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.

Christmas at Sheffield Manor Lodge

manor_lodgeChristmas is actually not too far around the corner! Sheffield Manor Lodge have some wonderful events lined up celebrating the Festive Season.

Firstly for those who enjoy some good old Santa for the family there is Santa’s Workshop on Saturday 5th December at Bramall Court, next to Manor Oaks Farm, 12noon – 4pm. Not only will there be a chance to meet the big man himself there will be festive crafts and games and opportunity to have a peek at the work that’s been going on in Bramall Court Shops, installing
some of the displays that used to live in the Traditional Heritage Museum.

On Monday 7th December, 7pm – 9pm at the Discovery Centre we have Christmas at the Turret House. Peter Machan of the Handsworth Sword Dancers has pulled out all the stops to bring us an amazing evening of entertainment! We’ve got The Beekeepers, a great folk band heading the
bill along with the Gamebirds, an acclaimed a capella harmony group, and Sciorr, a lively women’s step dancing group and, of course, Handsworth Sword Dancers featuring their brand new rapper dance from Winlaton near Newcastle as well as our traditional promenade from the Discovery Centre to the Turret House for carols new and old (please bring a torch!).

Booking is essential as places are limited, ¬£6 per person, ¬£5 for Friends of Sheffield Manor Lodge. Tony from the Rhubarb Shed Caf√© will be selling mulled wine and mince pies. Something tells me that this year’s is not to be missed!

To book please contact: visit@greenestate.org or call 0114 2762828 extension 648

On Sunday 13th December, 12noon – 3pm, It’s a 1940s Christmas at Manor Cottages. Join Mr and Mrs Barnes as they celebrate Christmas at their cottage 1940s style. Music, crafts, traditional games, festive food and Father Christmas too!

23rd Victorian Christmas Market – Kelham Island Museum

A warm Dickensian welcome awaits at this event!

Join Sheffield Manor Lodge for festive fun and shopping with over 120 stalls. ¬†Enjoy traditional crafts and skills, family fairground, live music performances, Dickensian characters, Santa’s Grotto and reindeer.

Saturday 5 December: 10am – 7pm
Sunday 6 December: 10am – 5pm

Prices (tickets are purchased on the day): Adults £6 Children (under 16) are FREE
*Visits to Santa £2 per child

More information

Lady Grace Talbot reveals the Castle?


This painting is owned by the National Trust and stored at Hardwick Hall. Painted in 1591, it shows of Lady Grace Talbot (1562‚Äďafter 1625) was the third daughter of George Talbot, 6th Earl of Shrewsbury (c.1528-90), for whom she is in mourning here, and his first wife, Gertrude¬† Manners, daughter of Thomas Manners, Earl of Rutland. She married, in 1567, Henry Cavendish (1550-1616), eldest son of Sir William Cavendish (1505?-1557) and Elizabeth Hardwick (c.1527-1608) and died without heirs.

What is of more interest is the top left of the painting which (it can be argued) shows the Gatehouse of Sheffield Castle! Opinion is divided at whether this part of the painting is simply to show her status and connections, or whether it was set within the castle and arranged so you can see out of the window. In either case, this remarkable image gives us a unique(?) glimpse of the Castle before it was demolished.


Cricket Lovers, Cavaliers and Castles

Sadly, outside a small circle, the name of Mary Walton is now largely forgotten in the city to whose past she devoted so much time and scholarship. I never met the lady and only know her from a photograph and an obituary from the Hunter Society plus an affectionate piece by Stephen McClarence from the days when Sheffield Newspapers employed journalists and writers who knew something about the city.

The photograph shows her and her well brought up younger ‘gels’ complete with tin hats and stirrup pumps on the roof of the Central Library where they worked, as part of the fire watch team during the dark days of 1940. Ms Walton is bespectacled and obviously the head girl, as a member of the duo who wrote the book ‘Raiders Over Sheffield’ she was well versed on the subject – the so called ‘Forgotten¬† Blitz’ on Sheffield and the efforts of the city to get back to normal after the event.

Mary’s literary achievements were numerous – her ‘Sheffield Its Story And Its Achievements’ and the pamphlet’ The Prisons Of Mary Queen Of Scots In Sheffield In South Yorkshire And North Derbyshire’ spring to mind as being essential primers on the subject.

She wasn’t afraid to make judgements, often unflattering but honest ones¬†¬† on the historic figures she featured in her narrative whether that included the early Norman Baron’s, George Talbot, Vicar and Justice Of The Peace James Wilkinson , ‘the scoundrel’ Broadhead of the Saw Grinders Union. Her assessments were fair, objective and balanced.

Of Sir William Savile¬† she supports ‘Hunter’s eulogy’ of him as¬† ‘showing much of the high toned and heroic spirit which animated the supporters of the royal cause’¬† but also reflects on Savile’s letter to his successor as governor of Sheffield Castle’, Major Thomas Beaumont, in which he recommends a rather drastic course of action

‘And bee sure you want not any money nether for yourself nor your friends, so long as any Roundhead hath either¬†fingers or toas left, within tenn myles of the castle’

Well there’s a difference between saying and doing of course.

Mary was also involved with the Hunter Archaelogical Society and that treasure trove of theirs – the legacy of their transactions, which is still my first port of call regarding Sheffield Castle. In her ‘Sheffield History’ she leaves a memorable quote which illustrates the progress of time.

‘The daily business of the busy market goes on above the buried bastion which alone remains and there is nothing to remind the crowds in Waingate that Sheffield was once a unit in the medieval system of defence’

Well that remains to be seen -the site has hoarded its secrets for many a long year- soon it will be hoarded up and what better display to have on part of that hoarding than the image of a medieval castle that covered the horrible old killing ‘Shambles’ when Royalty came to Sheffield in the 19th century, produced by that remarkable Sheffield family, institution and civic developers of the city the Hadfields?

And cricket? Mary was devoted to that too-like Sheffield journalists they probably don’t make ‚Äėem like her anymore.¬† These days she’d be regarded as a polymath. I wish I had met her.

Ron Clayton