The building stones of Sheffield – a geological walk in the city centre
A major re-landscaping of the very centre of Sheffield was carried out in the late 1990s and natural stone was used in a creative way to replace tarmac and concrete. The Sheffield Building Stones Group was formed at this time to publicise the new work and to provide opportunities for the public to understand the geology involved. The Building Stones Group is now a part of the Sheffield Area Geology Trust.
A sturdy laminated A3 card guide was produced in 1999, and is still available from SAGT (email The trail guide provides a self-guided tour of the new building stones of the Peace Gardens and of the pavings in Fargate, as well as descriptions of many of the shop fronts, new and old, encountered on the way. The route is only a few hundred metres in length and much of it is free of traffic. A wide range of rocks from all over the world has been used and their characteristics are described, including the ways in which some are weathering, not least the gypsum tomb of the Earl of Shrewsbury outside the Cathedral, which seems to be dissolving whilst you look at it!