Rotherham (/ˈrɒðərəm/ (listen))[1] is a town in South Yorkshire, England, which together with its conurbation and outlying settlements to the north, south and south-east forms the Metropolitan Borough of Rotherham, with a recorded population of 257,280 in the 2011 census. Historically in the West Riding of Yorkshire, its central area is on the banks of the River Don below its confluence with the Rother on the traditional road between Sheffield and Doncaster. Rotherham was well known as a coal mining town as well as a major contributor to the steel industry. Traditional industries included Glass Making and Flour Milling.

Rotherham montage

From top to bottom: Rotherham town centre, Rotherham Minster, the Beeversleigh apartment block in Clifton, All Saints Square.
Rotherham is located in South Yorkshire
Location within South Yorkshire
Population109,691 (2011 census)
OS grid referenceSK4392
Metropolitan borough
Metropolitan county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtS60-S63, S65, S66
Dialling code01709 (01226 in areas)
PoliceSouth Yorkshire
FireSouth Yorkshire
EU ParliamentYorkshire and the Humber
UK Parliament


Early history

Old Rotherham
Rotherham in the late Medieval period

Iron Age and Roman settlements dot the area covered by the district, including a small Roman fort to the south-west in the upper flood meadow of the Don at Templeborough. Rotherham was founded in the very early Middle Ages. Its name is from Old English hām 'homestead, estate', meaning 'homestead on the Rother'. The river name was carried into Old English from Brittonic branch of Celtic words: ro- 'over, chief' and duβr 'water', thus 'main river'; a similar size namesake is in East Sussex, see Rother.[2] It established itself as a Saxon market town, on a Roman road near a forded part of the River Don.[3]

By the late Saxon period, Rotherham was at the centre of a large parish on the Don's banks.

Following the Norman Conquest an absentee lord held the most inhabited manor, Nigel Fossard (however today's city proper takes in eight outyling Domesday estates). The Domesday 'Book' or Survey records this lord of the manor with a Norman name took the place of the Saxon lord Hakon holding 20 years before in 1066 and was tenant of an overlord of hundreds of such manors, Robert de Mortain, the Conqueror's half-brother. The central assets at the time were medium in rank among manors: eight adult male householders were counted as villagers, three were smallholders and one the priest, three ploughlands were tilled by one lord's plough team and two and a half men's plough teams were active. The manor's other resources were a church, four loosely called 'acres' of meadow, and seven of woodland. Rotherham had a mill valued at an ordinary half of one pound sterling.[4][5]

His successors, the De Vesci family, rarely visited the town and did not build a castle but maintained a Friday market and a fair. In the mid 13th century, John de Vesci and Ralph de Tili gave all their possessions in Rotherham to Rufford Abbey, a period of growing wealth in the church. The monks collected tithes from the town and gained rights to an extra market day on Monday and to extend the annual fair from two to three days.[4]

The townsmen of Rotherham formed the "Greaves of Our Lady's Light", an organisation which worked with the town's three guilds. It was suppressed in 1547 but revived in 1584 as the feoffees of the common lands of Rotherham, and remains in existence.[4]

In the 1480s the Rotherham-born Archbishop of York, Thomas Rotherham, instigated the building of a College of Jesus or Jesus College, Rotherham to rival the colleges of Cambridge and Oxford. It was the first brick building in what is now South Yorkshire and taught theology, religious chant and hymns, grammar and writing.[4]

The College and new parish church of All Saints made Rotherham an enviable and modern town at the turn of the 16th century. The college was dissolved in 1547 in the reign of Edward VI, its assets stripped for the crown to grant to its supporters. Very little remains of the original building in College Street. Walls of part of the College of Jesus are encased within number 23 and Nos 2, 2A, 4 (later for a time Old College Inn, a beerhouse), 6 and 8 Effingham Street. Its fragments of walls are the earliest surviving brick structure in South Yorkshire and are remains of the key institution to Rotherham's growth into a town of regional significance. Sixty years after the College's dissolution Rotherham was described by a wealthy visitor as falling from a fashionable college town to having admitted gambling and vice. The history of Thomas Rotherham and education in the town are remembered in the name of Thomas Rotherham College.[6]

Swift family brass Rotherham
Memorial brass of the Swift family, All Saints Church, Rotherham, later owners of Broom Hall

Industrial Revolution

The region had been exploited for iron since Roman times, but it was coal that first brought the Industrial Revolution to Rotherham. Exploitation of the coal seams was the driving force behind the improvements to navigation on the River Don, which eventually formed the Sheffield and South Yorkshire Navigation system of navigable inland waterways.

In the early Industrial Revolution major uses of iron demanded good local ore and established processing skills for iron strength, qualities found in Rotherham's smelting plants and foundries. Iron, and later steel, became the principal industry in Rotherham, surviving into the 20th century. The Walker family built an iron and steel empire in the 18th century, their foundries producing high quality cannon, including some for the ship of the line HMS Victory, and cast iron bridges, one of which was commissioned by Thomas Paine.[7]

Rotherham's cast iron industry expanded rapidly in the early 19th century, the Effingham Ironworks, later Yates, Haywood & Co, opened in 1820. Other major iron founders included William Corbitt and Co; George Wright and Co of Burton Weir; Owen and Co of Wheathill Foundry; Morgan Macauley and Waide of the Baths Foundry; the Masbro’ Stove Grate Co belonging to Messrs. Perrot, W. H. Micklethwait and John and Richard Corker of the Ferham Works.

The Parkgate Ironworks was established in 1823 by Sanderson and Watson, and changed ownership several times. In 1854, Samuel Beal & Co produced wrought iron plates for Isambard Kingdom Brunel's famous steamship the SS Great Eastern.[8] In 1864, the ironworks was taken over by the Parkgate Iron Co. Ltd, becoming the Park Gate Iron and Steel Company in 1888. The company was purchased by Tube Investments Ltd in 1956 and closed in 1974. Steel, Peech and Tozer's massive Templeborough steelworks (now the Magna Science Adventure Centre) was, at its peak, over a mile (1.6 km) long, employing 10,000 workers, and housing six electric arc furnaces producing 1.8 million tonnes of steel a year. The operation closed down in 1993.

Holmes Engine Works Rotherham
Holmes Engine Works advertisement 1840.

The first railway stations, Holmes and Rotherham Westgate both on the Sheffield and Rotherham Railway opened on 31 October 1838. Holmes station was located close to the works of Isaac Dodds and Son, pioneers in the development of railway technology. Later railway stations included Parkgate and Aldwarke railway station on the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway, which opened in July 1873, the Parkgate and Rawmarsh railway station on the North Midland Railway and the Rotherham Masborough railway station also on the North Midland Railway.

Rotherham Forge and Rolling Mill occupied an island in the river known as Forge Island. It's managing director was Francis Charles Moss of Wickersley before his death in 1942. The island was later occupied by a Tesco superstore and then cinema complex.

Joseph Foljambe established a factory to produce his Rotherham plough, the first commercially successful iron plough.[9]

A glass works was set up in Rotherham in 1751, and became Beatson Clark & Co, one of the town's largest manufacturers, exporting glass medicine bottles worldwide. Beatson Clark & Co was a family business until 1961, when it became a public company. The glass works operated on the same site, although the family connection ceased and the company is owned by Newship Ltd, a holding company linked to the industrialist John Watson Newman. It continues to the manufacture glass containers for the pharmaceutical, food and drinks industries.[10] In the 19th century, other successful industries included pottery, brass making and the manufacture of cast iron fireplaces. Precision manufacturing companies in the town include AESSEAL, Newburgh Engineering, Precision Magnetics, Orkot Composites and Darron Oil Tools SBO. Rotherham is the location of the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP), which is home to a number of world-class companies including Rolls-Royce and McLaren Automotive.

The district abounds in mineral wealth; coal and iron ore are found in great profusion, and have been wrought from [long ago]. The town was formerly celebrated for its manufacture of edge tools; and in 1160, there were mines of ironstone, smelting-furnaces, and forges in the neighbourhood. But the most extraordinary establishments of this kind, of late years, were the iron-foundries belonging to Messrs. Walker, in which immense quantities of cannon of the largest calibre were wrought for government during the war, till the works were given up by the original proprietors, and let out to small capitalists. The spinning of flax affords employment to about 200 persons; there are manufactories for rope and for starch, a large malting establishment, two large ale and porter breweries, several oil and chemical works, and a glass-[making] house. Some other manufactories and works are noticed in the article on Masbrough. The Don, which is navigable to Sheffield, communicates with the river Aire on the north-east, with the Stainforth and Keadby canal on the east, with the Dearne and Dove canal and the Barnsley canal on the north-west, and consequently with the river Calder; by which means Rotherham enjoys [goods trade] with all the principal towns in the great manufacturing districts of Yorkshire and Lancashire. In 1836 an act was passed for making a railway to Sheffield, with a branch to the Greasbrough canal and coal-field; it was opened [in] 1838, and the distance is about six miles....The market is on Monday, for corn, cattle, and provisions: on alternate Mondays is a celebrated market for fat-cattle, sheep, and hogs, numerously attended by grazers from distant parts of the country; and fairs take place on Whit-Monday and December 1st, for cattle. A court leet is held annually, at which constables and other officers for the internal regulation of the town are appointed

— A Topographical Dictionary of England, Samuel Lewis, 1848.

Milling grain into flour was a traditional industry in Rotherham, formerly in the Millmoor area, hence Rotherham United F.C.'s nickname "The Millers". Flour milling continued at the Rank Hovis town mill site on Canklow Road[11] until September 2008.[12] The site of the mill is a warehousing and distribution facility for Premier Foods.

Enterprise Zone 1983

In 1983 Rotherham became a designated Enterprise Zone with benefits and incentives given to attract new industry and development in the area. Within the first year ten new companies were established within the zone. The former chemical works at Barbot Hall, which had been empty and derelict, was developed into a new industrial estate and named 'Brookside', after Mangham Brook, running alongside it [13].

Floods of 2007

Ulley reservoir between Ulley and Aughton is in the south of the district.

Rotherham was affected by flooding in the summer of 2007, which caused the closure of central roads, schools, transport services and damaged residential and commercial property, including the Parkgate Shopping complex and the Meadowhall Centre, which suffered considerable internal water damage. Ulley Reservoir caused major concern and forced the evacuation of thousands of homes when its dam showed signs of structural damage, threatening to break and release water into the suburbs of Treeton, Brinsworth and Canklow as well as potentially flooding the Junction 33 electrical sub-station.[14] Rother FM evacuated its studios, passing its frequency temporarily to neighbouring station Trax FM. A stretch of the M1 motorway was closed for three days owing to the flood risk in the event of a breach of the reservoir. Fire service and police officers used thirteen high-powered pumps to lower the water level in the reservoir and reduce pressure on the dam wall, which was damaged but held. By summer 2008, the reservoir and surrounding country park reopened.

A new wetland and flood storage area, Centenary Riverside park, has since been built by Rotherham Council and the Environment Agency to prevent flooding in the future. The Wildlife Trust for Sheffield and Rotherham manages the site as a local nature reserve. The site is home to the massive sculpture Steel Henge, a Stonehenge replica which is in fact made from iron ingots.[15][16][17]

Child sexual exploitation scandal

Following a 2012 article published in The Times alleging the cover-up of organised, large-scale sexual abuse of young children by gangs of people of Pakistani origin in Rotherham,[18] Rotherham Council commissioned Professor Alexis Jay, a former chief social work adviser to the Scottish government, to lead an independent inquiry about the handling of the cases and a suspected child exploitation network. She issued an exploitation report stretching beyond police-level investigated cases. Her report of August 2014 revealed an unprecedented scale of reported child sexual abuse within an urban area of this size over a 16-year period.[19][20] Subsequently, Eric Pickles, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, commissioned Louise Casey to conduct a Best Value investigation of Rotherham Council. She issued a report of her findings in February 2015.[21]

Both reports stated that a majority of the known perpetrators were of Pakistani heritage, and reported a denial of severity which was to a large extent the responsibility of Councillors. Casey's report concluded that at the time of her inspection the Council was not fit for the purpose, and identified some necessary measures for preventing further repetition.[22][23] On 4 February 2015, after receiving Casey's report, Pickles said that commissioners would be appointed to run the council pending new elections, and the council leader and cabinet resigned en masse to allow for a 'fresh start'.[24] The National Crime Agency was called in to investigate whether Rotherham councillors were complicit in hiding the depth and scale of the child abuse (the figure of 1,400 children is now said to be conservative) due to a 'fear of losing their jobs and pensions' following a concern that they might be considered 'racist' if they spoke out. Also, according to the new report, the councillors were driven by "misplaced political correctness".[25]

Jayne Senior, a former youth town worker,[26] was reported to have worked for more than a decade to expose rampant child sexual abuse in Rotherham, but she was met with "indifference and scorn".[27][28] Senior was awarded an MBE in the 2016 Birthday Honours.[29][30][31]


College Buildings 001
Rotherham College of Arts and technology

Rotherham has three further education institutions and colleges. These are Thomas Rotherham College, Dearne Valley College and the Rotherham College of Arts and Technology. The Rotherham College of Arts and Technology has a campus in the Rotherham town centre and a second site in Dinnington.


Rotherham Town Hall
Rotherham Town Hall (originally the West Riding Courthouse; in civic use since 1985).

Local governance

The Labour Party, who have controlled the authority since its 1974 incorporation currently hold 74% of local government seats. Rotherham's shadow cabinet local opposition is currently UKIP with 20% of the seats, no longer the Conservative Party who went from 8% to 4% of seats in 2014, Independents account for 2% of seats and having had elections by thirds every other year.[32] The method of election is changing to whole council elections every four years, from 2016.

In 2013, Professor Alexis Jay published a report about the Rotherham child sexual exploitation scandal (1997–2013). Following the report's publication, the council leader, Roger Stone of the Labour Party, resigned - an act of contrition the report said should have been made years earlier[33] - saying he would take full responsibility for "the historic failings described so clearly in the report."[34][35] Labour Councillors Gwendoline Russell, Shaukat Ali and former council leader Roger Stone were suspended from the Labour Party, as was former Deputy Council Leader Jahangir Akhtar, who had lost his council seat in 2014.[36] Chief Executive, Martin Kimber, said no council officers would face disciplinary action.[35] Kimber announced on 8 September that he intended to step down in December 2014, and offered his "sincere apology to those who were let down".[37] The council's director of children's services, Joyce Thacker, also left the authority by mutual agreement.[38] Malcolm Newsam was appointed as Children's Social Care Commissioner in October 2014,[39] and subsequently Ian Thomas was appointed as interim director of children's services.[40]

Shaun Wright, the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for South Yorkshire from 2012, was the Labour councillor in charge of child safety at the council for five years from 2005-10.[41] He initially refused demands to resign as PCC from the Home Secretary, Theresa May,[42] as well as members of his own party and local Labour MP Sarah Champion, saying: "I believe I am the most appropriate person to hold this office at this current time."[43] He resigned from the Labour Party on 27 August 2014,[44] after an ultimatum by the party to either resign or face suspension from the party.[45] Wright stood down as PCC on 16 September, saying that the prominence given to his role distracted from "the important issue, which should be everybody's focus - the 1,400 victims outlined in the report - and in providing support to victims and bringing to justice the criminals responsible for the atrocious crimes committed against them."[46]

The former Chief Constable, Meredydd Hughes, who served from 2004 to 2011 and who had unsuccessfully stood for the Labour Party nomination in the Police Crime Commissioner elections, was told by Labour MP Keith Vaz that he had 'failed' abuse victims.[47]

The inspector, Louise Casey aided by seven assistant inspectors produced the Inspection Report on 4 February 2015.[23] Following its conclusion that the Council was not fit for purpose the minister directed that the powers of the Council (RMBC) be transferred to his department and the cabinet would need to resign unless RMBC made sufficient representations within 14 days to contradict the report. The Secretary of State empowered a team of five Commissioners to replace councillors before a full election in 2016 and on the Report's strength, stated that as the authority was not currently fit for purpose its powers would not revert until the dis-empowered councillors could prove their fitness to carry out all of the Council's duties without intervention. One of these commissioners was appointed to specialise in child protection.[48]

Representation in the national legislature

Like all of South Yorkshire the area consists of representatives of the Labour Party at the Parliamentary level whose seats have been almost universally cast among analysts as 'safe', that is having enjoyed 'substantial' majorities over a 'long' period of time; a typecast which heightens the incumbency factor present in first past the post elections. The town's seat, including all its near suburbs, has been held by Labour MPs since a by-election in 1933. After the resignation and jailing of Denis MacShane in November 2012 due to expenses abuse, this area required a by-election in 2012 and Sarah Champion for Labour became the MP at that by-election.[49]


Weir is it^ - - 684106
Red and white enclosed footbridge over a long weir across the Don in the town centre showing upper part of Grade I church (All Saints) and large buildings of Corporation Street on the concrete embankment to the right

The town in great part occupies the slopes of two hills; that in the west is the start of a 3 miles (4.8 km) north-west crest topped by Keppels Column, that in the east is a narrower crest alongside the Rother known as Canklow Hill, topped by a protected formally laid out public area, Boston Park, less than 500 east of and 80 metres above the Rother. The Rother here is between 32 and 34 metres above sea level.[50] The south scarp here is slightly higher still, the Canklow Hill Earthworks, a Scheduled Ancient Monument, one of relatively few in the borough, as pre-dating recorded history. This compares to 524 listed buildings and structures by English Heritage in the district. Samuel Lewis describing the town with its townships as having nearly 14,000 people in 1848, described the southern green slope by saying the town lies "partly on the acclivities of an eminence...great improvements have been made within the last twenty years; in the immediate neighbourhood, several substantial and respectable dwellings have been recently built".

Rotherham's commercial town centre occupies the valley in between these hills on the navigable part of the River Don flowing from the south-west after it has turned approximately due north. The town centre is less than 0.5 miles (0.80 km) below and north of the confluence of the Rother flowing from the south. The Mid Don Valley continues adjoining towns in the north of the Metropolitan Borough.

Beyond the town centre and away from the Don Valley, the Rotherham district is largely rural, containing a mixture of retired people, larger properties, some farming and tourism and the landscaped Wentworth Woodhouse estate, where the last surviving kiln of the Rockingham Pottery can be seen.

Aside from two regular roads and two bypasses (one being the motorway network), Sheffield is connected directly by the Trans-Pennine Trail which passes the Meadowhall Shopping Centre on both sides (which between the two places) as it includes Sheffield as southern detour.

Rotherham Central railway station has frequent trains connecting to Sheffield in a time of 14 minutes; Manchester through a change in Sheffield is accessible in a similar circa 70 minutes to nearer Leeds and York as many towns and suburbs in South Yorkshire and West Yorkshire are all stops on Rotherham's railway – it is Doncaster which has the East Coast Main Line providing express intercity services.

Clifton Park, Rotherham
Clifton Park
Districts and suburbs of Rotherham include.

Green belt

Rotherham is within a green belt region that extends into the wider surrounding counties, and is in place to reduce urban sprawl, prevent the towns in the Sheffield built-up area conurbation from further convergence, protect the identity of outlying communities, encourage brownfield reuse, and preserve nearby countryside. This is achieved by restricting inappropriate development within the designated areas, and imposing stricter conditions on permitted building.[51][52]

The green belt was first adopted in 1979,[52] and the size in the borough in 2017 amounted to some 20,450 hectares (204.5 km2; 79.0 sq mi),[53] covering 72% of the overall borough.[51] The green belt surrounds the Rotherham urban area, with larger outlying towns and villages within the borough such as Treeton, Swallownest and Thurcroft also exempted. However, smaller villages, hamlets and rural areas such as Morthen, Ulley, Guilthwaite, Hooton Roberts and Old Ravenfield are 'washed over', so minimising unsuitable development in these.

A subsidiary aim of the green belt is to encourage recreation and leisure interests,[51] with rural landscape features, greenfield areas and facilities including the Wentworth Woodhouse estate and temple, River Rother, northern portions of the River Don and Hooton Brook, Pinch Mill Brook, several golf courses, Ulley reservoir, Herringthorpe allotments, Rotherham Roundwalk and Sheffield Country Walk/Trans-Pennine trails, Thurcroft Hall, and Valley Park.


In 2011, Rotherham had a population of 109,691, this figure is for an urban subdivision and roughly corresponds with ward and output area boundaries. The population in 2001 was 117,262 but the figure includes Catcliffe which was a separate subdivision a decade later, so there may not have been an actual decrease in population.

The population of Rotherham is increasing slightly because 110,550 people lived in the town in 2014.[54]

Rotherham compared 2011 Rotherham USD Rotherham (Borough)
White British 85.6% 91.9%
Asian 8.3% 4.1%
Black 1.3% 0.8%


In 2011, 14.4% of Rotherham's population were non-white British compared with 8.1% for the surrounding borough. Rotherham town has over double the percentage of Asian people compared with the Metropolitan Borough of Rotherham and a slightly larger percentage of black people. Rotherham is about as ethnically diverse as Middlesbrough and Doncaster and in 2001, 93.0% of Rotherham's residents were White British, so the town's non-White British population has gone from 7% to 14% since then.


Rotherham Minster
Rotherham Minster

Rotherham Minster or All Saints' Church in All Saints Square built largely of neat-cut pieces of sandstone and low-pitch lead roofs dates from the 15th century and includes parts from earlier Saxon and Norman structures. Clayton and Bell working to George Gilbert Scott's designs constructed the east window. Stained glass makers and designers A. Gibbs, Camm Brothers, Heaton, Butler and Bayne and James Bell are known makers of the other windows. Gargoyles flank its clock on each face. It has a "recessed octagonal spire with crocketed arrises and pinnacled shafts rising from corner faces and a gilded weathervane." Architectural critics Pevsner and Simon Jenkins considered it "the best perpendicular [style] church in the country" and "the best work in the county", respectively. It is a listed building in the highest category of architecture, Grade I.[56]

Close to the town centre is the 15th-century Chapel of Our Lady of Rotherham Bridge (or "Chapel on the Bridge"), beside Chantry Bridge (a road bridge opened in the 1930s). It is one of four surviving bridge chapels in the country. The chapel was restored in 1923, having been used as the town jail and a tobacconist's shop.

Boston Castle - Rotherham - - 191088
Boston Castle

Built in the 18th century, Clifton House houses Clifton Park Museum. The remains of the 16th-century College of Jesus are in the town centre. Boston Castle, in the grounds of Boston Park, was built as a hunting lodge by Thomas, 3rd Earl of Effingham between 1773 and 1774 to mark his opposition to British attempts to crush the Americans in their war for independence. It is named after Boston, Massachusetts, the scene of the Boston Tea Party.[57]

On the outskirts of Rotherham, a brick-built glass making furnace, the Catcliffe Glass Cone, is the oldest surviving structure of its type in Western Europe and one of four remaining in the United Kingdom – the others being the Red House Cone in the Wordsley centre of the Dudley Glassworks in the West Midlands, Lemington Glass Works west of Newcastle upon Tyne and Alloa in Scotland. Threatened with demolition in the 1960s, it has been preserved as a Scheduled Ancient Monument and stands as a focal point in a sheltered housing complex and close to the path leading up the Rother valley.[58]

South of Maltby in the east of the district, half-way to Worksop are the ruins of Roche Abbey, among the small minority in the United Kingdom bearing multi-storey walls, as most others are no more than foundations or a single storey of ruins following the dissolution of the monasteries in the 1530s.[59]

Culture and attractions


Magna Centre Rotherham Furnace 20061014
Furnace at the Magna Centre, Rotherham

The Magna Science Adventure Centre, an interactive science and adventure centre built in a former steel works in Templeborough, has become one of the most popular tourist destinations in the region.[60]

Clifton Park Museum medium-sized museum in Clifton Park. Admission is free.


The Civic Theatre and an Arts Centre is in the town centre.

The Westgate district of the town centre is home to many pubs, bars and clubs and is the focal point of Rotherham's nightlife. .

In 2015, The former Tesco forge island superstore became a 10 Screen Odeon Cinemas as a refurbishment since the store moved to a new home in the town centre as the Extra store.


Rotherham holds several public events through the year:- A fashion show Rotherham Rocks in July, takes place in 'All Saints Square' and Rotherham by the Sea, in August, is held in Clifton Park, which is transformed into a seaside beach with sand, deckchairs and other traditional seaside attractions. Rotherham Show is an annual event, held in Clifton Park, with stalls from all sectors of the community, shows and live bands in September.

In 2016 Rotherham's first carnival took place. The People's Parade which included over 400 people including costumes from Rampage, Luton - Batala a 50 piece Brazilian samba band and hundreds of local people, schools and community groups. The parade lead to a festival in the park with flags, decor 'Eh Up Rotherham' sign, rides, stalls Djs and bands, workshops and activities.


Clifton Park, in the town centre, includes sport facilities, an outdoor paddling pool, a small fairground and an adventure park.

Minster Gardens is an urban park in the heart of the town centre, next to Rotherham Minster and All Saints Square. It has an amphitheatre and space for open-air events, with stepped seating, lawns, grass terracing and a meadow area.


Rotherham has several Brass band clubs. It has also produced many classic and progressive rock bands, supported by the Classic Rock Society, such as Deadline, Saxon, Jive Bunny, Bring Me the Horizon, Phuturistix, Disarm and Soul Seekerz.


Rotherham town centre has various chain stores including Tesco Extra. Following the availability of "Vitality Grants" from 2009 onwards, a number of new independent businesses opened in the town centre such as Yella Brick Road.[61] In 2015, Rotherham won the Great British High Street award for its independent town centre shopping. Judges praised the transformation of key properties and the restoration of its "historic core".[62] A plaque commemorating the award was unveiled by Secretary of State for Local Government & Committees Sajid Javid MP in September 2016.[63]

In film, art and literature

In film

Film name Scenes portrayed Locations used Genre
King Ralph (1991)[64][65] Miranda's mum's house in England. Allotments. Dalton (scene buildings redeveloped since) Comedy
I.D. (1995)[66] Centenary Market & Millmoor, Rotherham As in reality Police drama
When Saturday Comes (1996)[67] Outdoor scenes in 'Sheffield' Outdoor scenes in Rotherham Football and underdog drama
Brassed Off (1996)[68] Close-to-home concerts and parades for musicians Rotherham town centre and district Music-themed tragedy
Five Pillars (2013)[69] Opening credits sequence, school fight scene Rotherham Bus Station, Eastwood, Wickersley Social realist drama

Chef-writer Jamie Oliver's television series Jamie's Ministry of Food (2008) was based in Rotherham. He aimed to make Rotherham "the culinary capital of the United Kingdom" by his 'Pass it on' scheme, teaching groups some of which went on to work in restaurants.[70]

The Arctic Monkeys' song "Fake Tales of San Francisco" has a tribute line: "Yeah I'd love to tell you all my problem. You're not from New York City, you're from Rotherham".

The 2013 film Five Pillars was largely set and filmed in Rotherham, which is also the hometown of the writer and director.


The town's association football team, Rotherham United plays in The Championship, the second tier of English Football. The team currently plays at the New York Stadium. Historically the town was represented by Rotherham Town, and Rotherham County, who both played in the Football League.

Rotherham Titans rugby union team reached the Guinness Premiership in 1999 and 2003 before being relegated. The club plays at the Clifton Lane Sports Ground. The town is also represented in rugby league by the Rotherham Giants of the Rugby League Conference.

Former Formula One team Virgin Racing were based in Dinnington in the borough. IndyCar and former ChampCar and Formula One driver Justin Wilson was from Woodall, which is in the Metropolitan Borough of Rotherham.[71] Motorcycle speedway racing was staged in the town about 1930.

Hurdler Chris Rawlinson, Olympic gold medallist sailor Paul Goodison, Olympic silver medallist Peter Elliott, former England goalkeeper David Seaman, golfer Danny Willett[72] and 2010 FIFA World Cup Final referee Howard Webb are all from Rotherham.

Three greyhound racing tracks existed in or around the town. They were Rotherham Greyhound Stadium (1933-1974); around Millmoor (1930-1933) and in Hellaby. The racing was independent (not affiliated to the sports governing body the National Greyhound Racing Club) and all three tracks were known as flapping tracks, which was the nickname given to independent tracks.[73][74]

Freedom of the borough

On Monday 3 August 2009 Rotherham became the first town to bestow the Freedom of the Borough on the Yorkshire Regiment, giving it the right to march through the town with "flags flying, bands playing and bayonets fixed". At a ceremony outside the Town Hall, the Regiment paraded two Guards of soldiers who had recently returned from Iraq and the Colours of the 3rd Battalion Yorkshire Regiment (Duke of Wellington's), led by the Kings Division Band, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Vallings, the battalion commanding officer. The Mayor of Rotherham, Councillor Shaukat Ali, on behalf of the borough, presented the Freedom Scroll to Colonel Simon Newton, who accepted the honour for the regiment. The regiment is the only military unit to become Honorary Freemen of the Borough.

Notable people

Alice 2008 and Chuckle Brothers 028
Rotherham is the home of Paul and Barry Elliott (generally known as the Chuckle Brothers).

Rotherham is the hometown of the Chuckle Brothers, Arsenal and England goalkeeper David Seaman, along with World Cup and English Premier League referee Howard Webb. Sean Bean began his acting career in Rotherham while actors Liz White, Ryan Sampson, Dean Andrews and Darrell D'Silva also hail from Rotherham, as does former leader of the Conservative Party, William Hague, and Sir Donald Coleman Bailey. Presenter James May grew up in Rotherham. His co-presenter on Top Gear Jeremy Clarkson trained to be a journalist at the Rotherham Advertiser.

Comedians Sandy Powell and Duggie Brown were born in Rotherham, as was actress Lynne Perrie. Christopher Wolstenholme of Muse, Dean Andrews of Life On Mars, artist Margaret Clarkson, band Jive Bunny & The Mastermixers and singer-actor Rob McVeigh were all born or mostly raised in Rotherham.[75]

Twin towns

Rotherham's official twin towns are:

Partner towns

Rotherham has three partner towns:[77]

See also


  1. ^ Wells, John C. (2008), Longman Pronunciation Dictionary (3rd ed.), Longman, p. 697, ISBN 9781405881180
  2. ^ Watts, Victor (ed.), The Cambridge Dictionary of English Place-Names Based on the Collections of the English Place-Name Society (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), s.vv. ROTHERHAM and River ROTHER SYorks.
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Further reading

External links

1998 Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council election

Elections to Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council were held on 7 May 1998. One third of the council was up for election and the Labour party kept overall control of the council.After the election, the composition of the council was

Labour 65

Conservative 1

2007 Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council election

Elections to Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council were held on 3 May 2007. The Labour party kept overall control of the council. One third of the council was up for election and no boundary changes were made.After the election, the composition of the council was:

Labour 54

Conservative 7

Others 2

2012 Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council election

The 2012 Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council election took place on 3 May 2012 to elect members of Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council in South Yorkshire, England. This was on the same day as other 2012 United Kingdom local elections. The Labour Party gained five seats, and one was gained by an Independent. The British National Party lost both of the seats it was defending, and the Conservative Party only held one of its five seats, in Sitwell ward.

2015 Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council election

The by-thirds 2015 Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council election took place on Thursday 7 May 2015, to elect approximately one third of the members of the Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council in England as part of the 2015 United Kingdom local elections held on the same day as the general election. All seats contested at this election were last contested in 2011, and of these, 20 were held by Labour Party councillors.Following the premature resignation of former Cabinet member Cllr. Mahroof Hussain (L) elected in Boston Castle at a more recent election, his seat (for the Boston Castle ward) was also contested in the 2015 election. As the election is held by thirds, a Labour Party majority would fall if the party failed to win more than 2 of the 22 seats that were up for election in 2015.

Chuckle Brothers

The Chuckle Brothers were an English comedy double act comprising Barry David Elliott (24 December 1944 – 5 August 2018) and Paul Harman Elliott (born 18 October 1947). They were known for their BBC children's programme ChuckleVision, which celebrated its twenty-first series with a 2010 stage tour entitled An Audience with the Chuckle Brothers. The comedy of the Chuckle Brothers usually derived from slapstick, wordplay and other visual gags, and their catchphrases included "To me, to you" and "Oh dear, oh dear".

EFL League One

The English Football League One (often referred to as League One for short or Sky Bet League One for sponsorship reasons) is the second-highest division of the English Football League and the third tier overall in the entire English football league system.

League One was introduced for the 2004–05 season. It was previously known briefly as the Football League Second Division and for much longer, prior to the advent of the Premier League, as the Football League Third Division.

At present (2018–19 season), Walsall hold the longest tenure in League One, last being out of the division in the 2006–07 season when they were promoted from League Two. There are currently seven former Premier League clubs competing in League One, namely Barnsley (1997–98), Blackpool (2010–11), Bradford City (2000–01), Charlton Athletic (2006–07), Coventry City (2000–01), Portsmouth (2009–10) and Sunderland (2016–17).

Metropolitan Borough of Rotherham

The Metropolitan Borough of Rotherham is a metropolitan borough of South Yorkshire, England. It is named after its largest town, Rotherham, but also spans the outlying towns of Maltby, Rawmarsh, Swinton, Wath-upon-Dearne, and also Dinnington and Laughton

as well as a suburban and rural element composed of hills, escarpments and broad valleys.

The district was formed on 1 April 1974, under the Local Government Act 1972, as a merger of the County Borough of Rotherham, with Maltby, Rawmarsh, Swinton and Wath-upon-Dearne urban districts along with Rotherham Rural District and Kiveton Park Rural District.

Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council is one of the safest Labour councils in the United Kingdom, although the number of Labour council seats dropped from 92% to 79% in 2014 following the Rotherham child sexual exploitation scandal.


The Millmoor Ground, commonly known as Millmoor, is a football stadium in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, England. It was the home ground of Rotherham County F.C. between 1907 and 1925 and then their successors Rotherham United F.C. until 2008. The stadium has had no professional tenant since, but has been in use again for local youth football since 2016.

Neil Warnock

Neil Warnock (born 1 December 1948) is an English football manager, currently managing Championship side Cardiff City. He is also an established television and radio pundit working for several media outlets and a retired professional footballer. He holds the record for the most promotions in English football, with eight.

Warnock played as a winger for Chesterfield, Rotherham United, Hartlepool United, Scunthorpe United, Aldershot, Barnsley, York City and Crewe Alexandra, scoring 36 goals in 327 career league appearances. He retired in 1979 at age 30 to move into coaching.

Warnock's first managerial job was with non-League Gainsborough Trinity (1980–1981), he would subsequently manage Burton Albion (1981–1986) and Scarborough (1986–1989), winning promotion to the Football League with the latter in 1987. He then managed Notts County (1989–1993), leading them from the Third Division to the First Division in successive seasons, though he was sacked after the club were relegated the season before the First Division became the Premier League. After a brief spell at Torquay United (1993), he moved to Huddersfield Town (1993–1995), with whom he won promotion to the new First Division. He then resigned and joined Plymouth Argyle (1995–1997), leading them to the Second Division. After being sacked, he spent spells with Oldham Athletic (1997–1998) and Bury (1998–1999).

In 1999, Warnock joined boyhood club Sheffield United, leading them to the semi-finals of the League Cup and FA Cup in 2003 and promotion to the Premier League in 2006. However, he resigned in 2007 after the club were relegated. He then took over at Crystal Palace (2007–2010), saving the club from relegation to League One. When the club went into administration, he left to join Queens Park Rangers (2010–2012), winning promotion to the Premier League with the club in 2011. He was sacked with the club in a precarious position and joined Leeds United (2012–2013). After being sacked by Leeds following a poor run of form, he was without a club for almost fifteen months until returning to Crystal Palace, then in the Premier League, in August 2014. In December 2014, he was sacked by Crystal Palace after a poor start to the season, which saw the club in the relegation zone. After a month as caretaker at Queens Park Rangers, Warnock returned to Rotherham United as manager in February 2016. He was appointed manager of Cardiff City in October 2016, and led them to Premier League promotion during the 2017–18 season.

New York Stadium

The New York Stadium, known as the AESSEAL New York Stadium for sponsorship purposes, is a football stadium in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, England. Opened in July 2012, it is the home ground of Rotherham United.

Ronnie Moore

Ronald David Moore (born 29 January 1953) is an English former footballer. He has taken charge of several clubs including Rotherham United, Tranmere Rovers and Hartlepool United.

He played for many different clubs in a career spanning almost two decades, including Tranmere Rovers, Cardiff City, Charlton Athletic and Rotherham United. He is widely considered to be one of the greatest Rotherham players of all time. Beginning his career in management at Southport in 1997, he went on to manage Rotherham, guiding them to two successive promotions from Division Three to Division One. He moved to Oldham Athletic in 2005, before becoming manager of former club Tranmere Rovers one year later. He returned to Rotherham for a second time in 2009, before returning to Tranmere Rovers for a second time in 2012. In February 2014 he was suspended by the club, pending the outcome of a Football Association investigation into alleged breaches of betting rules; he later admitted breaches of the rules, and was sacked by Tranmere in April 2014. In December 2014, Moore was announced as the new manager of Hartlepool United.

Rotherham (UK Parliament constituency)

Rotherham is a constituency represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament since 2012 by Sarah Champion, a member of the Labour Party.

Rotherham County F.C.

Rotherham County F.C. was an English football club based in Rotherham, South Yorkshire. They spent a number of years in the Football League before merging with rivals Rotherham Town in 1925 to form Rotherham United.

Rotherham Titans

Rotherham Rugby Union Football Club, or Rotherham Titans is a professional rugby union team from Rotherham, South Yorkshire, currently playing in the third tier of the English rugby union league system, following their relegation from the RFU Championship at the end of the 2017-18 season.

Rotherham is one of the most successful clubs in English rugby history, having achieved multiple promotions within the league structure in the 1990s and early 2000s. This meteoric rise ultimately culminated in two unsuccessful spells in the English Premiership. Rotherham is perhaps best known for the Rugby Football Union blocking its entry into the Premiership, its subsequent legal challenges, and a partially successful appeal to the Office of fair trading to break an alleged Premiership cartel.Rotherham is now consistently a top 20 club in English rugby, with a reputation for being a breeding ground for developing talented players, including those who are overlooked by other top clubs such as David Strettle, Hendre Fourie and Erik Lund.

Rotherham United F.C.

Rotherham United Football Club, nicknamed The Millers, is a professional association football club based in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, England. It competes in League One, the third tier of the English football league system, following its relegation from the Championship in the 2018–19 season.

Founded in 1925 as a merger between Rotherham Town (1899) and Rotherham County (1870), the club's colours were initially yellow and black, but later evolved into the more traditional red and white. Rotherham United play their home games at New York Stadium, a 12,021 capacity all-seater stadium, having previously played since its foundation at Millmoor for 101 years. Joining the Football League back in 1925, Rotherham spent the first 25 years of their time in Division Three North, the lowest level of the Football League, finally gaining promotion to Division Two at the end of the 1950–51 season.The Millers featured in the inaugural League Cup final in 1961, and won the 1996 Football League Trophy and 1946 Football League North Cup. They also achieved two separate back to back promotions in 1999–2001 under Ronnie Moore and 2012–2014 under Steve Evans.

Rotherham child sexual exploitation scandal

The Rotherham child sexual exploitation scandal consisted of the organised child sexual abuse that occurred in the northern English town of Rotherham, South Yorkshire, from the late 1980s until the 2010s and the failure of local authorities to act on reports of the abuse throughout most of that period. Researcher Angie Heal, who was hired by local officials and warned them about child exploitation occurring between 2002 and 2007, has since described it as the "biggest child protection scandal in UK history". Evidence of the abuse was first noted in the early 1990s, when care home managers investigated reports that children in their care were being picked up by taxi drivers. From at least 2001, multiple reports passed names of alleged perpetrators, several from one family, to the police and Rotherham Council. The first group conviction took place in 2010, when five British-Pakistani men were convicted of sexual offences against girls aged 12–16. From January 2011 Andrew Norfolk of The Times pressed the issue, reporting in 2012 that the abuse in the town was widespread, and that the police and council had known about it for over ten years.The Times articles, along with the 2012 trial of the Rochdale child sex abuse ring, prompted the House of Commons Home Affairs Committee to conduct hearings. Following this and further articles from Norfolk, Rotherham Council commissioned an independent inquiry led by Professor Alexis Jay. In August 2014 the Jay report concluded that an estimated 1,400 children, most of them white girls, had been sexually abused in Rotherham between 1997 and 2013 by predominantly British-Pakistani men (Kurdish and Kosovan men were also involved). British Asian girls in Rotherham also suffered abuse, but a fear of shame and dishonour made them reluctant to report the abuse to authorities. A "common thread" was that taxi drivers had been picking the children up for sex from care homes and schools. The abuse included gang rape, forcing children to watch rape, dousing them with petrol and threatening to set them on fire, threatening to rape their mothers and younger sisters, and trafficking them to other towns. There were pregnancies—one at age 12—terminations, miscarriages, babies raised by their mothers, and babies removed, causing further trauma.The failure to address the abuse was attributed to a combination of factors revolving around race, class and gender—contemptuous and sexist attitudes toward the mostly working-class victims; fear that the perpetrators' ethnicity would trigger allegations of racism and damage community relations; the Labour council's reluctance to challenge a Labour-voting ethnic minority; lack of a child-centred focus; a desire to protect the town's reputation; and lack of training and resources.Rotherham Council's chief executive, its director of children's services, and the Police and Crime Commissioner for South Yorkshire Police all resigned. The Independent Police Complaints Commission and the National Crime Agency both opened inquiries, the latter expected to last eight years. The government appointed Louise Casey to conduct an inspection of Rotherham Council. Published in January 2015, the Casey report concluded that the council had a bullying, sexist culture of covering up information and silencing whistleblowers, and was "not fit for purpose". In February 2015 the government replaced the council's elected officers with a team of five commissioners. As a result of new police inquiries, 19 men and two women were convicted in 2016 and 2017 of sexual offences in the town dating back to the late 1980s; one of the ringleaders was jailed for 35 years.

S postcode area

The S postcode area, also known as the Sheffield postcode area, is a group of postcode districts in and around eight settlements with post town status: Barnsley, Chesterfield, Dronfield, Hope Valley, Mexborough, Rotherham, Sheffield and Worksop in England. Of these Dronfield and Mexborough have one postal district.

Currently the area has 49 non-sequentially numbered postal districts, three of which are 'non-geographical' being for bulk users in Sheffield and Rotherham.

Sheffield Supertram

The Sheffield Supertram (officially the Stagecoach Supertram) is a light rail tram system in Sheffield, England. The infrastructure is owned by the South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE), while private transport company Stagecoach is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the trams.

Interest in the development of a modern tram system for Sheffield mounted during the 1980s, after further planning was performed by SYPTE, the Supertram proposal was approved via an Act of Parliament during 1991. Construction of the Supertram network, which incorporated several existing heavy rail sections as well as new track, was carried out in sections, allowing for the commencement of the first revenue services during 1994. Early operations were hindered by a complex ticketing system and the initially small coverage area, contributing to disappointing ridership figures during its first years.During 1997, in an efforts to turn around the network's performance, the operation of Supertram was privatised to Stagecoach at price of £1.15 million, who took over from South Yorkshire Supertram Limited. Following management and operational changes, as well as further expansion of the system, ridership numbers have risen considerably. The Supertram network currently consists of 50 stations across four colour-coded lines, the Blue, Purple, Yellow and Tram-Train (Black) routes. As well as connecting with local and national bus and rail services, the network serves six park and ride sites.Starting in 2008, interest has been expressed in the launch of hybrid tram-train operations, enabling services to traverse sections of the National Rail network in addition to tramways. During 2012, this interest solidified into an experimental trial being planned, as this would be the first deployment of tram-trains anywhere in the United Kingdom. The start of tram-train operations, using a purpose-procured fleet of new Vossloh-built Class 399 Citylink electric multiple units, has been repeatedly delayed due to shortcomings in the planning of infrastructure adaptations, while significant cost overruns have also been experienced. On 25 October 2018, Supertram commenced operations of the new tram-train line from Cathedral to Rotherham Parkgate.

Thomas Rotherham

Thomas Rotherham (24 August 1423 – 29 May 1500), also known as Thomas (Scot) de Rotherham, was an English cleric and statesman. He served as bishop of several dioceses, most notably as Archbishop of York and, on two occasions as Lord Chancellor. He is considered a venerable figure in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, his town of birth.

Metropolitan districts
Major settlements

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