Botanical Gardens, Sheffield

Sheffield welcomes steampunk

The fine folk at Sheffield Steampunk Society have extended a cordial invitation to visit the industrial gem situated at the base of the largest county in the United Kingdom. Held on the 12th August, the Punknic will be located at the Botanical Gardens – a Victorian public gardens that still has the Bear pit (minus the Bear, obviously).

Punknic will be held at The Botanical GardensThe Botanical Gardens

Most famous these days for the iconic conservatories at the top of the hill that the gardens are landscaped onto, there’s plenty more to see. From small wooded areas to the ponds and the fountain it makes for an interesting stroll. The Gardens also boast arguably the tamest squirrels in the city.

The Gardens opened in 1836 after a petition of 85 local residents complained that there was no public area for healthy recreation or self education. Money was raised to purchase land from the Wilson family, the snuff makers. Ironic that an area for healthy living was purchased from snuff makers. 18 acres was purchased and two years later it opened. Although only around 4 days a year were made available for the general public. Such was the class divide in those days, the rest of the year was exclusively available for the shareholders and annual subscribers.


Given the Victorian heritage to the gardens, it’s an ideal location for the Sheffield steampunks to hold their first event. Several forms of entertainment will be occuring throughout the afternoon. At 1pm there will be Bartitsu demonstrations. Bartitsu is a form of self defence using Victorian era weapons such as canes. It incorporates fighting styles such as martial arts and fencing.  At 2pm you’ll get the chance to show the World how aeroplane building is really done. Though you’ll only have one piece of paper to do it with. Then at 3pm you’re invited to test your nerve in the first Sheffield Tea Duelling Olympiad.

Tea Duelling was created in Lincoln by members of the Lincoln Steampunk Society and has gone global ever since. You can learn more about it via this link.

The event begins at 12pm but steampunks are welcome to arrive at 11am for a stroll around the gardens. Please visit the Botanical Gardens Steampunk Picnic page on the Sheffield Steampunk Society page. There’s more information about parking, directions and general rules of the park.

You can visit the event page here.

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