The Origins Of Sheffield Cathedral
The site of Sheffield Cathedral has likely been a place of Christian worship since as early as the 9th century. The Sheffield cross, a relic from this period, is believed to have originally been sited there.
Centuries later, when in the 1100s William de Lovetot officially founded Sheffield, he built a parish church on that same site. This was burnt down in 1266, during the Baron's War against Henry III, but a replacement church was built 14 years later.
This would not be the last time Sheffield Cathedral was troubled by fire however.
The Sheffield Cathedral Of Today Takes Shape
The earliest stones found in the current Sheffield Cathedral date back to this 13th century church. For the most part however it was demolished and rebuilt in 1430.
Over the centuries that followed, the building was altered time and time again making it a treasure trove of architecture across the ages and an unusual mix of medieval and modern features.
A chapel was added to it in the 1500s and another in 1777. Its North and South transepts were radically changed in the mid-late 1800s. Further additions took place in the 20th century, after it was officially made a cathedral in 1914.
What's In A Name?
The cathedral's shape isn't all that has changed about it however. It was orignally dedicated to St Peter but after the reformation it became a church of the holy trinity, before finally being renamed in honour of both St Peter and St Paul. It's full name is now the unweildy 'Sheffield Cathedral of St Peter and St Paul'.
Sheffield Cathedral Burns Again
The cathedral has suffered two further fires in recent(ish) times. The first of these was in 1979, when flames spread up and down the belltower causing thousands of pounds of damage. Over 35 firefighters arrived to control the blaze and, despite the loss of historic bells and records, the fire was contained.
The cathedral reopened just nine days later.
The second fire happened in 2020 and is believed to have been started in a pile of clothes donated to a homeless charity that was based in the cathedral at the time. The charity's room was destroyed but the blaze was stopped before the rest of cathedral was significantly damaged.
Both of these fires were found to have been caused by arson. In the case of the 1979 fire the arsonist was never identified, but a 40 year old woman was arrested and charged with having deliberately set the 2020 one.
Visiting Sheffield Cathedral
The cathedral is free to visit and can be found in the city centre, next to the cathedral tramstop, which is on all Sheffield tramlines. It is a 10 minute walk from the train station and a host of bus-stops (any in the city centre will do).
Sheffield Cathedral Opening Hours:
Interested in finding more places like this? Try one of our Sheffield Treasure Hunts - untangle cryptic clues as a team, as you are taken on a journey to the most unique, unusual and bizarre corners of England.