Kelham Island Museum
Kelham Island Museum

Kelham Island Museum

Kelham Island is a man-made island that is over 900 years old and since 1982 it has housed the Kelham Island Museum. The museum is home to hundreds of artefacts and exhibitions that document and take you through Sheffield’s rich industrial story. In our opinion, its most exciting exhibit is the UK’s largest working steam engine that runs twice a day so make sure you are there at either 12 pm or 2 pm to see the mighty 12,000hp engine in all its glory!

Where can I learn about Sheffield's history?

The Kelham Island Museum documents and shows Sheffield's rich steelmaking history and with interactive exhibits and the Melting Shop play area it's great for all ages!

Before you’re even in the museum it’s showing off its impressive collection. Outside is one of the last remaining Bessemer Converters in the world which makes a great spot for a photo or two due to its impressive stature.

The museum is a great way to learn about the impact that steel had on the city and how it forged it into the place we know and love today. And with the added benefit of it being FREE!

  • Entrance is free
  • Brilliant selection of exhibits for the history hungry. Many of which can’t be seen anywhere else
  • A nice café to relax at after your visit
  • Very near the centre of the city

Facts about Sheffield's industrial history

  • A man called Thomas Boulsover invented the process of mixing copper and silver together, producing something very similar to silver but was much cheaper to make. From this, a material called ‘Sheffield Plate’ was created. This was then used to make items such as buckles and snuff boxes.
  • Benjamin Huntsman invented crucible steel in Sheffield in 1742 which, during the industrial revolution, led to Sheffield outputting nearly half of all Europe’s steel.
  • The population of Sheffield grew from 14,531 in 1736 to 135,310 in 1851 mainly due to the rise of the steel industry in the city!

Things to do near Sheffield

Kelham Island Food and Beer Tour

In the heart of Sheffield is a 900-year-old man-made island that is home to some of the city’s finest public houses and breweries. This tour takes you around the island and lets you explore and learn about Sheffield’s rich brewing history all ...

Just Wrecking Stuff in Sheffield

Have you ever wanted to wreck something to unleash the inner rager? Well, now you can at the Wreck Room in Sheffield! It’s all the rage – you can break anything from old TVs, vases, and old toys to furniture. Everything in ...

Karaoke Bar in Sheffield

Whether you think your voice is beautiful or busted then K-MAX Karaoke is a great place to let your hair down and have a great night with your friends. They are committed to to making your night of singing carefree and fun ...

Laser Tag in Sheffield

If you’re looking for some competitive fun in Sheffield then Quasar is a great place to start! Blast your mates to another galaxy with your shooting skills in a futuristic, UV-lit, maze and prove you the best! With lots of features to ...

Award Winning Escape Rooms in Sheffield

Can you get you and your team out of a sticky situation? Try and solve the clues and riddles to make it out of one of The Great Escapes award winning escape rooms! They have six different games to choose from that ...

National Videogame Museum in Sheffield

Level up your gaming knowledge at the National Videogame Museum in Sheffield! Get the chance to learn how video games have been made throughout history, what problems developers faced during their production and how classic games might have ended up drastically different ...

Zombie Survival in Sheffield

Try not to infect yourself and survive this Zombie survival experience at Sheffield where you will be hunted by the most lifelike zombies. Lasting around 2 hours and costing £79.99 per person, you will work in groups to try and survive. The ...

Canal Cruise and Meal in Sheffield

If you’re looking for a dinner with a difference, A and G Passenger Boats provides a great experience with good food to leave you and your party completely satisfied! They can serve large or small groups and offer a full boat charter ...

The Winter Garden in Sheffield

If you’re looking for something a bit different to break up your city stay then the Winter Garden is a great place to spend an hour or two being surrounded by beautiful trees and flowers. In the heart of the city and ...

Treasure Hunt around Sheffield

If you fancy a fun and interesting way of exploring the historic city of Sheffield then you’ve hit the jackpot! This winding treasure hunt will take you around many landmarks and secret streets around the entire city whilst also giving you some ...

Greyhound Racing in Sheffield

If you fancy something different for an evening then the Greyhound racing at Owlerton is a great place to visit. It is Yorkshire’s premier Greyhound race track and combined with the lovely Panorama restaurant you can watch all the racing from comfort. ...

The Royal Botanic Gardens in Sheffield

The Royal Botanic Gardens in Sheffield first opened in 1836 and since then has grown to over 19 acres of land. There are 18 different garden areas that have been based on botanical themes with a tree fossil which could be 312 ...