An opportunity to pay respect to city’s past

From: David Youle, Blow Row, Epworth, Doncaster.

IN response to your recent article about Sheffield Council’s vision for the future of Sheffield (Yorkshire Post, November 2), I would like to advocate an idea or two about the preservation of its pre-”industrial” past.

During the next two or three years, the site of Sheffield’s medieval castle and, possibly, Earl Waltheof’s Saxon Hall, is scheduled for excavation as part of the extensive redevelopment of the city centre.

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This offers an excellent opportunity for the council to meet its “thrifty” and ambitious objectives while developing its educational, cultural, heritage and aesthetic claims.

Extensive remains of the medieval castle exist beneath the current Castle Market with a reasonable part of the curtain wall and a tower facing southwards towards the River Don.

At the moment, this area is occupied by a huge concrete bastion and a spiralling staircase affording access to the rear of the market. Excavation followed by the creation of a “green”area featuring these remains and sloping down to the river would not only relieve flooding potential (remember the floods of 2007) but also meet the council’s outcome of being an “environmentally responsible city”.

Also, to maximise the use of the rest of the area, a heritage basement could be created beneath any new developments with access for budding young archaeologists/historians and the public.

The city now has a valuable window of opportunity to pay respect to is pre-industrial past while planning to incorporate it into a progressive future.