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Houses for the workers

John Sorby and Sons, a steel and saw manufacturing works at the bottom of Spital Hill, 1879

Courtyard of back-to-back housing on Oborne Street

Between 1820 and 1860 the population of Sheffield tripled from just over 65,000 to 185,000. In Burngreave many new houses were built to accommodate the workforce of nearby industries. These were often terraced or constructed around courts and changed the character of the area completely. Neighbourhoods such as Ellesmere and Woodside became established. In the 1870s the writer Alfred Gatty described the view from Osgathorpe down into the Don Valley: “….there stands, as it were, Dantes city of Dis…masses of buildings, from the tops of which issue fire, and smoke, and steam, which cloud the whole scene, however bright the sunshine.” A drawing from 1879 of John Sorbys Spital Hill steel works captures this atmosphere completely.