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About Rotherham

rotherham town centre

About Rotherham Town Centre

Rotherham is a thriving borough in South Yorkshire, at the centre of the UK. It is home to over 250,000 residents with two million people living within half an hour's drive. 70% of the borough is rural, with beautiful countryside and attractive, picturesque villages.

Rotherham Town Centre is at the heart of the borough, providing an attractive, compact location with pedestrianised shopping areas radiating from the magnificent Rotherham Minster.

The town centre is a bustling and vibrant place to shop with over 400 businesses including a mixture of high street favourites, small independent retailers, cafes and restaurants, as well as a programme of lively indoor and outdoor markets.

The town hosts a varied and lively events programme throughout the year including everything from specialist markets to popular family attractions such as Rotherham by the Sea.


Rotherham has been a successful market town for over 800 years - its original royal market charter was granted by King John in the year 1207. The town grew on the banks of the River Don and was placed on the map by the Archbishop of York, Thomas Rotherham in the 15th Century.

The industrial revolution saw Rotherham dominated by the heavy industries of coal and steel. The population of the present borough grew from 17,000 in 1801 to 120,000 in 1901. In 1754, Samuel Walker leased land from the Earl of Effingham to build a forge in the town centre.

As well as being famous for making the earliest iron bridges in the country, the Walkers also made the best and most reliable cannon in the land. Between 1744 and 1815 they made 13,000 tons of cannon for the Navy and Army which included the guns on HMS Victory, the flagship of Vice Admiral Nelson.

For those interested in exploring Rotherham's historic sites, self guided walk leaflets are available from the Tourist Information Centre.


Key Facts - What to See
Key Facts - Getting to Rotherham

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