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about Sheffield

Sheffield is a city and metropolitan borough in the north of England. The population of the City of Sheffield in 2002 was estimated at 512,242. It has grown, from its industrial roots to encompass a wide economic base and is now the fourth largest city in England, the sixth largest in Great Britain, and the only one in South Yorkshire. Over one million people live in the surrounding districts.

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.

Sheffield geography

The area, is now part of the region known as South Yorkshire, on its border with the forests of Nottinghamshire 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 53°23' North, 1°28' West.

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 December 28, 1950).

Sheffield history

The remains of Britain's earliest known "house", a circle of stones in the shape of a hut-base (dated to around 8000 BC) were found at what is now Deepcar, in the north of the city. In fact, evidence of ,Ice Age, middle Paleolithic cave-dwellers (43,000 to 10,000 BC) has been found in the region, at nearby Creswell Crags (the western border of the Creswell Crags Heritage Area overlaps the eastern boundary of Sheffield at the modern M1 motorway).

By the Bronze Age the region which we now call Sheffield was attracting more and more tribal peoples. In about 1500 BC, the Middle Bronze Age tribes reached the area. These people (sometimes called the Urn people) were armed warriors led by fierce chiefs, who subdued the earlier pastoral dwellers. They built numerous stone circles, both large and small. Examples can be found on Moscar Moor, Froggat Edge and Hordron Edge. Two Early Bronze Age urns have been found at Crookes and three Middle Bronze Age barrows found at Lodge Moor (both suburbs of the modern city).

An Iron Age fort was constructed at Wincobank, in what is now northeastern Sheffield. The ramparts of this fort stood on the summit of a steep hill above the River Don. It was built by the Celtic Brigantes tribe in the 1st century AD, possibly to withstand the northward advance of the Roman legions. A minor Roman road also ran through the north of the city, but the settlement which grew into Sheffield is unlikely to have appeared until the Anglo-Saxon period.

The Saxons founded a settlement beside the River Sheaf, which was called Scafield or Escafeld, and it was at Dore, some six miles south-west, and now a suburb of Sheffield, that King Egbert of Wessex received the submission of King Eanred of Northumbria in 827 and so became the first Saxon ruler of all England. The Anglo Saxon Chronicle records; "This year [827] was the moon eclipsed, on mid-winter's mass- night; and King Egbert, in the course of the same year, conquered the Mercian kingdom, and all that is south of the Humber".

Areas of Sheffield likely to have existed as settlements in the Anglo-Saxon period include Attercliffe, Bramley, Brightside, Brincliffe, Darnall, Fulwood, Gleadless, Handsworth, Heeley, Longley, Norton, Owlerton, Shirecliffe, Southey, Tinsley, Totley, Wadsley, Walkley and Woodseats. It's interesting to note how many of these names end in 'ley', which signifies a clearing in the forest. 'Ton' at the end of a name means 'an enclosed farmstead', as in Norton and Owlerton.

Sheffield retained its Saxon lord for some years after the Norman Conquest of 1066. It was at the time of the Norman Conquest that Sheffield and the surrounding district was named for the first time as the manor of "Hallun" or Hallamshire. This is found in the Domesday Book, which William the Conqueror ordered to be compiled so that the value of the townships and manors of England could be assessed. The entries in the Domesday Book are written in a kind of Latin shorthand and the extract for this area begins :

In fact, by the time the Domesday survey was completed [1086], Waltheof, Earl of Northumbria, and the last of the Anglo-Saxon earls, still remaining in England, a full decade after the Norman conquest, had been executed [1076] for his part in an uprising against William I. His lands had passed to his wife, Judith of Normandy, niece to William the Conqueror. The lands were held on her behalf by Roger de Busli who died around the end of the 11th century, and was succeeded by a son, who died without issue. The family's lands passed to William de Lovetot, the son of a Norman baron who had come over with the Conqueror, and who had succeeded the powerful Roger de Builli.

William de Lovetot founded the parish church, which today is the cathedral, St. Mary's Church at Handsworth, and also built the original wooden Sheffield Castle around which the city grew. (This was replaced by a stone-built structure around 1270)

Mary Queen of Scots spent 14 years, from 28th November 1570 onwards, imprisoned in Sheffield Castle and its dependent buildings. The castle park once extended beyond the present Manor Lane, where the remains of Manor Lodge are to be found. Beside them is the Turret House, an Elizabethan building, which may have been built to accommodate the captive queen. A room, believed to have been the queen's, has an elaborate plaster ceiling and overmantle, with heraldic decorations.

During the English Civil War, Sheffield changed hands several times, finally falling to the Parliamentarians, who demolished the Castle in 1648.

The Industrial Revolution brought large scale steel making to Sheffield in the 18th. century. Much of the medieval town was swept away to be replaced in some part by Georgian elegance, but also by Victorian squalor. Sheffield's city centre has been largely rebuilt in recent years, but among the concrete and glass of modern buildings, some of the best old buildings have been retained.

Sheffield's oldest surviving building is Sheffield Cathedral, while other notable mediaeval buildings include Beauchief Abbey, the Bishops' House, and the Old Queen's Head pub in Pond Hill, which dates from around 1480, with its timber frame still intact.

Some Robin Hood legends link the character to the Sheffield region, not least the association of "Robert of Locksley" to the Sheffield region of Loxley, and the proximity of the city to the "Barnsdale" Forest.

Parts of the city were devastated by the Great Sheffield Flood, when the Sheffield Waterworks Company's Dale Dyke dam, which was approaching completion after five years' construction work, collapsed on Friday 11 March, 1864.

The city's early success in Steel production unfortunately involved long working hours, in unpleasant conditions which offered little or no safety protection. It was no coincidence, therefore, that Sheffield became one of the main centres for trade union organisation and agitation in the UK. By the 1860s, the inevitable conflict between capital and labour provoked the so-called 'Sheffield Outrages', which culminated in a series of explosions and murders carried out by union militants.

The UK Association of Organised Trades was founded in Sheffield in 1866, a forerunner of the Trades Union Congress (TUC). The Sheffield Trades Council, which is still active today, was founded in 1871.

The Sheffield Coat of Arms, as shown on the Sheffield City Council website were granted to the Sheffield Borough Council on 16th July 1875, and subsequently to the present City Council on 1st September 1977.

The lion on the crest is taken from the Arms of the Dukes of Norfolk, lords of the manor of Sheffield; it appeared also in the Arms of the Talbot family, their predecessors in the lordship.

The sheaf of arrows was the main motif in the seals of the Burgery of Sheffield and the Twelve Capital Burgesses, the two bodies which bore the brunt of local government in Sheffield before the creation of the Borough.

The three wheatsheaves on a green field were probably chosen at the College of Arms as a play upon the name Sheffield.

The two supporters, Vulcan and Thor, were chosen for their aptness to represent a place whose prosperity was almost entirely founded on the working of metal. Thor on the left, the smith of the Scandinavian gods has his hand resting on a hammer, and Vulcan on the right, the smith of the Greek and Roman gods, is standing in front of an anvil and is holding a pair of pincers.

The motto (Deo Adjuvante Labor Proficit) may be roughly translated as "With God's help our labour is successful".

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "City of Sheffield".

This city is also known as: Sheffield.

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