This article is about the city in England. For other uses see Sheffield (disambiguation).
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 (2003 est.)
- Density
Ranked 3rd
1,393 / km²

Metro area population: 1,366,023.

Ethnicity:91.2% White
4.6% S.Asian
1.8% Afro-Carib.
Missing image

Sheffield City Council
Leadership:Leader & Cabinet
MPs:Clive Betts, David Blunkett, Richard Caborn, Nick Clegg, Meg Munn, Angela Smith

Sheffield is a city and metropolitan borough in the north of England. The population of the City of Sheffield in 2003 was estimated at 512,500. It has grown from its industrial roots to encompass a wide economic base and is now one of the ten largest cities in England.

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:

RankDistrictWhite %S.Asian %Afro-Carib %Chinese & other %

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 county of South Yorkshire, and borders on Nottinghamshire's forests 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 Template:Coor dm.

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 28 December 1950).


Main article History of Sheffield

The explosive growth of the settlements in the area that became the City of Sheffield in was a product of the industrial revolution. However, the area has been occupied since at least the last ice age and the settlements that grew to form Sheffield date from Anglo-Saxon times. After the Norman conquest a castle was built in to control the Saxon settlements and a small town developed that is the nucleus of the modern city.

By the 14th century Sheffield was noted for the production of knives and by 1600 it had become the main centre of cutlery production in England, overseen by The Company of Cutlers in Hallamshire. In the 1740s a form of the crucible steel process for making a better quality of steel than had previously been available was discovered, and at about the same time a technique for fusing a thin sheet on silver onto a copper ingot to produce silver plating was invented. The associated industries lead to the rapid growth of Sheffield during the industrial revolution. The town was incorporated as a Borough in 1842 and granted a city charter in 1893.


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 converter 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. See List of hi-tech companies in Sheffield.

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.

Sheffield currently produces more steel per year than at any other time in its history. However the industry is now less noticeable as it has become highly automated and efficient and employs much fewer staff than in the past.

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.

Missing image
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 [2] ( 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.


Missing image
Sheffield Ski Village

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). Open Up Sheffield is an annual event over the first two weekends in May where local visual artists and fine craft workers invite the public to their studios and other fascinating venues. In 2005 there were 120 artists in 65 venues to visit.


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 Hallam University's students' union (formerly the National Centre for Popular Music)
Sheffield Hallam University's students' union (formerly the National Centre for Popular Music)

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

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 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 three smaller suburban stations at Chapeltown, Darnall, and Dore.


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 opened with the 0915 flight to Palma de Mallorca on April 28 2005. Manchester International Airport, Leeds Bradford International Airport and Nottingham East Midlands Airport all lie within a one hour drive of Sheffield.

Buildings, landmarks and institutions

Notable buildings, landmarks and institutions in Sheffield include:

Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet, Arts Tower, Attercliffe Chapel
Beauchief Abbey, Birley Spa, Bishops' House, 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

The various districts of Sheffield vary widely in size and history. Many of the districts developed from villages or hamlets that have become absorbed into Sheffield as the city has grown. For this reason, whilst the centre of most districts is easy to define, the boundaries of many of the districts are ambiguous. The city is divided into six parliamentary constituencies, which are further subdivided into 28 electoral wards—each ward generally covers 4–6 districts.

External links

Districts of England - Yorkshire and the Humber Flag of England
Barnsley | Bradford | Calderdale | Craven | Doncaster | East Riding of Yorkshire | Hambleton | Harrogate | Hull | Kirklees | Leeds | North Lincolnshire | North East Lincolnshire | Richmondshire | Rotherham | Ryedale | Scarborough | Selby | Sheffield | Wakefield | York
Administrative counties with multiple districts: North Yorkshire - South Yorkshire - West Yorkshire

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