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Castlegate Festival 2020

A series of events, tours and talks celebrating the city's oldest area have moved online.


The former Lady's Bridge pub in Castlegate.

Photo by Sheffield City Council.

A series of events exploring Sheffield's oldest area have moved online due to new lockdown restrictions.

Billed as "a celebration of Castlegate’s past, present and future," the fourth annual festival will allow visitors to take a virtual tour of sites include Lady's Bridge and the Old Town Hall.

Castlegate was once the site of Sheffield Castle, which was demolished during the English civil war in the 17th century.

The area is currently undergoing regeneration, led by the excavation of the castle site and a decades-long project to clean up the River Don.

"Although we can’t currently promote social gatherings in the quarter, we do urge people to enjoy the virtual tours we will be offering online, or follow the self-guided walk in safe groups to see how the area has begun to change and to visit some of its new attractions as they open," said Chair of the Castlegate Partnership Martin McKervey.

A virtual canoe tour of Lady's Bridge and Wicker Tilt is available now. Further virtual tours will launch next week, exploring:

  • Old Town Hall – including Georgian and Victorian Courtrooms, Judges Rooms, cells and 1950s extensions.
  • Terminal Warehouse – Georgian canal architecture and machinery converted to modern design studios.
  • Sheffield Castle - including hidden River Sheaf, castle remains, recent archaeology, Sheffield Fairs and music halls.
  • Grey to Green and Love Square – a walkabout with the designers.
  • Castlegate’s River Sculptor – Daniel Bustamente talks about his unique installations in the Don at Blonk Street.

Visitors can also follow a virtual trail of blue plaques, which tell the stories of 12 notable Castlegate residents over the last 400 years.

Castlegate skate park

The 'Marioland' skate park before opening.

Photo by Sheffield City Council.

On 19 September 'Marioland', a new public skate park, opened on Exchange Street with the support of Skate England.

Phase 2 of the Grey to Green project will be formally opened on 26 September, and a new fortnightly flower market, known as the Pollen Market, will launch on Castlegate on 27 September.

Refurbishment of the Old Town Hall, which has been unused since 1997, is due to start imminently. The Grade II listed building of 1808 will contain apartments, a pod hotel and a 'souk' marketplace.

"Notwithstanding the present challenges presented by Covid-19, everyone involved with Castlegate has demonstrated huge energy and commitment in driving forward this historical and important part of our city, we thank them all for their work and efforts," said McKervey.

by Sam Gregory (he/him)
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