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GO Museums in Sheffield

Museums in Sheffield Young or old, a visit to a museum can be a fun but informative way to spend the day. Whether you like to peek into the past or seek out something interesting, Sheffield has a number of museums to excite and entertain.

Probably the museum most relevant to Sheffield and its past is the Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet [map] . This 18th century steel works has been preserved as a living history museum that gives visitors an insight into what life was like in traditional steel works. Highlights here include the only surviving example of a crucible steel furnace, a steam engine built in 1855 and the workers’ cottages amongst others.

Delving into Sheffield’s industrial past in a more conventional way is Kelham Island Museum [map]. Located on a man-made island in one of the most historic parts of Sheffield, this museum uses exhibits, working machinery and activities to bring this city’s history to life.

Originally opened in 1982, this museum has recently undergone a major refurbishment. However the museum has managed to retain its ability to engage young people and provide a fascinating fact or two for you to share with friends or colleagues.

Sheffield is not only known for museums about its industrial past. The city is also home to another museum which has gained an international following since it was opened by enthusiasts in 1984. Housed in the city’s first purpose-built police/fire station, Sheffield’s Fire and Police Museum [map] documents the history of these two professions through special exhibitions and artefacts dating back to the 16th century. Over the years this collection has grown steadily as visitors from around the world have donated their fire service memorabilia to this volunteer-run museum. You can find this unique city museum on West Bar, about a 10-minute walk from the city centre shopping streets.

Also not far from the centre of town is the University of Sheffield, which is home to the Turner Museum of Glass [map]. Glass is one of those things taken for granted in everyday life, yet it's something most of us come into contact with, this museum highlights this material’s versatility and “celebrates the skill and artistry of glassmakers”. Founded in 1943 this museum has nearly 400 pieces of 19th and 20th century glass on permanent display including Bohemian, Czechoslovakian, Scandinavian, French, Italian and Dutch glass as well as Roman and Syrian Glass. There’s also a glass fibre wedding dress, which just goes to show that the uses of glass are not always clear!

Another museum in the city to try isthe Museum of Anaesthesia [map] , which has one of the largest historical collections of anaesthesia apparatus and equipment in the UK. You can find these displayed at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital [map] and the Northern General Hospital [map]. There’s also the Traditional Heritage Museum [map] on Eccleshall Road, which houses artefacts dating from 1850 related to trades that went on in Sheffield, including intricately engraved cutlery, shoe making equipment and a chemist shop. Finally there's the Sheffield Bus Museum [map] close to Meadowhall, which may be of interest to transport enthusiasts.

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