The history of the iconic Hallam Tower Hotel where David Bowie, Elton John and Pele all stayed

It was the only place the legendary David Bowie would stay when he visited Sheffield, it was the height of luxury and brought Sheffield into the new modern word after the doom of the Second World War.

Thursday, 25th February 2021, 10:38 am
Hallam Tower Hotel, Sheffield - 1978
Hallam Tower Hotel, Sheffield - 1978

In June 1973 David Bowie performed at Sheffield City Hall on the Ziggy Stardust tour, and after the show he partied into the night at the now-closed Hallam Tower Hotel in Broomhill.

He was not the only famous face to stay in the hotel as it enjoyed a reputation as the place to be for visiting celebrities during the 1970s and hosted football star Pele, plus music icon Elton John but its history goes back further than that

Construction started in 1963 at a cost of £1 million. The Hallam Tower Hotel, owned by Trust Houses Group Ltd, opened on 24 March 1965 and boasted 136 bedrooms over its eleven stories, employed nearly 150 staff members and covered a three and a half acre site.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The legendary footballer Pele stayed at the Hallam Tower in February 1972

Being one of the first luxury hotels built in the region since the end of World War II, the city and the building's owners were keen to capitalise on the hotel's modern look and it appeared in an advertisement for the Ford Galaxie 500 and in the promotional film; Sheffield… City on the Move.

In 1978 the hotels management attempted to move away from what it dubbed "the sweatshirt and jeans brigade" by only accepting bookings from rock bands so long as they were dressed appropriately inside the hotel and didn't swear while in the hotel restaurant.

During the miners' strike in the summer of 1984 Daily Mirror proprietor Robert Maxwell had a secret meeting in a room on the top floor with National Union of Mineworkers leader Arthur Scargill.

The hotel eventually closed, on 18 April 2004, with some staff transferring to the Holiday Inn Royal Victoria in central Sheffield

Sheffield's most modern hotel opened in 1965 and was closed in 2004 and later demolished in 2017

Since closing its doors it became a magnet for so called 'urban explorers' who climb high derelict buildings to explore the decaying interior.

Although planning permission was granted in 2009 for a redevelopment of the tower into residential units this work did not happen and was back on the market in September 2013 and July 2015 and the tower was demolished in 2017, leaving only the bottom two levels intact.

Have you joined The Star’s retro Facebook group full of memories and nostalgia from across the city? Click here to find it

A message from the Editor:

Thank you to all who support local journalism with a digital or print subscription to The Star. The events of 2020 and 2021 mean trusted, local journalism is more reliant than ever on your support. We couldn't do it without you. Subscribe here www.thestar.co.uk/subscriptions so we can keep campaigning on your behalf. Stay safe.