"Rotherham" Rotherham by suvanki
Rotherham Travel Guide: 19 reviews and 50 photos
Rotherham is a South Yorkshire Town, that is often much maligned.
Sheffielders often joke about its neighbour, with many 'Rotherham girls' jokes, similar to Essex girl jokes! It's not really known as a tourist attraction, and many locals would "look at you gone out" (look at you as if you were slightly deranged) if you mentioned that there was a lot of things to see and do here, let alone mention that you're quite fond of the place!
Rotherham developed as a Saxon Market town, along the banks of the River Don, at its confluence with the River Rother, although there were Roman and earlier Iron Age settlements in the area.
It's markets and Annual Fair brought prosperity.
In the late 15th Century, Thomas Rotherham, The Archbishop of York was responsible for the construction of the first brick building in 'South Yorkshire' - a college of theology - The College of Jesus, which was intended to rival the colleges of Oxford and Cambridge! The deconsecrated building is still standing in the town centre, but it certainly doesn't attract the crowds that flock to its' past 'competitors' and I should imagine that few locals that pass by, know of its past glory.
Local Iron and especially coal, brought prosperity during the Industrial Revolution, steel production was to then become Rotherhams main industry.
Cannons produced from Rotherham iron were to be used on HMS Victory, while later, examples of wrought iron were utilised by Isambard Kingdom Brunel in his design for SS Great Eastern. Many iconic New York fire hydrants were produced in Rotherham, leading to the re-naming of the locality as New York.
Glass production, pottery and Flour Milling were other important industries.
With the closure of steel works and the demise of the mining industry, in the 1980's, Rotherham fell into decline - The out of town Meadowhall Shopping centre and the Parkgate Retail Park were a further 'Kick in the Teeth'. Established businesses closed weekly, and the town centre featured boarded up shop fronts, interspersed with short lease 'bargain shops' etc.
Further devistation occured during the Floods of June 25th-26th 2007, which affected Sheffield and Rotherham. On the 25th, following exceptionally heavy rainfall, the River Don burst its banks, followed by the River Sheaf. The following day Ulley Reservoir was seen to have developed cracks, which led to over 700 residents being evacuated from Catcliffe, and part of the M1 motorway being closed.
Rotherham had gained a reputation for social and health problems, associated with unemployment etc.
Around 2008, Rotherham become known as ' a capital of obesity, with nearly 60 per cent of families overweight and 600 residents said to weigh 25 stone or more'. This was 'picked up' by Celebrity TV cook, Jamie Oliver, who decided to educate the people of Rotherham on how to cook good food, cheaply. This was met with hostility - he'd previously alienated mothers of children at Rawmarsh Comprehensive school, when his campaign/TV series for Healthier School Dinners, led to some sabotaging his efforts, by feeding their children burgers etc through the school railings! The 'Take-Away businesses' also protested - fearing a fall in profits.
Undeterred, Oliver set up his 'Ministry of Food' in Rotherham town Centre, and again the TV cameras rolled.
The Rotherham Institute for Obesity- an NHS initiative was set up to tackle the problem as a result.
Well, it's not all 'doom and gloom' Funding has been pumped into the borough - and Rotherham is benefiting from a rise in its economy.
Rotherham has lots to offer- Some well known attractions are;
Magna,Which is an award winning attraction, it has even beaten The world renowned Eden project in some top tourist attraction categories.
It is near to the Meadowhell (sic) Shopping centre.
Rotherham United F Ccontinue to attract a fair following also, they're awaiting the completion of their new stadium -The New York Stadium, which is due for completion mid 2012
There is a good shopping centre, and a lively nightlife. The Civic Theatre (Where Sean Bean made his acting debut!!) puts on many plays and musical performances.
Running through Rotherham is a canal, with barges and small river cruises.
Clifton Park is worth a visit, along with acres of parkland , there is an interesting museum in the grounds- well worth a visit.
This is also the venue for the annual Rotherham Show, which has been running for over 10 years.
Rotherham is proud of its' multi cultural population, and this is celebrated at the show, along with events throughout the year.
Clifton Museum has an interesting section with photographs and tape recordings of immigrants from Ireland, Chile, Bangladesh , Yemen etc and their impressions and memories of their settling into life in Rotheham
Rotherham centre has some areas of historical interest - dating back to medieval times. There are some Roman and Iron Age remnants too!
Call into The Tourist Info office - YES! Rotherham does have a TOURIST INFO OFFICE - Rotherham Visitor Centre in All Saints Square .... and It's quite good too!.... and pick up copies of the 3 short trails around the town centre (The Industrial Trail, The Town Centre Trail and The Medieval Trail) to give a different view of this once prosperous town, through various ages
- Look for the Chapel on the Bridge - one of only 4 such structures surviving in England. Open Tuesdays
The Parish Church of All Saints or Rotherham Minster is Rotherhams oldest surviving building
A couple of miles from the town centre, and you're in the rural landscape of the Wentworth Estate, indeed, leave Rotherham centre, and you'll see that most of Rotherham Metropolitan Bureau is rural (over 50%) - with some attractive parks, woodlands and 'hidden gems' . Apparently, there are 'over 250 miles of public footpaths, cycleways and bridleways'
Rotherham Unofficial Web Site
The Rotherham show is an annual event, held over a weekend in September.
I've visited this event for the past 3 years.
Lots of stalls from local traders and charities- lots of chances to win prizes in raffles, tombolas and prize draws.
Fairground, dog show, horticultural show, brass bands, Army/Navy/Police and Firefighter stands.
Plenty of food stalls.
Folk music tent- with artistes from UK and worldwide
My favourite is the Diversity arena- live acts over the 2 days from all over the world, tents with exhibits from Chile, Bangladesh, Pakistan, India, China etc. Along with the exhibits are the chance to try foods from some of these countries, henna art, try on a sari, and learn more about these communities.
This is all for FREE!
- Pros:Some surprising gems to see - A Real Town - not a theme park! - enjoying some re-generation
- Cons:Some run down areas - recovering from steel/coal decline
- In a nutshell:Real England!! - Come Here with an open mind
This is one of my favourite places to visit for a short, easy walk on a Sunday morning. A short drive from my house. The... more travel advice
The site of a former steelworks, Centenary Riverside serves a dual purpose as a nature reserve and a flood defence. "... more travel advice
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