Kelham Island Museum brings the story of Sheffield’s industrial era to life. It contains galleries and displays that show how the Steel City progressed through Victorian times and into the early 20th century. Learn about the industries that took hold of this region as you explore the museum’s collections. The man-made island where it is located has been the heart of Sheffield’s industrial precinct for hundreds of years.
One of the site’s major highlights is its enormous River Don engine, which powered a rolling mill for producing the armor plate that was used to build ships. Kids can have fun learning about the processes of making steel in the Melting Shop Play Area. Other features in the main exhibition are war memorials, Sheffield’s town guns and the 18th-century Benjamin Huntsman Clock.
See old automobiles in the galleries dedicated to transport. You can check out a fascinating collection of old tools on display in the Hawley Gallery. An exhibit dedicated to World War I, a brewing gallery and a crucible workshop are among other highlights.
Peruse the outdoor collection to see the Bessemer converter. It is one of only three of its kind still in existence and was used to convert iron into steel. Inspect the Gannister Mill or wander through the Stone Garden to see the array of reclaimed materials that represent Sheffield’s industrial history.
Enjoy light refreshments or lunch at the Little Mesters Café. Purchase souvenirs and intriguing items such as crafts, tools and knives from the gift shop.
The museum has an admission fee, however, kids under the age of 16 enter for free. The site is open from Sunday to Thursday.
Kelham Island Museum is on the southern bank of the River Don in the city’s north. It is 15-minutes’ walk from the Sheffield Town Hall. Sheffield’s light rail system and buses also take passengers to stops near the site.