The Silk Road Gallery is a shop in Sheffield’s Sharrow Vale Road run by Peter Bennion and Kay Wallace.
We opened The Silk Road Gallery to showcase the vintage textiles, objects, art and photographs from the lands of The Silk Road that have been an enduring passion for the last 45 years.
If you've been in Sheffield for a while you'll probably remember our earlier shops Bringing It All Back Home and Freewheelin’. Freewheelin’ opened in 1974 with a water bed, Indian bedspreads and not much more.
We grew into a much larger shop called Bringing It All Back Home which had the character of a Silk Road bazaar inspired by trips to Morocco, Afghanistan and India and the beauty of the unique handmade things we encountered.
Take a slide show tour round the Silk Road Gallery
The Silk Road
We often think of The Silk Road as being a trading and cultural caravan route between Xian and Venice but The Silk Road had many branches, extending down into Indian Ladakh and even the desert towns of Rajasthan.
We’re regular visitors to Ladakh where the Buddhist culture exists as an extension of the Tibetan plateau. Until China annexed Tibet and closed the border with India in 1949 caravans travelled from Yarkand to Ladakh with wool and salt in exchange for cotton and spices. Ladakh features in many of Peter's photographs in the Gallery. Our blogs include photos and accounts of some of our trekking experiences in Ladakh.
In Rajasthan traders would rest by wells providing water and relief from the heat of the dry season. Stepwells are another subject of Peter's photographs, a major passion and an ongoing project! They are subterranean architectural wonders built over the last thousand years to access water in a land where the water table rises and falls dramatically with the monsoon and dry seasons. Today they are mostly neglected, dry and forgotten, often hard to find and dramatically beautiful.
Karsha Monastery, Zanskar, Ladakh.
Neemrana Stepwell in Rajasthan.
We're passionate about living in Sheffield, it's full of Places We Really Love!
The Silk Road Gallery is in the middle of Sharrow Vale Road with it's eclectic mix of independent cafes and shops as well as the Sharrow Vale Market - next date is Sunday 7th July 2019.
Check out some of our friends and neighbours along the Sharrow Vale Road and beyond:
Just around the corner, Barra Organics is an award winning, family run business. Their fantastic range of local and speciality produce attracts regular customers from across the region. barraorganics.co.uk
Sebastian's Kitchen is just across the road, a great place for a healthy lunch, coffee and cakes. They also make sandwiches to go. sebastianskitchen.com
Round the back of Gilbert and Sons is the amazing Vintage Tableware Company who sell and hire, you guessed it, vintage tableware. An extraordinary beautiful collection of crockery, glassware and the rest. vintagetablewarecompany.co.uk
Trapeze Kids is a kid's shop with a difference, they stock a carefully curated selection of clothing, toys, books and gifts from suppliers with an ethically responsible ethos. Their books include Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls - 100 Tales of Extraordinary Women, which we bought for a young friend in India. trapezekids.com
Ora Gallery is renowned for a contemporary collection of jewellery, gifts and cards including locally sourced craft items. orasheffield.co.uk
Opposite Ora Gallery is Hudson and Wood who specialise in Spa Treatments, Hot Yoga, Elemis beauty products and exclusive gifts from Morocco. hudsonandwood.co.uk
Sheffield is renowned for artisan bakeries and just down the road is Seven Hills Bakery which also has a spacious cafe - seating indoors and outside - and fruit and veg you can buy loose, hoorah to that! They also do food and wine tastings. sevenhillsbakery.co.uk
No more than a mile away are some other unique independents:
Natural Bed Company was founded many years ago by Peter and Kay and is now in the safe hands of Caro and Paula Whiteside. A unique business that manufactures high quality contemporary hardwood beds in Sheffield and sells world wide. The beds were designed by Peter. naturalbedcompany.co.uk
Forge Bakehouse is a cafe on Abbeydale Road with a fantastic selection of bread, food options and wonderful frangipani tart! forgebakehouse.co.uk
Lembas is the place to go for bulk whole food supplies and is where Peter buys his 5Kg bags of their excellent muesli. lembas.co.uk