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.

Tune in!

A BBC Radio 3 ‘Between the Ears’ programme on the myths, legends and stories of the River Don, goes out next Saturday evening, 25 March, at 9.30 just after Earth Hour. – Full details at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08k4jyh

The producer David Bramwell follows the Don from Doncaster through Sheffield. An interview with Dr David Clarke of Sheffield Hallam University takes place on Lady’s Bridge, where he talks about the medieval chapel, the castle and the Shambles.

While your diaries are open please note that our forthcoming AGM will be on Wednesday 26th April. Details to follow.

Update on Castle funding following Star round table

council meetingThe people of Sheffield questioned council policy-makers on subjects from housing and poverty to sport and the environment at the first Star Cabinet last night. Each member of Sheffield Council’s decision-making group, along with Chief Executive John Mothersole, explained the authority’s strategy in a wide-ranging and largely productive (if occasionally confrontational) session. Questions covered a wide range of topics, from business and transport to heritage and the environment and even indoor bowls. But Councillors were happy to answer their constituents directly. “An opportunity like this is very much appreciated, because it’s very valuable for us to engage,” said Council Leader Julie Dore.

A particularly wide-ranging question came from Peter Sephton, Chairman of Sheffield City Centre Residents’ Action Group, who asked why the Council wasn’t co-operating more with community organisations to tackle ongoing problems. He spoke about street drinking, rough sleeping and begging, and the increasing number of off-licences in West Street. “Community groups are the eyes and ears of the community,” he said. “We are on the street all day long watching what’s going on.” Councillor Jayne Dunn (responsible for housing) said she would be happy to come along to the group’s next meeting. On begging and homelessness, she said a new community safety team had been set up, and added: “Compared to many core cities there are hardly any [rough sleepers] – but one is still too many.”

Tree felling was raised by Richard Ward, who asked Councillor Bryan Lodge (responsible for the environment) to clarify why he said protesters were costing taxpayers ‘millions’ at last Friday’s budget meeting. Councillor Lodge said there was a clause in the contract that said any delay not caused by Streets Ahead partner Amey was the Council’s responsibility. He added: “Amey is not paid per tree. They are paid a fixed rate, and there are milestones they have to achieve.”

Questions from Shelley Cockayne and Ron Clayton covered heritage, from the Central Library to Castlegate. Councillors promised announcements soon on the Old Town Hall, the University Arms and the Sheffield Castle site, under the old Castle Market. Mike Hodson asked where pupils to fill the new Bannerdale School would come from, and Nathan Archer asked who would foot the bill if any dangerous gases were found in later years, as the site may be contaminated. George Coiley asked about jobs in the climate sector and their role in Sheffield City Region, Andrew Oldfield questioned the Council’s position on electrification of the Midland Mainline, and Stuart Wilson called on the council to provide a new building for indoor bowlers.

Please follow the link below which takes you to the article but then click on the link to the video, half way down the article. The sound is not the best but if you go to 43 minutes you will see our own Ron Clayton raise some really good questions and you will hear a clear statement from the deputy leader of the Council, Leigh Bramall about the Castle site.

https://www.facebook.com/sheffieldstar/videos/10154214158248414/

Marie Gilman

Friends of Sheffield Castle – Academic in Residence

john morelandWe are delighted to announce that Professor John Moreland, former chair and long-time committee member of the group, has been appointed Academic in Residence with FoSC. Funded by the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, University of Sheffield, this position will run from 6th February – 9th June 2017,

This will allow John to work with us on a number of important initiatives, including a project to publish 20th-century excavations on the Castle, consultations on the Castlegate section of the city-centre masterplan, and the involvement of the University’s students and staff in projects to generate ideas from the imaginative regeneration of the former ‘heart of the city’.

Congratulations John!

Mary, Queen of Scots – From Sheffield to Fotheringhay 1584-7

Mary Queen of ScotsThursday 16th February 2017 7:30
Central United Reformed Church
60 Norfolk Street. Sheffield. S1 2JB

An Illustrated Talk by David Templeman,

We follow Mary into further seclusion under her new zealous custodian, Sir Amyas Paulet. She is involved in the Babington plot at Chartley Manor and the charge is High Treason.

This talk relates the compelling tale of the events leading up to and including Mary’s trial and execution. Mary’s courage and conduct come to the fore as she takes her tragic story through Wingfield Manor, Tixall and culminating in the climax at Fotheringhay Castle where she is tried and executed for High Treason.

Was she guilty? This is the question this talk addresses.

This is the final installment in the story of one of the great historical figures and all Mary’s qualities come to the fore in this exciting last chapter of her life. Do not miss it!!

Local castles…

Peter Bayliss sent in this interesting text:

Each of these castles (Tickhill, Conisborough, Peak Castle, Bolsover Castle) contained a self-sufficing industrial settlement; for every country house in ancient times not only did its own cooking, baking and washing, … but did its own brewing, meat-salting, spinning, weaving, tailoring, leather-dressing, upholstering; it had its carpenter’s workshop and its smithy, besides all the apparatus of a farm and stables.

The accommodation for these various arts and crafts was probably provided, at the period when the type of castle we are now describing prevailed, in wooden buildings within the bailey court.

The castle was not only the military and economic centre of a district, it was also its most distinguished school; a school not indeed of letters, but of manners and refinement. Well-born youths, throughout the middle ages, were sent to the household of some noble or great ecclesiastic to learn the manners of a gentleman and the exercises of a knight. In the castle they had the refining influence of ladies’ society, and the stimulating company of a number of young people of their own age. They passed a seven-years’ apprenticeage as pages, and even after they had become squires they still performed most of the duties which at the present day devolve upon servants.

They made beds, laid the table, served the dishes, carved the meat, brought water for the guests to wash their hands, dressed and undressed their lord, and looked after his horses. No personal service for a man of noble birth was deemed degrading. Girls also were received into feudal households, and their services in spinning, weaving, and sewing, which were superintended by the lady of the castle, were very valuable.

[from A Key to English Antiquities: with special reference to the Sheffield and Rotherham District, by Ella S. Armitage, 1897}

A dream job for local archivists!

The Department of Archaeology at Sheffield University have advertised a part-time, fixed-term, Research Associate position to oversee the research into, and the publication of, the material archives from the 20th century excavations on the site of Sheffield Castle. The post is advertised on the University website, job reference UOS014989. Applications should be made via the website.

This post (and the work on the archives) is funded through a generous donation to the Department of Archaeology by a former student passionate about the archaeology and history of Sheffield and its region.

Review of Mary Queen of Scots by David Templeman

mary_coverDavid’s book is surely the last word on Mary in Sheffield. It is of particular interest to a “Sheffielder” and no doubt elsewhere. Its title refers to a former Sheffield public house and fifteen of its twenty one chapters refer to Sheffield.

It will be of great interest to Sheffield Castle ‘fans’ (for want of a better word) because it quantifies the extent and periods where she was held in the Castle as well as the Manor Lodge. It puts flesh on Earl George and Bess and provides insights and anecdotes about the long and eventually stifling captivity of this ultimately tragic Queen.

Well illustrated, it has taken almost as long to research and write as Mary’s sojourn in Sheffield. Available from Sheffield Scene and David himself (templeman4@tiscali.co.uk)

Ron Clayton