Last updated

Sheffield outline map with UK.svg
Red pog.svg
Location within Sheffield
OS grid reference SK336899
Metropolitan borough
Metropolitan county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district S6
Dialling code 0114
Police South Yorkshire
Fire South Yorkshire
Ambulance Yorkshire
UK Parliament
List of places
53°24′16″N1°29′46″W / 53.404492°N 1.496109°W / 53.404492; -1.496109 Coordinates: 53°24′16″N1°29′46″W / 53.404492°N 1.496109°W / 53.404492; -1.496109

Owlerton ( /ˈlərtən/ ) is a suburb of the city of Sheffield, it lies 2.2 miles (3.5 km) northwest of the city centre near the confluence of the River Don and River Loxley. Owlerton was formerly a small rural village with its origins in the Early Middle Ages; it became part of Sheffield in the early 1900s as the city expanded. Owlerton stands just east of the adjacent suburb of Hillsborough and the division between the two districts is difficult to delineate. The suburb falls within the Hillsborough ward of the city. This is further complicated by the fact that certain buildings such as Hillsborough Stadium, Hillsborough Leisure Centre and Hillsborough College lie firmly within Owlerton. The name Owlerton is believed to come from the abundant growth of alder trees in the area [1]


It was the home of Owlerton F.C., a football team in the 19th century.


Owlerton existed in Anglo-Saxon times when it was documented as an enclosed farmstead in the 9th century. In the early 12th century it became a small manor following the Norman conquest of England. The Normans created several of these small manors which were reliant on Sheffield Castle and included ones at the nearby hamlets of Wadsley and Shirecliffe. The earliest written record of the settlement as a manor is from 1297 when it was recorded that Thomas de Schefeld, lord of the manor of Owlerton was one of the original witnesses of the establishment of the Burgery of Sheffield.

Owlerton church on Penistone Road Owlerton Church.jpg
Owlerton church on Penistone Road

There is no further record until 1534 when Thomas Creswyke built the manor house (Owlerton Hall). The Creswykes were a prominent local family and had owned land in the area since 1339. Margaret Creswick married Thomas Steade in 1696; he later built Burrowlee House. Succeeding lords of Owlerton were the Staceys, the Southabys followed by the Bamforths who were lords of the manor until 1776, when the family name became extinct. It then passed to the Burgoyne family who held the title and land until 1926 when all manors ceased to exist as a result of a Property Act. Owlerton Hall, which stood at the present day junction of Penistone Road and Bradfield Road was converted to a row of cottages in the 18th century before being demolished in May 1931.

In the eighteenth century, a well said to have curative properties was discovered in Owlerton. [2]

Situated below the confluence of the Rivelin and Loxley rivers the area suffered badly during the great flood of 1864.

During the 19th and the first half of the 20th century Owlerton became industrialised, using the water power of the Rivers Loxley and Don to drive machinery for steel and tool making, corn mills and paper mills. Owlerton became part of the City of Sheffield in 1901 [3] with the new tram service from the city centre starting on 26 January 1901, running to the bottom of Parkside Road. [4] [5] [6]

Present day

A general view of Owlerton from Shirecliffe. Owlerton Stadium is on the left and the suburbs of Hillsborough and Stannington are in the background. Owlerton view.jpg
A general view of Owlerton from Shirecliffe. Owlerton Stadium is on the left and the suburbs of Hillsborough and Stannington are in the background.

The face of present-day Owlerton was changed radically in the mid-1980s when the main A61 road (Penistone Road) was converted into a dual carriageway; this resulted in many of the old terraced houses and several public houses being demolished. An area of housing on the eastern side of the road was cleared to make way for the new Hillsborough Leisure Centre. The Victoria, Royal Hotel, Sportsmans Group, Cambridge Inn and Rose Inn pubs were all knocked down in the new developments along the new road in the ensuing few years.

Remaining pubs in the area are the Old Crown, New Barrack Tavern and the Masons Arms on Capel Street (demolished in 2015). The redevelopment in the late 1980s and 90s resulted in the area getting a KFC, Pizza Hut, B&Q and two large franchised car dealers (Citroën and Peugeot). The area suffered in the 2007 floods with the Penistone Road area suffering when the Don and Loxley burst their banks, the Sheffield Wednesday ground was flooded along with many dwellings and the Wardsend bridge over the Don was swept away. [7]

Significant buildings and structures

Hillsborough Leisure Centre

Hillsborough Leisure Centre Hillsborough Leisure Centre.jpg
Hillsborough Leisure Centre

Hillsborough Leisure Centre is situated on Penistone Road at grid reference SK335902 . It was built in 1989 by the structural engineers William Saunders & Partners for the 1991 World Student Games. The centre is run by Sheffield International Venues and features a large leisure pool (slides, flumes, features etc.) and also a sizable teaching pool, a large sports hall and gymnasium. The swimming pool has a pioneering moving floor which allows it to be used for both competition and leisure swimming as well as a wave machine and water slides. The centre has received the award of UK Centre of the Year by the Fitness Industry Association (FIA) on four occasions. The building is of noteworthy design, featuring extensive glazing within the walls and roof trusses which are supported on external columns. [8] [9]

St. John the Baptist Church, Owlerton

St. John the Baptist church is also on Penistone Road ( SK336899 ) and was built by J.B. Mitchell-Withers at a cost of £6,300 in 1874. It was consecrated on 29 July by William Thomson, Archbishop of York. It has a slender bell tower with wooden belfry and a pyramidal slate roof. The interior has a seating capacity of 600 and includes a high chancel arch, oak reredos installed in 1907 and various stained glass memorial windows. [10]

Wardsend Viaduct

Is situated at SK337907 and is popularly known as the Five Arches, it was constructed to carry the Sheffield, Ashton-Under-Lyne and Manchester Railway which opened in 1845 over the Scraith Wood ravine. Herries Road (A6102) was constructed in the ravine in the 1920s and the viaduct now spans this road. The railway was once a busy inter-city line; it lost out to the Hope Valley Line after the 1960s as a route to Manchester. The last passenger train crossed the viaduct in 1983.

Hillsborough College Hillsborough College.jpg
Hillsborough College
The Five Arches or Wardsend viaduct Five Arches viaduct.jpg
The Five Arches or Wardsend viaduct

Hillsborough College

Situated on Livesey Street ( SK340899 ) this £27 million institute opened in 2006 and is part of the Sheffield College. Its design has large amounts of glass integrated into it and uses the Pilkington frameless glazing system. [11]

Hillsborough Stadium

The stadium ( SK332906 ) is the home ground of Sheffield Wednesday F.C. who played their first game there in 1899. The ground was built on land formerly part of the Hillsborough House estate. The ground was called Owlerton Stadium until 1914 and gave Sheffield Wednesday their nickname of "The Owls".

Burrowlee House

Situated on Broughton Road ( SK334901 ), it was built in 1711 and is the oldest building in the Owlerton and Hillsborough area.

Owlerton Stadium

The stadium ( SK338900 ) was opened on Easter Saturday, 30 March 1929 for the new craze of Speedway. In 1932 a 500-metre Greyhound racing track was constructed around the edge of the speedway track. There is a casino called Napoleon's built on the car park. [12]

Local firms

George Bassett & Co. Ltd

The longest established and best known firm in Owlerton is the George Bassett & Co. Ltd sweet factory, made world-famous by the manufacture of Liquorice Allsorts. The firm was established in Sheffield in 1842, but did not come to Owlerton until 1934 when Bassett's son in law Samuel Meggit Johnson built a large factory on Beulah Road ( SK337902 ). The factory was enlarged in the inter-war period as new products such as Jelly Babies, Wine Gums and Liquorice Novelties were added to the range. In April 1939 a huge fire damaged the building severely as hundreds of tons of sugar burned with ferocity. [13] In 1989 Bassetts was purchased by the Cadbury Schweppes group and became part of its confectionery subsidiary Cadbury Trebor Bassett. [14] On 19 January 2010, it was announced that Cadbury and Kraft Foods had reached a deal whereby Kraft would purchase Cadbury for £8.40 per share, valuing Cadbury at £11.5bn.

Swann-Morton Ltd

Swann-Morton Ltd are one of the top producers in the world of scalpels and surgical blades, manufacturing over 1.5 million blades a day. They export to over 100 countries around the world. Mr W.R. Swann, Mr J.A. Morton and Miss D. Fairweather founded the business in August 1932 and moved firstly to Bradfield Road and then after the war to a purpose built facility in Owlerton Green. ( SK335899 ). The firm was originally a razor blade manufacturer but over the years emphasis was shifted to surgical blades which was a growing market. In 2000, the firm invested heavily and expanded the works to increase despatch, sterile storage, laboratories and production facilities. Further expansion took place in 2019, with the acquisition of premises on the opposite side of Penistone Road, to be named Woodland Works. [15]

Other businesses

Other prominent firms in Owlerton include Symmetry Medical on Beulah Road, a leading provider of implants, instruments and cases to orthopaedic device manufacturers. Hillfoot Steel is a steel forger and stockholder which has been in Owlerton since 1923. There are several other small engineering and steel companies. [16]

Related Research Articles

Hillsborough Stadium Stadium in Sheffield, England

Hillsborough Stadium, is a 39,732-capacity association football stadium located in Owlerton, a north-western suburb of Sheffield, Yorkshire, England. It has been the home of Sheffield Wednesday since its opening in 1899.

River Don, Yorkshire River in South Yorkshire, England

The River Don is a river in South Yorkshire and the East Riding of Yorkshire, England. It rises in the Pennines, west of Dunford Bridge, and flows for 70 miles (110 km) eastwards, through the Don Valley, via Penistone, Sheffield, Rotherham, Mexborough, Conisbrough, Doncaster and Stainforth. It originally joined the Trent, but was re-engineered by Cornelius Vermuyden as the Dutch River in the 1620s, and now joins the River Ouse at Goole. Don Valley is the local UK parliamentary constituency near the Doncaster stretch of the river.

Hillsborough (ward) Electoral ward in the City of Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England

Hillsborough is an electoral ward which includes the districts of Malin Bridge, Owlerton, Wadsley and Wisewood. It is one of the 28 electoral wards in City of Sheffield, England. It is located in the northwestern part of the city and covers an area of 4.6 km2. The population of this ward in 2011 was 18,605 people in 8,012 households.

Malin Bridge Human settlement in England

Malin Bridge is a suburb of the city of Sheffield, England. It is located at grid reference SK325893 and stands 2½ miles north-west of the city centre where the rivers Loxley and Rivelin meet. Malin Bridge is only a small district centred on the road bridge over the River Loxley which carries the B6076 road to Stannington ; it is surrounded by the suburbs of Hillsborough, Wisewood, Walkley and Stannington.

Worrall Village in South Yorkshire, England

Worrall is a small rural village in the civil parish of Bradfield within the boundary of the City of Sheffield. It stands in an elevated position at a height of approximately 230 metres and is 4 miles (6.5 km) north west of Sheffield City Centre. The village has an area of 233 hectares and a population of 1,306 in 2006. At the time of the 2011 Census this village fell within the Stannington ward of the City. Gives details of population and area of village. Although a distinct village, Worrall has tenuous borders with the Sheffield suburbs of Wadsley, Middlewood and Loxley to the south and east and with the adjoining village of Oughtibridge to the north; to the west is a rural area extending out towards the village of High Bradfield.

Wadsley Bridge Human settlement in England

Wadsley Bridge is a suburb of Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England, 3 miles (4.8 km) northwest of the city centre. The area is a mixture of residential housing and small industrial and commercial premises. The suburb falls within the Hillsborough ward of the City.

Wadsley Human settlement in England

Wadsley is a suburb of the City of Sheffield in South Yorkshire, England. It stands 3 miles (5 km) north-west of the city centre at an approximate grid reference of SK321905. At the 2011 Census the suburb fell within the Hillsborough ward of the City. Wadsley was formerly a rural village which was engulfed by the expansion of Sheffield in the early part of the 20th century.

Loxley, South Yorkshire Human settlement in England

Loxley is a village and a suburb of the city of Sheffield, England. It is a long linear community which stretches by the side of the River Loxley and along the B6077 for almost 2.5 miles (4 km). Loxley extends from its borders with the suburbs of Malin Bridge and Wisewood westward to the hamlet of Stacey Bank near Damflask Reservoir. The centre of the suburb is situated at the junction of Rodney Hill and Loxley Road where the old village green stands and this is located 3 miles (5 km) north west of Sheffield city centre. The suburb falls within the Stannington ward of the City of Sheffield.

Areas of Sheffield

The areas of Sheffield, a city and metropolitan borough in the north of England, vary widely in size and history. Some of the areas developed from villages or hamlets, that were absorbed into Sheffield as the city grew, and thus their centres are well defined, but the boundaries of many areas are ambiguous. The areas of Sheffield do not play a significant administrative role, but the city is divided into 28 electoral wards for local elections and 6 parliamentary constituencies for national elections.

Owlerton Stadium

Owlerton Stadium, also known as Sheffield Stadium, is a greyhound racing track in Owlerton near Hillsborough in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England. Greyhound Racing takes place on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday evenings and every Monday and Thursday afternoon. There is a modern glass-fronted Panorama Restaurant accommodating up to 300 people, executive suites, fast food facilities and a number of bars.

Hillsborough Park

Hillsborough Park is a large parkland area in Hillsborough, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England. It is situated three miles north-westof the city centre. It owned by Sheffield City Council and is one of the 13 designated "City Parks".

George Bassett & Co., known simply as Bassett's, was a British confectionery company and is now used as a brand of Cadbury, owned by Mondelēz International. The company was founded in Sheffield by George Bassett in 1842. Perhaps the company's best-known sweets, the Liquorice Allsorts, were created by accident in 1899 and in 1926 the mascot of Bassett's, Bertie Bassett, was created; Bertie continues to represent the brand today. In 2016, the brand was joined with Maynards to create Maynards Bassetts.

Middlewood, South Yorkshire Suburb of Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England

Middlewood is a north western suburb of Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England. The suburb falls within the Stannington ward of the City.

Hillsborough, Sheffield Human settlement in England

Hillsborough is a suburb in north-west Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England. The centre of the district is popularly thought to be 'Hillsborough Corner' where Langsett Road, Middlewood Road, Holme Lane and Bradfield Road all meet. The Hillsborough ward population at the 2011 Census was 18,605.

Hillsborough House English country house

Hillsborough House, later called Hillsborough Hall, is a large, stone-built mansion constructed in the Adam style in the latter part of the 18th century. It stands 2½ miles north-west of the centre of Sheffield at grid reference SK331901 in the suburb of Hillsborough within Hillsborough Park, a council-owned public recreational area. For 124 years the house was a private dwelling, but since 1906 it has housed the Hillsborough branch library. It is a Grade II listed building as are the coach house and stables which stand 22 yards (20 m) north west of the main house.

Burrowlee House

Burrowlee House is a Georgian style building situated at grid reference SK334901 on Broughton Road in the Owlerton district of Sheffield, some 2.5 miles (4 km) north-west of the city centre. It is the oldest building in the Owlerton and Hillsborough area and was one of the first houses constructed wholly from brick in Sheffield. The house is a grade two listed building with two storeys and five bays with a stone balustrade over the three middle bays, there is a date stone over the main door.

Strines Reservoir Reservoir in South Yorkshire, England

Strines Reservoir is a water storage reservoir situated at 53.4099°N 1.6557°W, 8 miles (13 km) west of the centre of Sheffield in South Yorkshire, England.

Wisewood is a suburb of the city of Sheffield in South Yorkshire, England and situated 2 34 miles (4.4 km) north-west of the city centre. It is a residential suburb consisting almost exclusively of council housing, some of which has been bought by tenants under the right to buy scheme. It is bordered by the adjacent suburbs of Loxley, Wadsley, Malin Bridge and Hillsborough.

Stannington, Sheffield Suburb of Sheffield in South Yorkshire, England

Stannington is a suburb in the City of Sheffield, England. The area is located in the civil parish of Bradfield, and is in the electoral ward of Stannington. Stannington is situated right on the western edge of the Sheffield urban area

Storrs, South Yorkshire Human settlement in England

Storrs is a hamlet within the boundaries of the City of Sheffield in England, it is situated 6.5 km west-northwest of the city centre. Storrs is located between the suburb of Stannington and the village of Dungworth in the civil parish of Bradfield at a height of 210 metres above sea level between the Loxley and Rivelin valleys. Although historically a farming settlement, water-powered milling on the Storrs Brook and small scale cutlery making has also taken place in the hamlet.


  1. Alder/Owler Trees explanation from an arborist.
  2. J. Edward Vickers, The Ancient Suburbs of Sheffield, p.20 (1971)
  3. With the passing of the Sheffield Corporation Act of 1900
  4. www.hillsboroughowlertonlocalhistory.co.uk. Archived 1 May 2008 at the Wayback Machine Gives meaning of the name Owlerton and some history.
  5. A Brief History of Sheffield. Gives medieval history.
  6. "Historic Hallamshire", David Hey, ISBN   1-84306-049-3, Page 13 Gives history.
  7. "An Owlerton Camera", JR Wrigley, ISBN   0-9547264-4-8, Gives modern day history.
  8. Hillsborough Residents Association. Archived 28 August 2008 at the Wayback Machine Gives some details on Leisure Centre.
  9. Hillsborough Leisure Centre website. Gives some details on Leisure Centre.
  10. Story of St Philips Church. Gives details of Owlerton Church.
  11. Pilkingtons website. Archived 3 April 2008 at the Wayback Machine Gives some details of Hillsborough college.
  12. "Pevsner Architectural Guides - Sheffield", Ruth Harman & John Minnis, ISBN   0-300-10585-1 gives architectural information of buildings.
  13. "Liquorice companies in Pontefract and Castleford" (PDF). wakefield.gov.uk. Retrieved 17 October 2017.
  14. "Bassett's". Cadbury plc. Archived from the original on 2 August 2008. Retrieved 24 August 2008.
  15. Swann Morton website. gives details and history of company.
  16. "The Complete Hillsborough By Her People", Mick Drewry (Editor), ISBN   1-901587-47-9 gives general history and information.