Stocksbridge is a small town and civil parish, in the City of Sheffield, in South Yorkshire, England. Historically part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, it lies just to the east of the Peak District. The town is located in the steep-sided valley of the Little Don River, below the Underbank Reservoir. It blends into the areas of Deepcar, Bolsterstone and the eastern end of Ewden valley around Ewden village, which are also within the civil parish. The population of the civil parish as of the 2011 census was 13,455.[2]

Stocksbridge - Leisure Centre from Steel Works

Leisure centre from the steel works
Stocksbridge is located in South Yorkshire
Location within South Yorkshire
Population9,869 (2011)[1]
Civil parish
  • Stocksbridge
Metropolitan borough
Metropolitan county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtS36
Dialling code0114
PoliceSouth Yorkshire
FireSouth Yorkshire
EU ParliamentYorkshire and the Humber
UK Parliament

Early history

Throughout the whole of recorded history, up until the early 18th century, what is now Stocksbridge was a deciduously wooded valley which ran from Midhopestones at its northwestern extremity to Deepcar at its southeastern end. A river, originally called the Hunshelf Water but afterwards renamed the Little Don, ran through the valley. This river was also, unofficially, called the Porter, probably on account of its peaty colour. A dirt road, connecting Sheffield with Manchester, ran through the woods adjacent to the river. There were a few stone houses in the valley and a sprinkling of farms on each hillside.[3]:38

In 1716 John Stocks, a local farmer and landowner, occupied a fulling mill halfway along the valley where a flood plain, created by meltwater at the end of the last ice age, extended southwest from the river. Here he reputedly built a footbridge over the river, perhaps so that his workforce could reach the mill from their homes on the north side. This originally wooden structure, Stocks' Bridge, gave the place its name, not only because it was about the only thing there apart from the mill itself,[3]:40 but also because as a crossing place it appeared under that name on Thomas Jeffrey's map of 1772, so establishing itself as a place name. On various occasions this bridge was destroyed by flooding, and it was eventually replaced by a stone structure in 1812.[4]

In 1794 three businessmen, Jonathan Denton, Benjamin Grayson and Thomas Cannon,[3]:15 built a large cotton mill extremely close by, or possibly upon, the site of the original mill.

The parish church of St Matthias was consecrated in 1890.

Steel industry

The valley bottom today is almost entirely occupied by steel works.

Samuel Fox acquired the old cotton mill in 1842, at first renting it from its then owner, Joshua Newton. Nine years later, in 1851, he purchased the mill outright from Joshua's son, Thomas Newton. Fox converted the place to use as a wire mill, and built much of the infrastructure of Stocksbridge, primarily to house his new workforce and to supply their needs. The wire was initially for textile pins, but around 1848 the business expanded to include wire for umbrella frames which led to Fox developing the “Paragon” umbrella frame in 1851.

The business continued to expand, and extended into different products, but underwent a major change in direction in the early 1860s when Fox realized that he could save large amounts of money by making his own steel for the wire, rather than buying it in. Furnaces and a rolling mill were installed, which in turn allowed the production of railway lines and springs. The business was incorporated into a limited company in 1871.

Between 1872 and 1877 a railway line was built to link the works with the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway at Deepcar. This was the Stocksbridge Railway, which existed as a subsidiary company until 1992.

Stocksbridge - Samuel Fox Steel and Iron Works
Buildings of Samuel Fox's works. The large structure in the background is the original cotton mill.

Samuel Fox & Co joined Steel, Peech and Tozer at Templeborough to form the United Steel Companies (USC) following the First World War. From then on the products of the USC sites were coordinated so that each works specialised in set products. Fox’s specialised in special steel produce such as spring steel and stainless steels. This developed into the manufacture of high-quality steel for the aviation industry. One specialised department assembled and tested springs for Rolls-Royce cars.

During the Second World War, 'Sammy Fox's' Steelworks was kept busy as part of the war effort. During the Sheffield Blitz by the Luftwaffe, the bombers used the dam at the end of Stocksbridge as a turning point for their run back toward Sheffield.

Following nationalisation in 1967, the British Steel Corporation split the stainless steel departments off into a separate business which by 2004 had become part of Outokumpu.

During the 1980s and 1990s the Stocksbridge works was part of the United Engineering Steels group (a joint venture between British Steel and GKN) and was known as "Stocksbridge Engineering Steels".

In 1999 the works were taken over by Corus and are part of the Corus Engineering Steels (CES) group. Although for several years Corus ran at a loss, it returned to profit, in part helped by a rise in demand for steel caused by Chinese economic activity.

Steel manufacture in Stocksbridge had always been by melting iron and steel firstly in crucibles (from 1860), then Bessemer converters (from 1862) and Siemens Open Hearth Furnaces (from 1899 until 1968) and lastly Electric arc furnaces (from 1939 until 2005). Iron has never been produced from iron ore at Fox's, by any method.

In October 2006, Corus was taken over by the Indian company Tata. Corus Engineering Steels (Stocksbridge site) was renamed Tata Steels Speciality. During the 2008 recession Stocksbridge works reduced its workforce and output, focusing on producing lower quantities of high-value product for the aerospace and oil and gas markets. After the recession the company returned to profitability and began investing once again. In 2011 £6.5 million was invested in boosting the site's ability to produce aerospace steel, and further developments were planned for 2013.[5]

However in December 2015 Tata came under investigation by the Serious Fraud Office in connection with the alleged falsification of certificates guaranteeing the quality of its speciality steels. This was then followed in early 2016 by an announcement from Tata that they would be selling their entire steelmaking interests in the UK, due, they said, to crippling electricity prices in the UK which are more than double the price in the European Union and in other competing countries, and to large volumes of cheap steel which are being exported to the west by China. If a buyer could not be found, then steelmaking in the Stocksbridge valley would finally end, after almost 160 years.[6][7]

However on 9 February 2017 it was announced by Tata and by the Liberty House Group, that the latter had purchased Tata's entire UK steelmaking operation for GBP 100 million. This has secured the continuation of steelmaking in the Stocksbridge valley.[8][9]


The main road from Sheffield to Manchester originally passed through the town until the A616 Stocksbridge bypass opened in 1989. The new road links the M1 motorway at Junction 35A (and J36) to the Woodhead pass (which is one of the main trans-Pennine routes from Sheffield to Manchester) bypassing the towns of Stocksbridge and Deepcar, diverting the steelworks traffic away from passing through the town.

Stocksbridge has a bus service running through the centre of Stocksbridge and the edge of Deepcar all the way to Middlewood Park and Ride, connecting with the Supertram service to the centre of Sheffield or Hillsborough.


The British Steel Stocksbridge Band [sic] is credited with a tune called "Slaidburn" (1994) in the trailer of the 1997 film The Full Monty. Stocksbridge Engineering Steels Brass Band has since been renamed to Unite the Union Band and moved rehearsals to central Sheffield. Deepcar Brass Band remains locally. Nearby Bolsterstone is home to a well-known male voice choir led by male vocalist Alan Rodgers, particularly noted for its performances of Sheffield local carols.[10] Stocksbridge has a strong amateur theatre group called Steel Valley Beacon which produces Shakespeare and other plays every year.

Mathcore band Rolo Tomassi were formed and are still based in Stocksbridge.


The town's local football club is Stocksbridge Park Steels was founded in 1986, following the merger of Stocksbridge Works and Oxley Park FC. The home ground of Stocksbridge Park Steels is Bracken Moor, located near the top of the valley. They play in the Northern Premier League Division One South and also organise many youth teams, from the age of 8 to 18.

Stocksbridge Church was the first to represent the town in the FA Cup, in 1910.

Notable residents


  1. ^ 35 Output areas make up Stocksbridge alone (Not including Deepcar, Midhopestones, Upper Midhope and Bolsterstone)
  2. ^ UK Census (2011). "Local Area Report – Stocksbridge Parish (1170210933)". Nomis. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 1 October 2018.
  3. ^ a b c Branston, Jack (1983). History of Stocksbridge (1st ed.). Stocksbridge Town Council.
  4. ^ "Stocksbridge Area". Stocksbridge and District History Society. Retrieved 12 December 2016.
  5. ^ Rankovic, Ljuba. "Business Link Magazine". Archived from the original on 2 February 2015. Retrieved 2 February 2015.
  6. ^ Ruddick, Graham (8 April 2016). "Tata Steel crisis deepens with senior staff suspended amid SFO probe". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 December 2016.
  7. ^ Ruddick, Graham; Stewart, Heather (30 March 2016). "Tata Steel to sell off entire British business". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 December 2016.
  8. ^ "Tata Steel agrees to sell speciality steel biz to Liberty House - Latest News & Updates at Daily News & Analysis". 9 February 2017. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
  9. ^ "Liberty closes deal to acquire Tata Speciality Steels - Liberty House Group". Retrieved 12 April 2018.
  10. ^ "Local Carol Sings 2015". 2015. Retrieved 10 December 2015.
  11. ^ "Player statistics: Geoff Denial". Rage Online. Retrieved 7 May 2019.
  12. ^ "Oliver Sykes biography". Retrieved 2 February 2015.
  13. ^ "Barry Hugman's Footballers". Retrieved 14 May 2017.

External links

A616 road

The A616 is a road that links Newark-on-Trent, Nottinghamshire, to the M1 motorway at Junction 30, then reappears at Junction 35A and goes on to Huddersfield, West Yorkshire.

The road originally ran continuously from Newark to Huddersfield, via Sheffield city centre. The section of route between the M1 Junction 30 and Sheffield was re-numbered A6135, and the route north-west of Sheffield largely renumbered the A6102.


Bolsterstone is a village in South Yorkshire, England, south of Stocksbridge, and 8.5 miles to the northwest of the City of Sheffield and within the city borough. It lies on the border of the Peak District national park. Bolsterstone had a population of 386 in 2011.


Deepcar is a village located on the eastern fringe of the town of Stocksbridge, in the electoral ward of Stocksbridge and Upper Don, 7 miles approximately northwest of Sheffield city centre.

Deepcar railway station

Deepcar railway station, originally "Deep Car", is a disused railway station near Deepcar, South Yorkshire, England. The station, situated on the line built by the Sheffield, Ashton-under-Lyne and Manchester Railway, opened on 14 July 1845. The station was located between Oughtibridge and Wortley and was intended to serve the village of Deepcar, near Sheffield, South Yorkshire.

The station was built with two flanking platforms, the main station building being on the Manchester-bound side with a waiting shelter on the other. In the 1870s a short branch line was constructed to serve the Stocksbridge steel works of Samuel Fox and Company. This line ran from the west end of Deepcar station to a set of sidings, where traffic was exchanged with the Stocksbridge Railway. At the west end of the station, to the rear of the main line platform, there was a short bay known as the Stocksbridge platform from where passenger trains to the station at Stocksbridge (also known as Stocksbridge platform) departed. This service, which commenced in 1877, ceased in 1931.

The station closed to passenger traffic on 15 June 1959.

The line, albeit single track from Woodburn Junction, is still open to serve the steel works, now operated by the speciality steels division of Liberty House Group. Traffic to this location usually runs at night.

Don Valley Railway

Don Valley Railway first formed as a heritage rail project in September 2003 to operate on the freight rail line between Stocksbridge Steel Works and Sheffield following the route of the former Woodhead Line between Deepcar and Sheffield, The project is developed by Don Valley Railway Ltd., a not-for-profit company and registered charity based in Stocksbridge, South Yorkshire. Original plans to operate heritage rail services for the dual purpose of providing infrastructure for tourism over the weekends, alongside regular commuter services have now shifted towards concentrating on the development of a viable commuter service - though with help of outside assistance heritage plans could be revised.

Jamie Vardy

Jamie Richard Vardy (né Gill; born 11 January 1987) is an English professional footballer who plays as a striker for Premier League club Leicester City and the England national team.

After being released by Sheffield Wednesday at the age of sixteen, Vardy began his senior career with Stocksbridge Park Steels, breaking into the first team in 2007 and spending three seasons before joining Northern Premier League club F.C. Halifax Town in 2010. Scoring 25 goals in his debut season, he won the club's "Player's Player of the Year" award, then moved to Conference Premier club Fleetwood Town in August 2011 for an undisclosed fee. He scored 31 league goals in his first season at his new team, winning the team's "Player of the Year" award as they won the division.

In May 2012, Vardy signed for Leicester City in the Championship for a non-League record transfer fee of £1 million, and helped the team win the Championship in 2014. In the 2015–16 Premier League season, he scored in eleven consecutive Premier League matches, breaking Ruud van Nistelrooy's record, and was voted the Premier League Player of the Season and FWA Footballer of the Year as outsiders Leicester won the title. Vardy made his international debut in June 2015 and was selected for UEFA Euro 2016 and the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Matt Hamshaw

Matthew Thomas Hamshaw (born 1 January 1982) is an English professional footballer who plays for Stocksbridge Park Steels and youth coaches at Rotherham United. He has previously played for Sheffield Wednesday, Stockport County, Mansfield Town and Notts County. He usually plays on the right side of midfield.

Penistone and Stocksbridge (UK Parliament constituency)

Penistone and Stocksbridge is a constituency in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament created in 2010. As with all constituencies, adults qualifying to vote in the seat (its electorate) elect one Member of Parliament (MP) by the first past the post system of election at least every five years.

Scott Hogan

Scott Andrew Hogan (born 13 April 1992) is a professional footballer who plays as a forward for Premier League club Aston Villa. He came through the youth system at Rochdale and had two spells with the club, before rising to prominence with Brentford in 2016. Born in England, he represents the Republic of Ireland at international level.


Sheffield is a city and metropolitan borough in South Yorkshire, England. Historically part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, its name derives from the River Sheaf, which runs through the city. With some of its southern suburbs annexed from Derbyshire, the city has grown from its largely industrial roots to encompass a wider economic base. The population of the City of Sheffield is 577,800 (mid-2017 est.) and it is one of the eight largest regional English cities that make up the Core Cities Group. Sheffield is the third-largest English district by population. The metropolitan population of Sheffield is 1,569,000.The city is in the eastern foothills of the Pennines, and the valleys of the River Don and its four tributaries, the Loxley, the Porter Brook, the Rivelin and the Sheaf. Sixty-one per cent of Sheffield's entire area is green space, and a third of the city lies within the Peak District national park. There are more than 250 parks, woodlands and gardens in the city, which is estimated to contain around 4.5 million trees.Sheffield played a crucial role in the Industrial Revolution, with many significant inventions and technologies developed in the city. In the 19th century, the city saw a huge expansion of its traditional cutlery trade, when stainless steel and crucible steel were developed locally, fuelling an almost tenfold increase in the population. Sheffield received its municipal charter in 1843, becoming the City of Sheffield in 1893. International competition in iron and steel caused a decline in these industries in the 1970s and 1980s, coinciding with the collapse of coal mining in the area.

The 21st century has seen extensive redevelopment in Sheffield, along with other British cities. Sheffield's gross value added (GVA) has increased by 60% since 1997, standing at £9.2 billion in 2007. The economy has experienced steady growth averaging around 5% annually, greater than that of the broader region of Yorkshire and the Humber.The city has a long sporting heritage, and is home to the world's oldest football club, Sheffield F.C. Games between the two professional clubs, Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday, are known as the Steel City derby. The city is also home to the World Snooker Championship and the Sheffield Steelers, the UK's first professional ice hockey team.

Stocksbridge High School

Stocksbridge High School is a mixed secondary school for 11 to 16-year-olds, located in the small town of Stocksbridge, South Yorkshire, England. In December 2017 the school gained Academy school status.

Stocksbridge Park Steels F.C.

Stocksbridge Park Steels Football Club is an English association football club based in the Stocksbridge area of Sheffield, South Yorkshire. They play in Division One South of the Northern Premier League at level eight of the English football league system. The club was formed in 1986 after a merger between two other clubs, and sports a yellow and blue home kit. They play at the Bracken Moor ground.

They initially played in the Northern Counties East League and progressed through the NCEL's divisions before winning promotion to Division One of the Northern Premier League (NPL) in 1996. They reached the Premier Division of the NPL in 2009, but were relegated back to Division One South in 2014.

Steels have participated in the FA Cup every year since 1992, reaching the 4th qualifying round in 2003, and first entered the FA Trophy in 1996 after previously participating in the FA Vase.

Stocksbridge and Upper Don

Stocksbridge and Upper Don ward is one of the 28 electoral wards of the borough of Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England. The population of this ward was 18,541 at the 2011 Census.The main population centres in the ward are Stocksbridge and Oughtibridge; the ward also includes the villages of Deepcar, Wharncliffe Side, Bolsterstone, Midhopestones, Upper Midhope and Ewden Village.

Stocksbridge platform

Stocksbridge platform was a small railway halt, the terminus of, and only railway station on the Stocksbridge Railway. The platform was a simple wooden affair, nothing more was needed to cater for the service provided.

The passenger service, which ran from a west facing bay platform at Deepcar, on the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railways Woodhead Line, commenced operation on 14 April 1877 and ceased in 1931. Operation was undertaken by the Stocksbridge Railway Company who bought two small coaches for the trains, utilising their own locomotive.

In the main, passengers consisted of workers going to Samuel Fox and Company's works and school children.

Wharncliffe Side

Wharncliffe Side is a village in South Yorkshire, England, northwest of Sheffield and within the city borough.

Wharcliffe Side is located on the west bank of the River Don, approximately six miles (9.7 km) northwest of Sheffield city centre, and one mile (1.6 km) northwest of Oughtibridge, south of the confluence of the Ewden beck and the River Don. The village is at an elevation of 435 feet (133 m) and the A6102 road passes through the village.The village has a population of 1355 as of 2011, and is a commuter village for Sheffield and Stocksbridge. The village is within the Stocksbridge and Upper Don electoral ward. There is a primary school on Brighthomelee Lane, along with a post office and two public houses within the village.

There is speculation locally that the village shop in the BBC comedy series "The League Of Gentlemen" is based on the shop at Wharncliffe Side due to the similarities in selling useless goods and also the likeness of the owners to "Tubbs and Edward". Glen Howe Park is situated at the southern end of the village. The ancient farming hamlet of Brightholmlee lies 1⁄2 mile (0.80 km) to the west.

Yorkshire 3

Yorkshire 3 is an English rugby union league at the ninth tier of the domestic competition. Club rugby in Yorkshire operates without promotion play-offs meaning that the top two teams are automatically promoted to Yorkshire 2 and the bottom two teams are relegated to either Yorkshire 4 (North West) or Yorkshire 4 (South East) depending on location. Each season a team from Yorkshire 3 or Yorkshire 4 may be picked to take part in the RFU Junior Vase - a national competition for clubs at levels 9-12.

Yorkshire 4

Yorkshire 4 is an English Rugby Union league at the tenth tier of the domestic competition for teams from Yorkshire. Club rugby in Yorkshire operates without promotion play-offs meaning that the top two teams are automatically promoted to Yorkshire 3 and the bottom two teams were relegated to Yorkshire 5 until the RFU made changes to the Yorkshire league structure. Each season a team from Yorkshire 3 or Yorkshire 4 may be picked to take part in the RFU Junior Vase - a national competition for clubs at levels 9-12.

For the 2017-18 season, Yorkshire 4 was broken up into two regional leagues - Yorkshire 4 (North West) and Yorkshire 4 (South East) - while Yorkshire 5 ceased to exist. Teams from both Yorkshire 4 and 5 were transferred into the regional divisions depending on location with promotion to Yorkshire 3 ultimately decided after a final round of fixtures featuring the top four clubs from each division playing in a Premier division with the remaining clubs participating in a Shield division.

Yorkshire Football League

The Yorkshire Football League was the name of two football competitions. The first lasted three seasons in the late 19th century and the second lasted 62 years until merging with the Midland League in 1982 to become the Northern Counties East League.

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