Why is Sheffield called Sheffield?

Ever wondered why Sheffield is called Sheffield? Well, wonder no more.
Ever wondered why Sheffield is called Sheffield? Well, wonder no more.
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You may live, work and play and have spent most of your life here - but do you know why Sheffield is called Sheffield?

Well, if you've ever wondered how the city gets its name, wonder no more with a quick history lesson!

The name Sheffield is actually Old English or Anglo-Saxon in origin, the earliest historical form of the English language, spoken in England and southern and eastern Scotland in the early Middle Ages.

It derives from the River Sheaf, whose name is a corruption of shed or sheth, meaning to divide or separate.

Field is a generic suffix deriving from the Old English feld, meaning a forest clearing.

It is likely then that the origin of the present-day city of Sheffield is an Anglo-Saxon settlement in a clearing beside the confluence of the rivers Sheaf and Don founded between the arrival of the Anglo-Saxons in this region (roughly the 6th century) and the early 9th century.

The names of many of the other areas of Sheffield likely to have been established as settlements during this period end in ley, which signifies a clearing in the forest, or ton, which means an enclosed farmstead. These settlements include Heeley, Longley, Norton, Owlerton, Southey, Tinsley, Totley, Wadsley, and Walkley.

The earliest evidence of this settlement is thought to be the shaft of a stone cross dating from the early 9th century that was found in Sheffield in the early 19th century. This shaft may be part of a cross removed from the church yard of the Sheffield parish church (now Sheffield Cathedral) in 1570 - it is now kept in the British Museum.

.The Domesday Book of 1086, which was compiled following the Norman Conquest of 1066, contains the earliest known reference to the districts around Sheffield as the manor of "Hallun" (or Hallam).

The Domesday Book refers to Sheffield twice, first as Escafeld, then later as Scafeld. Sheffield historian S. O. Addy suggests that the second form, pronounced Shaffeld, is the truer form.