Sheffield’s Botanical Gardens

I visited the gardens in August 2022 with my brother and nephew, but I never quite got around to sharing the experience until now … as I think of Spring and planning park and garden visits between now and autumn, I thought I’d start with ‘one I did earlier’.

There were lots of trees, so I’ll just share some general photos later, but there were one or two highlights and curiosities I want to pull out from the experience.

Statue of Pan

Statue of Pan in the Botanical Gardens
Statue of Pan. Photo by Brenda

The Statue of Pan is located in The Rose Garden which was redesigned in the 1950s in a traditional Italian style. Pan is in the centre of the Rose Garden. I’ve quite a few photos of Pan, but none of the roses, although I see there are some rose bushes in the background of some of the pictures.

Photos courtesty of Brenda

The Bear Pit

Picture taken by Brenda

The name piqued my curiosity before anything else. I’d never seen a bear pit before, so was eager to see this for myself. Needless to say, they do not keep a real bear in the pit today. The statue we see above dates from 2005 and stands at 2.4m tall.

The pit was built in 1836 and its first occupant was a black bear called Bruin. It would appear that bears weren’t a success with the locals of Sheffield, they found Bruin boring. On his death in 1855 2 other bears arrived, but by 1859 they were up for sale in the press, so it doesn’t look like they were any more popular than Bruin. After that date, the bear pit fell into disuse.

On the day we visited the Gardens, we had the extra excitement of small scale filming taking place – we had to take turns with the film crew and actors to go inside the pit. Maybe I should have been more curious and asked questions and taken photos. Isn’t hindsight wonderful.

It is my brother standing with the bear in the photo below – he’s 6’2″, so gives you an idea of the size of the bear – and the pit.


There were lots of things to explore in the Gardens but I don’t think I’d ever seen so many friendly squirrels. The ones beside me in Glasgow certainly wouldn’t come to say hello.

General Garden Photos

Some interesting “dead” trees

And finally – inside the Pavillions

Citydays, undated, Sheffield Bear Pit,

Sheffield Botanical Gardens Trust,

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  1. Yay, I’m famous now lol. Think I took a couple of those pictures. Do I get royalties lol. I thought all squizzels were that curious

  2. I always enjoy visits to Botanical gardens. Thank you for sharing this unique and refreshing perspective. The statue of Pan is mystical and actually quite accurate according to mythology! Love the cacti and elegant water fountain.
    Squirrels are of course, always delightful free entertainment at lush places such as this well tended public/botanical garden. A wonderful share. Thank you Brenda.

  3. Thank you so much for sharing, Brenda. The history of the bear pit and the photos were fab…and oh my…the statue of the bear — given the reference point of your brother’s height…. wow. Such an interesting slice of history. The pit itself is very imposing…I can see how it might be an interesting venue for a photo or film shoot! 😉

  4. I am such a fan of botanical gardens. These are lovely Brenda, thanks for sharing your photos and experiences. Given the historical data the bear pit isn’t surprising but it is tragic for the bear. I am not a fan of modern zoos for the same reasons. I don’t like to see animals caged.

    • I agree about caged animals. I think its why it’s important to support conservation projects and zoos that have that as their focus

  5. Hope your migraine has alleviated. Cherries, especially the juice, are good for gout certainly. And Uris acid is acquainted with migraines too. My nurse colleague and myself gave our cohort a presentation on gout and fibromyalgia in the Master’s chronic conditions management course. So some foods with impact on gout may well be creating uric acid build up. Can’t give precise information because it was specific one off study I looked into years and years ago. My memory does me a disservice nowadays. But well worth looking into when you feel up to it. Take care Brenda. All the best.

  6. I recently watched this film and I’m absolutely hooked. Unexpected plot twists, breathtaking action sequences, and outstanding performances by the cast. This is a movie you don’t want to miss!

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