Benjamin Huntsman – Inventor Of Crucible Steel

Although not born in Sheffield, Benjamin Huntsman’s process of smelting steel was crucial to the development of the steel industry and the city of Sheffield.  In the 1740’s he successfully developed a technique of producing steel that allowed it to be made on a much larger commercial scale.  Before crucible steel Sheffield made about 200 tons of steel a year.  100 years later it was producing over 80,000 of steel a year.  Sheffield grew to be one of Europe’s leading industrial cities.

In Sheffield his name appears in various places and there is even a pub named after him.  Information about Benjamin Huntsman is readily available in history books and on the internet so I won’t attempt to rewrite a significant chapter in our industrial heritage.

I was saddened to find this important historical figure lying forgotten in his grave in a cemetery that is overgrown and locked to the general public. He is buried at Hill Top Chapel in Attercliffe.  I guess few people will notice the blue plaque outside the grounds which indicates the historical significance of the site.  You can go get a beer in a pub called the Benjamin Huntsman but you cannot get to see his grave!

Despite the inviting SCC  history trail blue plaque, when I visited today both entrances to the grounds were padlocked shut.  Here are some of the photographs from my visit.

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