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West Riding
Ecclesfield Church.jpg
The Parish Church of St Mary, Ecclesfield
Grid reference: SK352940
Location: 53°26’34"N, 1°28’11"W
Population: 31,609  (2001 Census[1])
Post town: Sheffield
Postcode: S35
Dialling code: 0114
Local Government
Council: Sheffield
Sheffield Hillsborough

Ecclesfield is a village and parish in the West Riding of Yorkshire, forming a suburb of Sheffield, about four miles north of Sheffield city centre. Ecclesfield civil parish had a population of 32,063 at the 2011 Census.[2]


Evidence of early settlement in the Ecclesfield area include remnants of Romano-British settlements and field systems in Greno Wood. The earliest known written record of Ecclesfield is from the Domesday Book of 1086, where it is referred to as "Eclesfeld". The meaning of the name is uncertain. Traditionally it has been interpreted to derive from the Celtic egles meaning a church (specifically a Romano-British church) and the Old English feld meaning a woodland clearing. Thus the name could mean 'Open land near a Romano-British Christian church’.[3] However, alternative suggestions are that the first element eccles- derives from a Saxon personal name or an association with water.[4][5]

The Domesday Book does not mention a church at Ecclesfield. The present day Church of St Mary, largely dates from the late 15th century, but incorporates features dating from about 1200.[6] It was the centre of the ancient parish of Ecclesfield, which is one of the most extensive ancient parishes in England.[7] The Benedictine Ecclesfield Priory was established in the 12th century and operated as a cell of St Wandrille's Abbey in Normandy until the 14th century. It is a Grade I listed building.[7]

Ecclesfield had a paper mill in the 1800s.

Amenities and setting

Ecclesfield has an old square, a cricket club, a large park, the Gatty Memorial Hall, a secondary school, Ecclesfield School, previously known as Ecclesfield Grammar, and a variety of shops and other civic amenities.

The elevation of the suburb ranges from about 200 feet to 400 feet above mean sea level.[8] At the 2001 census the civil parish — which also includes the Sheffield suburbs of Chapeltown, Grenoside, High Green, and formerly Thorpe Hesley (now a suburb of Rotherham) — had a population of 31,609. Ecclesfield's old village is also home to Whitley Hall, a 16th-century mansion property converted into a four-star hotel and restaurant.

On the border of Ecclesfield is Greno Wood: a forested area listed as Grade B on the English Nature Invertebrate Site Register, as being of special archaeological and geological significance.


The Church of St Mary is a Grade I listed building,[9] and the remains of Ecclesfield Priory and the Whitley Hall Hotel are Grade II* listed.[10][11] Greno Wood is listed as Grade B on the English Nature Invertebrate Site Register, and is considered of special archaeological and geological significance.[12]


The main road transport routes through Ecclesfield are the A61, which runs north-south through the parish, and the M1 motorway, which skirts the parish's eastern edge.[8] Bus services link the village with Sheffield City Centre, Barnsley, Rotherham, the Meadowhall Centre, and the surrounding suburbs.[13] Chapeltown railway station, which is in the Chapeltown suburb, connects the parish with central Sheffield, Huddersfield and Leeds.


Ecclesfield F.C. were a prominent football team in the area from the 1880s, and Ecclesfield United also represented the area in the FA Cup. Ecclesfield Red Rose FC now represent the area and play in the Sheffield & Hallamshire County Senior Football League. Whitley Hall Cricket Club play at Cinder Lane in Ecclesfield.


  1. "Ecclesfield CP". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 2009-01-25. 
  2. "Civil Parish population 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 11 March 2016. 
  3. Mills, A.D. (2003). "Ecclesfield". A Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 
  4. Addy, Sidney Oldall (1888). "Ecclesfield". A Glossary of Words Used in the Neighbourhood of Sheffield. Including a Selection of Local Names, and Some Notices of Folk-Lore, Games, and Customs. London: Trubner & Co. for the English Dialect Society.  (wikisource)
  5. Goodall, Armitage (1914). "Eccles, Ecclesall, Ecclesfield, Eccleshill, Exley". Place-Names of South-West Yorkshire. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 127–129. OCLC 5809268. 
  6. National Heritage List 10197417Church of St. Mary: of St. Mary Ecclesfield
  7. 7.0 7.1 Jonathan Eastwood (1862). History of the Parish of Ecclesfield, in the County of York. London: Bell and Daldy. OCLC 1979613. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 "Grid reference SK 352 942". Get A Map. Ordnance Survey. Retrieved 2009-01-28. 
  9. National Heritage List 10197417: Church of St Mary
  10. National Heritage List 10193655: Nos 44 and 44A (The Old Hall) and No 46 (The Priory)
  11. National Heritage List 10193645: Whitley Hall Hotel
  12. Agnoletti, Mauro (2006). The Conservation of Cultural Landscapes. CABI. p. 218. ISBN 978-1-84593-074-5. 
  13. "Bus timetables for Ecclesfield". Travel South Yorkshire. South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive. Retrieved 2009-01-28. 

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