Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Article - Castle site is opportunity (Sheffield)

Sheffield Castle offers a once-in-a-lifetime park opportunity, rather than another set of hoardings and abandoned land.

As a founder member of the Five Weirs Walk Trust can I congratulate Ron Clayton for his enthusiastic work and Prof Dawn Hadley of Sheffield University’s Department of Archaeology for drawing attention to the image of Sheffield’s long destroyed castle, which has now been presented to the Lord Mayor, Coun Dr Sylvia Dunkley, herself a historian (Aug 1).

Given the probable demolition of the markets site and the risk of long-term delays as on The Moor, could the area not be turned into a park with some preservation and reconstruction as we see in English Heritag’e sites where grass and walls and good interpretive boards and film bring the past alive?

There are archaeological finds that could be displayed as in the Jorvik museum at York, which was long hidden and is now a major tourist attraction.

If, in the long term, rebuilding does take place the remains could form a well illuminated ground-floor arts area with buildings above.

With sensitive new building the old Shambles could be redeveloped as an interesting street by the River Don, rather than merely a fume-ridden traffic hazard.

Our riverside should be cherished .

There are examples like this in Venice, Rome and Ediburgh for example.

Some sensitive reconstruction could make the junction of the Don and Sheaf a memorable place to relax in the city centre and give a focus for what is a marginalised area.

It could link Victoria Quays to the rest of town.

Michael Sam Wild, Sheffield

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