Sir Tony Robinson unveiled as patron of the Friends of Sheffield Castle
One of televisions most popular historians has thrown his weight behind a campaign to uncover Sheffield Castle.
Time Team presenter Sir Tony Robinson has this week been unveiled as the first patron of the Friends of Sheffield Castle.
Sir Tony, also famous for playing Baldrick in comedy favourite Blackadder, agreed to take the position after a talk at the Crucible as part of the Off The Shelf festival.
The news follows the confirmation of the Friends group as a registered charity, after its submission to the Charity Commission was accepted.
The status opens up new avenues of funding, allowing the group to support investigations into the castle archives and back the project to investigate the remains.
Friends chairman Martin Gorman said: "We are delighted that real momentum is building around both the Friends group and plans to reveal the Castle remains, and we are hopeful investigative works on the site can start within the next 12 months”.
The Friends, made up of volunteers from a range of backgrounds, including academia, engineering and environmental science, have for years have been working on ideas to make the most of the ruins of Sheffield Castle, which are close to being uncovered after the demolition of Castle Market.
Suggestions so far involve the creation of an open space to show off the ruins, with potential for re-enactments and plays.
The land is owned by Sheffield Council, and a Castlegate Partnership including the council, both universities, the Sheffield Culture Consortium, businesses and the Friends of both Sheffield Council and Sheffield Old Town Hall is working together to regenerate the area.
Most recently, the Friends of Sheffield Castle have been working with the University of Sheffield's department of architecture.
As part of the university's 'Live' projects, a group of students produced their own visions for the site which are helping to drive plans. They also came up with creative photos to show off the site.
Cladding decorated with memories of Castle Market and facts about the old castle currently surrounds the area.
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