Sheffield Retro: Fargate revamp uncovers huge subway that had shop displays

It was a baby brother to the Hole in the Road

A three-year revamp of Sheffield’s premier street has uncovered traces of a subway similar to the Hole in the Road.

Contractors working on Fargate exposed steps to an underpass that existed for more than two decades between the 1960s and the 1980s.

The structure had two entrances on Fargate - it was built before the street was pedestrianised - and an entrance on the other side of High Street near East Parade and the Cathedral. It also had shop displays and basement entrances to Boots and a gas board shop at Coles Corner.

Building company Sisk is refurbishing Sheffield’s once premium shopping parade to create “landscaping, green planting areas and lighting that will see Fargate’s outdoor areas transformed into vibrant, welcoming spaces.”

Senior project manager Lee Long said they found ‘voids’ where the subway once stood.

He added: “Localised voids were discovered during excavation due to settlement; these have now been filled. 

“It was exciting and interesting to expose the steps leading down to the underpass which we were able to show to visiting school groups. 

“Adult visitors have been keen to share their memories of using it and we’ve been advised there used to be a fish tank, a happy memory for those who were children when it was in use. Any inconvenience due to the voids has been minor and hasn’t resulted in a delay to the length of the overall project.” 

The work is set to complete by the end of February next year, the firm has said.

Step back in time with our gallery of Fargate subway pictures.

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