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A once in a lifetime opportunity..

The start of excavation work at the site of Sheffield’s former castle has been heralded by local historians as a “once in a lifetime opportunity”. Contractors moved onto the Castlegate site at the end of January to begin clearing the area for redevelopment. Sheffield City Council plans to create a park and events space and to expose some of remains of the castle.

The Friends of Sheffield Castle said they had waited almost a decade for the excavations to begin. “It’s about ten years since Castle Market was demolished and we think this is our once in a lifetime opportunity to excavate the castle and that’s what’s driven us on to keep the faith,” Martin Gorman, the Chair of the Friends of Sheffield Castle said.

“It’s amazing how many people don’t know that Sheffield has a castle, but it’s where Sheffield was born and that should mean something to people.”

Castlegate is the oldest part of Sheffield and has been inhabited since at least the 11th Century. Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned for 14 years at the castle and at Manor Lodge in the 1500s, under the care of the Earl of Shrewsbury. However, the castle was destroyed in 1648 and its remains were covered by Castle Market in the 1960s, which was itself demolished in 2015.

Work at the site is being funded with a £20m grant from the government’s Levelling Up Fund and is expect to be completed in summer 2025. Ben Miskell, Chair of the council’s Transport, Regeneration and Climate Committee, said: “The Castlegate site is one of fantastic historical significance to the city of Sheffield and today marks yet another chapter in its history.

“With work now underway people will be able to see the project progressing on a daily basis and the vision for the area become a reality.”

Simon Thake BBC News
Further links

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p0h5pscq   Radio Sheffield  1:06:40 with Martin Gorman and then Ben Miskell (Council)  and 2:06:45 with Martin Gorman and then Simon Ogden (Sheaf & Porter River Trust)

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m001w72q  Radio 4 Ron Clayton introduces the piece at 01:00 and then Martin Gorman at 41:20

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