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A History of Rotherham


Rotherham started as a market town in the era of the Saxons. Later on, the College of Jesus was established in the town and this is what catapulted it into high repute. The reputation of Rotherham as a learned town soon declined when the college was shut down. The town’s fortunes declined to very low levels when it finally became famous for illegal gambling activities.

Rotherham’s economic status rose from the ashes after the discovery of coal in the area and hundreds of local men were employed in the mines. Steel and iron foundries also grew out of the abundance of coal and these provided even more employment to the men from the area. Most of the industries have since collapsed due to under production and mismanagement. One of these industries that folded up in 1993 is Templeborough Steelworks.

A number of religious structures from the Saxon era still dot the town. However, these are fewer than would have been expected from a town with such a rich history. The Minster is a fifteenth century building that stands where the All Saints Church used to be. Other 15th century buildings in the centre of town are the ‘Chapel on the Bridge’ and the ruins of a medieval Abbey. There is also an old pub from the sixteenth century in the town. Rotherham town lacks any historically significant sites even though it started off long ago in the Saxon era. The town has had widespread restoration and construction of modern buildings.

Rotherham is home to two museums; the Clifton Par Museum and the York and Lancaster Regiment Museum. The Clifton Par Museum is full of impressive history of the town since its establishment. The museum is modernized to attract children too. One can also buy gifts for friends and family in the attached gift shop. No fee is charged for entry or parking in the museum grounds.

The Regimental Museum on the other hand is full of military history. It has exhibitions covering over two hundred years of military weapons and equipment. Also on display are a large collection of personal artifacts of soldiers. This museum also does not charge a fee for entry.

The history of Rotherham cannot be complete without mentioning the floods of 2007. In the summer of this year flood raged havoc in the streets largely paralyzing the town. Properties worth millions were destroyed and schools and other public amenities were closed for extended periods of time. The local Ulley reservoir almost burst at the seams due to too much water.

Posted in: Latest News - On: 17th of June, 2011