Kelham Island Museum

The Kelham Island Museum is an industrial museum on Alma Street, alongside the River Don, in the centre of Sheffield, England. It was opened in 1982.

Bessemer Converter Sheffield
Bessemer converter at Kelham Island Museum.

The site

The island on which it is located is man-made, resulting from the construction of a mill race, in the 12th century, which diverted water from the River Don to power a corn mill belonging to the Lord of the Manor. It is reported that the island was subsequently named after the Town Armourer, Kellam Homer, who owned a grinding workshop on the neighbouring goit (mill race) in 1637.[1]

Having remained meadowland for much of its existence, John Crowley's Iron Foundry was built on the site in 1829 and continued in operation until the 1890s. This building was replaced by a power station, in 1899, to provide electricity for the new fleet of trams in the city. These are the premises now occupied by the museum.[1]

The Museum

Kelham Island Museum
The museum seen from across the mill race

The museum houses exhibitions on science and Sheffield industry, including examples of reconstructed little mesters' workshops and England's largest surviving Bessemer converter. This object received an Engineering Heritage Award in 2004 from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.[2] (Henry Bessemer's pilot converter is on display at the Science Museum (London)). The museum gives tours to local schools and has regular demonstrations of the 1905 River Don Engine, a 12,000 horsepower (9 MW) steam engine, which originally powered a local armour plate rolling mill. The engine is remarkable for its ability to change direction very quickly, a feature that was necessary for the efficient rolling of heavy steel. The engine rolled steel for nuclear reactors towards the end of its life (it was last used in production in 1978 at the River Don Works). The museum is operated by the Sheffield Industrial Museums Trust. It is an Anchor Point of ERIH, The European Route of Industrial Heritage.

The Museum has a vast photographic archive which is used by authors for illustrating local history books.

The Museum suffered heavily in the Sheffield flood of 2007 but is now fully redisplayed and open to the public.

See also


  1. ^ a b Kelham Island: A Visitor's Guide. Sheffield: Sheffield City Museums. 1992. ISBN 0-86321-172-0.
  2. ^ IMechE (2009) Recognising Excellence, Past, Present and Future Archived 1 October 2011 at the Wayback Machine

External links

Coordinates: 53°23′22″N 1°28′20″W / 53.389503°N 1.472345°W

192 Shoreham Street

192 Shoreham Street in Sheffield, England, is a building with striking architectural design. It has been identified by The Atlantic as one of 2012's most interesting buildings and received an RIBA award in 2013. The £1 million renovation designed by Project Orange features an angular postmodern addition on top of a brick warehouse on the lower floor. The original part of the building was converted to be used as a bar/restaurant and had a steel structure added to support the weight of the rooftop offices.

Buildings and structures in Sheffield

Buildings and structures in Sheffield have been constructed over a time-span ranging from the 13th century to the present day. The majority of Sheffield's older buildings were built during the Industrial Revolution, with a large number of medieval buildings demolished in the 19th century; some older buildings were lost during the Sheffield Blitz. Sheffield can only lay claim to five Grade I listed buildings, two of which are in the city centre.

The oldest structure is Beauchief Abbey, which dates back to the 12th century and is now a ruin. The oldest complete structure is Sheffield Cathedral, parts of which date back to the 13th century. In relation to height, the 78-metre (256 ft) Arts Tower was the tallest completed building in Sheffield until the St Pauls tower (City Lofts) project was completed in 2011.

Carbrook Hall

Carbrook Hall is a historic house in Sheffield, England. Located in the Attercliffe district of the city, the original building was owned by the Blunt family from 1176. This was rebuilt in 1462, and was bought by Thomas Bright (Lord of the manor of Ecclesall) in the late 16th century. His descendant, John Bright, was an active Parliamentarian during the English Civil War, and the building was used as a Roundhead meeting place during the siege of Sheffield Castle. Most of the building was demolished in the 19th century, what survives is a Grade II listed stone wing that was added c. 1620. It is currently unoccupied having previously been used as a public house, however planning permission was granted in November 2018 to turn the building into a Starbucks drive-thru and coffeehouse.

Cementation furnace, Sheffield

The Cementation furnace in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England is a Grade II Listed Building and is the only example of this type of steel making furnace to survive intact in Great Britain. It is situated on Doncaster Street in the St Vincent's Quarter just 0.6 miles (1 km) north west of the city centre.

City ward, Sheffield

City ward — which includes the districts of Highfield, Kelham Island and the city centre — is one of the 28 electoral wards in City of Sheffield, England. It covers the central area of the city. The ward was created following the 2015 local government boundary review out of part of the old Central ward, which, with a population of 36,412, was the largest ward in the UK. City is one of the wards that make up the Sheffield Central constituency.


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Kelham Island

Kelham Island may refer to:

Kelham Island Quarter, one of the eleven quarters of Sheffield City Centre

Kelham Island Museum, an industrial museum, part of the Sheffield Industrial Museums Trust, located in the above quarter

Kelham Island Brewery, a brewery located in the above quarter

Kelham Island Quarter

Kelham Island is one of Sheffield's eleven designated Quarters. Formerly an industrial area, the island itself was created by the building of a goit, or mill race, fed from the River Don to serve the water wheels powering the workshops of the areas' industrial heyday. The quarter was named after the island, however, the boundaries extend beyond the physical island created by the river and goit.

The Quarter is roughly diamond in shape, and is bordered by Shalesmoor and Gibraltar Street to the south-west; Corporation Street to the south-east; Mowbray Street, Harvest Lane and Neepsend Lane to the north-east, and Ball Street and Cornish Street to the north-west. The Cornish Place Works sit just outside this quarter, to the north-west. Green Lane and Alma Street form the main spine roads of the area. The Green Lane Works (Grade II* listed) and the Brooklyn Works (Grade II listed) are both important industrial heritage sites. A great deal of urban regeneration is evident in this area, as residential and social uses are mixed into this former industrial area.

The area is home to an industrial museum, the Kelham Island Museum, including the famous River Don Engine. The Chimney House for events and occasions and five pubs: the Kelham Island Tavern (twice CAMRA National Pub of the Year), the Fat Cat, The Wellington, the Ship Inn and The Milestone. It is also host to the Kelham Island Brewery (brewers of Pale Rider, amongst others). The area is the only area in Sheffield with its own dedicated app This Is Kelham that supports independent businesses, regeneration and aids the funding of community projects. The Quarter housed one of Sheffield's last traditional hand-made scissor makers, Ernest Wright and Son Limited, until their relocation to premises closer to the city centre in 2011.

Ken Hawley

Ken Hawley MBE (born Kenneth Wybert Hawley, 29 June 1927 – 15 August 2014) was a British tool specialist and industrial historian: he was a tool retailer, collector of tools and authority on the history of Sheffield manufacturing trades. He amassed what is recognised as one of the most significant collections of its type in the world. The Hawley Collection is now housed at Kelham Island Museum in Sheffield, England.

List of tourist attractions in Sheffield

As a large city, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England, has many tourist attractions from performing arts centres to museums, shopping centres and public parks. Below is a list of some of the more famous and visited:

Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet

Arts Tower

Beauchief Abbey

Birley Spa

Bishops' House

Crucible Theatre

Cutlers' Hall

Devonshire Green

Don Valley Stadium

The Dore Stone

Endcliffe Park

Graves Art Gallery

Graves Park


Kelham Island Museum

Lyceum Theatre

Magna Science Adventure Centre

Meadowhall Shopping Centre

Millennium Galleries

Millhouses Park

Old Queen's Head

Peace Gardens

Ponds Forge

Rivelin Valley

Rother Valley Country Park

Sheaf Square

Sheffield Arena

Sheffield Botanical Gardens

Sheffield Cathedral

Sheffield City Hall

Sheffield Fire and Police Museum

Sheffield Manor

Sheffield Town Hall

Sheffield Walk of Fame

Sheffield Winter Gardens

Shepherd Wheel

Showroom Cinema

Site Gallery

Valley Centertainment

Victoria Quays

Weston Park Museum

Wheel of Sheffield

Wincobank (hill fort)

Yorkshire ArtSpace

Park Square Bridge

Park Square Bridge, also known as the Supertram Bridge, is a prominent bridge in the City of Sheffield, England. It was constructed in 1993 using a bowstring, or tied arch design. The bridge carries the Sheffield Supertram system from Commercial Street onto the Park Square roundabout.

Pennine Centre

The Pennine Centre is a tower on Tenter Street in Sheffield, England. Construction started in 1973 on this immense building and was completed in 1975.The tower is 50 m (164 ft) tall and has 13 floors of office space. It was built in the International style, like the Arts Tower in Sheffield and Tower 42 in London.

River Don Engine

The River Don Engine is a 1904-built steam engine used for hot rolling steel armour plate. It is a 3-cylinder simple engine of 40 inches (1.0 m) diameter, 48 inches (1.2 m) stroke. At its operating steam pressure of 160psi, it developed 12,000 horsepower (8.9 MW), and was able to reverse from full speed in 2 seconds. The rapid reverse was an essential feature of an engine used for rolling, as delays would result in cooling of the workpiece. This engine was one of four built to the same design, one going overseas to the Japanese Government, one to John Brown's Atlas plant, and the destination of the final one being William Beardmore of Glasgow. It is claimed to be one of the most powerful steam engines ever built, and the most powerful remaining in Europe.The River Don Engine worked for over 50 years at Cammell's mill before being moved first to British Steel's River Don plant (hence its name) and then in 1978 to its present home at the Kelham Island Museum, Sheffield. The engine was last used for commercial work in the 1970s, to roll out reactor shield plates for nuclear power plants.

The engine is normally regularly demonstrated at the museum, without load, and under 5psi of steam pressure. It had to be taken out of service following the floods of July 2007, which extensively damaged the museum and parts of the engine, but was restored to working order in 2008.

Sheffield Industrial Museums Trust

The Sheffield Industrial Museums Trust (SIMT) is an independent charitable trust based in Sheffield, England, that runs the Sheffield City Council-owned Kelham Island, Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet, and Shepherd Wheel museums.

The trust was created from a partnership between the City Council, Sheffield Hallam University and the Company of Cutlers in Hallamshire as Kelham Island Museum Ltd. in November 1994, and reconstituted as the Sheffield Industrial Museums Trust in 1998 when the City Council passed to them control of the recently closed Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet.

Shepherd Wheel

Shepherd Wheel is a working museum in a former water-powered grinding workshop situated on the Porter Brook in the south-west of the City of Sheffield, England. One of the earliest wheels on the River Porter, it is one of the few remaining—and effectively complete—examples of this kind of enterprise, one that used to be commonplace in the Sheffield area. Its 5.5 m (18 ft) diameter overshot water wheel is powered from a large dam stocked with water diverted from the Porter Brook. The workshops, dam, goit and weir are Grade II listed, and the site is a Scheduled Ancient Monument.

Shrewsbury Hospital

Shrewsbury Hospital refers to a row of almshouses and a chapel in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England.

Stumperlowe Hall

Stumperlowe Hall is a small English country house situated in the City of Sheffield, England. It is located on Stumperlowe Hall Road at its junction with Slayleigh Lane in the suburb of Fulwood. The hall is a Grade II listed building.

Tapton Hall

Tapton Hall is a Grade II listed building situated on Shore Lane in the Crosspool area of Sheffield, England.

West One

West One is also the name of a retail park in Salford.

West One is a mixed-use development at the centre of the Devonshire Quarter in the city centre of Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England. It comprises bars, restaurants and shops at ground-level (including the large Revolution bar) and apartments housing over 1,000 people above, including a penthouse. It faces onto Devonshire Green, (restored in 2007) and provides easy access to the Moor and Division Street.

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