Facts About Sheffield

Sheffield ‘the city of steel’ has undergone profound change since its iconic steel industry closed down in the 70s and 80s (as well as coal mine closures).

Sheffield Town Centre

Sheffield City Centre...

Sheffield Town Centre

  • The name Sheffield is derived from the River Sheaf, which runs through the city.
  • Historically Sheffield is part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, and is now part of South Yorkshire.
  • The population of the City of Sheffield is 555,500 (2010 est.) and it is one of the eight largest regional English cities.
  • In the Nineteenth Century, Sheffield gained reputation for being premier producer of steel. It made key innovations in the development of stainless steel. This was used in a variety of tools and cutlery and became very popular. This growth of the steel industry made Sheffield a key player in the industrial revolution.
  • After much regeneration, the Sheffield economy is said to be worth £9.2 billion in 2007 (2007 GVA)
  • Sheffield has two universities – Sheffield University and Sheffield Hallam University.


Sheffield Cooling Towers. The two towers were destroyed in a controlled explosion in 2008. (BBC link) There were part of the former  Blackburn Meadows power station and they were situation close to the viaduct on the M1.

Interesting Facts About Sheffield

  1. Sheffield has the highest ratio of trees to people of any city in Europe. 2.5 million trees.
  2. As early as the fourteenth century, Sheffield was known as a place for the production of knives. It was even mentioned in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales.
  3. In 1991, Sheffield hosted the World Student Games at the new Don Valley Stadium and Sheffield Arena
  4. In the 1980s, it was often called ‘The Socialist Republic of South Yorkshire’ because of its strong left wing politics.
  5. The Sheffield District of Hallam was said to the wealthiest part of the UK, outside London, in a 2004 report by Barclays bank.
  6. Sheffield is known as a ‘green city’ It provides much energy from incinerating waste.
  7. Sheffield boasts the world’s oldest football club – Sheffield F.C. It was formed in 1857, mainly by a group of cricketers.  Sheffield F.C. won the F.A. Amateur cup in 1904.
  8. Sheffield Wednesday  is one of the oldest professional football clubs in the world, and the fourth oldest in the English leagues.
  9. Sheffield Crucible Theatre stages the annual World Snooker Tournament
  10. The Sheffield Ski Village is Europe’s largest outdoor artificial ski resort
  11. Sheffield is sometimes informally known as the largest village in England because of isolated location amongst seven hills, though city status was granted in 1893.
  12. Sheffield hosted the world’s first football tournament (played under Sheffield Rules) – the Youdan Cup in Feb-March 1867, featuring 12 teams. The competition was won by local side Hallam at Bramall Lane. It preceded the FA cup by four years.
  13. The Sheffield Rules was a code of football used between 1857 and 1877. They had a big influence on Football association rules, which later finally codified the game. Sheffield Rules introduced the concept of corners, free kicks, heading the ball, and goal keepers.

Famous places in Sheffield

  1. Jenkin Road
jenkin road

Photo Marc – photo of amateur cyclist racing up Cote de Jenkin in hill climb.

Jenkin Road featured in a the 2014 Tour de France, stage 2. It was the last climb of the long and tough stage, which started in York and finished in Sheffield. The stage was won by Vicenzo Nibali, who went on to win the Tour that year.

2. Bramall Lane

Bramall Lane

Photo: Gemma Louise

  • Bramall Lane was opened in 1855, originally as a cricket ground.
  • It is now the home of Sheffield United with a capacity of 32,000
  • Bramall Lane has hosted English test cricket games (1902 vs Australia), English football internationals (last in 1930), FA Cup final replay (1912), Billy Graham evangelist meeting (1985) and Bruce Springsteen Concerts)

Sheffield a city of contrasts


Sheffield, photo Paulo – The town hall, Cathedral, Art’s Tower (university of Sheffield), and Park hill

Famous People of Sheffield

  1. Sean Bean, actor
  2. Sebastian Coe – Olympic medal winner and Chair of the London 2012 Organising Committee for the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games
  3. Derek Dooley – one of Sheffield’s most respected footballers
  4. Professor Barry Hancock OBE – world renown cancer expert.
  5.  Def Leppard – top-selling rock band
  6. Jarvis Cocker, musician, lead singer of Pulp
  7. Joe Cocker, singer
  8. Michael Palin, comedian, actor and travel presenter
  9. David Blunkett, former Cabinet minister
  10. Roy Hattersley, politician
  11. Gordon Banks, footballer
  12. Malcolm Elliott, Professional cyclist
  13. Michael Vaughan, Captain of the England cricket team from 2003 to 2008
  14. Jessica Ennis, athlete, and Olympic gold medallist in Heptathlon.
  15. Oona King, politician
  16. Naseem Hamed, boxer
  17. Trevor Francis, footballer and football manager
  18. Joseph Locke, railway engineer
  19. David Mellor, cutler
  20. Sir John Fowler, railway engineer and co-designer of the Forth Railway Bridge
  21. Robert Hadfield, innovator of steel alloys
  • 61% of the Sheffield’s entire area is green space, and a third of the city lies within the Peak District National Park.


  • The Sheffield super tram is managed by Stagecoach and provides important links between Meadowhall shopping centre and the city centre.

Sheffield Train Station

  • Sheffield Train station was opened in 1870 by the Midland Railway company.
  • It was the fifth and last railway station to be built in the city.
  • The Duke of Norfolk, who owned land – insisted the southern approach to station be covered in tunnel to hide the view of the railway. The tunnel was later turned into a cutting.
  • It is the 35th busiest station in the UK, and 11th busiest outside London.

Sheffield Train station Panorama

Sheffield Train station arches

Old Sheffield Train Station – Sheffield Victoria

Sheffield Victoria

Sheffield Victoria, Photo John Turner

Sheffield Victoria closed to passenger traffic in 1970.


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