Sheffield's history about much more than steel

Visitors on a previous tour visiting Bishop's House in Meersbrook Park, Sheffield
Visitors on a previous tour visiting Bishop's House in Meersbrook Park, Sheffield
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Sheffield is of course known internationally as Steel City, a place famed for its industrial power in the 19th century.

However, there has been a buzz recently about the other faces of the city’s heritage and the group Joined Up Heritage is reminding everyone that there is much more than only its world-famous crucible and stainless steel.

Sheffield’s rich pre-industrial past is being explored on Saturday, August 20 on a special coach tour, called Before the Smoke – Hills and Valleys.

Five of the places that boast history that reaches back as far as the 800s will present themselves to the public and demonstrate how they have contributed to Sheffield’s broad heritage.

The tour will start at Sheffield Cathedral, the city’s oldest building still in continuous use, where participants will be able to see into documents from Sheffield Archives.

After that, both Sheffield Manor Lodge, where Mary, Queen of Scots was famously kept as a prisoner for 14 years, and the 16th-century Bishop’s House in Meersbrook Park will enable visitors to get an insight into what Tudor life in Sheffield was like.

Heeley City Farm stands on a site that boasts a long farming history and is also the place where tour guests will have their lunch in the on-site café.

Finally, in the picturesque valley of the Porter Brook, Shepherd Wheel is a unique working example of Sheffield’s knife-grinding industry dating back to when Queen Elizabeth I was on the throne.

“We will take visitors into the heart of the places where people crafted their livelihoods before our city grew into what it is today – a globally-known industrial metropolis”, says tour guide Laura Alston.

“They can explore industry and occupation in the hills and valleys surrounding old Sheffield town and experience what life was like hundreds of years ago.”

Lunch and refreshments are included in the tour, which will run between 11am and 5pm.

Tickets are £20 and can be booked in advance online at billetto.co.uk/en/events/before-the – smoke-coach – tour-hills – and-valleys, by emailing visit@greenestate.org) or by telephone on 0114 2762828, extension 458.