Following the article (Feb 2) on the possible demise of Sheffield Castle, I would like to express my support for the efforts being made, particularly by Ron Clayton, to safeguard the remains.
To relinquish this opportunity would be detrimental to the future prospects of Sheffield being a major centre for both cultural and historical reasons, particularly in the north. Possibilities for the whole of the present market site and area are exciting.
Sheffield (or Sheaf Field) is supposedly named after the field or clearing next to the Sheaf. But where is this field or clearing now, and where is the River Sheaf for all to see?
It should be included into any future development plans for the area. To see the river opened up at, or near, its confluence with the Don, would create an unobstructed and natural riverside.
Demarcation points could be positioned to show how large the original structure was and the area it once covered. This would create the field or clearing as a park or garden leading down to the two rivers, giving us back the origin of our great city’s name Sheffield.
If good and safe access could be made through to the canal basin, then a special riverside experience would be created.
In addition, a History of the City museum or information gallery could be created in the old Court House, to exhibit the contents of the present Traditional Heritage Museum on Ecclesall Road.
History of Roman times and before could be covered and illustrated, with information and directions given to outlying places of interest, such as Hardwick Hall, Haddon Hall, Chatsworth House, Wingfield Manor, Conisborough Castle, Bolsover Castle, Peveril Castle and many abbey sites.
If the rivers were kept clear and the banks planted with reeds again, we would get back the possible origin for the name of The Wicker and possibly attract wildlife.
This would create a visitor attraction that would be the envy of many.
KA Wallis, S6