Wincobank Hill was in the international news when the world’s most famous cycle race; the Tour de France; picked Jenkin Road on the route of stage two. The road would turn out to be the steepest incline of the entire race, and ten of thousands of people gathered to watch the cyclist struggle up it.
Roots of Iron celebrated the Hill by creating an Iron Age village. Roger and students from the University of Sheffield created the world’s first bicycle powered bloomery furnace, using clay from Woolley Woods and a bike that had been welded together (several times) in Roger’s garage. Local young people helped shape the furnace and pedal the bike to power the furnace. The Friends of Wincobank Hill, actors Chris Binns and John Overton helped provide the Celtic and Roman dramatics.
Local schools also contributed to the atmosphere having helped Heeley City Farm decorate their Iron Age roundhouse, and create a giant torque land art that could be viewed from the air.
Have you ever wanted to have a go at working metal on a forge? Or wondered how they first extracted iron from the rocks of Sheffield? Or how the people that lived here 2500 years ago actually lived?
Roots of Iron is a project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund for young people aged 11 – 25. Based round yearly events that happen on Wincobank Hill and Woolley Woods, we will have a go at some of those ancient crafts, and find creative ways to share the ancient history with the rest of our community.