|etropolitan county of
Northeast England, in 1986, most of the functions of the former county council were
transferred to the metropolitan borough councils. Yorkshire - The former county was
divided administratively into North, East, and West Ridings, but reorganised to form a
number of new counties in 1974: the major part of Cleveland and Humberside, North
Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, and West Yorkshire. Small outlying areas also went to Durham,
Cumbria, Lancashire, and Greater Manchester. In 1996 Cleveland and Humberside were
abolished, and a number of unitary authorities were created to replace them.
Sheffield City Council - Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council - Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council
- Rotherham Metropolitan Borough
|owns and cities
||Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham, Sheffield (all administrative
centres for the districts of the same name)
||1,560 sq. km / 602 sq. miles
||River Don; part of Peak District
National Park The county contains a part of the Peak District National Park, and a rich
diversity of rural landscapes formed between the barren Pennine moors in the Southwest and
the very low, flat carr-lands (a mixture of marsh and copses) in the east.
||Industries: metal-work, coal, engineering, iron, and steel.
Agriculture: sheep; dairy and arable farming
||Ian Botham, Arthur Scargill
|The overall rate of increase in population in the South Yorkshire area in
recent years has been below the national average due to outward migration. Over 90 % of
the population reside in the urban areas, which are concentrated along the valley of the
River Don, which runs from Southwest to Northeast, and along the valleys of the Don's main
tributaries, the Dearne and the Rother.
From the 12th century, iron smelting was the chief industry, and by the 14th century,
Sheffield cutlery, silverware, and plate were being made. During the Industrial Revolution
the iron and steel industries developed rapidly. It now produces alloys and special
steels, cutlery of all kinds, permanent magnets, drills, and precision tools. Other
industries include electroplating, type-founding, and the manufacture of optical glass. It
is an important conference centre which is well served by The Sheffield Supertram, a
modern light rail system, opened in 1995.
The parish church
of St Peter and St Paul (14th-15th centuries) is the cathedral of Sheffield bishopric
established in 1914. Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned in Sheffield between 1570-84, part
of the time in the Norman castle, which was captured by the Parliamentarians in 1644 and
subsequently destroyed. There are two art galleries (Graves Art Gallery and Mappin Art
Gallery); the Ruskin museum, opened in 1877 and revived in 1985; and the Cutlers' Hall.
There are also three theatres (the Crucible built in 1971, for many years used as the
venue of the World Snooker Championships); the Lyric, designed by W R Sprague in 1897; and
the restored Lyceum, reopened in 1990) and two universities (the University of Sheffield
and Sheffield Hallam University).
The city is a touring centre for the Peak District. The Meadowhall shopping centre in the
old steel works area is one of the largest shopping centres in the UK.
The remains of Beauchief Abbey are within the city boundary.
On the River Dearne,
26 km / 16 miles north of Sheffield, Barnsley lies on one of Britain's richest coal
fields, although the industry is in decline. Manufactured products include steel, glass,
paper, carpets, cakes (Lyons), sports equipment (Dunlop-Slazenger), and clothing. Barnsley
was mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086. The town received the right to hold a market
in 1249, and open-air and covered markets are still held three times a week. The
Classical-style town hall was built in 1933. Cannon Hall, built in about 1765, is now a
country-house museum. The Cooper Art Gallery includes a collection of English drawings and
19th- and 20th-century watercolours.
On the River Don, 56 km / 35 miles Southwest of York Doncaster has been an important
centre for railway engineering (locomotives and rolling stock) since the 19th century.
Traditional iron, steel, and coal production has declined, although active collieries
remain, including the Rossington deep mine. Synthetic textiles, confectionery
(butterscotch), agricultural equipment, wallpaper, electrical equipment, fencing, brass
fittings, nylon yarn, and wire rope are produced.
The St Leger (1776), the world's oldest classic race, is held annually at Doncaster
racecourse in September, and the Lincolnshire Handicap is held in March. The Mansion House
(built 1744-1748) contains a fine banqueting hall and is one of only three civic mansion
houses in England (the others being in London and York). The town's museum and art gallery
includes a local history collection, including Roman artefacts, horse-racing exhibits, and
a collection of Yorkshire pottery. Nearby is Cusworth Hall, built in the mid-18th century,
which houses a museum of social and industrial history. At Conisbrough to the Southwest of
the town, there is a ruined Norman castle with a well-preserved circular keep. The castle
features in Walter Scott's novel Ivanhoe as Athelstan's stronghold.