Sheffield Cathedral celebrates city's steel heritage with new exhibition

Sheffield Cathedral celebrates city's steel heritage with new exhibition

13 July 2021

If you go down to Sheffield Cathedral this summer you’re sure of a big surprise. As well as having the opportunity to meet a few of Sheffield’s new bear population, you’ll also be able to visit an imaginative new exhibition, The Foundry.

Throughout this summer, Sheffield Cathedral is celebrating the city’s association with steel.  The Foundry is a FREE exhibition which explores the history and social aspects of the steel industry in Sheffield through contemporary digital technology, sound art and sculpture.

The Foundry tells the story of how Sheffield has become known the world over as the 'City of Steel', along with the people and their inventions behind this. Using archive film footage from British Pathé and sound art, the exhibition transports you back in time to when the steel-making industry in Sheffield was at its height.

Through, a modern contemporary exhibition of steel artwork, The Foundry also showcases how artists, crafts people and sculptors use steel today to create thought provoking and challenging pieces of work.

Reverend Canon Keith Farrow, Vice Dean and Canon Missioner of Sheffield Cathedral said: “The Cathedral has stood here for hundreds of years and the City of Sheffield has grown around it. People working in the Sheffield steelworks will have worshiped here, been baptised here, got married here and been laid to rest here. So we are delighted to be able to host an exhibition like The Foundry, which reflects on the history of this great city and how the actions and lives of people in the past have shaped how we live our lives today.” 

Peter Walker, sculptor, is the Director of the exhibition: "At the heart of The Foundry is a remarkable film showing historic Pathé footage of the steel industry in Sheffield. Around this there is an opportunity to explore how the city’s connection to the steel industry has inspired artists around the country over the past 50 years; sometimes playfully, sometimes intellectually, but always creatively to adapt and respond to the material and to explore different and diverse subjects. This is an exhibition for seeing something different, for connecting with the past and for cherishing the influence Sheffield's legacy has and continues to have on the world around us."

The Foundry is also being supported by Corrin Mellor, son of the legendary David Mellor, also known as the ‘cutlery king’. Both born in Sheffield, Corrin is following in his father’s and grandfather’s footsteps by working in the metal industry. Various pieces of silver which will be on display in cabinets outside 1554 Coffee Shop, inside the Cathedral, have been loaned by David Mellor Design for the duration of the exhibition. 

The Foundry is a family friendly exhibition for all ages. There is even a quiz and drawing competition for children to enjoy with the chance of winning family tickets to the Cathedral Christmas light show.

The Foundry runs from 16 July to 2 September. Entry is FREE, donations welcome. Sheffield Cathedral is open 9am – 5pm Monday to Saturday, 8am – 3pm on Sunday. 

For the most recent and up-to-date information about visiting Sheffield Cathedral, including details about all the measures in place to help to keep you safe during your visit go to: