The Hawley Gallery

The Hawley Gallery opened in 2010 as the first permanent display space for the Hawley Collection.

This world-renowned tool collection has been amassed since the mid 1950s by former tool retailer and champion of Sheffield’s industrial heritage, Ken Hawley, and consists of over 100,000 objects, all relating to Sheffield’s tool, cutlery manufacturing and silversmithing industry.

The Ken Hawley Collection Trust LINK was formed in 1994 to safeguard the collection and Ken continues collecting and working with the collection - it is his life and his continuing passion.

This internationally important collection of over 100,000 objects includes edge tools, measuring tools, tools used for cutlery manufacture and silversmithing, plus related catalogues, photos, films and oral histories. It is gathered mostly from Sheffield and Yorkshire but also from Britain and the rest of the world.

Inside the gallery there are lots of things to discover and explore including; a giant saw wall, an A-Z of Tools and exciting displays including:

  • Investigating Design - shows how tools are designed for specific tasks.
  • Investigating Making - focuses on the stages in the manufacturing process
  • Investigating Selling - looks at selling Sheffield tools to the world
  • Investigating More - is a temporary exhibition area with regularly changing displays

This prestigious collection is housed in a building originally known as Russell Works, home to saw makers by Wheatman & Smith. Many of the original features have been retained in the building and form a fitting home for the Hawley Collection.


Hawley Collection - Name on a Knife Blade Project funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund

The project focus is to link the Ken Hawley Collection Trust`s unique collection of over 1,500 stainless steel knives, made by over 800 different makers, with Sheffield families that bear the surnames marked on them or who worked for Sheffield cutlery manufacturers.  The project started on 1st March 2019 and runs until September 2021.  Twelve exhibitions will be held, each with a talk and a presentation of a different selection of the table knife collection. The main aim is to create an interactive Digital Knife Archive, allowing direct and on-line access to photographs of the knives in the Collection as well as information on the history of the cutlers that made them.

We would love to hear from anyone who worked for a cutlery company or who has memorabilia or items from Sheffield companies that they can show us or might wish to donate to the Trust.  For more information: or email

Here are the first in a series of free talks scheduled throughout the project, each at 2pm at Kelham Island Museum:

18 September 2019

13 November 2019

8 January 2020

4 March 2020

6 May 2020

Butler the Cutler

Trade Catalogues for Cutlery and Tools

A Short History of the Table Knife

Cutlery for Afternoon Tea

The Development of Stainless Steel