The Peace Gardens are an award winning public space situated along Pinstone Street, near the Winter Garden and within walking distance of the Millennium Galleries.
They form the central part of a spectacular walk, taking visitors from Sheffield Railway Station through a series of exciting developments each with their own distinctive lighting, public art and water features.
Visiting the Peace Gardens
You can get there by public transport, bicycle, car or on foot.
The Peace Gardens area was originally the churchyard of St Paul's Church, which was built in the 18th century. The church was built to accommodate Sheffield’s increasing population, which had outgrown the capacity of the Parish Church (which is now the Anglican Cathedral).
A wealthy local goldsmith called Robert Downs paid for St Paul’s Church to be built and work started in 1720. However, Robert Downs later had a disagreement with the church authorities and for a short time he allowed dissenters to worship in the building. This was stopped when the church was finally consecrated or blessed in 1740.
By 1938 the Church of England had no further use for St Paul’s and it was demolished to make way for a proposed extension to the Town Hall. Unfortunately, due to the Second World War, the extension was never built and all that remained of the building were the churchyard walls.
We created a temporary garden with the remaining walls and named it St Paul’s Gardens. However the name soon changed to the Peace Gardens due to the popular desire for a return to peacetime. The name became formal in 1985.
Water feature, the Goodwin Fountain
The Goodwin Fountain has 89 individual jets of water and is dedicated to Sir Stuart and Lady Goodwin. Sir Stuart was the founder of an important Sheffield steel and tool making firm - Neepsend Ltd - and a man of considerable wealth.
Throughout their lives they donated a lot of money to a number of charities in the local area, especially hospitals. One of the donations was for the construction of a new fountain at the head of Fargate in 1961. The fountain was originally intended as a tribute to Alderman James Sterling, however, it became known as the Goodwin Fountain and was eventually dedicated to them.
In 1998, the old fountain at the top of Fargate was worn out and was replaced by the new fountain in the Peace Gardens.
The Holberry Cascades
The Holberry Cascades are 8 large water features that are dedicated to Samuel Holberry, who was the leader of the Sheffield Chartist Movement, and are located on either side of the 4 entrances to the main area of the Peace Gardens.
The waterfalls from the bronze vessels represent both the pouring of water into Sheffield's 5 rivers, and the pouring of molten metal used in Sheffield's metal industries.
57,000 litres of water are pumped through its water features. The system employs a water re-circulation system and is kept clean using a brine solution rather than chemicals.
For several hundred years, Standard Measures were displayed in a public place so that commercial disputes about Short Measures could be settled without an argument.
The Measures are a symbol of local government, as well as an early method of consumer protection. The Measures were originally put in St Paul's Parade, but were relocated to Cheney Row, between the Peace Gardens and the Town Hall, in 1998.
The Spanish War Memorial
The Spanish War Memorial records the names of the volunteers from South Yorkshire who fought in the International Brigade in the Spanish Civil War in 1936-39.
The plaque also commemorates the men and women at home who worked endlessly campaigning, raising money and sending supplies, to support the fight against fascism. It is located on the ramp close to the Town Hall which leads up to Cheney Row.
The Bochum Bell
The Bochum Bell was presented to the people of Sheffield in 1985 by our twin city of Bochum in Germany to commemorate the 35th anniversary of the link between the two cities.
The steel bell was made by apprentices at the Krupp AG Works and reflects the shared heritage of the two cities in the manufacturing of the highest quality steel and steel artefacts. The bell is located in the top flowerbed along Pinstone Street.