Huge Sheffield Castle excavation gets underway

Work has begun on the huge excavation of Sheffield Castle in a bid to discover the remains of the centuries old stronghold. 

Part of a £800,000 council scheme to revamp the area, the dig will explore previously un-investigated areas of the Castle which once held Mary Queen of Scots as a prisoner in the 1500s. Professor John Moreland at the University of Sheffield, who is chairing the project with archaeologists, architects, and ecologists, said: “By working down to the castle level, we aim to provide a full history of the site. We will also be able to confirm our deductions from the archives project. Most importantly, the excavations are the start of the regeneration project – our results will inform what happens next.”

The medieval castle in Castlegate dates back to the century after the Norman Conquest of England in 1066. The castle was destroyed in the 1600s and the demolition of Castle Market, which was built over the remains and then demolished in 2016, paved the way for excavations to take place following a campaign from the Friends of Sheffield Castle group. The project will see 10 trenches built during the excavation, with a ‘Great Pier’ to be erected for the public to oversee the investigation.

Professor John Moreland added: “We are at the beginning of the process and it will be fascinating to see what our efforts have achieved for the people of the city 10 years from now.”

Head over to for more information. Image credit: Kenneth Steel

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