anna badcockOn the eve of the major relocation to the Moor, join Anna Badcock to find out more about a special project celebrating the history of Sheffield’s Castle Market.
The project, which has been taking place throughout the 12 months prior to the move to a brand new building in November 2013, celebrates the diverse social history and culture of the market, through archive research, photography, oral history, poetry, drawing and survey workshops.
There will be reference to the Castle, but it’s not the main subject of the talk.
Tuesday 12 November 2013 1:00pm – 1:45pm @Weston Park Museum
Free and no need to book, provided by Museums Sheffield

Here’s a picture from Anna Badcock’s well-attended talk about the history of Castle Market.

lloyd and the one that got awayThere will be a free public talk about Sheffield Castle by FOSC member Lloyd Powell (noted for his fascinating and entertaining talks!)

It will be held on Saturday 30th November 8pm at the Queen’s Head public house, Pond Street, Sheffield. All are invited, but seated capacity is around 30, so come early!

The talk is being given as part of the Queen’s Head’s History Evening.

From Saturday 1st February to Friday 28th February a small exhibition on the history of Sheffield Castle will be on display in Sheffield Central Library on Surrey Street. The exhibition is freely accessible, and located in the First Floor stairwell display case; it contains panels, historic maps and some artefacts which were recovered during the most recent excavations at the site (2002).

The exhibition has been created by Jonathan Willmer, as a result of a student placement partnership between FOSC and the University of Sheffield.

The main themes covered are:

1) the first castle   c.1100-1266
2) the second castle  1270-1648
3) Mary Queen of Scots
4) Civil War and demolition 1642-49

FOSC library exhibit(click for larger image)

The castle in 1060“The Lords of the Manor and Castle of Sheffield, 1066 to 1649” is the title of a talk, by local author and historian Peter Machan, telling the dramatic story of the lordly families who ruled Sheffield from their stronghold at the castle throughout the centuries when the little town was a manorial borough.

Who was Waltheof? Who built the castles and how important were they within the realm? What else did they own and what evidence can we trace of their developments in today’s landscape? We examine the historical records to piece together some or the intriguing answers to these questions in this beautifully illustrated talk.

This talk is taking place in the assembly room of the Royal Victoria Hotel/Holiday Inn on Thursday 6th March at 7-30 prompt.

Due to the tremendous interest in the future of the site of Sheffield Castle demand is likely to be high and you are advised to book in advance by e-mailing stating your name and how many places you require.

After the talk will be an opportunity to have some refreshments in the Hotel Bar and meet some of the Friends of Sheffield Castle Committee and ask any questions you may have. Please join us on what is sure to be a fascinating evening.

Peter Machan’s recent talk brought a respectable 57 people to the opulent surroundings of the Royal Victoria Hotel, demonstrating once again how popular the Castle is to the people of Sheffield. Below a photo of the talk by Marie Gilman.

machan talk

The Friends Of Sheffield Castle Annual General Meeting

Will be held on Thursday 17th April at 6.30 in the Royal Victoria Hotel/Holiday Inn. We hope you will be able to attend and take part in the discussions.


  1. Welcome from the Chair
  2. Talk by Mr Simon Ogden (SCC) on the Sheffield Castle investigation by Ed Dennison Archaeological Services
  3. Correspondence and apologies
  4. Officers Reports: Chair / Secretary / Treasurer
  5. Election of Officers and Committee
  6. Any Other Business
  7. Raffle Draw

Please note, standard car parking charges apply on the premises.

Glyn Davies' talkBy kind permission of Sheffield Museums Trust, Dr Glyn Davies of the Friends of Sheffield castle will repeat his intriguing talk at 1pm on Tuesday 27th May in activity room 3 at Weston Park Museum.

Such was the interest shown last time some 40 odd people were turned away due to space restraints – please note that sixty places are available for Glyn’s talk and booking is essential – send an email to

The talk lasts some 40 minutes, followed by questions, is illustrated and delivered by the last archaeologist to carry out work on the enigmatic site of Sheffield’s lost castle – it is also a great opportunity join FOSC and learn about their activities!

Calling Local Archaeology and History Groups!

industrial_hamletAs part of the Festival of Archaeology on 13th July, Sheffield Industrial Museums Trust are inviting local history and archaeology groups from around Sheffield and South Yorkshire to book a space in the brand new Learning Centre at Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet to promote your work.

The spaces are free to book and will be on a first come, first served basis. As this is a Sunday event, you may wish to offer a simple activity for families to do. There are a limited number of spaces, so don’t delay!

The event will be open to the public from 11am until 4.45pm. There is an entry fee to the site of £5 adults, £4 concessions, children under 16 go free.

For all bookings and enquiries about spaces, please contact Rebecca Walton
Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet is currently undergoing an exciting restoration project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. To find out more visit their website: or follow their  “Community at Abbeydale Hamlet” Facebook page.

Wednesday the 23 July 2014 2.30 – 3.30
Sheffield Cathedral

Ron Clayton of the Friends of Sheffield Castle talks about the Myths and Mysteries of Sheffield Castle.

Admission free but places must be booked by e-mailing or telephoning 0114 263 6951.

queen elizabeth's pocket pistolSunday August 10th 12noon
The Old Queens Head

This date will see ‘A True And Exact Relation’ of the Surrender of Sheffield Castle to the Right Honourable Earl of Manchester’s Army of Parliament commanded by Major General Crawford and Col John Bright (late of Carbrook Hall, Sheffield) by Major Thomas Beaumont and Lady Saville on behalf of his Majesty King Charles the First.

Drums will roll, colours will fly and muskets and pikes be shouldered as the Terms of Surrender are proclaimed in this renactment of an event which took place on the 11th August 1644.

March with the Friends of Sheffield Castle – whether ye be for King or Parliament – from the Old Queens Head, Pond Street to the Market Tavern, Exchange Street – at noon on Sunday the 10th of August – returning by 2pm for ale and vittles. Alternatively meet outside the Market Tavern,
Exchange Street to greet the forces of King and Parliament – bring your cameras.

God Save His Majesty!

Admission Free – Further Details From

Mary Queen of ScotsMonday 8th September 7.30
Central United Reform Church – Chapel Walk/Norfolk Street (map)

Illustrated Talk by David Templeman – Friends Of Sheffield Manor Lodge. What was the life like of ‘Scotia’s Beauteous Queen’ while in capitivity in Sheffield ? Did she really have an escape tunnel from the Manor Lodge so she could have some ‘after bird’ at the ‘Old Queens Head’? Come along and find out! Pre-booking is required and should be sent to

£2 members & concessions, £3 non members. Refreshment facilities are available

Monday 3rd November 7-9pm
Manor Lodge Discovery Centre, Manor Lane, Sheffield (map)

Mel Jones – Radio Sheffield’s History Man and authority on Sheffield’s ancient woodlands looks at the function and management of the medieval deer park that adjoined Sheffield Castle.

£4 to Friends Of Manor Lodge – £5 others. Car parking available, book in advance by e-mailing

Wednesday 3rd December 14:00 -15:00
Sheffield Cathedral

The Church, the Castle and the Captive Queen – 200 Years of the Shrewsbury Family in Sheffield

by Mary Garner

Admission free but places must be booked by telephone (0114 263 6951) or email

1736 mapSaturday 13th September  12 – 1-30pm
Sunday 14th September 12 – 2pm

Meet at the Exchange Brewery

The profile of the Friends of Sheffield Castle continues to expand together with the proposals for Castlegate on not only a Yorkshire but now a national basis. Sunday 14th September sees the ‘Beating of the Bounds of Sheffield Castle’ in which the environs of Sheffield’s hitherto lost medieval stronghold with such related sites as Lady’s Bridge and the Old Queens Head public house can be explored by Sheffielders young and Old (although this walk is not recommended for children under 10).

Meet up with Friends of Sheffield Castle’s Ron Clayton at 12 noon outside the Exchange Brewery, Nursery Street and finish at the Old Queens Head, Pond Hill at 1400 hours. You will require a strong sense of imagination and be prepared to cross busy roads in a safe and orderly manner as well as possessing a sense of humour!

Any enquiries to

A professional group of English Civil War Renactors is a rare sight in a quiet area of down-town Sheffield at just afternoon on a Sunday. But these folk – from the renowned Sealed Knot, are just that; professional. Their skill at arms as they trail ‘the puissant pike’ (as Shakespeare terms it) is, well, skilful! The close order in which they marched, in the teeming rain, would have graced Whitehall or the Horseguards. Precision, discipline and an education to watch.

Reading out the Terms of Surrender was Col John Bright. Receiving them was Mayor Thomas Beaumont and the widowed, but great with child, Lady Savile. All ceremonies were discharged with grace then a march back into the C20th then back to the Old Queens Head, where the carved heads hewn from the wood of Sheffield Park looked on…….

Friday 26th September
in the Spiegel Tent in Barkers Pool 12 – 1pm

FOSC’S Lloyd Powell will be giving his version of the life and times of Sheffield Castle as part of the Off The Shelf/Festival of the Mind. Admission is free and there is no need to book.

Here’s a video montage from our surrender re-enactment

imaginary_castleCastles feature in a project from Sheffield University’s ‘Festival of the Mind‘. This was a collaborative project between ArcHeritage, Lovebytes and the University of Sheffield (Archaeology Department). They worked with schools groups to draw and model aspects of imaginary castle architecture and artefacts, and built them into a 3D digital model which was then animated. A new vision for Sheffield Castle!

The festival is on until 28th September, and the exhibition is open to all, and free to visit, in Castle House.

Bishops Hous

Bishops House

Saturday November 22nd & Sunday 23rd 10am – 3.30pm
Bishops House, Norton Lees Lane, Sheffield, S8 9BE

FOSC will be running a stall at this hugely popular Medieval event. A craft fair with a difference! Craft stalls for those unusual Christmas gifts and much more besides. the Friends Of Manor Lodge will also be in attendance.

lloyd and the one that got awayTuesday October 28th 7.30
Bishops House, Norton Lees Lane, Sheffield, S8 9BE

Lloyd Powell will be giving a talk about Sheffield Castle at Bishops’ House. Lloyd is a well-known local historian who has an extensive knowledge of Sheffield Castle and is renowned for his fascinating talks.

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


Nicole Ruskill took these photos of the FOSC display at the Friends of Old Town Hall meeting on 17th March 2015. Please support this valuable group.

agm2015The second AGM of the Friends of Sheffield Castle took place on 16th April and a healthy attendance of over 40 people, was much appreciated.

Over the past 12 months, the Friends have organised a number of talks including topics such as Mary Queen of Scots, The Lords of Hallamshire, The Cathedral and also we staged a re-enactment of the siege of Sheffield Castle on what was probably the wettest day of last summer!! We have also supported our other local Friends, at Bishops House and the recently formed Friends of the Old Town Hall.

I’m sure you will have seen the rapid demolition of the old Markets site and you can already get an impression of the huge size of the old Castle footprint. As we reported in September last year, the Council were unsuccessful with their Heritage Lottery Fund bid however, a revised bid for new funding has now been submitted to compliment the Councils ‘Grey to Green’ corridor project, which stretches from Snig Hill through to the Quays.

The plan still remains to reveal what remains of the Castle, in an open space area alongside a de-culverted River Sheaf and as part of an overall improvement in the wider Castlegate area. If successful, trial archaeological trenches will start to be dug this time next year to determine the extent of the remains.

agm2015Over 240 members have joined us since we launched back in October 2013 and we look forward to increasing our membership over the coming months. We are grateful for your ongoing support, as funds raised through membership goes towards putting on talks, hiring venues etc. We were also grateful for suggestions from the members on the night and would also welcome any ideas or offers of help for the Group, moving forward.

Our guest speaker at the AGM was Vanessa Toulmin, Head of Public Engagement for Sheffield University and we learnt of the significant plans to re-vitalise the whole Castlegate area. One part of this will be the Castlegate Vibrancy Festival on 20/21 June, so watch this space for more details.

We have 2 new talks planned for the coming months, please follow the events link above. I hope you find them of interest and look forward to seeing you there.

Martin Gorman
April 2015

Mary Queen of ScotsWednesday the 24th June 2015

Apologies, but due to unforeseen circumstances this has been postponed.

David Templeman – Friends Of Manor Lodge – provides his ultimate illustrated talk on ‘Scotia’s Beauteous Queen’ – ‘Mary Queen of Scots and the Road to Fotheringhay’. Concentrating on her last years in Sheffield Castle and Sheffield Manor – A Tale of Intrigue and Tragedy – largely played out in Sheffield. A must for Members of FOSC.

7-30 at the Central United Reformed Church – Corner of Norfolk Street/Chapel Walk – finish 9pm. Refreshments available.

Admission £2 for members of FOSC £3 if not – you can join on the night. Click to enquire

Please note that our new FOSC T-Shirts are now available to purchase at the bargain price of £10.

Saturday 23rd May

A creative writing workshop with award winning poet A.B. Jackson
Time: Meet 10.30am for 11am start, finish at 3.30pm
Venue: Exchange Place Studios, Exchange Street, Sheffield S2 5SZ

Award winning poet AB Jackson and COCOA lead artist Paul Evans will lead this exciting creative writing workshop based at Exchange Place studios within the Castlegate Quarter of Sheffield. The workshop will include a short guided walk through the area, allowing us to take in some of Castlegate’s historical locations for inspiration. This workshop is ideal for any creative person, irrespective of their experience of creative writing. It will be particularly suitable for artists and writers with a personal connection with Castlegate, or with knowledge of the area. During the workshop we will use a variety of techniques for exploring space and time through the medium of text.

FREE OF CHARGE but BOOKING ESSENTIAL Please e-mail to reserve a place.

nb. this event is not organised by FOSC.

Saturday/Sunday 20/21 June

castlegateFOSC have a stall at Castlegate Festival where you can ask for information, see our displays, buy goods and join us!

Here is a pdf leaflet.
Here is the Festival website.

Well over 1000 people attended the Castlegate Festival, and kept us very busy!  As ever, there was keen interest from people and much support for seeing the Castle remains unearthed and properly displayed.

Friday 25 September at 7.15pm Sheffield Cathedral

arbella stewartThe Friends of Manor Lodge and Sheffield Cathedral are pleased to present a commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the death of Lady Arbella Stuart, 1615 – 2015.

Join us for an evening of history, drama and music in the magnificent surroundings of Sheffield Cathedral as we enjoy a talk by David Templeman on the Life of Lady Arbella Stuart, followed after the interval by a dramatic interpretation of her life, featuring the characters of Lady Arbella, Bess of Hardwick and Mary, Queen of Scots. The evening will conclude with a grand procession of the principal characters and their ladies-in-waiting to lay a wreath at the Tudor Shrewsbury Chapel within the Cathedral.

Sheffield Cathedral (then Sheffield Parish Church), would have been very familiar to Arbella Stuart, who visited regularly as a child and later as an adult. Her uncle, Gilbert (7th Earl of Shrewsbury) and her aunt, the Countess Mary, lived at Sheffield Manor Lodge and are buried in the Shrewsbury Chapel vault, together with Arbella’s mother, Elizabeth, Countess of Lennox.

In recognition of this close association we are proud to present this event to honour Arbella’s memory on the anniversary of the date of her death. Please book early as tickets are limited.

Tickets prices £12 / £10 concessions (60+)

Available in person from Sheffield Cathedral shop on 0114 263 6075

Saturday 1st August 2015 from 11am — 4pm

battle2015aAn English Civil War re-enactment with “The Sealed Knot Society”
at Sheffield Manor Lodge

Visit the camps of the Cavaliers and Parliamentarians, decide who you want to support (King or Parliament?) and then watch them fight an epic battle, which commences at 12.30.

Also come and visit the Friends of Sheffield Castle and Friends of Manor Lodge tables to see our display presentations, promotional goods and general information. We also look forward to welcoming new members and anyone who would like to assist our “friends” groups in any way.

Tickets from Green Estate (not the Friends):
in advance:    adult: £3    child: £1.50
on the day:    adult: £4    child: £2.00

book via email: or call 0114 276 2828 (Green Estate)

Enter through Sheffield Manor Lodge Discovery Centre, 197 Manor Lane, Sheffield S2 1UJ

(NB: this is a “Manor Lodge Green Estate” event with the Friends of Sheffield Castle and the Friends of Sheffield Manor Lodge in attendance):

Friday 11 September 2015 from 10 – 12

Sunday 13 September 2015 from 10 – 12

two “Castle Walks” with Ron Clayton – 1000 hrs meet Castle House – 1200 hrs finish Old Queens’ Head. Donations to Friends of Sheffield Castle welcome on the day.

Saturday 3rd October from 1pm to 3pm
Two performances: 1.15pm and 2.15pm

Castle RE 09A Short Play
A look at the inhabitants of Sheffield Castle, workers and the Old Queens Head Tavern during the siege in the 17th century

Introductory talk by Ron Clayton
on the troubles surrounding Sheffield Castle during the Civil War

To be held at
ETEN Cafe, 2 – 4 York Street (next to the Cathedral)

Donations only please in support of Friends of Sheffield Castle

diggingWednesday 23rd September 2015

Peter Machan – Local Author and Historian provides an illustrated talk on the Archaeological Excavations at the Manor Lodge 1969 – 2012. A unique look at work carried out at the site of Sheffield’s other major site of interest and partner dwelling to Sheffield Castle and a rarely provided talk on the research carried out on what may have originated as a medieval hunting lodge. Please don’t talk about secret tunnels!

7-30 at the Central United Reformed Church – Corner of Norfolk Street/Chapel Walk-finish 9pm – Refreshments available.

Admission £2 for members of FOSC, £3 if not – you can join on the night. Click to enquire

Please note that our new FOSC T-Shirts are now available to purchase at the bargain price of £10.

Friday 11th September 2015 “A Walk with Ron”
16 of us (14 members plus 2 Committee) spent an enjoyable 2 hours in good weather with interesting narrative from Ron, starting at Castle House and progressing at relaxed pace to Old Town Hall, Waingate, Blonk Street, Hambledon House, Exchange Street, into back yard at Ibis Hotel, then through Ponds Forge car park to look at the old archway, then across the road to look at the Sheaf (and discovered some ancient stones in the babbling water). Then some of us had a nice lunch and chat in the Old Queen’s Head. And just for those who were interested, Marie reports on the mushrooms we spotted in the middle of the grassed area in front of the Ibis (the old car park):

“Shaggy Ink Cap” (edible) or “Coprinus comatus” (also known as “Lawyer’s Wig” or “Judge’s Wig”). Apparently once they appear they are only viable for up to 24 hours before frying, as they open up and quickly go “mushy” and develop black inky edges (ink that can be used). They grow on disturbed ground. For detailed information go to:

Saturday 12th September 2015 – “Field to Feast” at Manor Lodge
Marie arrived at 1000 hrs in a torrential rainstorm (as did the Friends of Manor Lodge) – and we all sat inside the Discovery Centre watching the rain until about 1100 hrs wondering whether to go home! Jon Bradley had kindly provided a gazebo for us with side panels, but FOSML had their own which they were reluctant to put up. However, during a gap in the rain, we all decided to be brave and “go on with the show”, but it was only a brief respite in the blustery/wet conditions so we battled on all day.

David T of FOSML had to lean against his gazebo support all day long to stop it taking off. Being located on a slope, items on our table constantly kept sliding forwards until during a massive burst of wind everything collapsed and two visitors actually helped me to replace everything and put house bricks under the front legs of the table to level it up. We were not very busy, as obviously many people had stayed at home owing to bad weather. You can only laugh about these tribulations, but the calming performances of the Doncaster Waites Tudor Music Group all day obviously reduced our blood pressure somewhat and kept us entertained.

Sunday 13th September 2015 – “A Walk with Ron”
27 of us (24 members plus 3 Committee) turned up for Ron’s second walk of the weekend (a repeat of Friday the 11th). A beautiful sunny day, with a slightly different route because Ron had planned to meet Valerie Bayliss of the Friends of the Old Town Hall, so Marie took the remainder of the party on the last leg to the Old Queen’s Head (looking down into the Sheaf again at Pond Street to look at the interesting stones). Members were extremely generous with their Group donations – way more than could ever be hoped for! Thank you all so much!

Here are some photos from recent events – the gazebo shots were at the “Battle of Sheffield Great Park” event at Manor Lodge on 1st August 2015. The other two are from the “Walk with Ron” event on Friday 11th September 2015 (total: 17 people inc. Ron & Marie).

A healthy attendance of 25 plus, with a sprinkling of archaeological types, enjoyed a fascinating talk by Peter Machan on the diggings that took place at Manor Lodge over a period spanning twenty years. Peter’s tale opened with some beautiful watercolours of the buildings in their rustic decay in the late 18th century and then illustrated them by photography in their grim and grimy condition in the late nineteenth and a rather careless ‘restoration’ by the Norfolk family.

He then moved on to the endearing nineteen sixties ‘follies’ of the resident stone mason and the rather laid back excavations by bare chested (male) archaeology students lugging massive stone lintels across the site in the fashion of a seventeenth century siege gun. Peter made coherent the often off-putting maps of trenches with his photographs and illustrated his talk with an array of finds from flint scrapers to medieval coins, modern pottery, pipe bowls – most intriguing of all Civil War cannon balls. One felt justice has been done to this long neglected site not only in terms of archaeology but also by the speaker.

The night also saw the launch of our ‘I Love Sheffield Castle Mugs’ available at the princely sum of five pounds produced under the auspices of Clive Waddington of Archaeological Research Services Ltd. Just the thing for a cuppa and a hobnob about the eagerly awaited eventuality of similar digs on the site of Sheffield Castle.

Ron Clayton

“Laid Siege” – Eten Café, Sheffield – Saturday 3 October 2015

The English Civil War is usually portrayed as Cavalier -vs- Roundhead or Charles the First -vs- Oliver Cromwell. Of course it was more complex than that.

But let’s forget the supporting cast and the likes of Prince Rupert and Black Tom Fairfax or, on a local basis, John Bright and the intriguing Kelham Homer. Let’s look at the cares and concerns of the common people of Sheffield in the August of 1644 when blood was shed in the vicinity of its castle.

This was the theme of ‘Laid Siege’, performed by a troupe of Sheffield Players in the loft of the Eten Cafe on 3rd October with two well-attended performances on behalf of the Friends of Sheffield Castle (to which generous donations were made).

Finding themselves in that most cruel and divisive of conflicts – Civil War – the townspeople had their usual everyday concerns, aspirations, hopes and fears, not only for themselves but also for the young Maria Beaumont, fallen victim to a fatal illness, daughter of the Commander of the Royalist garrison and the widowed Lady Savile.

The cheerful optimism of the young radical “Digger” and his dreams of a true Commonwealth, the vacillating Steward, the pragmatic, pipe-smoking landlady of the Old Queen’s Head with concerns about the Psalm-singing Puritan troopers, and others, all provided vignettes that are echoed today just as in the days of early August 1644.

The original folksong at the end of the performance expressed eternal optimism for better days and ways that we yearn for in present-day conflicts. An apt finale for the penultimate event in the life of what some regard as “The People’s Castle”.

Yours Truly provided an introduction, with Marie Gilman supporting the event with a small display. But the real stars of the show were the players – to whom many, many thanks for a wonderful performance!

Ron Clayton

Shot by Marie Gilman, here is a short video of highlights from the recent performance of “Laid Siege”, a look at the inhabitants of Sheffield Castle, workers and the Old Queens Head Tavern during the siege in the 17th century.

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

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 Café will be selling mulled wine and mince pies. Something tells me that this year’s is not to be missed!

To book please contact: 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!

Two local events organised by other groups but which may be of interest to FOSC members are:

A talk by Dr Jonathan Foyle BA MA DiplArch PhD for Friends of Sheffield Manor Lodge – The fascinating story of the discovery of the bed of Henry VII-the first Tudor

Saturday 12th March at 2.30 pm
Central United Reformed Church, 60 Norfolk Street Sheffield S1 2JB

Ticket prices are £10 for Non Members and £8 for Members – cheques payable to “Friends of Sheffield Manor Lodge.” You can check availability on Tel: 01246 415497 Tickets by post with a SAE please: FOSML, 6 Hawkshead Avenue, Dronfield Woodhouse, Dronfield S18 8NB.

The Marie Stuart Society have their annual general meeting in Sheffield this April for the first time in six years. The Society was  set up in 1992 to promote research into the life and times of the ‘Captive Queen’ and they will visiting the Manor Lodge as per usual. Please note, the AGM is MSS members only.

Ron Clayton will be taking them round the outside of the castle site and the Old Queens Head on Sunday the 10th April – meeting at 11am by the hoardings at the bottom of Exchange Street. If you would like to join this visit please book with Ron on 2346669 or

Author Micky Mayhew will be on the 10th April walk with copies of his lauded ‘The Little Book Of Mary Queen Of Scots’.Described as ‘A Bright And Breezy Account Of The Complex Life Of Mary Stuart’ [Phillipa Gregory]its an A to Z of everything you wanted to know about Sheffield’s most regal resident,the men, women and locations [including Sheffield Castle, the work of FOSC,Manor Lodge] etc. Its a hardback, beautifully illustrated and an absolute snip at £9.99. Its going to be a great event so come on down!

Friends of Sheffield Castle Chair Martin Gorman and Friends of Manor Lodge Chair David Templeman will be in attendance.A combined event and a great photo opportunity! .

Our AGM is fast approaching on the 21st April 2016 at 6.30.

As last year it will be held in the Central United Reformed Church, Norfolk Street, S1 2JB (at the end of Chapel Walk) at 6.30pm. Please do come along! The formal part only lasts 10 minutes and you can enjoy a fascinating talk by the last person to undertake an archaeological excavation on the site, Dr Glyn Davies.

We also need members’ input into our next strategic plans for investigating options for the future of the castle site. Papers, including voting forms, will be circulated to all members towards the end of March. We are very keen to hear from anyone who might wish to bring skills to the Group so please contact our Membership Secretary if you are interested in helping us.

An exciting scene from last year's AGM.

An exciting scene from last year’s AGM.

Saturday 04 June 2016
11:00-16:00 hrs

“From Roman Times to World War Two”

Experience on site the living camps, displays, drills, sights and sounds of different historical eras – all within the backdrop of the 16th-Century Manor Lodge Turret House and Ruins, with The Friends of Sheffield Castle (visit our stand); Celtic Brigantes; Mediaeval Knights; Civil War Society; Napoleonic Wars; WW2 Home Guard; Children’s Crafts; Bouncy Castle; Face painting.

Tickets on the day:      adult £4.00; child £2.00
Tickets in advance:     adult £3.50; child £1.50

Buy tickets at:

Call:     0114 276 2828 ext 647

Friday 15th April 2.00pm – 4.00pm
Sheffield City Archives

An open afternoon at Sheffield City Archives revealing some of the city’s treasures.  View some of Sheffield’s rare historical manuscripts dating from the 13th Century, including the Market Charter from 1296, letters written by Mary Queen of Scots during her captivity in Sheffield in 1571, and other fascinating documents that tell of the history of our City.

Admittance is free, just drop in

21 April 2016 – 18.30
Central United Reformed Church, Norfolk Street, Sheffield

Attendees totalled 52 (comprising 40 members, 2 guests, 9 committee members and the speaker). The chair gave a warm welcome to all and fully summarised the past year of group activities, events, negotiations and discussions with the Council, etc.

The treasurer reported that:

  1. we received a grant from the University of Sheffield to buy equipment for use at our events;
  2. at the 2015 AGM members approved changes to our constitution (the first step in our plan to apply for Registered Charity status)
  3. as we have now achieved an annual income of over £5000 (the second step in the process), we will be applying for Registered Charity status in 2016.

The chair reported that:

  1. Chair reported FOSC activities to date and listed activities and events planned for the remainder of 2016.
  2. Vanessa Toulmin (Sheffield University) made a financial contribution to the FOSC which paid for presentation equipment and was received with
  3. FOSC are working with Sheffield City Council on their de-culverting project which may lead to opportunities to learn more about the river and castle.
  4. Hoarding is now up around castle site and art work has been commissioned depicting the history of Sheffield. Launch event to be held   and details to be provided on the website for people to come along to   support.
  5. Castle Market demolition complete with underspend of the budget identified by Sheffield City Council which could be available for funding trail trenches on the site. A decision due this month.
  6. Potential to use the site on an interim basis for events subject to health and safety considerations.
  7. Creation of a park at the castle site with remains visible and is the current likely plan for the site in the next 12 months.
  8. The plans for HS2 could have a big impact on the value of the castle site and development of the site is a possibility. FOSC will work closely with Sheffield City Council to protect the site and its archaeology should this occur.

Chair asked the attendees what they would like to see FOSC doing or to ask any questions:

  1. Are we inputting into Heritage Strategy? – FOSC attended the Heritage Conference in April 2016 and we can learn a lot from the approach taken by Nottingham. An update on the outcomes of the   conference will be placed on the website.
  2. Sheffield’s history goes back much further than steel – agreed
  3. Will there be any archaeology done at the site? – Ultimate aim to undertake trenching with community involvement and trail trenches are   likely with the park proposals at the site.

The Secretary conducted the vote with members re-electing the existing committee of 13 with one change: Marie Gilman retired as secretary, handing over to Holly Smith but remaining on the committee with a commitment to increasing membership and awareness via public shows/events/etc.

The current officers are now:

Chair: Martin Gorman
Secretary: Holly Smith
Treasurer: Glynis Jones
Membership: John Baker

The remainder of the committee are: John Moreland, Adrian Millward, Anna Badcock, Ron Clayton, Clive Waddington, Marie Gilman, Nick Robinson, Lloyd Powell, Hermann Beck.

Members then enjoyed a fascinating talk by Dr Glyn Davis (who was the last archaeologist to undertake an excavation on the Castle site), and Glyn answered many questions from the “audience”.

The evening ended at 20.15 after the Raffle Draw, with Martin thanking everyone for the good turnout and reminding them to keep checking the website for latest information.

The next FOSC AGM will be held on Thursday 20th April 2017 (to be notified to members nearer the time).

Thursday 12 May 2016

FOSC have a stand at the talk /evening organised by the University “Cabaret” Evening at Upper Chapel, Norfolk Street. The topic is “Civil War in Sheffield & Sheffield Castle’s fate” led by Professor Michael Braddick (Dept of History).  Marie and Ron are kindly attending for FOSC.

Register here for the talk:

A celebration of the anniversary of the Norman Conquest
Friday 20 May 2016

Followers of history will surely find something of interest here.

Conquest 950 is a day of informal talks by academics researching the Norman Conquest and its impact on the north of England. Everyone is welcome. The talks include:

  • 6th Day Of 1066: A Date with the Devil – Blame King Harold for the Norman Conquest. Ian McGill (Grapevine Magazine)
  • Vampires and the Norman Conquest: a Derbyshire perspective. Charles West (Sheffield)
  • Playing Detective: Discovering Scribes in Eleventh-Century England. Christine Wallis (Sheffield)
  • Sheffield Castle – still at the heart of the city. John Moreland (Sheffield)
  • Tasting the past: Unearthing the Chemistry of Medieval Beer. Lee Eales (Sheffield)
  • The Bayeux Tapestry: myths and messages. Michael Lewis (British Museum)
  • Resistance: England after 1066. James Aitcheson (Historical Novelist)
  • What did the Normans ever do for us? Norman-northerner relationships in the post-Conquest period. Aleksandra McClain (York)

For details, please email Alyx Mattison or James Chetwood

Friday 17 June 2016

hardwickFriends Of Sheffield Manor Lodge invite you to a coach outing for a private guided tour of Hardwick Hall (commences 30 mins before the House Opens) plus a vist to Stainsby Mill (edge of the Estate).

9.15 am pickup Pond Hill – just above Old Queens Head
9.35 am pick up Reney Road  Greenhill
10.00 am arrive 5-10 mins walk to the hall-buggies available for disabled.

Cost £19 to include coach fare, private guided tour and tour around Stainsby Mill, Cost for N.T. members is £14 (You must bring your NT membership cards).

Please note the cost of meals and entry to the Old Hall are not included. Hardwick were unable to offer Buffet meals for a coach party

Itinerary 10.30am Tour commences
12 noon finish of tour
12 noon – 2.45pm.  Lunch and optional tour of the Old Hall
3.45 pm leave for Stainsby Mill
4.00pm – 5.00pm Stainsby Mill tour
5.00pm Depart
5.35pm Reney Road Drop off point
6.00pm Pond Hill drop off point

Notes on Lunch Break
Lunch can be taken at the restaurant in the new extensions to Hardwick or just outside there is very large picnic area with tables. NT Members are allowed back into the House and Gardens. For Non Members may I suggest that when the tour finishes in the gardens, you stay inside until you have seen what you want to see before exiting the gardens.

During the extended lunch break, may I suggest that you pop across and tour the Old Hall supervised by English Heritage (Audio Tours available). Both NT/EH members will be free and to Non Members it is £6 or £5.30 for Concessions.

More information/booking –

digSee the excavation of a Romano-British Settlement site.

Guided tours at Whirlow Hall Farm from Monday 20th June to Friday 8th July – Monday to Saturday 11am, 12 noon and 2pm from outside the café in the Lower Yard

More details on or follow us on Facebook at We Dig Whirlow

Thursday September 22 2016

A talk at Central United Reformed Church – Dr David Clarke (Hallam University Journalism Lecturer & Leading Member of Folklore Society) – “Underneath Sheffield’s Streets – A Look at Sheffield’s Greatest Urban Myth – The Tunnels, Wells and Sacred Wells of Old Sheffield”.


21st July 2016

A talk at Central United Reformed Church – Dr Hugh Willmott (Sheffield University Senior Lecturer in Historical Archaeology) – “Recent Research and Excavation at the Mediaeval Hospital of St James, Thornton Abbey”

Admission:  Members £3; non-Members £5.  Refreshments available.
Book in advance with Ron on 0114 234 6669 and pay on the door.

June 18th-19th 2016
10.30 – 4.30

The Sealed Knot English Civil War Group will be holding a living history encampment and battle displays at Sheffield Works Department Sports and Social Club at Heeley Bank Road, Sheffield S2 3GG. The battle is at 2-30

Telephone 2780819
Admission is £3 adults £1 children – under 5’s free – refreshments available in clubhouse.

Saturday 9th July 2016



Please join us to celebrate the completion of this new artwork for Castlegate. We’re delighted to have worked with Sheffield City Council and arts collective Glassball on the longest artwork in Sheffield, spanning 175 metres in total it tells the story of one of Sheffield’s most historic sites.

We’re hosting a public event on Saturday 9th July from 12 – 2pm, next to the hoardings on the corner of Waingate & Exchange Street.

At 1pm artist Cora Glaser and archaeologist historian Rachel Askew will be delivering a walking tour of the artwork. Free and open to all. Please join us and collect a specially commissioned Castlegate fridge magnet!  Arts collective Glassball have been working since October last year to create this amazing, rich and multilayered artwork for the hoardings around the Sheffield Castle and former castle markets site. It is full of historic and contemporary detail, interesting facts, fiction and people’s everyday tales of Castlegate.

We think its a true reflection of the care and dedication given to the project by project partners and the artists Cora Glaser & David Ball and their commitment to including the voices of the good people of Sheffield.

Come along and judge for yourself!

Yorkshire Artspace / Friends of Sheffield Castle and client Sheffield City Council

Last night saw a talk at Central United Reformed Church by Dr Hugh Willmott (Sheffield University Senior Lecturer in Historical Archaeology) entitled “Recent Research and Excavation at the Mediaeval Hospital of St James, Thornton Abbey”. Many people turned out despite the humid weather and enjoyed a fascinating talk.

Saturday September 24 2016
2.30 pm.

The Friends Of Sheffield Manor Lodge are delighted to announce Tracy Borman is coming to talk about “The Tower of London” – who better to talk on this subject than the joint curator of the Royal Palaces?

It will now be held At Hallam Students Union, The Hubs, 6 Paternoster Row,  Sheffield S1 2QQ – facing the Showroom Cinema

This talk will be popular so book early please. Refreshments available.


Marie Gilman doing sterling work promoting FOSC at a recent event. You too can wear a stylish t-shirt like this!


ronWednesday 16th November 2016 7:30

At Bishops’ House

‘Sheffield Castle and Sheffield Manor Lodge – Myths, Misconceptions and Mysteries. An Inside View’ by Ron Clayton. “Much Stuff and Nonsense is going the rounds regarding our yet to be unearthed castle – like Sheffield’s lost structure – it’s time the myths and misconceptions shared the same fate – demolition.”

Entry free, but please arrive early to be sure of a place.

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!!

1830 hrs on Wednesday 26th April 2017

at the Central United Reformed Church, Norfolk Street, Sheffield S1 2JB

We hereby invite all members and their guests to our Fourth Annual General Meeting and we are hoping for a really good turnout. Dr Clive Waddington from Archaeological Research Services Ltd will be giving us a talk on “Britain’s forgotten frontier: Excavation of Roman and earlier remains at Whirlow”.

Before the talk we will present the Reports of the Officers and vote for Committee Members. All Committee Members stand down annually but are eligible for re-election. It will assist us with seating and catering if you could please confirm your attendance or send your apologies using the contact details below.

The AGM is an opportunity to renew your Annual Membership if still outstanding, so if you are attending please visit the membership table where we can check your current status. Renewals are due in January.

The current Committee Members are: Martin Gorman (Chair); Holly Smith (Secretary); Glynis Jones (Treasurer); John Baker (Membership Secretary); Ron Clayton; Nick Robinson; John Moreland; Clive Waddington; Anna Badcock; Adrian Millward; Marie Gilman; Hermann Beck; Lloyd Powell, David Clarke (Co-Opted).

Only Fully-Paid-Up Members may vote at the meeting.


  • Open Meeting and Welcome Members
  • Attendees and Apologies for Absence
  • Minutes of last SGM & Matters Arising
  • Minutes of last AGM & Matters Arising
  • Officers’ Reports
  • Election of Committee
  • Any Other Business
  • Date of next AGM
  • Refreshment Break
  • Talk by Dr Clive Waddington (Archaeological Research Services Ltd): “Britain’s forgotten frontier: Excavation of Roman and earlier remains at Whirlow”
  • Close of Meeting by 2100 hrs latest

This year, a group of second year students from the Department of Archaeology (University of Sheffield) have been tasked by the Friends of Sheffield Castle to devise an excavation strategy for the site of Sheffield Castle. If implemented, their work could throw new light on the Castle’s use and occupation from the  Anglo-Saxon period to 18th century AD. As part of their project, the students will produce an exhibition of their work, and we would like to invite you to this exhibition.

The exhibition will take place on Friday, 12th May between 10.00am-12.30pm in the Arts Tower Lecture Theatre 8. We will officially launch the exhibition at 10.15am with a series of short presentations from each student group. After the presentations, you will have the opportunity to meet the students and discuss their work.


Saturday 17th June, 11am-4pm

manor_lodgeWith the weather forecast looking good and the flowers at the site now approaching their best, why not pay the site a visit this weekend particularly on Sunday when the Friends sponsor the Archery Day. You can have a go on the short and long targets. Medieval Archer Pete Lawton is putting on a display. The 1940’s blitz cottages will be open as well so as it is Fathers’ Day this would make a great family day out. Hope to see you there as I will be conducting some of the guided tours.

Dig Day at the Discovery Centre and Tudor Ruins. Get up close to archaeology at Sheffield Manor Lodge with family fun activities.

  • Explore the Archaeology of Sheffield Manor Lodge
  • Hands on Past. Dig down into the Heeley City Farm Finds Handling Collection and explore their dig box.
  • Archaeology for the Senses. Archaeology is all about digging deep into the evidence to help us better understand how people live their lives, past into present. Join Stella in our Apothecary’s Garden to touch, smell and taste the stuff of archaeology. From decorating living spaces to preparing food and drink. Drop-in throughout the day.
  • The Archaeology of Animals. Helene introduces us to the field of ZooArchaeology. Meet the sheep skeleton!
  • Find out more about Archaeology in Sheffield with volunteers from Archaeology in the City
  • History Tours: 11.30, 1.00 and 2.30
  • Meet the Animals. Pet and groom the Manor Oaks Farm animals. 10:30am & 11:30am. £1 per child
  • Donkey Rides. Join us for a ride on one of our donkeys, Lilly and Rosie. 1pm—2:15pm.  £2 per child
  • Ranger Activity: Butterfly Hunt

Sunday 18th June, 11am-4pm

Archery Day at the Discovery Centre and Tudor Ruins (supported by the Friends of Sheffield Manor Lodge)

Join the Abbeydale Archers for:

  • Have-a-go archery (6 arrows for 50p)
  • Traditional longbow demonstrations
  • Show and tell with our medieval archer fresh from the battle of Agincourt. Find out about his weapons and life as an English medieval archer.
  • Face painting with Mystical Magical Events.
  • 1940s Open Day at Manor Cottages

The Time Travellers Archaeology Group will be offering an opportunity to find out about recent ‘Discoveries at Whirlow Hall Farm’ as part of this year’s UK-wide Festival of Archaeology.

The event will offer two introductory sessions on the recent Roman and prehistory discoveries at Whirlow Hall Farm Trust. Each will include an introductory talk, display of finds, guided walk and a visit to the excavation site.

Following the initial discovery of the Roman site during 2011, The Time Travellers group gained a £60.000 HLF grant to return to the site, to further excavate its Roman and Iron Age remains. Field walking and geophysical surveys expanded knowledge of the areas prehistory and discovered the site of a Roman signal station on what was until recently a forgotten Roman frontier.whirlow

This event is free to attend and will be run twice on Sunday 30th July at 10:00 and 13:30. Numbers are limited so please book by email at:

The Festival runs between 15 and 30 July and promises something for everyone on the theme of archaeology. To find out about other local events, go to:

John Baker
Membership Secretary




Saturday 16 September 2017 at the Millennium Gallery

The Fair is a celebration of Sheffield’s rich history, showcasing the work of key heritage groups from around the city in a weekend-long fair at the Millennium Gallery. FOSC had a stall and met with many interested people.

On Wednesday 15th May 2019 the showroom workstation will be hosting an event to launch Sheaf & Porter Rivers Trust, whose vision is to help Sheffield rediscover and regenerate its own urban rivers. The event includes a screening of documentary Lost Rivers, accompanied by a talk from Simon Ogden, Chair of the Sheffield Waterways Strategy Group. The film examines hidden waterways and underground rivers in cities around the world and introduces us to the people dedicated to exploring and restoring them.

You can find more information here.

The launch event is priced at the regular film ticket price. Advance booking is strongly recommended for those interested.

The Sheaf & Porter Rivers Trust will also be available on the night to talk about the trust and their upcoming work. Their wider aims are:

  • Restoring Sheffield’s wildlife habitats
  • Creating a City image for Sheffield
  • Celebrating Sheffield’s heritage
  • River stewardship
  • Continuous public access
  • Adapting to climate change