‘ History of Sheffield ‘

#AceBritishHistoryNews – SHEFFIELD () – June 07 – The history of Sheffield, a city in South Yorkshire, England, can be traced back to the founding of a settlement beside the River Sheaf in the second half of the 1st millennium AD, although the area has seen human occupation since the last ice age.

Following the Norman conquest of England, Sheffield developed into a small town.

By the 14th century it was noted for the production of knives, and by 1600 it had become the second main centre of cutlery production in England after London.

In the 1740’s the crucible steel process was improved by Sheffield resident

Benjamin Huntsman, allowing a much better production quality.

At about the same time, Sheffield plate, a form of silver plating, was invented, and the associated industries caused Sheffield to grow rapidly.

It remained a major industrial city throughout the first half of the 20th century, but the downturn in world trade following the 1973 oil crisis and international rationalisation in steel production led to the closure of many of the steelworks from the early 1970’s onward.

Since the late 1980’s, urban and economic regeneration schemes (including the Sheffield Winter Garden, pictured) have transformed the city, but the city centre remains blighted by empty shops and improvements have been halted by the recession.

Only recently has it started to recover and build trade in other manufacturing areas, as cheap imports of cutlery can no longer be classed as its mainstay.