As 2018 comes to an end I would draw the attention of Friends of Sheffield Castle members to a wide ranging exhibition on the ground floor of Sheffield’s Central Library that draws upon Sheffield and its role in the various conflicts that the city and its region have found itself involved in over the hundreds of years of its history.
It’s a wide ranging vista from the days when the Sheffield area was a border zone between different Celtic tribes and the advancing Roman legions to when Northumbria submitted to the overlordship of Wessex as England took shape. The years when the Norman held sway over a defeated Saxon race through the internecine conflicts of the Industrial Revolution and associated political unrest right through to the two World Wars which shaped the modern world and the modern city.
Of particular interest is the rise of our lost medieval castle and the penultimate event in its history when it surrendered to Parliament after a brief siege in August 1644 together with images of the survivors and reminders of that era, Manor Lodge, Bishops House, The Old Queens Head and the soon to be transformed into a Starbucks coffee shop(!) Carbrook Hall. On the date of my visit no one could advise me when the exhibition was due to close but let’s hope its got a lengthy shelf life as our city regenerates itself yet again.
Wessex explain about boreholes
David Clarke found a sketch plan of Sheffield Castle, supposedly dated around 1700, in a little book by Thomas Winder, “T’Heft an’ Blades o’Sheffield: Dialect stories and Antiquarian papers”, published in
Sheffield 1907. We wonder what data the plan was based on?
This wonderful image is full of detail. Click for a full-size image. Valerie Bayliss has provided a very good summary of the picture:
“In the first picture, we’re looking here along the Don towards Blonk St bridge. At the foot of the bridge and opposite Victoria Station Road is the Alexandra Opera House [the white building]. The buildings backing onto the river at the right of the image are the Dannemora Steelworks which occupied land in the angle of the Wicker and Blonk Street; run by Seebohm and Dieckstall who changed their name to Arthur Balfour in WW1. What is now the SADACCA building in the Wicker was the offices. The turreted building at the end of the riverside run, in dark grey, is the Clyde Steel Works, a fake medieval battlemented block; one of the medium-sized steel works that remained in the town after the big ones set up on open space in the Don valley. It would be no surprise if the slaughterhouses had been faked up to look like a castle. And – if you look at w00568, s01760 and s01752 in PictureSheffield you will find images that show some crenellations on the slaughterhouses. I think that’s the answer!
Here’s a more recent photo (thanks to Jason Rafferty) from a similar perspective
Belated news of our talks for the Festival Of The Mind festival.:
Mili Rajic from Wessex on the current excavations/latest finds
Dave Clarke from Sheffield Hallam on the tunnels and myths of Sheffield
John Moreland from Sheffield University on the excavations from the 1920’s
All talks were sold out with over 100 attending each one. the event also showcased artefacts from previous digs displayed by Museums Sheffield and Wessex Archaeology also brought some of the finds from the current dig including the ink jar, stone window tracery and the medieval ear scoop! Thanks to Sheffield Hallam Institute of Arts for hosting.
Here’s the final update on the dig, now we wait for the assessment reports!