Sheffield City Industrial Heritage Trail

A fascinating walk of Sheffield's industrial past which visits the sites of some of the oldest works in the city starting at the site of Globe Works and which includes a visit to Kelham Island.

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Statistics and Files
Start: Globe Works Distance: 1.7 miles (2.8 km) Climbing: 22 metres
Grid Ref: SK 34788 88261 Time: 1-2 hours Rating: Easy
GPX Route File Google Earth File About Kelham Island
Start: Globe Works Distance: 1.7 miles (2.8 km)
Climbing: 22 metres Grid Ref: SK 34788 88261
Time: 1-2 hours Rating: Easy
GPX Route File Google Earth File
Maps for this walk

The Walk:

Globe WorksGlobe Works
West BarWest Bar

Wanting to do something different while my wife and daughter were shopping in Sheffield City Center I chose this walk which would take me an hour or so before meeting them in the city for lunch. As I admire our industrial heritage this walk was ideal. I was lucky to have the book The Star Family Walks: The Peak District and South Yorkshire - A Year of Weekend Rambles to hand where this walk is found. The starting point, Globe Works, is believed to be the worlds oldest factory. It is now a craft center for artisans. A cafe bar is also found in the site. From the Globe works I followed the main road to West Bar Roundabout. On the way I passed the Nichols Building. Both Nichols and West Bar looked big works in their heyday, now antiques and craft fair buildings too.

Colour on Corporation StreetColour on Corporation Street
The Sheffield WorkerThe Sheffield Worker

Next I walked along Corporation Street towards Alma Street. On the way I passed the swish grounds and new buildings of the Crown Court. At least lets make the setting nice even if proceedings in the buildings are often grim. Near the courts in a nice garden area a sign read "Industry: Between West Bar and the River Don lies centers of industrial heritage. By the 18th century, saw makers, scissorsmiths, cutlers and steel forgers clustered here". The sign was part of the Grey to Green initiative. Next up I reached a building with a grand display of an industrial worker on the gable end. A great picture in my eyes, very evocative.

Kelham IslandKelham Island
The Furnace TrailThe Furnace Trail

I was reaching the highlight of the walk now and soon after passing one of Sheffield Hallam University's buildings I saw it. And when I did I was gobsmacked. Kelham Island is a fascinating place. There is an industrial museum to enjoy. The are showpieces outside. The setting itself is awesome and thought provoking. Quite now, all heavy industry shut down. Yet I could easily imagine the grunt and grind, smoke and fumes of this place in its very active days. I read an information board on Kelham Island about The Furnace Trail : Early steel making and metal industries in the Kelham Island area of Sheffield. I shall have to do that next time.

The Bessemer Converter and the ChimneyThe Bessemer Converter and the Chimney
The Fat Cat on Alma StreetThe Fat Cat on Alma Street

The Bessemer Converter and the Chimney House were highlights of Kelham Island too, the converter drawing everyones eyes on site toward it. Looking like a very big cement mixer. Nowadays, where industry once ruled, leisure has taken over. Lots of craft pubs were in the area. The Fat Cat, Craft and Dough and the Grind Cafe to name just a few. I was tempted to try one out but I had an appointment with the girls to keep.

Green Lane WorksGreen Lane Works
Ship Inn, ShalesmoorShip Inn, Shalesmoor

First though I headed back towards the start of my walk by way of Green Lane, passing the impressive entrance to Green Lane Works on the way. The original Green Lane Works were established in 1795 by the firm of Hoole and Company who were manufacturers of ornamental stove grates and fenders in Bronze and metal. The firm flourished and their products won a first Council medal at The Great Exhibition of 1851 and a Medaille d'honneur at the Exposition Universelle of 1855. That is an impressive accolade. Next up the Ship Inn, another pretty pub. "No, can't go in, must keep my promise to the ladies".

River Don seen from Ball Street BridgeRiver Don seen from Ball Street Bridge
Weir in the River Don at Rutland Road BridgeWeir in the River Don at Rutland Road Bridge

My finale was an appointment with the River Don, the most important factor in the birth of industry in the city. Without the constant flow of water steel making and related industries would not have blossomed here. At Ball Street Bridge more impressive factory works including Alfred Beckett and Sons Ltd, Steel, Saw and File Works. And Neepsend Rolling Mills too. All fascinating stuff. The River Don itself, mightily impressive and a fitting finale to my walk. At Samuel Walker works by the river a group of people were on a balcony and having a good time enjoying drinks and refreshments. My cue to leave my lovely short walk exploring the industrial heritage of Sheffield and meet the ladies in town. It was time for my lunch too.

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