stations serve as commuter stations for suburban communities but are also connected to the national rail network.
Coach services running through Sheffield are operated by National Express and to a lesser extent Megabus, part of the Stagecoach Group. National Express services call at Sheffield Interchange, Meadowhall Interchange and Meadowhead Bus Stop. Megabus services only call at Meadowhall. National Express services 564, 560, 350, 320, 310 and 240 call at Sheffield, as do others on a less frequent basis. The 560/564 service is a direct connection to London Victoria Coach Station via Chesterfield and Milton Keynes, operating 12 times a day in both directions. The 350 and 240 services connect Sheffield to Manchester Airport and Heathrow/Gatwick Airports respectively. Two Megabus services, the M12 and M20, call at Sheffield en route to London from Newcastle upon Tyne and Inverness respectively.
The Sheffield and South Yorkshire Navigation (S&SY) is a system of navigable inland waterways (canals and canalised rivers) in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. Chiefly based on the River Don, it runs for a length of 43 miles (69 km) and has 29 locks. It connects Sheffield, Rotherham and Doncaster with the River Trent at Keadby and (via the New Junction Canal) the Aire and Calder Navigation.
Following the closure of Sheffield City Airport in 2008, the closest international airport to Sheffield is Doncaster Sheffield Airport, which is located 18 miles (29 km) less than 40 minutes from the city centre. It operates on the site of the former RAF Finningley. DSA airport opened on 28 April 2005 and is served mainly by charter and budget airlines. It handles about one million passengers a year.
A link road, opened in February 2016, connects Doncaster Sheffield Airport to the M18 motorway, reducing the journey time from Sheffield city centre from 40 to 25 minutes.
The A57 and A61 roads are the major trunk roads through Sheffield. These run east–west and north–south respectively, crossing in the city centre, from where the other major roads generally radiate spoke-like. An inner ring road, mostly constructed in the 1970s and extended in 2007 to form a complete ring, allows traffic to avoid the city centre, and an outer ring road runs to the east, south east and north, nearer the edge of the city, but does not serve the western side of Sheffield.
Sheffield does not have as extensive a suburban and inter-urban railway network as other comparable British cities. However, there are several local rail routes running along the city's valleys and beyond, connecting it with other parts of South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire and Derbyshire. These local routes include the Penistone Line, the Dearne Valley Line, the Hope Valley Line and the Hallam Line. As well as the main stations of Sheffield and Meadowhall, there are five suburban stations, at Chapeltown, Darnall, Woodhouse, and Dore and Totley.
The Sheffield Supertram (not derived from the previous tramways), operated by Stagecoach, opened in 1994, shortly after the similar Metrolink scheme in Manchester. Its network consists of 37 miles (60 km) of track and three lines, from Halfway to Malin Bridge (Blue Line), from Meadowhall to Middlewood (Yellow Line), and from Meadowhall to Herdings Park (Purple Line), with all three lines running via the city centre. The system contains both on-street and segregated running, depending upon the section and line.
The Supertram serves as an important connection between areas in the North East of Sheffield (namely Meadowhall and Valley Centertainment) and the city centre. Because it is operated by the Stagecoach Group, the ticketing system for the Supertram is integrated with Stagecoach buses in Sheffield, meaning passengers can switch between the two modes of transport without having to buy a separate ticket. The network is due to be extended to Rotherham Parkgate by 2017, with a fleet of new "train-trams" sharing a conventional rail line between Sheffield and Rotherham.
Sheffield's local bus infrastructure has its main hub at Sheffield Interchange. Other bus stations lie at Halfway, Hillsborough and Meadowhall. A flurry of new operators was created after deregulation in 1986, though a series of mergers has reduced the number.
There are numerous bus operators within Sheffield: First South Yorkshire, Stagecoach Yorkshire, TM Travel, Hulleys of Baslow, Powells, G&J Holmes and Sheffield Community Transport. First South Yorkshire, became by far the largest bus operator and in recent years implemented a series of fare rises and service cuts which saw bus ridership drop. Recent developments have seen Stagecoach Sheffield taking over Yorkshire Terrier, Andrews and parent company Yorkshire Traction, thus forming one company and in the process expanding their bus services in the city. This has resulted in increased competition, and price drops on certain routes. A zero-fare bus service, the FreeBee (Operated by First South Yorkshire), operated a circular route around the city centre from the Sheffield Interchange. The FreeBee buses stopped in 2014 and is due to save £8 million.
In 2008, the Bus Rapid Transit Scheme between Sheffield and Rotherham was approved by the Yorkshire and Humber Assembly's Regional Transport Board. There are plans for two routes; one (the Northern route) via Meadowhall and Templeborough, and the other via the developing employment centre and Waverley.
For cycling, although hilly, Sheffield is compact and has few major trunk roads. It is on the Trans-Pennine Trail, a National Cycle Network route running from West to East from Southport in Merseyside to Hornsea in the East Riding of Yorkshire and North to South from Leeds in West Yorkshire to Chesterfield in Derbyshire. There are many cycle routes going along country paths in the woods surrounding the city, though very few cycle lanes in the city itself.
Culture and attractions
The Sheffield Walk of Fame in the City Centre honours famous Sheffield residents past and present in a similar way to the Hollywood version. Sheffield also had its own Ferris Wheel known as the Wheel of Sheffield, located atop Fargate shopping precinct. The Wheel was dismantled in October 2010 and moved to London's Hyde Park. Heeley City Farm and Graves Park are home to Sheffield's two farm animal collections, both of which are fully open to the public.
There are about 1,100 listed buildings in Sheffield (including the whole of the Sheffield postal district). Of these, only five are Grade I listed. Fifty-nine are Grade II*, but the overwhelming majority are listed as Grade II. Compared to other English cities, Sheffield has few buildings with the highest Grade I listing: Liverpool, for example, has 26 Grade I listed buildings. This situation led the noted architecture historian Nikolaus Pevsner, writing in 1959, to comment that the city was "architecturally a miserable disappointment", with no pre-19th-century buildings of any distinction. By contrast, in November 2007, Sheffield's Peace and Winter Gardens beat London's South Bank to gain the Royal Institute of British Architects' Academy of Urbanism "Great Place" Award, as an "outstanding example of how cities can be improved, to make urban spaces as attractive and accessible as possible". In the summer of 2016 a public art event across the city occurred called the Herd of Sheffield which raised £410,000 for the Sheffield Childrens Hospital.
- See also: List of musicians from Sheffield
Sheffield has been home to several well-known bands and musicians, with a notably large number of synthpop and other electronic bands originating from the city. These include The Human League, Heaven 17, ABC and the more industrially inclined Cabaret Voltaire & Clock DVA. 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 the UK's oldest and best-loved dance music labels. More recently, other popular genres of electronic music such as bassline house have originated in the city. Sheffield was once home to a number of historically important nightclubs in the early dance music scene of the 1980s and 90s, Gatecrasher One was one of the most popular clubs in the North of England until its destruction by fire on 18 June 2007.
A number of major music acts, including Joe Cocker, Def Leppard, Paul Carrack (of Mike + The Mechanics), Arctic Monkeys, Bring Me the Horizon, Pulp and Moloko, hail from the city. Indie band The Long Blondes originated from the city, as part of what the NME dubbed the New Yorkshire scene.
In 1999, the National Centre for Popular Music, a museum dedicated to the subject of popular music, was opened in the city. It was not as successful as was hoped, however, and later evolved to become a live music venue; then in February 2005, the unusual steel-covered building became the students' union for Sheffield Hallam University. Live music venues in the city include the Harley Hotel, Leadmill, West Street Live, the Boardwalk, Dove & Rainbow, The Casbah, The Cremorne, Corporation, New Barrack Tavern, The Broadfield Hotel, Redstone bar and nightclub, the City Hall, the University of Sheffield Students' Union, the Studio Theatre at the Crucible Theatre, the O2 Academy Sheffield and The Grapes.
Sheffield hosts a number of festivals, the Grin Up North Sheffield Comedy Festival, the Sensoria Music & Film Festival and the Tramlines Festival. The Tramlines Festival was launched as an annual music festival in 2009, it is held throughout venues in Sheffield City Centre, and features local and national artists. The city is also home to several local orchestras and choirs, such as the Sheffield Symphony Orchestra, the Sheffield Philharmonic Orchestra, the Sheffield Chamber Orchestra, the City of Sheffield Youth Orchestra, the Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus and the Chorus UK community choir.
Sheffield has two large theatres, the Lyceum Theatre and the Crucible Theatre, which together with the smaller Studio Theatre make up the largest theatre complex outside London, located in Tudor Square. The Crucible Theatre is the home (since 1977) of the World Snooker Championships and hosts many well-known stage productions throughout the year. The Lyceum, which opened in 1897, serves as a venue for touring West End productions and operas by Opera North, as well as locally produced shows. Sheffield also has the Montgomery Theatre, a small 420 seater theatre located a short distance from Tudor Square, opposite the town hall on Surrey Street. There are also a large number of smaller amateur theatres scattered throughout the city.
Sheffield's museums are managed by two distinct organisations. Museums Sheffield manages the Weston Park Museum (a Grade II* listed Building), Millennium Galleries and Graves Art Gallery. Sheffield Industrial Museums Trust manages the museums dedicated to Sheffield's industrial heritage of which there are three. Kelham Island Museum (located just to the North of the city centre) showcases the city's history of steel manufacturing. Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet (in the south of the city) is a Grade I Listed building and a Scheduled Ancient Monument. Shepherd Wheel (in the south-East of the city) is a former water-powered grinding workshop, Grade II listed and a Scheduled Ancient Monument.
Sheffield has a reputed 2 million trees and was once described as the greenest city in Europe, however since Sheffield City Council signed a controversial 25 year PFI contract with Amey plc in 2012 an aggressive programme of highway tree felling has been implemented across the city, resulting in widespread local protests.
There are many parks and woods throughout the city and beyond. There are 83 parks in Sheffield (13 'City' Parks, 20 'District' Parks and 50 'Local' Parks) which are located throughout the city. Included in the city parks category are 3 of Sheffield's 6 public gardens (The Sheffield Botanical Gardens, The Peace Gardens and Hillsborough Walled Gardens, with the Sheffield Winter Gardens, Beauchief Gardens and Lynwood Gardens being the separate entities).
The Sheffield Botanical Gardens are on a 19-acre site located to the south west of the city centre and date back to 1836. The site includes a large, Grade II listed, Victorian era glasshouse. The Peace Gardens, neighboured next to the Town Hall and forming part of the Heart of the City project, occupy a 0.67 hectare site in the centre of the city. The site is dominated by its water features, principle among which is the Goodwin Fountain. Made up of 89 individual jets of water, this fountain lies at the corner of the quarter-circle shaped Peace Gardens and is named after a notable Sheffield industrialist. Since their redevelopment in 1998, the Peace gardens have received a number of regional and national accolades. Hillsborough Walled Garden is located in Hillsborough Park, to the north west of the city centre. The gardens date back to 1779 and have been dedicated to the victims of the Hillsborough Disaster since the redevelopment of the gardens in the early 1990s. The Winter Garden, lying within the Heart of the City, is a large wood framed, glass skinned greenhouse housing some 2,500 plants from around the world.
Also within the city there are a number of nature reserves which when combined occupy 1,600 acres (6.5 km2) of land. There are also 170 woodland areas within the city, 80 of which are classed as ancient.
The South West boundary of the city overlaps with the Peak District National Park, the first national park in England (est. 1951). As a consequence, several communities actually reside within both entities. The Peak District is home to many notable, natural, features and also man-made features such as Chatsworth House, the setting for the BBC series Pride and Prejudice.
Sheffield City Council has created a new chain of parks spanning the hill side behind Sheffield Station. The park, known as Sheaf Valley Park, has an open-air amphitheatre and will include an arboretum. The site was once home to a medieval deer park, latterly owned by the Duke of Norfolk.
Sheffield has five cinema complexes, three of which are in the city centre and a further two in the Lower Don Valley. One of these complexes is located at Valley Centertainment, a leisure and entertainment complex in the Don Valley. It was built on land previously occupied by steel mills near what is now Meadowhall and the Sheffield Arena. It is home to several restaurants, bars, a cinema multiplex and a bowling alley. It is also the largest Cineworld complex in the United Kingdom, containing 20 screens in one building. Odeon Sheffield, situated on Arundel Gate in the city Centre and Vue, located within Meadowhall Shopping Centre, are the two other mainstream cinemas in the city. The Showroom, an independent cinema showing non-mainstream productions, is located in Sheaf Square, close to Sheffield station. In 2002 the Showroom was voted as the best Independent cinema in the country by Guardian readers. A Curzon Cinemas complex has also recently opened in the city centre, close to the existing Odeon complex. The cinema is based in the former Sheffield Banking Company building, located just off Arundel Gate. The cinema features 4K resolution projectors and was opened in January 2015.
Sheffield has a thriving poetry and spoken word scene: from Wordlife's events across the city to the sustained work of Sheffield Authors; from the vibrant monthly arts night, Verse Matters, at the Moor Theatre Deli to the longstanding work of The Poetry Business, there's always opportunities for new and experienced writers to get writing and to share their work.
Owing to its long history, Sheffield has a large number of pubs throughout the city. West Street, running through the heart of the West End district of the city centre, is home to many pubs, bars and clubs and attracts many student visitors. A recent addition to the city's nightlife is Leopold Square, situated just off the northern end of West Street. Aagrah, an Indian restaurant in the square which serves Kashmiri cuisine, has recently been voted "Best Restaurant Group in the UK" at the prestigious British Curry Awards.
Media and film
Sheffield has two commercial newspapers, The Star and Sheffield Telegraph, both published by Johnston Press PLC. The Star has been published daily since 1897; the Sheffield Telegraph, now a weekly publication, originated in 1855.
Sheffield has its own TV station; Sheffield Live TV, a not-for-profit company which began broadcasting on 23 September 2014. SLTV has been awarded a 12-year licence to provide the digital terrestrial broadcasting service. Regional broadcasters BBC Yorkshire and Yorkshire Television also cover the city. Five local radio stations broadcast in the city. The professional services are BBC Radio Sheffield, the independent Hallam FM and its sister station Magic AM. Sheffield is also home to two FM licensed community radio stations: Sheffield Live 93.2, and Burngreave Community Radio on 103.1.
Sheffield Hospital Radio (Hospital Broadcasting Sheffield) broadcasts a 24-hour service to the Royal Hallamshire, Jessop Wing, Northern General and Weston Park Hospital and also offers a dedicated patient visiting service. The charity is operated by volunteers from studios at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital and is provided free to bedside terminals via Hospedia and on medium wave 1431am from a transmitter at the Northern General Hospital.
The films and plays The Full Monty, Threads, Looks and Smiles, When Saturday Comes, Whatever Happened to Harold Smith?, The History Boys and Four Lions are set in the city. F.I.S.T. , Kill List and The Princess Bride also include several scenes filmed in Sheffield and a substantial part of Among Giants was filmed in the city. The documentary festival Sheffield Doc/Fest has been run annually since 1994 at the Showroom Cinema, and in 2007 Sheffield hosted the Awards of the International Indian Film Academy.
Sheffield has a thriving folk music, song and dance community. Singing and music sessions occur weekly in many pubs around the city and it also hosts the annual Sheffield Sessions Festival. The University of Sheffield runs a number of courses and research projects dedicated to folk culture.
The tradition of singing carols in pubs around Christmas is still kept alive in the city. The Sheffield Carols, as they are known locally, predate modern carols by over a century and are sung with alternative words and verses. Although there is a core of carols that are sung at most venues, each particular place has its own mini-tradition. The repertoire at two nearby places can vary widely, and woe betide those who try to strike up a ‘foreign’ carol. Some are unaccompanied, some have a piano or organ, there is a flip chart with the words on in one place, a string quartet (quintet, sextet, septet) accompanies the singing at another, some encourage soloists, others stick to audience participation, a brass band plays at certain events, the choir takes the lead at another. It is thought this tradition is now unique in Britain.
The city is home to thirteen morris dance teams - thought to be one of the highest concentration of sides in the country. Nearly all forms of the dance are represented in the city, including Cotswold (Five Rivers Morris, Pecsaetan Morris, Harthill Morris, Lord Conyer's Morris Men, Sheffield City Morris, William Morris), border (Boggart's Breakfast), North West (Yorkshire Chandelier, Silkstone Greens, Lizzie Dripping), rapper (Sheffield Steel Rapper) and Yorkshire Longsword.
The "Sheffield International Linking Committee" promotes Sheffield overseas, especially with five sister cities:
A further four cities have a Friendship Agreement with Sheffield:
Two roads in Sheffield have been named after sister cities; a section of the A6102 in Norton is named Bochum Parkway, and a road in Hackenthorpe is named Donetsk Way. Likewise in Bochum, Germany there is a major road called the Sheffield-Ring.
Images for kids
The Arts Tower, on the University of Sheffield campus
Sheffield Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.