South Yorkshire

Stocksbridge is a small town in the Sheffield metropolitan district of South Yorkshire.

The town nestles in the valley of the River Don some 10 miles north-west of the city of Sheffield.

In the space of 300 years, and mostly in the last 150, Stocksbridge has grown from a tiny hamlet into a small town with large steel mills.

A fulling mill was established in the area early in the 18th century. John Stocks produced felted cloth with machinery widely known as fulling stocks. By the end of the century, a cotton mill had been established.

In 1842, Samuel Fox, of Bradwell, Derbyshire, arrived in Stocksbridge and established a wire drawing factory which made pins used in wool combing in the West Riding of Yorkshire textile industry. By 1850s the works had expanded its range and was producing a superior umbrella frame using U-shaped steel ribs which became known as the Paragon frame.

By the 1860s, Samuel Fox and Company were involved in making steel and suppling products to Britain's growing railway industry, then a major worldwide exporter rather than importer of railway inventions. The steelworks brought growth and prosperity and resulted in an expansion of housing and other industries.

Towards the end of the First World War, the company was amalgamated with others as the United Steel Company. In 1967 there was nationalisation under the British Steel Corporation, de-nationalisation in 1988 and division into three businesses in 1999. Recently works in Stocksbridge have been run by Corus Steels which were taken over by Indian company Tata in 2007, continuing to produce specialist steels for high-technology industries. Liberty House Group acquired the speciality steels business from Tata in February 2017.

Another works, owned by Finnish firm Outokumpu but closed in 2008, has recently been redeveloped as the Fox Valley shopping centre. Arranged around a large car park, its many shops provide Stocksbridge with an extended town centre and also attract shoppers from further afield.

The Fox Valley centre was the finishing point of the final third stage of the 2017 Tour de Yorkshire cycle race.

 Town features

Stocksbridge is close to the Peak District National Park.
The town is on the River Don.
The town has a shopping centre among its range of shops. Stocksbridge offers bakery goods, butchers, clothes, flowers and other goods.
The town has a Post Office branch.
The town has a pharmacy.
The town has a pub and a social club.
A choice of cafes can be found in Stocksbridge.
Takeaway food outlets in the town include chinese, curries, pizzas, sandwiches.
The town has a library.
There is a leisure centre at Stocksbridge.
Places of worship: Methodist, United Reformed, other.


Bus travel

The town has buses to neighbouring towns and villages.

Road travel

Stocksbridge can be reached via the (A616) (A6102) B6088 .

Places to visit

Peak District National Park
The vast area of the Peak District National Park starts at the western edge of the Sheffield metropolitan district, stretching from Yorkshire into Derbyshire and beyond. For more details see our Peak District page.

Wortley Top Forge
Forge Lane, Thurgoland
Wortley Top Forge is a grade I Scheduled Ancient Monument which shows the history of iron-woking in South Yorkshire. It dates from at least the mid 17th century, although there is thought to have been iron-making in the area as early as the 14th century. It was still in use until just over 100 years ago, when it produced railway axles. The forge, situated on a bend in the River Don, is the only one of its type with its water wheel power and now restored hammers in place. Since the 1960s, volunteers have used old photos and archive material to restore what had become a semi-derelict site to its late Victorian appearance. The site is owned by the South Yorkshire Industrial History Society, which has also collected stationary steam engines and industrial machinery from elsewhere. Railways are another more recent addition at Wortley Forge. Although it produced railway axles for 70 years, there was no railway on site during its working life. Wortley Forge can be reached by minor roads from the A629 at Thurgoland or Wortley or by turning off the A616 near Deepcar.  Website

Kelham Island Museum

Alma Street, Sheffield
About half a mile north of Sheffield city centre, the museum follows the steel making industry in Sheffield and how it shaped the city's growth through the industrial revolution and world wars. It features a powerful working steam engine which was originally built to roll armour plate for First World War battleships.  Web pages

Emergency services

South Yorkshire Police  South Yorkshire Police website.

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue  South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue website.

Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust  Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust website.

Local government

Civil parish council

Stocksbridge Town Council
Provides some local services in the area.
Link to council website  Stocksbridge Town Council

Metropolitan district council

Sheffield City Council

Sheffield City Council's area extends several miles beyond the edge of the city, including rural areas, particularly to the west and north-west of the city where the district includes part of the Peak District National Park, a few hamlets and small villages and the town of Stocksbridge.

The council's 84 elected councillors are elected three per ward across 28 wards.

One councillor per ward is elected in each of three years out of four for a four-year term. An election of one-third of the council due to be held in 2020 has been postponed to 2021.

Link to  Sheffield City Council website.

The political composition of the council after the May 2019 election is:

49 *2681
84 members * Including some Labour and Co-operative members

(Cross-) County strategic authority

Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield Combined Authority

Regularly branded the Sheffield City Region Combined Authority, its more inclusive statutory title of Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield Combined Authority came to the fore when a mayoral election was held in May 2018.
The authority is the product of repeated national Government tweaking of the county strategic authority role in this part of Yorkshire ever since the major change of 1974 which, after Boundary Commission review, created a metropolitan county of South Yorkshire from part of the somewhat unwieldy and fragmented West Riding. That was reasonably well respected locally as it filled the gap of the missing South of the historic Ridings structure. Within South Yorkshire were large metropolitan district authorities centred on Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield.
In 1986, however, the trend was to get rid of metropolitan county councils, moving their role to the district authorities with district councillors delegated to joint authorities to run county-wide activities such as the fire service and overseeing public transport. Legislation in 2009 paved the way to the creation of new strategic authorities and more recently the Government initiative has been to release a funding package tied to a democracy of electing just one person as a mayor for this entire region.
The new structure and its branding is confusing to many people in South Yorkshire, most of whom do not live and do not consider themselves to live in the city in its south-west corner by any stretch of the imagination. Adding to the confusion is a partly artificial centralisation of Sheffield as most important partner by bolting-on Sheffield neighbours Bassetlaw, a shire district of Nottinghamshire, and Bolsover, Chesterfield, Derbyshire Dales and North East Derbyshire, shire districts of Derbyshire as "non-constituent" members of the authority.
The authority provides local government decision-making on economic development and transport. The mayor elected for the Combined Authority acts as an ambassador for the area, chairs meetings and will have powers over how public transport will operate.

Link to authority website:  Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield Combined Authority

Police and Crime Commissioner

South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner
 South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner website.

Fire Authority

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority
The fire authority is made up of elected members of each of the four metropolitan district councils of South Yorkshire - Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield.
 South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority web pages.

Ceremonial county

South Yorkshire


-1974 Within the West Riding of Yorkshire.

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