History of Sheffield

Sheffield’s history may be traced back to the second part of the first millennium AD, when a community was established in a clearing alongside the river Sheaf. The area that is today known as Sheffield has been occupied by humans since at least the last ice age, but considerable growth in the towns that are now part of the city did not occur until the Industrial Revolution.

Sheffield Castle was established after the Norman conquest of England to rule the Saxon villages, and Sheffield grew into a little town no larger than Sheffield City Centre. Sheffield was recognized for the production of knives by the 14th century, and by 1600, under the supervision of the Company of Cutlers in Hallamshire, it had become the second largest producer of cutlery in England after London. Sheffield resident Benjamin Huntsman refined the crucible steel process in the 1740s, allowing for substantially higher output quality. Sheffield plate, a type of silver plating, was invented about the same time. Sheffield grew rapidly as a result of the linked industries; the town was founded as a borough in 1843 and received a city charter in 1893.

Sheffield remained a prominent industrial city throughout the first half of the twentieth century, but the 1973. oil crisis, technological advances and economies of scale, and a widespread restructuring of steel production throughout the European Economic Community led to the closure of several steelworks beginning in the early 1970s. To diversify the city’s economy, urban and economic revitalization programs began in the late 1980s. Sheffield is now a hub for banking and insurance operations, with regional offices for HSBC, Santander, and Aviva. The city has also attracted digital start-ups, with 25,000 people now working in the industry.