Between its Grade 1 listed status and millennium’s worth of stories to tell, Sheffield Cathedral is one of the city’s most culturally significant landmarks. It’s had front row seats to the evolution of the city, welcomed royalty through its doors and rose from the ashes after multiple fires threatened its very existence. What’s more, the venue also hosts a range of concerts by Candlelight that light up this historic venue with stunning live music performances and their signature sea of candles.
Located on Church Street, the cathedral is a stone’s throw from the City Hall and surrounded by high-street shops like Waterstones, Boots and TK Maxx. It has its own tram stop, so you can hop on and hop off there or take the 24 bus if you prefer.
Facts, Curiosities and Interesting Things about Sheffield Cathedral
1. Sheffield’s oldest old-timer
The cathedral, then built as a parish church, is believed to have been constructed on the same site where it stands now at sometime during the 12th century. That makes it the oldest building in the city that’s still in use, but its history dates back even further than that. The shaft of the 9th-century Sheffield Cross that now lives in the British Museum was once laid were Sheffield Cathedral stands today.
2. Two fires caused havoc on the cathedral
On 17 July 1979, a major fire broke out in the early hours of the morning. What caused the fire is still unknown, but it’s thought that it began inside the belfry and later spread down the tower. Over 30 firefighters worked to put it out, and although most of the main structure survived, several bells including one from the 16th century were destroyed. Over 45 years later, another fire broke out after an arson attack during the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic. Thousands of pounds worth of damage was caused, but after costly renovations, the cathedral pulled through.
3. The Royal Maundy brought Queen Elizabeth II to Sheffield
In April 2015, Queen Elizabeth II visited the cathedral to partake in the Royal Maundy tradition. the Queen, who was 89 at the time, handed out specially-minted Maundy money to 178 Sheffield locals who were of state pension age or older. It was the first time in history that the tradition was carried out in the city, and the whole ordeal drew over 12000 spectators.
The cathedral is one of few Sheffield venues specially chosen to host the magnificent series of Candlelight concerts. Performed by classically trained musicians, iconic songs and timeless pieces sound inside this historic space while stained glass windows and centuries-old artifacts glow under the gentle flicker of candlelight. Inside the cathedral, you can rediscover popular songs and compositions by contemporary artists and the composers of yesteryear, including the famous soundtracks by film composer Hans Zimmer.
What else can you do at Sheffield Cathedral?
As well as saying your prayers at their daily sermons, there’s a range of events that you can get involved in at the cathedral. Thanks to funding from the The Master Cutler’s Challenge, the cathedral runs a Schools Singing Programme to support children through the power of music and song. Additionally, the cathedral hosts an array of exhibitions that run throughout the year. For instance, the ‘Threads Through Creation’ exhibit showcases embroidered silk panels that explore the story of their creation.
This season, Candlelight is shining a light on Sheffield Cathedral – a historic city landmark that’s stood proudly in Sheffield’s city centre for almost 1000 years and counting. The cathedral joins Victoria Hall as one of the select Sheffield locations that are hosting these dazzling concerts. Wrapped in history and charm, these beautiful spaces shine brighter than ever when immersed in the warm glow of candlelight, and you don’t want to miss out on the magic.