Sheffield Castle: community heritage at the heart of the city

Castlegate is Sheffield’s original city centre and home to centuries of market trading, a buried castle and historic civic institutions, but now in serious decline.

The Castlegate project sees the University of Sheffield’s Engaged University Project working with Sheffield City Council and local community groups to generate a mix of imagined spaces, practical solutions and real projects to inspire the transformation of Castlegate area of the city.

Sheffield Archaeology is a key part of the Castlegate project, with Professor John Moreland as the Chair of the University’s Castlegate group. The Department will also be hiring a Research Assistant for the Castlegate Archives Project, who will work with Moreland and Professor Dawn Hadley to write up 20th century excavations of Sheffield Castle. This archives project is funded by the Pamela Staunton Bequest.

A reconstruction of Sheffield Castle

The Castle gate house c. 1960

The Castlegate Archives Project builds on our previous work on medieval Sheffield through excavations at Manor Lodge, which were directed by Dawn Hadley.

The Castlegate project works in close collaboration with the Friends of Sheffield Castle (FoSC). Sheffield Archaeology’s Moreland and Professor Glynis Jones both sit on FoSC’s committee. The FoSC recently announced that Sir Tony Robinson is enrolled as the first Patron of the charity.

The Star: Sir Tony Robinson unveiled as patron of the Friends of Sheffield Castle

Martin Gorman, Chair of the FoSC said “We are delighted that real momentum is building around both the Friends’ group and plans to reveal the Castle remains, and we are hopeful investigative works on the site can start within the next 12 months”.

Most recently, the FoSC have been working with John Moreland and the University of Sheffield Department of Architecture and the castle site has featured as one of its 'LIVE' projects. This has meant that a group of dedicated students have produced some vibrant and creative visions for the site which are helping to drive plans, under discussion with Sheffield City Council, for the meanwhile use of the site until investigative works get underway.

Architecture students mark the position of one of the bastion towers

Manor Castle circa 1905