Sheffield Castle was a castle in Sheffield, England, constructed at the confluence of the River Sheaf and the River Don, possibly on the site of a former Anglo-Saxon long house, and dominating the early town. A motte and bailey castle had been constructed on the site at some time in the century following the Norman Conquest of England in 1066. This was destroyed in the Second Barons’ War. Construction of a second castle, this time in stone, began four years later in 1270.

Castle Site Timeline

1086

Domesday Book records Earl Waltheof, (Anglo-Saxon) Lord of Hallamshire, having a hall, believed to be on the site of the later castle

c. 1120

William de Lovetot (a Norman) becomes Lord of Hallamshire and is believed to have built a castle

1184

First reference to ‘Castellum de Seldfeld’ (Sheffield Castle)

1266

Sheffield Castle destroyed by supporters of Simon de Montfort’s rebellion

1270

The charter was given for Thomas De Furnival to ‘crenellate’ the caste which was then completed in 1270

1442

A ‘Great Tower’ was recorded at the site, also a Great Tower, Great Gate, a bakehouse, kitchen, prison and ‘a hospiteum’

1400’s

Ownership passed from the De Furnivals to the Nevilles and then to John Talbot, renowned figure of the Hundred Years War

15th cent

Sheffield manor court rolls record expenditure on repairs to the castle

1570

Mary Queen of Scots arrives a prisoner at the Castle and stays for 14 years

1582

Inventory of household goods of George, Earl of Shrewsbury, describes the castle and its contents

1586

Inventory of armour in the castle

1637

John Harrison’s survey gives a precise description of the castle

1642

Sir John Gell’s Parliamentary forces occupy the castle

1643

Royalist forces retake the castle

1644

Following heavy bombardment the Royalist forces surrender

1646

House of Commons resolves to make the castle untenable

1647

House of Commons resolves to demolish the castle

1648

Castle demolished (although parts of the footprint of the castle remains)

1736

Ralph Gosling’s map of Sheffield depicts a walled bowling green on the castle site

1800’s

The site becomes developed with small steel and tool works, cementation furnaces and slaughter houses on both the north and east sides

1927 – 1930

Castle Markets excavated

1972

In her role as Keeper of Antiquities at Sheffield City Museum, Pauline Beswick records exposed features of the castle on the north facing slope

1994

South Yorkshire Archaeology Service undertake a structural survey of the remains

2000/2001

ARCUS (Archaeological Research and Consultancy University of Sheffield) undertook a substantial body of evaluation work on site, including several trenches revealing remains of the castle and moat in the north and east of the site

2018

Evaluation trenching undertaken by Wessex Archaeology