53 Surprising Facts About Sheffield

53 Surprising Facts About Sheffield

Have you got an interest in trivia and are searching for some surprising facts about Sheffield?

We think you will agree that there are many intriguing facts to discover about Sheffield after reading this article!

The city’s unique combination of natural beauty, cultural attractions, and industrial heritage make it a compelling destination for visitors and a beloved home for its residents.

People who hail from this city are referred to as “Sheffielders” and are a very friendly bunch who are quick to welcome newcomers.

Whatever your interest in Sheffield may be, visiting for the day, considering a move, or just appreciating the city’s rich historical offerings, there is no doubt that Sheffield is not only a great place to be but also a city teeming with amazing history!

A Deep Dive into Sheffield’s Rich History

Sheffield History

Sheffield has a long and fascinating history.

Before we jump straight into our list of fun facts about Sheffield, of which there are many, let’s set the tone with a quick exploration of the history of the area!

The area now occupied by the City of Sheffield is believed to have been inhabited since at least the late Upper Palaeolithic, about 12,800 years ago.

Evidence of early human occupation includes finds at Creswell Crags, featuring the northernmost cave paintings in Europe.

In the Iron Age, the area became the southernmost territory of the Pennine tribe called the Brigantes, who constructed several hill forts in and around Sheffield.

During the Industrial Revolution, Sheffield became a key player in the United Kingdom, innovating with Sheffield Plate in the mid-1700s (which we will discuss later) and the Bessemer Process in the 19th century.

Today, Sheffield is known for its beautiful natural surroundings, affordable housing, good transport links, and a strong sense of community spirit.

Alternative Names for Sheffield

Sheffield is referred to by several different names. Names are important to an area’s identity and many of Sheffield’s hark back to the origins of the city.

1. The Steel City

This name is rooted in its historical prominence in the steel industry.

2. The Green City

Sheffield is known as the Green City because of how many parks, gardens, and trees it has. In fact, it is among Europe’s greenest cities with 61% of the area being green space!

3. City of Seven Hills

This name comes due to its layout across seven notable hills, each with distinct communities and characteristics.

4. Largest village in England

This name is derived from its relatively isolated location.

Foodie Facts about Sheffield

When it comes to food, we all love to try something different. You will discover that Sheffield has more than its fair share of unique culinary offerings.

5. Yorkshire pudding

As Sheffield is a Yorkshire city, it is worth mentioning Yorkshire pudding. Though it is not exactly specific to Sheffield, it is an iconic dish and is now served in a million ways including as a dessert!

6. Henderson’s Relish

This relish is an absolute favourite in Sheffield. Henry Henderson began manufacturing the sauce in the latter part of the 19th century. A condiment that can be used in many different ways, in pies, stews and casseroles, it offers a spicy tang similar to Worcestershire sauce.

7. Hendos Pie

Some local bakeries and shops in Sheffield offer a “Hendos Pie,” which is essentially a meat pie or pasty that includes Henderson’s Relish as a key ingredient, giving it a unique local flavour.

8. Sheffield Fishcake

Another popular dish, they are simply made but delicious. They consist of a layer of fish sandwiched between 2 slices of potato, coated in batter and deep-fried.

9. Sheffield Beer

“Sheffielders love a good pint”. The city has a rich history of brewing beer. A number of well-known breweries call Sheffield home, including Abbeydale Brewery’s Moonshine and Bradfield Brewery’s Farmers Blonde 3.

10. Parkin

A traditional Northern English cake or gingerbread. It’s made with oatmeal, black treacle or molasses, and ginger, creating a sweet and spicy treat. It’s often associated with Bonfire Night and other local celebrations.

Sheffield’s Industrial Heritage

Sheffield Plate

Sheffield Plate was developed in the 1700s.

Sheffield played a crucial role in the Industrial Revolution, with many significant inventions and technologies having developed in the city.

11. Sheffield Plate

During the mid-1700s 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”. The interesting fact is that Thomas Boulsover of Sheffield’s Cutlers Company discovered it by accident!

12. The Bessemer Process

Henry Bessemer, born in 1813, made his fortune in Sheffield from his Bessemer process for steel. It was the first inexpensive industrial process for the mass production of steel from molten pig iron, bringing affordable metal cutlery to the masses.

13. Rustless Steel

Harry Brearley was born in Sheffield in 1871. He is credited with the invention of ‘rustless steel’, which today is known as ‘stainless steel’.

14. John Brown

The industrialist John Brown was born in Sheffield in 1816 and became known as the Father of the South Yorkshire Iron Trade.

15. The Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre

In 2001, the University of Sheffield and the aerospace company Boeing established the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre. It went on to develop the engines which are used in the manufacture of Boeing aeroplanes.

16. Metal Tuning Fork

Manufactured in Sheffield since 1841, the metal tuning fork has a number of uses including tuning pianos, calibrating speed cameras, and assisting audiologists in determining hearing capability.

Famous Music Bands from Sheffield

Plenty of bands were formed or whose members hail from Sheffield. Here are just a few of the most famous.

17. The Artic Monkeys

The rock band are heralded as one of the first bands to come to public attention via the Internet. They formed in Sheffield.

18. The Human League

An iconic English synth-pop band, formed in Sheffield in 1977. They still perform today.

19. Joe Cocker

Known for his gritty, bluesy voice was born in Sheffield in 1944. He has won numerous awards including three Grammies a Brit Award for Best British Male and an OBE.

20. Jarvis Cocker

No relation to Joe, Jarvis rose to fame as the founder, frontman, lyricist, and only consistent member of the band Pulp. He was born in the city in 1963.

21. Def Leppard

Formed in 1976 in Sheffield. They established themselves as part of the new wave of British heavy metal movement of the early 1980s.

22. Thompson Twins

They were a pop group that achieved considerable popularity during the early and mid-1980s. They scored a string of hits in the United Kingdom, the United States, and globally They formed in Sheffield in 1977.

23. ABC

Another Sheffield-formed band made their debut at a gig supporting rock group Wire at the Outlook Club in Sheffield. They went on to produce many top pop songs during the 1980s.

Sheffield Football Facts

Sheffield United Fans

Sheffield is a city with a rich footballing history.

Sheffielders are extremely passionate about football and there is plenty of trivia surrounding the city’s three teams.

24.) Three Teams

Representing the city are Sheffield F.C., Sheffield United F.C., and Sheffield Wednesday F.C.

25. Oldest Stadium in the World

The city boasts the oldest football stadium in the world. Bramwell Lane is Sheffield United’s home ground, it was first opened in 1855.

26. The Oldest Club in the World

It may surprise you to know that Sheffield F.C. was founded in October 1857. The club is recognised by FIFA as the oldest existing club still playing football in the world.

27. First FA Cup Game

In 1873 Sheffield FC entered the FA Cup for the first time, their first-ever tie in the competition, was against Shropshire Wanderers, being decided after a replay by a coin toss.

28. First Ever Premier League Goal

Sheffield United FC were founder members of the Premier League in the 1992–93 season, during which they scored the first-ever goal of the competition.

29. The Blades

Sheffield United FC are nicknamed “the Blades” due to Sheffield’s history of cutlery production.

30. Wednesday

Sheffield Wednesday F.C. is the only football team in the world to have a weekday included in its name. The name came about because the original founders of the team didn’t work on Wednesdays.

31. Steel City Derby

When Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday play against each other the games are called “Steel City Derby’s”.

Random Facts About Sheffield

The River Sheaf

The River Sheaf

Here is a selection of random facts about Sheffield that are impossible to put into any particular category.

32. The River Sheaf

Sheffield’s name is derived from the river Sheaf, which runs through the city.

33. Peak District

Around a third of the city sits inside the stunning Peak District National Park.

34. A Green City

Considered to be the greenest city in Europe, Sheffield has 250 parks, woodlands, and gardens.

35. More Trees than People

Having around 4.5 million trees means that there are four trees for every person living in Sheffield.

36. UK’s Fifth Largest City

Sheffield is big! In fact, it is the fifth largest city in the UK covering an area of 142 square miles.

37. A City For Over 100 Years

Sheffield received its municipal charter in 1843, a document legally establishing a location as a town or a city. It received its city charter officially in 1893.

38. People Have Lived Here for a Long Time

The area now known as Sheffield has seen human occupation since at least the last ice age which occurred around 20,000 years ago.

39. Sheffield Blitz

During WW2, the city was a prime target for German bombers aiming to immobilise steel production. The heaviest of which occurred on the nights of 12 and 15 December 1940, now known as the Sheffield Blitz.

40. World University Games

The city hosted the 1991 World Student Games also referred to as the World University Games. An international multi-sport event organised specifically for university athletes.

41. A Steep Street

Blake Street, in the S6 postcode area of the city, is the third steepest residential street in England, with a gradient of 16.6°.

42) It Can Get Chilly

The coldest temperature ever to be recorded in Sheffield was −8.2 °C (17.2 °F) in 2010.

43. The Home of Snooker

Since 1977 every World Snooker Championship has taken place at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield.

44. Two Universities

The city’s two universities are the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University. Together, they bring about 60,000 students to the city every year.

45. Ice Hockey Team

Sheffield is home to the “Sheffield Steelers” a professional ice hockey team who play out of the 9.300-seater Sheffield Arena and are known as one of the top teams in the UK.

46. The Grand Henry Willis III

Sheffield City Hall is home to a gigantic organ. Named the Grand Henry Willis III it boasts an incredible 4,037 pipes and 75 stops, making it the biggest instrument of its kind in the city.

47. Twin City

It is believed that Sheffield was the first UK city to officially twin with a city in the Soviet Union. Stalino now renamed Donetsk (in Ukraine) has been its twin city since 1956.

48. Women of Steel

During both World Wars, many women in Sheffield took on roles in the steel industry and played a crucial role in the war effort. A statue in Barker’s Pool honours these women, celebrating their contribution to the city and the country.

49.) Botanical Gardens

In addition to its many parks, Sheffield is home to the Sheffield Botanical Gardens, which span 19 acres and feature over 5,000 species of plants.

50.) A Green City in Many Ways

Sheffield, whilst known for its open green spaces, is also is a leader in renewable energy. The city has an extensive district heating system that uses energy from waste, providing heating and hot water to many homes and businesses​ – it is truly a green city in every sense of the word!

51.) Walk of Fame

Similar to the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Sheffield has its own Walk of Fame outside the Town Hall! It honours famous individuals from the city, including athletes, musicians, and actors – Game of Thrones fans will be pleased to hear that Sean Bean is featured among these ‘Sheffield Legends.’

52.) Sporting Royalty

Apart from football, Sheffield has a significant history in snooker, being the host city of the World Snooker Championship at the Crucible Theatre since 1977. Sheffield also has a great track record when it comes to producing great boxers, with world champions Prince Naseem, Herol Graham, Johnny Nelson and Paul Jones all being from the city.

53.) Architectural Heritage

Architecture fans are sure to love some of the buildings on show in Sheffield. The city features the Park Hill Flats, a notable example of Brutalist architecture and the largest listed building in Europe. This iconic structure has been redeveloped to combine residential, commercial, and social spaces.

Ready to Relocate?

White&Company Truck in Transit

White & Company Truck

We hope you have found our article’s facts and trivia about Sheffield interesting.

Deciding where to relocate is a very personal decision, and every one of us has different needs and requirements to consider.

However, the logistics involved in moving your personal belongings from point A to point B will be the one thing everyone has in common.

For those who are preparing to relocate to Sheffield, the assurance that their personal effects will be dealt with carefully is an important consideration.

White & Company’s extensive background and experience in assisting people with moves both domestically (in the UK and Scotland) and abroad is hard to beat.

We are aware of the difficulty and stress that come with moving plans.

With depots positioned around Scotland and the UK, we can transfer your belongings swiftly and painlessly to or from any location.

Additionally, White & Company are founder members of BAR (British Association of Removers). Selecting a BAR Member provides you with the peace of mind that can only be obtained by working with a reliable, skilled, and financially secure remover.

There are a number of ways to get in touch with us: over the phone, using our online chatbot, or just by filling out and sending our online quote form.

Allow us to assist you in planning your next relocation.

Get in touch with us right now to start the process.

Following a pre-move survey we can provide you with a free, no-obligation survey and quotation within 48 hours.

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