East Ecclesfield is mainly made up of the small market town of Chapeltown and the village of Ecclesfield.
Like much of Sheffield there is a large amount of green space in and around Chapeltown. The town centre has a cricket ground and a wooded park on either side of it. Between Chapeltown and Ecclesfield the land is used for residential purposes on one side of the main road and agricultural on the other. There is also a brownfield site above the park.
It has one railway station by the Asda supermarket which is on the Penistone Line.
Chapeltown is near the M1 motorway. There are two junctions (35 and 35a) serving the town: the latter is mainly used by Thorncliffe industrial estate. There are also very regular bus services into Sheffield and additional services to Barnsley and Rotherham town centres.
Most of the industry in the town lies within the Thorncliffe industrial estate, formerly the Thorncliffe Works of Newton, Chambers & Co. This company was first established on this site in 1793 (Jones 1999:148), initially an iron works but which over time expanded into related mining industries and the production of products produced by the fractional distillation of coal. These
included the famous 'Izal' disinfectant range. During World War II Churchill tanks were built in the estate. Until recently one of these tanks stood as a memorial on the site of the old factory, but it had fallen into a poor state of repair and has now been removed for restoration, it is unclear if the tank will be replaced when the restoration is complete. The proximity of the M1 has helped the industrial estate's expansion in recent years, especially with companies involved in distribution. The disused railway station can be found by trekking through approximately a mile of dense woodland from the west (J35A), from White Lane. Part of this once-beautiful building is still lived in, but it is need of restoration and could be done very easily. The alleged ghosts are said to be WWII soldiers, killed by bomb blast whilst on the train to the Tank factory.
Ecclesfield village is now a suburb of Sheffield. At the 2001 census the civil parish which also includes the Sheffield suburbs of Chapeltown, Grenoside, High Green, and formerly Thorpe Hesl(now a suburb of Rotherham) had a population of 31,609.
Evidence of early settlement in the Ecclesfield area include remnants of Romano-British settlements and field systems in Greno Wood. The earliest known written record of Ecclesfield is from the Domesday book of 1086, where it is referred to as Ecclesfield. The meaning of the name is uncertain. Traditionally it has been interpreted to derive from the Celtic egles meaning a church (specifically a Romano-British church) and the Old English feld meaning a woodland clearing. Thus the name could mean 'Open land near a Romano-British Christian churchâ€™. However, alternative suggestions are that the first element eccles derives from a Saxon personal name or an association with water.
The Domesday book does not mention a church at Ecclesfield. The present-day Church of St. Mary, which largely dates from the late 15th century, incorporates elements dating from c1200. This church was the centre of the ancient ecclesiastical Parish of Ecclesfield that before it was broken up in the 19th century was one of the most extensive parishes in England. In the 12th century, a Benedictine priory was established at Ecclesfield. Ecclesfield Priory was operated as a cell of St Wandrille's.