This project is archived. Return to current Museums Sheffield homepage or view more projects.
Skip Navigation

Industrial Revolution


The arrival of...

A map of Pitsmoor from 1846 showing fields and woodland around a small cluster of farms

Artists impression of Pitsmoor Road looking towards Christ Church in 1881

A map of Fairbank

During the 1700s and 1800s the area remained still largely rural but industry was beginning to have an impact. In the 1820s the town of Sheffield stopped at the Wicker, below Spital Hill. Pitsmoor was just a hamlet through which the main turnpike road ran from Sheffield to Barnsley and Wakefield. Industry in the area was mostly in the form of small workshops, attached to farm buildings, producing knives and tools for a local market. There were no factories as yet. Maps from the 1830s and 40s show farmsteads, fields, some woodland and a few scattered mansions that belonged to the wealthy elite of Sheffield. At this time Burngreave was considered a highly desirable place for rich families to build new homes in. Mansions such as Osgathorpe House and Firs Hill (both now demolished) were built during this period.

By 1870 a dramatic transformation had taken place. The arrival of heavy steel and engineering industries, concentrated in the Don Valley, created jobs for migrant workers from all over England and as far away as Ireland. Development of the railways and roads also contributed to the expansion of Sheffield as a centre for craftsmanship and industry.