Welcome

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.

FOSC on Radio Sheffield

Our chair Martin Gorman was interviewed by Vic McGlynn yesterday on Radio Sheffield, the interview is available online for the next 28 days at this link.  Unless you are really bored, you’ll need to advance to 01:16:40 – the piece starts with a local historian called David Saville then goes to Martin at 01:21:40 until 01:27:39

Castlegate Office Block/Tower

As you may have seen in the local press, we are pleased to report that the Council has decided to press on with demolition of what has become known as Castlegate Tower, in line with the original proposals.  To retain this building would simply have cost too much, and with no firm proposals for future use, the decision was taken by the Council to demolish. Demolition of the old Castle Market buildings will commence shortly although initially, it will be stripped internally and we will not see buildings coming down until late Spring. There are plans to have displays, art work, viewing platforms on the site as the demolition process takes place and we will update the website with ongoing updates and news.

 

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

Chair
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