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.

Captain Bess

A historic tradition, and shrouded in legend, is the story of “Captain Bess”. She was Elizabeth Birley of Middlewood House, who married William Longsdon, a member of an old Derbyshire family. The story is told that during a skirmish in the neighbourhood of Sheffield during the Civil War, Longsdon was seriously wounded. His wife, who had been a spectator of the incident, gallantly rode into the fray and rescued him, despite the fact she was big with child. Even now her courage was not abated, for she returned to the field of battle and resumed command of her husband’s horse. Her exploits earned for her the titleof “Captain Bess”. She carried her husband to Middlewood , where, despite her devoted attentions, he died and was buried under the east window of the Parish Church of Sheffield. A son was born within a few days of his death.

(From ” A history of the Manor and Parish of Wadsley “by the Revd. H Kirk-Smith)

Sent in by Peter Bayliss


The Second Annual General Meeting of FOSC will be held on Thursday 16th April 2015 at 6.30 pm at the Central United Reformed Church, Norfolk Street, Sheffield S1 2JB

If you are planning to attend, please assist us with seating and catering by confirming your attendance. The AGM will also be an opportunity to renew your annual membership if you have not already done so. We will present the reports of the officers and vote for committee members, who stand down annually but are eligible for re-election. Members may apply to join the Committee (by 9th April 2015) and can vote at the meeting.

Current Officers:
Chair (Martin Gorman); Secretary (Marie Gilman); Treasurer (Glynis Jones); Membership Secretary (John Baker)
Current Committee Members: Ron Clayton, Nick Robinson, John Moreland, Clive Waddington, Anna Badcock, Adrian Millward, Hermann Beck, Lloyd Powell


1.    Welcome from the Chair
2.    Chair’s Report
3.    Treasurer’s Report
4.    Election of Officers & Committee Members
5.    Charitable Status
6.    Constitution
7.    Any Other Business
8.    break for refreshments
9.    TALK: Vanessa Toulmin (Head of Public Engagement, Sheffield University) on The Future of Castlegate
(to finish 9.00 pm latest)

Castle Ale – round 2

castle aleAnother photo – Marie, Martin, Adrian and Tim Stillman from the Sheffield Brewery Company. There’s a piece on them in the Telegraph this week and a mention of the FOSC beer too.

It is available in 20 local pubs, including the Gardeners Rest. Sadly, our vote for a name was scuppered due to the winning name being too long to fit on the label ;(

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.