We need your support and help to continue our fight to get the best outcome for the castle ruins.

Letter to the Sheffield Telegraph from HUS

Hunter Archaeological Society and Sheffield Castle

Members of the Hunter Archaeological Society were so pleased to hear that on 23 May the planning application which will lead to the restoration of remaining parts of Sheffield Castle was approved by the Sheffield City Council’s Planning and Highways Committee.  Using Government Levelling-Up funds, at last tenders can now be sought and work can begin to reveal the Castle gatehouse, create a much-needed attractive green space and deculvert the River Sheaf where it joins the Don at Castlegate.  Further detail can be found in the papers on the Council website at 23/00493/OUT.

It is testament to the persistence of the Friends of Sheffield Castle, who have campaigned for many years to highlight the Castle’s importance to the city – which many people don’t even know exists.   It was they who developed a Blueprint around 5 years ago – a proposed plan of how the site could look, which has largely been copied by the Council in the planning application.  The Friends have led numerous tours of the site – always fully booked – to share their extensive knowledge with the public.

The Hunter Archaeological Society has been closely involved with Sheffield Castle since the 1920s and fully supports the proposals.  Owned by the Earls of Shrewsbury, it was one of the largest castles in England and the main location of Mary Queen of Scots’ confinement for 14 years from 1568.  The Castle was demolished in 1648 during the Civil War and largely forgotten other than in street names; the Hunter Archaeological Society commissioned Leslie Armstrong assisted by Joseph Himsworth to monitor the works and keep a record during the construction of the Brightside and Carbrook Coop store between 1927 and 1930.  After wartime bombing, further building work to construct Castle Market from 1958 was observed by Leslie Butcher, who produced detailed plans and sections, and publications appeared in the Society’s Transactions.  A legacy from a late Hunter member Pam Staunton to the Department of Archaeology, University of Sheffield enabled all these records and photos to be assembled and researched, and these past excavations to be finally published. Wessex Archaeology excavated a number of evaluation trenches in 2018, with Hunter members putting in many hours of volunteering.   We congratulate the Friends on ensuring that the regeneration of this run-down area of the city takes place, and look forward to our involvement in the exciting next phase of the Castle’s life.

Ruth Morgan

Secretary Hunter Archaeological Society.

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