Kelham Island Conservation Area

Kelham Island Industrial Conservation Area is situated close to the City Centre alongside the River Don and at the heart of the Don Valley. The Conservation Area is in the relatively low lying flood plain of the River Don. 

To the north east it is overlooked by Woodside and Burngreave and by Netherthorpe to the south west.

The 'Island' which is approximately 750 metres long, the focus of the Conservation Area, was created by a man made goit (a mill race) and is important in the historic development of Sheffield.

Kelham Island was one of the first industrial conservation areas in the country to be designated, in order to protect its special character and heritage. 

It is one of the most important areas across Sheffield, identifying the importance and development of the metal trades industry, which formed a huge part of the city's growth throughout the 18th and 19th Centuries.

There are a number of elements that make up the special character of the Conservation Area and justify its designation. These include:

  • importance of Kelham Island area in the growth of the metal trades industry, in particular metal making, shaping and in cutlery production
  • the Island, which was first formed in the 12th Century when the goit was built to provide water power for the Town Corn Mill
  • Kelham Island Museum, an industrial museum housed in the former Sheffield Tram Electricity Generating Station
  • Kelham Island Brewery, one of several micro-breweries operating within the city
  • architecturally important buildings such as the Grade II* listed Cornish Place (now residential) and Grade II* listed Globe Works (offices)
  • a number of public houses including the Grade II listed 'Fat Cat' and a chapel around South Parade, evidence of the original community which existed until the mid 19th Century
  • the listed weir and Ball Street Bridge over the River Don
  • unplanned street pattern which evolved in response to the development of the area (roads running parallel to the river crossed by 3 bridges)
  • a number of important unlisted buildings helping contribute to the character of the area
  • back of pavement development characterised by brick built workshops and grand frontages
  • some surviving crucible stacks notably Green Lane, Cornish Works and Lion Works, demonstrating industrial processes
  • predominantly red brick buildings with historic stone flags and kerbs in courtyard entrances
  • biodiversity along the river, including fresh water fish and variety of bird life such as heron, geese and kingfisher

Date of designation

Kelham Island Industrial Conservation Area was designated in May 1985 with subsequent extensions in 1999 and 2008.

Conservation Area Appraisal

An Appraisal was carried out in 1999 to extend the boundary of the Conservation Area. This was supported by a Statement of Special Interest.

Contact Sheffield Conservation Unit

Howden House
4th Floor
1 Union Street
S1 2SH

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