For Netherthorpe Airfield, see Netherthorpe Airfield.
For the Australian journalism award, see Walkley Awards.

Walkley is the name of a suburb of Sheffield, UK, and of the larger electoral ward surrounding it.

Walkley Ward

Walkley ward—which includes the districts of Netherthorpe, Upperthorpe, Walkley and parts of Neepsend—is one of the 28 electoral wards in City of Sheffield, England. It is located in the northwestern part of the city and covers an area of 3.8 km². The population of this ward in 2001 was 17,900 people in 8,700 households. Part of the ward is in Sheffield Hillsborough, part is in Sheffield Brightside and part is in Sheffield Central constituency. A boundary review will put Walkley into a new Sheffield Central constituency at the next General Election.

Districts of Walkley ward


Walkley is a suburb in the north west of Sheffield in England. It lies north-east of Crookes and south of Hillsborough.

The area consists mainly of Victorian stone-fronted terraced housing and has a lower student population than much of the surrounding area despite being within 15 minutes' walk of the University of Sheffield.


The origin of the name Walkley comes from the Old English language with the original name being “Walcas Leah” meaning Walca’s forest clearing. The early Anglo-Saxon village consisted of a few structures, mainly farm buildings and workmen’s cottages. Most of the area was thick woodland with the few open quarters such as Crookesmoor and Bell Hagg Common being used for grazing cattle. Walkley was mentioned in several documents in the centuries after the Norman Conquest, in 1554 it was described as having several cottages and small holdings worked by tenants of the Lord of the Manor of Sheffield. By this time the population of Walkley was around 200.

In the 1600s Walkley was connected to the village of Owlerton by the pack horse track which ascended Walkley Lane and continued to Crookes, it became a turnpike road and a heavy gate was placed across the road where tolls were collected. The Old Heavygate Inn was constructed at this point in 1696 and still stands today, it has walls two feet thick. In 1601 Old Walkley Hall was constructed by William Rawson and stood until 1926 when it was demolished to make way for new housing. By 1860 the residential streets of Walkley had developed considerably and the infrastructure was basically as it is today with the Fir View Land Society and the Steel Bank Society building many of the new houses.

Public buildings and amenities

The first place of worship to be built at the location of St. Mary’s church was a mission church which was constructed in 1861 on the site of an old carpenters shop at the junction of Hadfield Street and Howard Road. The mission church cost £1,000 to build and was superseded by St. Mary’s, construction of which started in 1867 by the Sheffield Church Extension Society. Building was completed in 1869 at a cost of £3,200, it is in the Early English decorated style and has a 90 ft (27 metre) spire. The Archbishop of York consecrated the church and the first vicar was Thomas Smith. Local dignitaries made financial contributions to pay for stained glass windows, tower, clock and the bells.

There were no schools for the general public in Walkley until the opening of St. Mary’s church. In 1870 the Education Act was passed and St. Mary’s school was built in premises adjoining the church at a cost of £2,180. The money being raised by public subscription and a government grant. The school remained attached to the church until July 1978 when it moved to a site between Cundy Street and Burgoyne Road. The areas other primary school, Walkley Primary School is situated on Burnaby Crescent. The former school premises at St. Mary's church are now part of the Sheffield College campus.

John Ruskin lived in the area for several years in the mid 19th century, he had a house built on Bole Hill Road called Ruskin House. He said the house, overlooking the Rivelin Valley had one of the best views in the country, comparable to Brantwood in the Lake District. In 1871 he founded the Guild of St. George which set up St. George's museum at Ruskin's house in Walkley. The aim of the museum was for the "working man" to enjoy the extensive collection of books, manuscripts and art amongst other things. By 1890 the premises were to small for the expanding collection and the museum was moved to Meersbrook Park. Ruskin House later became a girls home and has now been developed as private flats. There is also a park linking the two areas of Langsett and Walkley, named after John Ruskin.

The 20th century saw the building of Walkley branch library on land that was cleared at the junction of South Road and Walkley Road, the library was a Carnegie library built with funding partly provided by Andrew Carnegie and its boundary wall bears a commemorative plate to that effect..

Public transport

There was no public transport to Walkley from Sheffield city centre before 1870, in 1873 privately owned horsed drawn buses were introduced and these were superseded by the electric Sheffield Tramway in the 1890s with single decker trams initially running as far as Springvale before later being extended to South Road. The trams were decommissioned in the 1960s with buses taking over, the tram tracks were not taken up but were just covered over by tarmac.


Netherthorpe is a council estate lying south-east of the Ponderosa open space. Originally an area of working-class Victorian terraces, it was reconstructed in the 1960s as an area of tower blocks and medium-rise flats with a few houses. In the late 1990s the tower blocks were reclad and many of the other flats demolished and replaced by modern housing.


Upperthorpe lies north-west of the Ponderosa open space and south east of Walkley. Building in the area began in the late Georgian period, from which the former infirmary (now offices) and a few houses survive. Construction continued, with many large Victorian houses and a car-free late-20th-century housing estate surviving. The Kelvin Flats were a landmark in the area, of similar design to now listed Park Hill, but were demolished in the early 1990s. The area is served by the Infirmary Road Sheffield Supertram stop.


Part of the industrial suburb of Neepsend which lies on the eastern side of the River Don is in the Walkley electoral ward.


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