Open Weekend at Sheffield Manor Lodge

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

Exploring the Archives: Sheffield Castle – the city’s lost landmark

The castle in 1060Students in the School of English at the University of Sheffield are provided with the opportunity of taking a work placement as part of their degree programme.  This year Mollie Littlewood has been working at Sheffield City Archives and Local Studies Library.  She is writing a series of blog posts highlighting the city’s fascinating archival treasures. In this article she took a walk down to Castlegate to try and better understand a document she found in the archives…

Exhibition: Sheffield Castle Through the Ages

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.


FOSC Annual General Meeting 2017

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

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:

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.

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}