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Sheffield Castle - Excavating the Castle ruins..


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Sheffield History

 

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Work has been going on some time and it really looks like they're making solid progress digging down to the castle ruins and bringing it to the surface.

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Sheffield History
Just now, Stu_1981 said:

What is the long term plan for the site @sheffieldhistory

 

I'm not 100%

I think it's going to be opened up as an open space for relaxing - a bit like The Peace Gardens, and hopefully with some of the castle features on show.

I think that's what I heard - I'd need to check up and find out

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Stu_1981
3 minutes ago, Sheffield History said:

 



I think it's going to be opened up as an open space for relaxing - a bit like The Peace Gardens, and hopefully with some of the castle features on show.

 

That would be excellent! 

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Sheffield History
9 minutes ago, Stu_1981 said:

That would be excellent! 


Yeah fingers crossed it happens

The procedure

A Castlegate Partnership including the Friends of the Old Town Hall and of Sheffield Castle, the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University, the Culture Consortium, local hoteliers and traders as well as ourselves has been formed to promote a collaborative and innovative approach to regenerating the area.

Several key place-making interventions are proposed including: 

  1. Archaeological and structural investigation of the Castle Market site, aimed at creating a new green space on the Castle site and defining potential small development sites.
     
  2. Removing the structurally unsound River Sheaf culvert which runs under part of the site and the creation of a new riverside pocket park to be known as Sheaf Field. Funding bids to progress this project are expected to be determined in June 2016.
     
  3. Reclaiming areas of redundant former ring road for public space, sustainable drainage and other uses with improved connection to Victoria Quays through the next phase of the Grey 2 Green Corridor Restoration.
     
  4. New uses for the historic Old Town Hall.
     
  5. Completion of the office and mixed use development on Broad Street. West/Exchange Street known as The Square.
  6. Imaginative new uses for other buildings such as the listed Castle House Co-op Department Store, other vacant shops and the former multi-storey stables on the riverside.
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Sheffield History

Screenshot 2020-04-08 at 10.30.35.jpg

Am just trying to find mockup's of what the area will look like. The above image is the intended final thing!

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Sheffield History
  • A major archaeological dig to reveal Castlegate's "hidden history and landscape" and reconnect it with the nearby canal basin at Victoria Quays
  • Uncovering of the underground River Sheaf, which gave Sheffield its name
  • Designs to turn "redundant road space along Exchange Street and Castlegate into colourful meadows" - the Grey to Green corridor currently runs past the city's law courts on West Bar
  • Empty shops and buildings on Exchange Street and Waingate transformed and used for new shops, cafes, arts and music spaces, and start-up tech businesses. Castle House Co-op, the former Sheffield Stock Exchange, Hancock and Lants stable building and Canada House will be brought back to life
  • Museums Sheffield, commissioned by the University of Sheffield, has begun the first professional evaluation of the Castle Remains collection
  • Preventing further deterioration of the 200-year-old Grade II-listed derelict Old Town Hall on Waingate
  • A new conservation area to protect the historic townscape
  • Security patrols to protect the castle site
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Stu_1981

I didn't know about the Old Town Hall on Waingate!

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Sheffield History
1 minute ago, Stu_1981 said:

I didn't know about the Old Town Hall on Waingate!

 


I think the council finally managed to get the owners to see sense (or forced them), so it should be developed nicely now..

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  • 3 months later...
Edmund

Thanks for posting that Steve!

So there was no previous Anglo-Saxon building on the site of the castle.  I guess that makes the location of Waltheof's Hall more likely to have been near Hallam Head?  It was interesting that the moat was filled with rainwater and drainage from the town, rather than with river water.  Looking forward to further written reports to come.

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  • 1 month later...
lysandernovo

The " I " newspaper, yesterday, reported that the castle was, indeed, a very significant medieval structure....." Archaeologists have identified Sheffield Castle as one of the most important strongholds in medieval Britain....The University of Sheffield said it " played a major role in local, national and international affairs".

Today's Star is carrying a larger more detailed item!

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History dude
14 hours ago, lysandernovo said:

The University of Sheffield said it " played a major role in local, national and international affairs".

 

You don't need a dig to tell that! John Talbot - The first Earl of Shrewsbury crops up in Shakespeare's plays. He built the thing and if he gets in one of his plays then he was big thing and therefore so was the castle!

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lysandernovo

Mary Walton's, " Sheffield :  its story and achievements", informs us that the first castle was built by William de Lovetot in the early 12 th century.  After the castle was attacked in 1266 by the "unreconciled Barons led by John D'Eyville", Thomas de Furnival applied to the king for permission to "rebuild" the castle. The charter giving him the "right to make strong a castle in his manor of Sheffield" was sealed in 1270. Later, the Talbots, who were considerably richer than the "austere" Furnivals, spent money on the castle as well as creating the Manor Lodge which was" furnished in a style of magnificence correspondent to the rank of its noble inhabitant"..

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History dude
30 minutes ago, lysandernovo said:

Mary Walton's, " Sheffield :  its story and achievements", informs us that the first castle was built by William de Lovetot in the early 12 th century.  After the castle was attacked in 1266 by the "unreconciled Barons led by John D'Eyville", Thomas de Furnival applied to the king for permission to "rebuild" the castle. The charter giving him the "right to make strong a castle in his manor of Sheffield" was sealed in 1270. Later, the Talbots, who were considerably richer than the "austere" Furnivals, spent money on the castle as well as creating the Manor Lodge which was" furnished in a style of magnificence correspondent to the rank of its noble inhabitant"..

However the Furnival's Castle at the death of the last one was described as being worth NOTHING, since it had been destroyed in a pandemic that killed most of the population and caused havoc and destruction in it's wake and killed the first one too. Destroyed also what is now Sheffield Cathedral and several other places. The same P.M. documents for the Furnivals also describes two forges worth £70, but now worth nothing as there was nobody to run them. I don't know what became of these forges and where they were is a mystery too. But valuations of the area around Sheffield were never greater than £20. The Pandemic was not the Black Death either. It was so bad they even had to hold the post mortems (not an autopsy of their bodies) for the Furnivals, outside the town. There being no decent building left in Sheffield to hold one! The Pandemic effect left the area in a mess for at least a hundred years!!

So when John Talbot came to Sheffield and saw the Castle and all the rest he would have said "we'll have that rebuilt straight away". So Sheffield Castle was built brand new when he took over.  

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lysandernovo

In the same book Mary Walton talks of the death of the second Thomas, Lord Furnival in 1332. An "inquisition " was held stating what lands the dead man owned and its value. All was not well with the Byrony. Not enough people paid rent for grazing their beasts in the Park to bring in more than forty shillings....although there was £16 15 s of grazing. The castle was "frail"...the corn mills "ruinous" and the two forges in the Park as well as the quarry at Rivelin were without tenants.

Mary Walton speculated that this was not as a result of the D 'Eyvilles raid but may have occurred as a result of a minor epidemic of the sort known in other parts of the country, heralding the Black Death later in the century...but most likely because to the long absences of the Lord and his sons in warfare as well  by many of their tenants who would have accompanied them....Yet by 1340 the king of England had an inventory  at the Tower of London which included "cultellum de Sheffield".

The Poll Tax returns for 1379 report 9 smiths in Sheffield, 13 in Handsworth, 3 cutlers in Handsworth, Tinsley and Ecclesfield one each.

The last Furnival died in 1383...by then the Inquistion showed that Hallamshire had recovered from its decline with the greater part of the Lord's revenues coming from new farms and pastures let out for rent. John Talbot , inherited the title  by marrying Maud de Neville but spent all his career away from Sheffield serving King HenryV1. His son, Earl George, served King Henry V!!  holding high office and took up residence in the Castle around 1500 where his second son was born.

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History dude
21 hours ago, lysandernovo said:

In the same book Mary Walton talks of the death of the second Thomas, Lord Furnival in 1332. An "inquisition " was held stating what lands the dead man owned and its value. The castle was "frail"...the corn mills "ruinous" and the two forges in the Park as well as the quarry at Rivelin were without tenants.

....Yet by 1340 the king of England had an inventory  at the Tower of London which included "cultellum de Sheffield".

The last Furnival died in 1383...by then the Inquistion showed that Hallamshire had recovered from its decline with the greater part of the Lord's revenues coming from new farms and pastures let out for rent. John Talbot , inherited the title  by marrying Maud de Neville but spent all his career away from Sheffield serving King HenryV1. His son, Earl George, served King Henry V!!  holding high office and took up residence in the Castle around 1500 where his second son was born.

The inquisition was the PM I mentioned. NOT held in Sheffield I might add. 

The Kings inventory of 1340 sounds like he had a knife from Sheffield (de meaning of). As knifes can be around for ages it might have been old and probably precious. It doesn't follow that he just bought a knife from Sheffield.

The 1383 doesn't show that Hallamshire had recovered and still shows the castle worth nothing. Nor was it held in Sheffield. Another indication of no decent buildings. The presence of Smiths in the Poll Tax returns means very little. You only have to look at all the people with the surname Smith today to see that they were as common as the flees that the population had at that time. They certainly were not the forge people needed to run a £70 forge! Most were probably doing nails and horse shoes most of the day.

Whatever John Talbot was doing most of the time, there was nothing stopping him from a brief visit to Sheffield. Even a day there, he could have put in instructions for the rebuild. He did not have to be around. The people who ran Sheffield didn't need the boss there supervising them. They just got on with what he told them to do. A simple "rebuild that" for each would have been enough, from him. He didn't have to bother with planning permission or any of the modern crap in doing things. They just did it. He had loads of cash and the other lot the Nevils and the like had not. That's what they call it a property marriage!  

Though some historians think Mary Walton was good, many think she was a woman of her time and therefore full of flaws in her reasoning. When she was bringing out her books, a Newness text book of teaching history at school was still saying that King Arthur was real!

Things have moved on a bit and we now question historians and their belief system.  

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lysandernovo

Whilst I have been considered, by some, to be an expert on limited aspects of our local history I regret I  cannot say I have little more than a passing interest in the history of medieval Sheffield, let alone that of its Castle. I do note your comments about Mary Wilson ( whom I once had the pleasure of meeting) as well as your beliefs about questioning historians. I have to say one could argue a similar case about all experts and opinion....which is why I do not consider myself an expert... I do , however, consider it to be somewhat unkind, if not mysogenistic, to refer to ms Walton as " being a woman of her time and FULL OF FLAWS ABOUT HER REASONING".... That is pure opinion  unless you have facts to back up your claim. Her 1948 book was an introduction to our local history for many!

PS...Its..."Fleas"!

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History dude

I find myself often questioning people's hero's on the subject of history. It's a long time since I read Walton's book, but I would hazard a guess the she calls Mary Stuart a prisoner in respect to the castle and lodge. And any historian who does that is flawed in the thinking. Not withstanding the fact that you can go into Sheffield Cathedral and read George Talbot's tomb inscription, which puts complete cobwash on that idea. 

Does it not occur to you that Mary did not pick on the fact that neither of the inquisitions were held in Sheffield. But historians back then just assumed that the Furnivals were living in the Castle as part of the feudal system. The Lord in the Castle!! Well maybe he was till 1332 when the lord died, but after that all hell broke loose in Sheffield. We as modern historians can look at these old documents and see that they are saying under the surface. That mass death had caused a mass panic and nothing was safe. Back in 1948 she had just survived WW2 and that "blitz sprite" would have kept any ideas of mass panic well in the background of her thinking. Indeed the Government had thought the bombing raids would have caused mass panic. But it didn't and therefore people would have looked at something written not as a direct record of the events, which showed something was really wrong and still not pick up on it.    

By the way I have singled out somebody on YouTube, for doing a head of Queen Elizabeth 1st with red hair. Somebody even argued that because Henry VIII had red hair then Elizabeth must have too. That was easily dis-bunked. My mother having had red hair and myself a blond!   Told Shakespeare academics that somebody moved his headstone and it now sits on top of his wife's grave. Told a Francis Bacon (the Elizabethan chap not the artist) supporter that he was not the son of his father Bacon, but was the son of his wife (she had an affair), much to the disbelief.

So Mary Walton is not the only one to get a blast of Graham!  

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Stu_1981

Free publication about the castle available at link below:

In Sheffield Castle: Archaeology, Archives, Regeneration, 1927-2018, written by Professor John Moreland from the University of Sheffield’s Department of Archaeology, Professor Dawn Hadley from the University of York’s Department of Archaeology, and Ashley Tuck and Mili Rajic from Wessex Archaeology. the castle’s impressive history – largely unknown or ignored up until now – is brought to light for the first time and is placed right alongside some of Britain’s greatest castles.

The book, published by White Rose University Press, is the first time that findings from all of the major excavations at the castle – conducted in the 1920s, 50s and 90s – have been published in one place. It also contains the results of the most recent excavations of Sheffield Castle led by Wessex Archaeology in 2018.

https://universitypress.whiterose.ac.uk/site/books/m/10.22599/SheffieldCastle/

 

Archive of data here:

https://archaeologydataservice.ac.uk/archives/view/sheffieldcastle_uos_2020/

 

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History dude

The book which is free by the way, also contains information on Sheffield Park and the Manor Lodge.

I did read something about Mary Walton drawing a conclusion without knowing how she arrived at the statement she makes in her 1948 book. There's a lot of detail about the earlier excavations too. Including unpublished note books. I haven't had time to read the whole thing or really go into depth on most of it. What I have picked up on things like the destruction of the Castle by fire in 1270. With the Armstrong linking it to some burning he found. They questioned this as there was no dating evidence found and there was no way Armstrong could have dated the burnt layer at that time to a precise year back then. I believe they think it would even be hard to do it now!

As it's over 400 pages, depending on the price of the book, you might be best buying it, especially if you have more than a passing interest in the Castle.

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