Furnace Hill Conservation Area is situated less than 1km north-west from the heart of the city centre, yet still retains a distinct industrial feel. 

The main part of the conservation area runs north of Furnace Hill sloping down quite dramatically to Gibraltar Street along historic routes including Snow Lane, Copper Street and Trinity Street, but stretches as far as West Bar to the south-east and Doncaster Street to the north-west.

Furnace Hill was originally one of the most important industrial areas in the city and was partly built in response to the early 18th century expansion of Sheffield's population. 

This growth took the form of dense back to back terraced housing built around central courtyards with outbuildings and industrial works amongst the housing. 

By the 19th century this housing was seen as very poor due to overcrowding and unsanitary conditions and by the 20th century slum clearance programmes had removed a lot of the original buildings replacing them with much larger light industrial units and in some cases clearing the land altogether.

The special interest that justifies designation of the Furnace Hill Conservation Area derives from the following:

  • very important area in the city with strong links to Sheffield's Metal Trades in particular the cutlery industry and associated specialisms
  • 18th century street patterns reflecting the original field enclosures which developed as Sheffield's population grew in the area, particularly around the 'Crofts'
  • landmark buildings such as the West Bar Fire Station Museum (Grade II listed) and the Methodist Chapel on Scotland Street (Grade II listed)
  • a number of important metal trades buildings:
    • John Watts Cutlery Works on Lambert Street (Grade II listed), example of cutlery production with links to earlier living on site.  Large relief lettering is a distinctive feature of the building. Recently converted to residential
    • Kutrite Works on Snow Lane (grade II listed)
    • Former Hope Works and G.W Potts on Furnace Hill known also as White Croft Works now converted to residential
    • Don Cutlery Works on Doncaster Street (grade II listed)
  • a number of important industrial archaeology sites including Doncaster Street Cementation Furnace.  This is the only remaining upstanding cementation furnace in Sheffield and was built in 1848.  It is grade II listed and a scheduled ancient monument
  • Nichol Building on Shalesmoor, an imposing and grand landmark building formerly a goods warehouse now an art and crafts centre
  • stone kerbstones and setts
  • important views in and out of the area due to changing topography

Date of designation

The Furnace Hill Conservation Area was designated on 17th October 2005.

Conservation Area Appraisal

Following on from several years of work between ourselves and English Heritage in respect of Sheffield Metal Trades buildings, it was proposed to designate several new conservation areas, Furnace Hill being one of them.

A public consultation took place between the 19th April and 14th May 2004 and began with a public meeting attended by approximately 40 people at the St Philip’s Social Club. 

Additional businesses, residents and neighbouring properties were consulted by questionnaire.  The 'St Vincent's Action Plan' consultation also took place throughout September 2004.

One of the main outcomes was the concern several buildings should be protected by the conservation area.  These comments prompted amendments to the boundary.

Please note the amendments to the conservation area boundary are not included in the main text of the appraisal document but are on the final map. 

Conservation Unit

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City Archives
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