10 facts about Sheffield


Congratulations, you’re coming to Hallam! So, what do you know about Sheffield?

The city of Sheffield has so much to offer and has an impressive history behind it. If you're a student who's currently living in Sheffield or will soon be living here, how much do you know about the area? If the answer is 'not a lot' then don't worry - here are our top ten facts about Sheffield that you may or may not have known…

1. A Green City

People often think of Sheffield as an industrial city, but it’s actually one of the greenest cities in the UK. Sheffield has the highest ratio of trees to people in Europe - there are over two million across the city!

2. Rolling down the river

The name Sheffield comes from the River Sheaf, one of several rivers that run through the city, along with the River Don and the River Loxley. The lower part of the River Sheaf once formed two sides of the boundary of Sheffield Castle where Mary, Queen of Scots, was once held prisoner!

3. Heavy metal

You might have heard Sheffield being called the Steel City, due to its international reputation for steel production in the 19th century. Crucible is another innovation developed in Sheffield, which is where the Crucible Theatre gets its name from.

4. The beautiful game

If you’re a football fan, Sheffield is the city to be in! Sheffield is home to the world’s oldest football club AND its second oldest - Sheffield FC was founded in 1857 and Hallam FC was founded just three years later. The famous 'Steel City’ derby, now between Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday, is a huge local event and a must for all football loving students.

5. All the world’s a stage

The Sheffield theatre complex is the largest in the UK outside of London and won two awards at the 2020 Stage Awards. The Sheffield Lyceum, Crucible Theatre and Studio Theatre are located in Lyceum Square and host a variety of plays and live performances.

6. Sheffield stars

Did you know Sheffield has a walk of fame? The Sheffield Legends plaques outside the Town Hall pay tribute to local celebrities who have achieved national or international acclaim such as actor Sean Bean, Olympic athlete Jessica Ennis, and astronaut Helen Sharman, who was the first ever Briton in space!

7. Music is the answer

Sheffield is well known for its music scene and has produced acts such as Pulp, Def Leppard, Bring Me The Horizon, Arctic Monkeys, Reverend and The Makers, and The Human League. Pulp frontman, Jarvis Cocker, once fell out of a window on Division Street - there’s even a plaque commemorating the event!

Sheffield is also home to iconic music venues such as The Leadmill, O2 Academy and Utilita Arena, as well as smaller venues such as Delicious Clam and Picture House Social.

8. Down and out in Paris and Yorkshire

George Orwell, the novelist famous for writing Animal Farm and 1984, once said of the city: "Sheffield, I suppose, could justly claim to be called the ugliest town in the Old World." A lot has changed since he wrote the unflattering review in 1937 - take a look at Richard Wheeler’s amazing photos of the Peak District to see just how beautiful it is.

9. A study in Sheffield

Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes, worked as a doctor’s assistant in Sheffield in 1878. He supposedly took some inspiration from his time living in the area to write one of the most famous stories ever written, The Hound of the Baskervilles.

10. Past to the present

Sheffield was once home to the National Centre for Popular Music, which was located in the avant-garde building which is now home to the Students’ Union! We’ve got lots of fun and exciting events planned, so make sure you visit our website to find out what’s on!