Celebrating all that is great about South Yorkshire

South Yorkshire is a ceremonial and metropolitan county as well as a mayoralty in England. It had a population of 1.34 million in 2011 and has an area of 599 square miles.

Fargate in Sheffield city centre
Fargate in Sheffield city centre

Lying on the east side of the Pennines, South Yorkshire is landlocked, and borders Derbyshire to the west and south-west, West Yorkshire to the north-west, North Yorkshire to the north, the East Riding of Yorkshire to the north-east, Lincolnshire to the east and Nottinghamshire to the south-east.

The largest settlement is Sheffield, its built-up area is the 10th most populous in the United Kingdom. With more than half of the county's population living within the built-up area, it dominates the county's western half.

Other cities, towns and villages include Doncaster, Rotherham, Barnsley, Maltby, Wath Upon Dearne and Consibrough.

The main settlements of South Yorkshire grew up around the industries of mining and steel manufacturing.

The main mining industry was coal which was concentrated to the north and east of the county.

There were also iron deposits which were mined in the area. The rivers running off the Pennines to the west of the county supported the steel industry that is concentrated in the city of Sheffield.

The proximity of the iron and coal also made this an ideal place for steel manufacture.

Major rivers running through the county include the Dearne, Rother and Don.

Places on interest across South Yorkshire are legion and include:

Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet, Sheffield; Brodsworth Hall and Gardens

Cannon Hall Museum, Park & Gardens, Barnsley; Chapel of Our Lady of Rotherham Bridge ("Chapel on the Bridge"), Rotherham; Clifton Park Museum, Rotherham; Conisbrough Castle and Cusworth Hall.

The county has many famous sons and daughters from all fields of endeavour.

Author Barry Hines – most famous for his book A Kestrel for A Knave which was filmed as Kes – was born in a mining village near Barnsley.

He lived and worked in the county until his death at the age of 76 in 2016.

Tony Garrett, who produced the film Kes, said of the writer after his death:

“His character and his writing were all of a piece. Direct, simple and honest. His simplicity was hewn out of a close analysis of others and their place in a society riven by class interests.

"To the end, he knew which side he was on. He had been born to the sound of clogs, on their way to Rockingham pit where his father worked.”

The much-loved Olympian Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill lives in her hometown of Sheffield. She appreciates the city and its surrounding countryside.

"The Peak District is right on the doorstep and being able just to look out and see that landscape is great whatever the weather,” she said.

"I grew up in the city centre and feel lucky to see and appreciate the countryside – and it’s only a ten-minute drive into the city.

"When you see the city skyline in Sheffield when the train starts to pull into the station and you know you’re home … is one Yorkshire view that inspires me.”

A legend of Hollywood from the streets of Sheffield, Sean Bean is, without doubt, one of the most famous faces to come out of South Yorkshire.

He is best recognised for his roles in The Lord Of The Rings, Game Of Thrones, Troy and Golden Eye. His major breakthrough mainstream success came when he played Richard Sharpe in the ITV series Sharpe which was broadcast from 1993 to 1997.

Despite his fame and fortune, he remains true to himself, a typical Yorkshireman who loves his football Sheffield United.

In fact his love of the Blades bled into his acting career when he appeared in When Saturday Comes, a football drama that was very much a love letter to Bramall Lane.

He is also one of the faces of Yorkshire Tea and appears in adverts for ‘the proper brew’.

Both Brian Blessed and the late Keith Barron were born in Mexborough, near Doncaster.

One of its most famous theatres is the Crucible in Sheffield – also home to the snooker world championships.