The town’s historic county is the West Riding of Yorkshire, known today as South Yorkshire, which it shares with four other metropolitan boroughs – Barnsley, Doncaster, and Sheffield. Rotherham sits within a green belt area, extending out into the wider counties that surround it.
Historically, Rotherham’s traditional industries were predominantly farming, glass making, and flour milling, as well as coal mining and steel manufacturing around the time of the Industrial Revolution. Founded in the early Middle Ages, Rotherham has been mined for iron since Roman times, but it was coal that really put the town on the map – only one deep mine remains in operation today, with all others discontinued by the end of 1995.
Today, Rotherham is home to a rich and bustling culture, overflowing with art, music, and events. The fashion show Rotherham Rocks takes place every July in All Saints Square, while Rotherham by the Sea is held each August in Clifton Park, transforming the green space into a beach with seaside attractions on a bed of sand. There is also the Rotherham Show each September, also held in Clifton Park, which sees stalls from all over the community held amongst live bands and performers. The Rotherham Real & Music Festival is one of the UK’s biggest Real Ale events, continuing for four days at the Magna Centre.
In 2022, the town also hosted the UEFA Women’s Championship, holding a number of games at their New York Stadium.