About Sheffield

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Surrounded by a ring of hills and bordered at the western edge by the Peak District, the Yorkshire city of Sheffield nestles in some of the best rambling country available.

The original town sprouted up around a Norman castle built to keep the Saxons in check during the 11th century, and by the 14th century it was a thriving centre for metalworking, famed for it's knives.

Sheffield was clearly ready for industrialisation when it came, the steel-makers employing new smelting techniques to become world leaders in the city's primary trade, and so it flourished. The extent to which Sheffield affected the world steel industry cannot be underestimated - both silver plating and stainless steel were pioneered and developed in the city. These days Sheffield is host to many hi-tech companies and even Boeing, the aircraft giant, has works at the city's new manufacturing park on the outskirts.

The city has no less than two football league teams and, of course, the customary 'friendly' rivalry exists between fans of Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday - although United's followers have had more to cheer lately, such as a recent FA Cup semi-final appearance.

Aside from football, the city has achieved sporting fame for it's annual hosting of the Snooker World Championships at the Crucible Theatre, and for the Don Valley athletics stadium which has seen performances from many of Britain's star athletes past and present - from Daley Thompson to Dame Kelly Holmes.

Sheffield has a number of famous sons and daughters from sport, entertainment and politics: ex Python globe-trotter Michael Palin, disgraced ex Home Secretary David Blunkett, cricketer and England captain Michael Vaughan, Pulp front-man Jarvis Cocker, 80's electro-pop sensations The Human League and even "Touching the Void" author and ill-fated climber Joe Simpson.