Sheffield heritage sites are closed for the foreseeable future, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still take a tour through the city’s history. Here's a roundup of well-researched online apps that use maps, oral histories and archive images to tell stories of people and places that have helped shape the city. Download them and uncover Sheffield’s past from your armchair or wherever you may be.
Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet is a unique 18th-century scythe-making works and a piece of Sheffield’s history preserved. Part of Sheffield Industrial Museums Trust, the site celebrates fifty years as a museum this year. While it’s currently closed to visitors, the hamlet is open to virtual exploration with the Abbeydale Explorer app.
Discover stories of the people who worked in the hamlet’s network of workshops and lived in its cottages, and get to know how they put its waterwheels and machinery to use. The app maps out the site, plotting narratives like the production journey of a scythe and a timeline of its development. Many of its features are designed for interaction when you’re actually there – like location-based alerts – but much of it can be enjoyed virtually. Take the ‘create your own virtual postcard’. Until you visit in person, you can always draw a picture based on what you’ve learned from the app, take a photo of the picture, upload it to the postcard, and email it to your family and friends.
Note: depending on your device, you may or may not be able to access the video content on the app. If not, each video is transcribed.