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Janet Ridler, Speaker

Entertaining and informative illustrated talks on the local history of Sheffield by an established and well-known professional historian, writer and tour guide. I am a popular speaker at meetings of groups around Sheffield and the surrounding area, I have also given talks and for Sheffield's Festival of the Mind and Off the Shelf Festival and for English Heritage and the National Trust.


Entertaining and informative illustrated talks on the local history of Sheffield by an established and well-known professional historian and heritage interpreter.

I am a popular speaker at meetings of groups and societies around Sheffield and the surrounding area, I have also given talks for Sheffield's Festival of the Mind and Off the Shelf Festival.

Subjects include:

  • Sheffield Cathedral - 800 years of Sheffield History in One Building:  A popular talk which looks at how Sheffield has developed from Saxon times up to the present day and how the city's history can be traced within the walls of its cathedral, if you know where to look. Through the building's architecture and stained glass you will discover hidden stories from medieval, Tudor and Victorian times, and meet the people who have shaped Sheffield's history such as the Earls of Shrewsbury, Bess of Hardwick, Mary Queen of Scots and many more. I am also the author of Sheffield Cathedral's official guidebook.
  • 'Sheffield's Hidden Necropolis: Tucked away on a hillside just off Ecclesall Road lies a hidden Victorian city of the dead, Sheffield’s very own Highgate. Sheffield General Cemetery, a Grade II* listed heritage and conservation site, is a museum of people which tells the story of Sheffield’s past through its 87,000 residents and 10 listed monuments and structures. Discover one of England’s earliest landscaped Garden Cemeteries as we meet steel barons, radicals, soldiers, an elephant trainer and a Russian aristocrat when we travel back in time to 1836 on a very Sheffield story of life – and death – in Victorian times.

  •  'A Victorian Christmas' - how the Christmas we celebrate today had its origins in Victorian Britain, from Christmas trees and turkey to crackers, cards and carols, and with a special look at local Sheffield & South Yorkshire Christmas customs and the Sheffield carols. A fascinating look at traditional Christmas customs to get you in the mood for the festive season.
  •  'How the Tudors celebrated Christmas' - go back to Tudor times and learn about advent and the 12 days of Christmas in the time of the Tudors - a fascinating look at the feasts, festivals and customs of a Tudor Christmas and the early origins of our Christmas traditions. Discover how Mary Queen of Scots would have celebrated Christmas during her time in Sheffield in the custody of the Earl of Shrewsbury and Bess of Hardwick, and learn how to add a Tudor touch to your own Christmas celebrations.

Talks ideal for retired groups, Local History Groups, Rotary, Probus, U3A, Womens Institute, Townswomen's Guild etc. and can be held at your meeting place on weekday daytimes or evenings.

Who to contact

Contact Name
Janet Ridler
Contact Position
07963 727551

When is it on?

Time / Date Details
Weekdays, daytime or evenings.
Time of day

Inclusion Information

Able to accommodate other cultures/ethnicities

Other Details


Table of costs
Table of costs
AmountCost Type
£50 inclusive of travel - see below Per session
Fee includes travel within Sheffield and South Yorkshire/North East Derbyshire area. Will travel further afield, additional mileage costs may apply, please email me for a quote.

Venues visited in and around Sheffield, South Yorkshire and North East Derbyshire


Local Publications
Sheffield Cathedral Guide Book

Local Offer


I also offer hands-on living history sessions which enable children and young people to access their local heritage and culture through role play, cotume, crafts, and practical activities. Popular themes include Life in Victorian Sheffield, Evacuation, the Home Front and rationing in WW2, A Victorian Christmas (November & December only). I am a PGCE qualified teacher and have experience working with children and young adults with special needs.

Contact Name
Janet Ridler
Contact Telephone
07963 727551
Contact Email

Last Updated
Janet, Ridler, Speaker, meetings, talk, history, Sheffield, cathedral, cemetery, Victorian, Tudor, local
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