Working in Sheffield

20 Things you didn’t know about Sheffield

By wizu | 07 September 2020

While you may be familiar with Sheffield’s industrial past, there are some interesting, unusual facts you may not realise that make this city quite unique!

The city is home to over 600,000 people and is known as “Steel City.” Sheffield is also an amazing destination. It’s also a very interesting place and is filled with facts you may not believe. Sheffield truly is a unique city, as you’ll see in this article.

1). Sheffield has a national park: you read that correctly! Almost one-third of the city sits inside Peak District national Park. This is a distinction not held by any other city in the UK. This area, also called the Peak District, was given national park status in 1951; in fact, this was the first such designated area in the country. Today, the national park also includes Derbyshire, Cheshire, Greater Manchester, Yorkshire, and Staffordshire.

2). Sheffield’s trees out number the resident humans: the city has more than 2 million trees, which means there are more trees than humans. This is more than trees per humans than any other city in Europe. Where are all these trees living? You’ll find many of them in and around the city’s 240 parks, woodlands, and gardens.

3). Sheffield as been inhabited for ages: we mean this literally—the areas has been inhabited by humans since about 9,000 BC!

4). Sheffield once had the longest rainbow: back in March 1994, Sheffield was home to a record-breaking rainbow that lasted for 6 hours. Can you imagine the ephemeral beauty of a rainbow lasting for that long? What a beauty it must have been!

5). You’ll find phlegm all over: OK, you’re probably shuddering at the thought of mucus all over the city. However, we don’t mean mucus. We’re referring to one of our local artists who is called Phlegm. His works are literally found all over the city in graffiti types of art; however, his pieces are found all over the world. Back in Sheffield, Phlegm also paints murals that tell stories and more.

6). Sheffield runs on recycled energy: the city uses a district energy system, which turns domestic waste (garbage) into thermal energy, which is then used to produce electricity and hot water! It takes over 225,000 tons of garbage a year to produce 19 megawatts of electricity and 60 megawatts of thermal energy. The hot water produced by this system flows through 25 miles of underground pipes to points all around the city.

7). Steel for the Brooklyn Bridge was created in Sheffield: isn’t that amazing? Who would have that that Sheffield and the Brooklyn Bridge, which is situated in New York City in the US, would have anything in common! But it does make sense when you consider that the city was once home to great steel mills.

8). About half the surgical blades in the world are made in Sheffield: that’s amazing, especially when you consider the number of surgical blades in the world. However, as a steel city, it does make sense that Sheffield is home to the factories that produce these much-needed blades that work to save lives.

9). Sheffield has a walk of fame: just outside the city’s Town Hall, you’ll find several star-shaped plaques that are engraved with the names of famous people who come from Sheffield. And they’re quite famous. The names include Jessica Ennis, Sebastian Coe, Sean Bean the actor, and more.

10). 550 metres: the city is filled with extremely steep, lovely hills and 550 metres is the height of the tallest one around the area. The peak, found west of the city, is called High Stones, which is an apt name.

11). Crucible Theatre is cursed: did you know that? The theatre, for about 40 years, has been home to the World Snooker Championship, which is a type of billiards. Since the tournament was established at the theatre, no player has ever been able to defend their first title win. This is what has led everyone to believe the Crucible Theatre is cursed!

12). Sheffield is home to the world’s oldest football club: the oldest football club, which plays association football, in the world is in Sheffield and is called the Sheffield FC. It was founded way back in 1857 by members of a cricket club in Sheffield. 

13). Cows wreaked havoc in Crosspool: this was a crazy happening! One morning, people living in Crosspool awoke to find their lawns covered in herds of cows! The cows had escaped from a field, and as they travelled around, they decided the lawns look lush and yummy. The startled people at least had their wits about them and took some photos of the escapees before the cows were rounded up and headed home again!

14). Sheffield was the last gig for Tina Turner: for her 50th anniversary tour, the famous American singer had her last show at the FlyDSA Arena on May 5, 2009. This was her last live concert, after which she went into retirement.

15). Sir Arthur Conana Doyle lived in Sheffield: the creator of Sherlock Holmes was once a resident of Sheffield. In fact, he was a medic when he came to the city in 1878. He worked as an assistant to Dr. Charles Sydney Richard on Spital Hill, Burngreave.

16). A monorail was once proposed for the city: back in 1973, a nine-station monorail system was proposed for Sheffield. It was planned that the driverless carriages would allow passengers to travel 2 miles, across electrified tracks, from Midland railway station, on up to Fargate, where it would then go past the Town Hall and come down on The Moor. However, the idea drew much criticism, so the plan was dropped.

18). 29 metres: did you know that the lowest point in Sheffield is just 29 metres above sea level? This point is found near Blackburn Meadows.

19). An Anglo-Saxon village at Escafeld: according to the Domesday Book, the place where Sheffield now resides was once recognised as an Anglo-Saxon village!  This site later became home to a castle that was built by Norman lord William de Lovetot in the 12th century.

20). The largest cutlery producer: back in the 17th century, Sheffield was the largest producer of cutlery outside of London! Now we understand why present-day Sheffield is the world’s largest producer of surgical knives—they graduated from cutlery to surgical implements!

So, there you have it! Twenty of the most amazing, unique and strange facts about the city of Sheffield. You didn’t think it was possible to come up with so many! However, we managed in the end!

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