The Friends of Sheffield Castle are a voluntary group who aim to protect and promote the archaeological site of Sheffield Castle for the benefit of the people of Sheffield and surrounding areas, and for future generations.

We will acquire and disseminate information about Sheffield Castle, at both local and national levels and work with local, regional and national organisations to protect and promote the remains as a source of enjoyment, education and inspiration for All.

Castlegate tower block

The Management Committee of the Friends of Sheffield Castle wish to express their disappointment with the 20th Century Society move to retain the Castlegate tower office block, coming at such a late stage, only weeks before demolition is due to start on the Markets buildings, and after a failed attempt to list the building due its lack of architectural merit.

We recognise that everyone is quite rightly entitled to their views, and we also appreciate that the 20th Century Society are supportive of the Councils plans to create a park around remains of the Castle. However, retention of this building will severely impact on the site of the Castle, as it cuts well into the line of the moat where we would expect to find significant archaeology and, potentially, remains of the Castle walling.

Retention of the tower/office block significantly reduces the development options and opportunities for the site as a whole, and this will also affect the success of funding applications as well as the ability to attract investors once the public works are complete. It will dominate the site and thus create a hostage to fortune, in terms of investment and funding.

The main parts of the Castle which are currently exposed are Listed Grade II Monuments and as more of the castle remains are exposed during archaeological excavation and recording of the site, these too are likely to become scheduled. Retaining this brutalist tower will harm the setting of these would-be exposed schedulable remains and this contravenes the National Planning Policy Framework.

The Management Committee are strongly in favour of removal of the Castle Market buildings, including the tower, to allow for investment in what is arguably the City’s single-most important piece of heritage, and to provide the appropriate and complementary space to show-off and interpret these remains to the public.

As you may well know, we have over 220 members, thousands of hits on our website, and local history forums clearly show the passion of Sheffield folk in support of the Councils plans for the Castle remains. It was a blow that we failed with the HLF bid but we are determined to work with the Council to put forward new proposals to ensure this project succeeds for the City.

This is a once in a lifetime chance to undertake a project that this City can be proud, one that engages with the whole community and tells the story of Sheffield’s fantastic history. It’s our chance to create something unique and special for the City. To retain this building in one corner, I’m afraid, would simply detract from the whole idea.

Martin Gorman

Friends of Sheffield Castle

Secrets of the Castle on BBC

If, like me, you are interested in the medieval period and particularly castles, then I can recommend a new television series called ‘Secrets of the Castle’ broadcast on BBC 2 at 9pm on Tuesdays. Based at Guedelon in Burgundy 100 miles south of Paris, the program follows the techniques used in building a 13th century castle covering everything from aspects of everyday life to the finer principles of castle building.

Practical archaeology at its best with only the tools and methods available at the time. You can view yesterday’s programme on iPlayer or for more visit www.guedelon.fr/en/

John Baker

More photos!

The inestimable nightcaller has posted more images from inside the castle. It’s a shame we can not get similar access by lawful means!

Under the Market

Using slightly covert means, someone called “Nightcaller” has been taking photos inside the Markets and found their way under the floors, where these two impressive pieces of the Castle can be seen – this really whets our appetite to see more!!

nightcaller1 nightcaller2

Codnor Castle

Monday November 3rd  7.30
Quaker Meeting House, St James Street, near the Cathedral.

Codnor Castle, strategically placed between Sheffield and Nottingham Castles, is a medieval stronghold you may not have heard of until now. Codnor has much in common with Sheffield Castle – originally probably starting off as a Motte and Bailey and in the C12th transformed into an inner and outer bailey with curtain walls and round towers.

Come along and hear Maureen Taylor talk to the Hallamshire Historic Buildings Society about a little known castle still officially a ‘building at risk’.

Admission £3


HLF bid fails

artists impressionYou may have seen in the Sheffield Telegraph and The Star this week, that the Council has been unsuccessful in its bid for funding through the Heritage Lottery Fund, first round. Obviously we are disappointed with this news but the Council remain determined to see the project through to successful conclusion.

We are still awaiting full feedback from HLF but in the meantime, further funding proposals have already been drawn up which would enable the project to be completed, should the funding be secured. The Friends of Sheffield Castle remain committed to being a key player in the Council’s proposals and we will continue to keep you updated with progress.

Demolition of the old Markets building will commence in earnest in January and this will take the rest of next year to complete, so there is still plenty of time to secure the funding required. The remains of the Castle and the associated archaeology remain the key element to this project and we remain positive that we will see a successful outcome.

We are currently working on an Event schedule for next year, so keep checking the website for news of this and other local Events in the City. Thank you for your continued support

Martin Gorman,
Chair of FOSC


Love Square…

love_squareLove Square will be a new type of urban nature park that is colourful, exciting, beautiful and full of interest throughout the year. 

Located at West Bar on the site of a former bus and tram interchange, Love Square is just a few moments walk from Sheffield’s city centre.

Featuring a community café made from a converted shipping container, colourful wildflower meadows, lawns, a mini wetland, and lined with a woodland edge of bird-friendly trees, Love Square will be a colourful community space bringing social and economic benefits to a neglected part of the city.

The project is being coordinated by the University of Sheffield, working closely with Sheffield City Council and a range of local community groups.

Help us to transform a neglected part of Sheffield into a vibrant and innovative community space full of wildflowers and nature – do something inspirational today!  We need your votes to win £120,000 of transformation funding from Grow Wild.  Share your support for the Love Square project, West Bar, Sheffield with your family, friends, contacts and customers.

Vote for Love Square before 4 November 2014