Welcome to Sheffield History Tours!

Online home of walks and talks with Ron Clayton…

Sheffield has been recently described as formerly regarded as one of the least historic cities in the United Kingdom, famed for many things, chiefly steel making and the production of cutlery. It’s also known as the biggest village in England largely because of the friendliness of its inhabitants. But Sheffield’s past goes far back before the Industrial Revolution to its medieval origins as a small settlement by the Rivers Don and Sheaf (from which it gets its name). What evidence of this long past survives is all too often unknown to Sheffielders old and new and sadly not appreciated by the city itself. For instance below is an illustration of Sheffield’s Hillsborough Barracks with its walls, turrets and powder magazine and erected in the reign of Queen Victoria.


The city of Sheffield also boasts a hillfort within its boundaries, the magnificent 16th Century Shrewsbury Monuments in its Cathedral, several half timbered buildings such as the Old Queens Head and Bishops House, the remains of the place of captivity of Mary Queen Of Scots who spent most of her sojourn in Sheffield, the remains of a 13th Century medieval castle, hopefully to be uncovered after years of obscurity, mysterious earthworks on its outskirts, a superb Industrial museum at Kelham Island, industrial archaeology and monuments along its rivers, the first Anglo Saxon helmet discovered in the UK, marvellous collections of metalwork. It was home to the infamous Charlie Peace, the 19th Century’s most notorious criminal after Jack the Ripper, suffered the great disaster of the Sheffield Flood of 1864, witnessed the Gang Wars of the 1920’s and the Forgotten Blitz. Oh and it was the birthplace of Robin Hood…

Come in and learn more with Ron Clayton, Professional Sheffielder, Wit and Raconteur, you’ll never look at Sheffield in the same way again.

Hillsborough Barracks

The earliest known photograph of Sheffield’s Hillsborough Barracks. The main gate complete with sergeants, drummer boy and sentry with fixed bayonet.

Sheffield Castle

The most enigmatic castle in England, demolished, c 1649, after it held out against Parliamentary Forces in August 1644.

The stone one, built in 1270 to replace the motte and bailey erected after 1100 and burnt down in 1266, is regarded as possibly as large as Warwick Castle in its heyday. Archaeologists estimate that perhaps three quarters of its footings survive along with a gatehouse, drawbridge pier and flanking towers under the current Castle Market.

Plans are in hand to excavate and open the ruins après demolition of the Market.