'Little Mesters' Re-forged

The restoration of Sheffield’s famous cutlery industry and the historic Globe works

Sheffield’s famous but troubled cutlery industry is about to receive a considerable boost with the 1.5 million restoration of the historic Globe works. Plans are under way to convert these abandoned premises, part of Sheffield's Kelham Island conservation area, into a 'centre of excellence' for the cutlery and fine metal trade.

Dating from 1825, the Globe Works is one of England's oldest surviving cutlery and tool factories. Behind its impressive Georgian facade lie many small workshops, charcoal-burning furnaces, a manager's residence and a courtyard paved with original grindstones.

In its heyday the Globe Works provided employment for hundreds of men. The work was unhealthy, low in status and, even by nineteenth century standards, badly paid. The Globe Works was built as an 'integrated factory', capable of accommodating the complete process of cutlery manufacture from the forging of iron into steel to the turning-out of the finished product, bound for the workshops and kitchens of Victorian Britain.

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