Wednesday 19 January 2011

A grand day out in Sheffield 12 - Trams by the Cathedral

Sheffield has its own Supertram! It became the second UK city to open a modern tram system; the first being the Manchester Metro, which pre-dates Sheffield by two years.

Opened on 21st March 1994, the Supertram has three routes which run like spokes from the city centre and total 18 miles in length. One spoke stretches north-west to Middlewood, one north-east to the Meadowhall shopping centre and the final one, south east to the interestingly named Halfway. Extensions are planned, including to Rotherham.

One of the stops on the south east line is outside the Anglican Cathedral, the oldest building in Sheffield. There has been a church on this site for over 1000 years, but over the centuries, it has been rebuilt, extended and developed into the modern building. All that remains of the earliest church is a Saxon cross, which is now displayed in the British Museum in London. In the east wall, there are stones dating back to the time of William the Conqueror and a window in the Cathedral Chapter House illustrates Chaucer's reference to Sheffield cutlery in his Canterbury Tale ' The Reeve's Tale' (1300s).

More demolitions, alterations, rebuilding and extensions followed through the centuries until 1914, when the church was granted Cathedral status as a result of the formation of the Diocese of Sheffield. With the ending of the first World War the building underwent a major upgrade, with the aspect of the church being turned through 90 degrees and a second tower and spire being built along with a new chancel and sanctuary.

Although not quite in the same league as places like Wells, Ely or Salisbury, it is nevertheless an impressive piece of architecture! Unfortunately, when we were there, the doors were locked and only the faint glimmer of a security light could be seen shining through the long, high windows. It would have been good to have walked inside.


  1. Super pictures, H! Especially like the one of the Cathedral.

  2. Love the misty atmosphere

  3. I wish you could have gotten in too. Think of all the delightful inside pics you could have taken and posted. It's really a lovely building.

    Kinda partial to the tram photo. Lots of action.

  4. We left Sheffield in 1993 after living there for going on for 10 years. Commuting from Sheffield to Doncaster each day I had to put up with all the disruption caused by building the supertram without ever benefiting from it. Indeed, I am ashamed to say, I have never been on it yet.

  5. These photos are beautiful. I really love them both!