infobox UK place
country= England
official_name= Scunthorpe
latitude= 53.5809
longitude= -0.6502
population= 72,514 (2006 estimate)
unitary_england= North Lincolnshire
lieutenancy_england= Lincolnshire
region= Yorkshire and the Humber
post_town= SCUNTHORPE
postcode_district= DN15 - 17
postcode_area= DN
dial_code= 01724
os_grid_reference= SE893102
Scunthorpe is a town within North Lincolnshire, England. It is the administrative centre of the North Lincolnshire unitary authority, and has an estimated total resident population of 72,514. [ [ Population Of] - Scunthorpe]

A predominantly industrial town, Scunthorpe, the United Kingdom's largest steel processing centre, is also known as the 'Industrial Garden Town'. [ [ h2g2] - Scunthorpe guide entry] [ [ Letting Agent] - Scunthorpe profile]



The town appears in the Domesday Book (1086) as "Escumetorp", which is Old Norse for "Skuma's homestead", a site which is believed to be in the town centre close to where the present-day Market Hill is located.


Scunthorpe was close to the epicenter of one of the largest earthquakes experienced in the British Isles on 27 February 2008. Significant shocks were felt in Scunthorpe and the surrounding North Lincolnshire area. The main 10-second quake, which struck at 0056 GMT at a depth of 15.4km (9.6 miles), was the biggest recorded example since one with a magnitude of 5.4 struck north Wales in 1984.

Industrial history

Ironstone was mined in the area as early as the Roman occupation, but the deposits lay forgotten until the 19th century. The rediscovery of iron ore in 1859 by Rowland Winn on the land of his father, Charles, resulted in the development of an iron and steel industry and rapid population growth. [ [ Rowland Winn (1820-1893)] ]

Iron ore was first mined in the Scunthorpe area in July 1860. Owing to the lack of a mainline railway the ore was transferred to a wharf at Gunness (or Gunhouse), initially by cart then by a narrow gauge railway, for distribution by barge or mainline rail from Keadby. Winn knew that the best way of exploiting the iron ore fields was for a rail link to be built from Keadby to Barnetby. He campaigned tirelessly for the link; construction work started in mid-1860 and was complete in 1864. He persuaded the Dawes brothers, to whose ironworks the ore was being supplied, to build an ironworks at the site of the iron ore fields at Scunthorpe. Construction of Scunthorpe's first ironworks, the Trent Ironworks, began in 1862, with the first cast from the blast furnace being tapped on 26 March 1864. Other ironworks followed: building of the Frodingham Ironworks began in 1864; North Lincoln Ironworks in 1866; Redbourn Hill Iron & Coal Company in 1872; Appleby Ironworks blew in their first blast furnace in 1876; and the last constructed being John Lysaght's Iron and Steelworks in 1911, with production starting in 1912. Crude steel had been produced at Frodingham Ironworks in 1887 but this proved not to be viable. Maxmilian Mannaburg came to Frodingham Ironworks in 1889 to help build and run the steelmaking plant and on the night of 21 March 1890 the first steel was tapped.

Rowland Winn is remembered in the town by three street names: "Rowland Road", "Winn Street" and "Oswald Road". He assumed the title Lord St Oswald in 1885.

The Flixborough disaster in June 1974 damaged local buildings.


"Scunthorpe within Humberside"
Scunthorpe forms an unparished area in the borough and unitary authority of North Lincolnshire.The Humberside (Structural Change) Order 1995 (1995 No. 600 ) [] ] The town forms six of the borough's seventeen wards, namely Ashby, Brumby, Crosby & Park, Frodingham, Kingsway with Lincoln Gardens and Town. The Scunthorpe wards elect 16 of the borough's 43 councillors. As of 2008, all are members of the Labour party. [cite web |url= |title=Electoral Wards |accessdate=2008-08-03 |author= |date= |work= |publisher=North Lincolnshire Council] The councillors form the "Charter Trustees of the Town of Scunthorpe" and they continue to elect a town mayor.cite web |url= |title=The Charter Trustees Regulations 1996 (1996 No. 263 ) |accessdate=2008-08-03 |author= |year=1996 |work= |publisher=Office for Public Sector Information]

North Lincolnshire Council is based in Pitwood House off Ashby Road (former A159) next to Festival Gardens. It opened in 1963 as the Civic Centre, and was the home of Scunthorpe Borough Council until 1996. It was named after Edwin Pittwood, a local Labour politician, who worked in the opencast ironstone workings near Normanby Park. There are also offices at Church Square House near the Scunthorpe Market.

Civic history

Historically part of Lincolnshire, in 1889 the area was included in the Lincolnshire, Parts of Lindsey administrative county. Separate local government began in 1890 when the Scunthorpe local board of health was formed. In 1894 the local board was replaced with an urban district council. Ten years later the neighbouring townships of Brumby and Frodingham (including Crosby) were also constituted an urban district. The two urban districts were amalgamated, along with the parish of Ashby in 1919 to form a new Scunthorpe urban district. Scunthorpe received a charter incorporating the town as a municipal borough in 1936. [Youngs, F.A., "Guide to the Local Administrative Units of England, Vol. II", London 1991]

Local authority boundary changes brought the town into the new county of Humberside in 1974, and a new non-metropolitan district, the Borough of Scunthorpe was formed with the same boundaries as the old municipal borough. The opening of the Humber Bridge on 24 June 1981 provided a permanent link between North and South Humberside but did not secure Humberside's future. To the relief of its many detractors, the county of Humberside (and Humberside County Council) was abolished on 1 April 1996 and succeeded by four unitary authorities.

The previous Humberside districts of Glanford and Scunthorpe, and that part of Boothferry district south of the northern boundaries of the parishes of Crowle, Eastoft, Luddington, Haldenby and Amcotts, now comprise the unitary authority of North Lincolnshire. On amalgamation charter trustees were formed for Scunthorpe, and they continue to elect a town mayor.

Coat of arms

When Scunthorpe was incorporated as a borough in 1936, it also received a grant of a coat of arms from the College of Arms. [Letters Patent dated September 25, 1936] These arms were transferred to the new borough council formed in 1974, [The Local Authorities (Armorial Bearings) Order 1974 (1974 No.869)] and are now used by the town's charter trustees.

The green shield and golden wheatsheaf recall that the area was until recently agricultural in nature. Across the centre of the shield is a length of chain. This refers to the five villages of Crosby, Scunthorpe, Frodingham, Brumby & Ashby linking together as one. At the top of the shield are two fossils of the species "gryphoea incurva". These remains of oysters, known as the "devil's toenails", were found in the rock strata from which ironstone was quarried. The crest, on top of the helm, shows a blast furnace. This is also referred to in the Latin motto: "Refulget labores nostros coelo" or "The heavens reflect our labours" popularly attributed to the glow observed in the night sky from the steelmaking activities. [Scott-Giles, C.W., "Civic Heraldry of England and Wales", 2nd edition, London, 1953]


The town is situated at the terminus of the M181.



The steel industry is still the major employer in the area and the largest operator within it is the Indian-owned firm Corus. However the industry has shrunk in recent years, following the closure of the Normanby Park works (also known as Lysaght's) and the huge Redbourne complex in the early 1980s; the number employed in the industry fell from 27,000 at its height to around 4,500 (not including outside contractors, such as Hansons plc) today. There is also a lime works nearby, involved in the production of steel. The cooling towers can be seen close to "Brigg Road" (A1029). Parts of the plant include the continuous casting plant and the blast furnace and rod mill. Limestone is provided by Singleton Birch at the nearby quarry in Melton Ross. Limestone is used as a flux for the blast furnace, which produces calcium silicate.

Other industries in the town include those associated with the steelworks such as engineering, along with food production, distribution and retailing - most of these now employing a large Polish and Slovak workforce. BOC have a plant just north of the town next to the A1029. BOC were taken over by Linde in January 2006. On the Foxhills Industrial Park, north of the A1077 northern bypass, are many distribution companies, notably a large building owned by the Nisa Today co-operative type mutual organization which has its UK headquarters there.

According to the Environment Agency in the year 2000, Scunthorpe was home to one of the biggest polluting businesses in the United Kingdom, British Steel, whose sites in the town and at Llanwern and Port Talbot produced more dioxins than the next 15 biggest polluters. [ [,,222158,00.html Incinerator cancer threat revealed | Environment | The Guardian ] ]

The environmental charity Greenpeace also listed the town as a PVC toxic hotspot [ [ PVC industry | Greenpeace International ] ]


Scunthorpe has two major shopping centres: the covered "Foundry Shopping Centre" and the part-covered "Parishes Centre". The former was constructed in the late 1960s/early 1970s during a wholesale reconstruction of the old town; the latter was constructed in the early part of this decade on the site of the town's old bus station. There are also many well known retailers on the High Street. [cite web |url= |title=The Foundry Shopping Centre |accessdate=2008-08-03 |author= |date= |work= |publisher=] [cite web |url= |title=The Parishes Shopping Centre |accessdate=2008-08-03 |author= |date= |work= |publisher=]

However the size of the retail units reflects the size of the area's population and with larger shopping facilities within reasonable travelling distance in Grimsby, Hull, Doncaster, Lincoln and at Meadowhall, Sheffield many locals often travel to these towns for major purchases, particularly since the abandonment of the town by Binns (House of Fraser) department store.Fact|date=August 2008 Retail parks can be found near the football stadium (Scunthorpe United) and the steelworks.

All the big food retailers are represented in the area; There is a Tesco Extra opposite the football ground, while Sainsbury's have their store on the site of the old football ground. Morrison's have a store at the bottom of Mortal Ash Hill (known locally as "Motlash") (A18 road) at the Lakeside Retail Park, on the eastern entrance to the town while Asda have a store on "Burringham Road".Fact|date=August 2008


The Baths Hall stands in the centre of the town on "Doncaster Road". It is an entertainment centre that hosts live music, comedy and award ceremonies. It is presently undergoing refurbishment and expansion by the Labour council. There is the [ Geneva Bar Cafe] on the High Street. Love & Studio 25 is a nightclub on "Doncaster Road"


Scunthorpe railway station, a good half mile south of the town centre, lies on the Wrawby to Doncaster Line - DOW with trains to Doncaster, and the South TransPennine Line which has trains from Manchester Airport to Cleethorpes. The town lies five miles north of the M180. Before this motorway was opened in 1979, it took all the east-west goods traffic on the A18 to Grimsby. Humberside Airport is a short drive to the east along the M180. The town's bus station is off "Fenton Street". The bus station is predominantly used by Stagecoach In Lincolnshire, that operate services within and out of the town, followed by Hornsby Travel.


The North Lincolnshire Museum is on Oswald Road, near the railway station. [cite web |url= |title=North Lincolnshire Museum |accessdate=2008-08-03 |author= |date= |work= |publisher=North Lincolnshire Council] St John the Evangelist's church (built in 1891 by Lord St Oswald) in Church Square is now the 20-21 Visual Arts Centre. [cite web |url= |title=20 -21 Visual Art Centre |accessdate=2008-08-03 |author=North Lincolsnhire Council |date= |work= |publisher=] The Plowright Theatre, named after Joan Plowright, is on Laneham Street (off the west end of the High Street). It was built in 1958 as "Scunthorpe Civic Theatre". [cite web |url=
title=Theatres |accessdate=2008-08-03 |author= |date= |work= |publisher=North Lincolnshire Council


Lincs FM broadcasts on 97.6FM from Trent View Flats.

Viking FM broadcasts on 96.9FM from Kingston upon Hull, having some of its coverage given to North Lincolnshire, which includes Scunthorpe.


North Lincolnshire, unlike its neighbour Lincolnshire, has comprehensive education. Brumby Engineering College is on "Cemetery Road". The [ Foxhills School Technology College] on "Foxhills Road" is in the north of the town near Crosby. [ ST Lawence] is on "Doncaster Road". South Leys Business & Enterprise College is on "Enderby Road", which is in Riddings. This establishment is soon to be merged with Thomas Sumpter School (see following listing) in a brand-new £15m building, which North Lincolnshire Council claims will free up huge amounts of cash for education in the area. Thomas Sumpter Comprehensive School is on "Chandos Road" to the east of the town. [ Frederick Gough School] , a specialist language college on "Grange Lane South", is to the south of the town in Bottesford. [ St.Bede's Catholic School] is a specialist mathematics and computing college, which is owned by the Roman Catholic Church. It is the highest achieving school in the area. John Leggott Sixth-Form College (JLC) on "West Common Lane", is among the top 10 colleges in the country. Close by, North Lindsey College is on "Kingsway" (A18).Also primary education is served by a number of infant, junior and primary schools such as [ Leys Farm Junior School] on "Park Avenue" in Bottesford and [ Scunthorpe CE Primary School] on "Gurnell Street".

Law and Order

The area is served by Humberside Police. According to the website "" the area has crime rates higher than the national average, especially in the categories of violence against the person, sexual offences, burglary and theft of motor vehicles. [ [ Crime Figures for Scunthorpe - UpMyStreet ] ]



The town has a Football League club, Scunthorpe United (nicknamed 'The Iron') who play at Glanford Park. For most of its existence in the professional game (since only 1950) it has been in the basement league of the English game. At the end of the 2006/7 season they won promotion to the Football League Championship as champions of League One, this being the first time they have played at this level for 45 years. This was to last just one season as the club were relegated on 12 April, 2008, with three games to spare.

In the last financial year for which accounts are available (the year ending June 2007) the club lost over £394,000 [ Annual Report and Accounts, Scunthorpe United Football Club Limited, Year Ending 30 June 2007 ] and in the latest set of statistics available (2005/06) the club has the sixth worst level of banning orders amongst supporters in League One (out of 24 clubs), totalling 38 such orders. [ ]

Kevin Keegan and Ray Clemence both played for Scunthorpe United F.C. in the early 1970s before being signed for Liverpool F.C.. Former England cricket captain Ian Botham played a number of games for the club, being a resident of nearby Epworth at that time.

Local teams play in the Scunthorpe & District Football League.


[ Scunthorpe RUFC] play rugby union at Heslam Park, close to Brumby on "Ashby Road". [ Scunthorpe Barbarians ARLFC] play rugby league also at Heslam Park.


Scunthorpe also has a speedway team known as the Scunthorpe Scorpions who compete in the British Premier League, the sport's second tier in Britain.The speedway team has been running since 2005 and won a grand slam of the Conference League trophies in both 2006 & 2007. It runs at a track near Dragonby.

Scunthorpe Scorpions Premier League Team
Scunthorpe Saints Conference League Team


The [ Appleby-Frodingham Athletic Club] uses the 34 acre site near the Civic Centre for many types of sport. They have a clubhouse and also use Brumby Hall next-door. There is also the [ Scunthorpe and District Athletics Club] . They train at [ Quibell Park Stadium] , Scunthorpe's athletic track on "Brumby Wood Lane" named after David Quibell, the town's former Labour MP. Around the running track is a [ cycle track] used by [ Scunthorpe Polytechnic] Cycle Club.

The [ leisure centre] is on "Carlton Street" opposite the [ bus station] via a [ footbridge] . The [ Scunthorpe Anchor] swimming club are based at the [ Riddings Pool] on "Enderby Road" next to South Leys School in Yaddlethorpe.


In 1996 there was controversy when AOL's obscenity filter (among others) refused to accept the name of the town due to its inclusion of the substring "cunt", which the filter rejected as obscene. Some online forums display the name as S****horpe, while would display it as Scoonthorpe. This situation is known in the computing world as the Scunthorpe Problem.

In 2007 a senior manager at a local employer, Nisa-Today, made remarks about the town which brought criticism from residents. John Baines, senior trading controller for the company, made the comments at a trade conference where he said one of the town's major industries was 'handbag theft', that local women wear 'mattresses on their backs in case they meet someone they know' and that if you wanted to 'know what Scunthorpe looked like in the 1970s...go there today'. The comments were published online by the trade journal "Off-Licence News" and reprinted in the "Scunthorpe Telegraph". Mr Baines later apologised if his remarks caused any offence and that they were meant in a light-hearted manner. []

In 1981 the comedian and writer Spike Milligan published a book "Spike Milligan, Indefinite Articles and Scunthorpe". The inclusion of the town's name in a comedy book caused much anger in the area to which Milligan replied, "We should like the people of Scunthorpe to know that the references to Scunthorpe are nothing personal. It is a joke, as is Scunthorpe" [ 50 years of the Borough of Scunthorpe, Scunthorpe Evening Telegraph, October 15th, 1986 ]

Get Carter

The Mancunian-born writer Ted Lewis, who lived in nearby Barton-upon-Humber, featured the town in some of his novels about low-life 1960s gangster Jack Carter. The most famous of these books, "Jack's Return Home" saw the main character return from London to his home-town of Scunthorpe to avenge his brother's death. The story itself was based on the background to the real-life murder of Newcastle businessman Angus Sibbet in 1967, in what was known as the "Fruit Machine Murder".

The film rights to this book where purchased by MGM who ironically transferred the setting from Scunthorpe to Newcastle-upon-Tyne and released the film in 1971 as the cult British crime thriller "Get Carter," starring Michael Caine in the eponymous lead role. However none of the production was shot in the area, being filmed entirely on location on Tyneside.

Notable residents

In alphabetical order by surname.

* Neale Barry, Premier League referee. Studied at Thomas Sumpter School
* Darren Bett, BBC weather presenter, attended John Leggott College.
* Ian Botham, cricketer, also used to play football for Scunthorpe United, and lived at nearby Epworth for many years.
* Allan Clarke, ex-Leeds United and England player, former manager of Scunthorpe United, now living in the area
* Ray Clemence, former goalkeeper of the English national football team, played for Scunthorpe United in 1966.
* Howard Devoto, singer of the Buzzcocks and Magazine.
* Kevin Doyle, actor. Credits include "The Lakes" and latterly "Drop Dead Gorgeous", attended Brumby Comprehensive School and JLC.
* Danny Flynn, science-fiction and fantasy artist, attended High Ridge School.
* Stephen Fretwell, singer-songwriter.He attended St. Bede's Catholic School. According to his website, "he once described [the town] as having 'no soul'".
* [ Victoria Graham] BBC weather forecaster, from Winterton and attended JLC.
* Tony Jacklin, golfer. U.S. open winner, 1970.
* Kevin Keegan, former England football manager from Doncaster also played for Scunthorpe United in his early days.
* Iain Matthews, singer.
* Nina Nannar, ITN showbusiness reporter. Attended John Leggott College, Scunthorpe.
* Rob McElnea, former 500cc grand prix rider and now team manager of the Virgin Mobile Yamaha team in the British Superbike Championship, Born December 12, 1959. [cite web |url= |title=New £400,000 engineering centre to be opened by superbike star |accessdate=2008-08-07 |author= |date=2006 |work= |publisher=North Lincolnshire Council] [cite web |url= |title= |accessdate=2008-08-07 |author=Rob McElnea |date= |work= |publisher=MotoGP Website]
* Joan Plowright, actress, born October 28, 1929 in Brigg, attended school in the town. [cite web |url= |title=Joan Plowright |accessdate=2008-08-07 |author= |date= |work=Encyclopædia Britannica |publisher=]
* Martin Simpson, guitarist, born May 1953 in Scunthorpe. [cite web |url= |title=About Martin Simpson |accessdate=2008-08-07 |author= |date= |work= |publisher=Compass Records ]
* Liz Smith, actress, born December 11, 1921 in Scunthorpe. [cite web |url= |title=Liz Smith |accessdate=2008-08-07 |author= |date= |work= |publisher=Internet Movie Database]
* Graham Taylor, former manager of the English national football team, born in Nottinghamshire, but grew up and developed his career at Scunthorpe. [Sue Mott, "Taylor Made for Management", The Daily Telegraph, May 4, 2001] [cite web
title=Ex England Manager to officially open £1.3m adult education centre
publisher=North Lincolnshire Council |date=2005-02-03
* Alan Walker, musicologist and biographer of Franz Liszt. Born in Scunthorpe, April 6, 1930 [cite web
title=Walker, Alan
publisher=Encyclopedia of Music in Canada
* Nigel Watson, ufologist and writer.

Twinned municipalities

* Clamart, France
* Lüneburg, Germany
* Ostrowiec Świętokrzyski, Poland

Musical links

* The Toy Dolls covered Charlie Daniels Band's The Devil Went Down to Georgia with their 1997 recording "The Devil Went Down to Scunthorpe".
* The town featured in a 1990 television advertising campaign for the a loyalty card called Premier Points in which the Gene Pitney song "Twenty-four Hours from Tulsa" was re-worked as "Twenty-four Toasters from Scunthorpe"
*The Baths Hall in Doncaster Road was a popular music venue, before it was closed by the Conservative Council. The Labour Party [] regained control of the Council in 2007, immediately prevented the Baths from being demolished and commenced a major rebuild of the venue.


Approx. 90% of the baths hall has now been demolished. Only the early 1930's styalized reception area still stands.

External links

* [ This Is Scunthorpe (Scunthorpe Telegraph)]
* [ North Lincolnshire Council]
* [ Brief history of Scunthorpe]
* [ Scunthorpe Station website]
* [ Scunthorpe - The Heavens Reflect Our Labours] . Documentary on Scunthorpe history made by local schoolchildren
* [ Scunthorpe on Film Part 2] Part Two of a series of 3 photo compilations depicting views of Scunthorpe , Lincolnshire

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