10 Sings of Old Sheffield You Can Still See Today
Much of the history of the Steel City of Sheffield focuses on the foundries, ironworks and coal mining. Although these industries gave Sheffield its name and reputation as an industrial boom town, let us not forget that the city was here for a long time before all that.
Here Wow247 look at some of the historic sites and buildings dotted around a place that’s steeped in culture and industry. Some you are likely to pass quite often and some are a little to find, but all are worth a look.
1. The Bear Pit
One of the best surviving examples of a bear pit in the UK, this Grade II listed structure was built in 1836 and originally housed a black bear. You can take a selfie with a bear sculpture, which was installed in 2005 to remind visitors what the pit originally was used for.
2. The Old Queens Head
Another Grade II listed building in Sheffield is the Old Queens Head pub – likely named after Mary Queen of Scots who was imprisoned for a time in Sheffield Castle. This timber framed pub is believed to have been built in 1475 and remains open as a public house so, who’s getting the next round in?
3. Victoria Quays
This huge canal basin was completed in 1819 and served as the terminus for the Sheffield Canal. It was restored in the early 1990s and now houses offices, apartments and berths for leisure boats. There are a number of beautiful Grade II listed buildings remaining on the site that were originally warehouses for grain and coal merchants.
4. Sheffield Manor Lodge
Sheffield Manor – sometimes known as Manor Lodge or Manor Castle – was a country retreat built in 1516 for the 4th Earl of Shrewsbury to the east of the city centre. There are several sections of the original Manor still standing, most notably the Grade II listed Turret House. The nearby Norfolk Park is all that remains of the vast deer park in which the Manor was situated.
5. Coles Corner
A local name given to the corner of Sheffield’s ‘High Street’, it used to be the home of the Cole Brothers department store. The building now houses various retailers and businesses and is well known (by those of a certain age) as a location to meet your date.
6. The Boardwalk Nightclub
A very popular bar and nightclub back in the day, this venue on the corner of Bank Street played host to up-and-coming bands from the local area as well as touring bands looking to gain a following. From the 1960s onwards, the club had a special place in the hearts of Sheffield music fans. Although now closed, it once played host to a number of very popular bands such as The Sex Pistols, AC/DC and Genesis.
7. Park Hill Flats
Currently the largest Grade II listed building in Europe, this giant complex featured 995 flats and maisonettes as well pubs, shops and outdoor areas. It was built in the 1960s to replace dilapidated back-to-back houses and terraced streets. Although Park Hill has stood empty for some time now, it’s being slowly restored to its former glory.
8. Police box
No, it’s not the TARDIS – although you’re not far off. Situated outside the Sheffield Town Hall, this police box dates back to the 1920s and was one of 120 littered throughout Sheffield – it now remains as the only one in the city and is a rare sight in England.
9. Somme Barracks
A large military building, the Somme Barracks is owned by the Ministry of Defence and houses part of the Territorial Army. It’s a Grade II listed building and has been in use by the army since its completion in 1907. Surprisingly, there have been several exhibitions on the premises and the barracks are even used to host professional wrestling matches.
Not a giant shape-shifting robot, but an unlikely nickname for a network of Victorian tunnels and storm drains under Sheffield. Not for the faint-hearted, but ideal for the urban explorers in the area, Megatron has proven an interesting and challenging exhibit. Believed to date back as far as the 1870s, the tunnels lead under Ponds Forge and Sheffield Train Station and form an important piece of Sheffield history.