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We are carrying out the biggest excavation of Sheffield Castle to date

For the first time in 70 years the remains of Sheffield Castle’s imposing medieval gatehouse, including the massive foundation of its circular towers, the moat and drawbridge pier are being uncovered over a 10-week programme led by a team from Wessex Archaeology.   

The excavation is part of Sheffield City Council’s Castlegate regeneration project and is overseen by construction engineering specialists, Keltbray. The remains of the gatehouse are to be permanently displayed in the new public space that will transform the area into a public park. 

From delving into 13th-century destruction deposits to recovering remnants of the castle’s siege during the Civil War, we are excavating through six meters of Sheffield’s rich heritage and sharing the results with the public through open days, excavation tours, short films and more. 

Members of the public help to excavate Sheffield Castle during trial excavation in 2018

Open days and Excavation Tours

Throughout April and May 2024, the community is invited to experience and discover the site’s archaeology firsthand, through open days and opportunities to participate in the excavation for a day. 

Booking is essential.
Explore Sheffield Castle events

Previous work

In 2018 Wessex Archaeology undertook archaeological works at Sheffield Castle. The work was commissioned by Sheffield City Council in order to determine the level of preservation of the remains of Sheffield’s 13th-century castle and later industrial development.

This work provided the first opportunity to understand the archaeology of the whole site. The eleven trenches revealed more of Sheffield’s rich steel-making past along with a section across the full width of the medieval castle's moat. The project created a fantastic opportunity to understand more about Sheffield’s medieval past, much of which was lost during the 19th-century development of the city.

The team excavated 11 evaluation trenches on the site over nine weeks, working in tandem with the Friends of Sheffield Castle and the University of Sheffield, providing opportunities for students and members of the public to assist in the work.

Throughout the excavation work we provided regular updates of the works in progress, held open days and site tours for the public, local groups and schools, and gave a series of talks on the results of the work.

For a deeper dive into our 2018 evaluation results, you can download the full report at the bottom of this page or delve into Sheffield Castle's fascinating archaeological journey through our StoryMap below. 

Three images (below) kindly provided by Paul Rowland

Sheffield Castle volunteers excavating onsite Sheffield Castle volunteers excavating onsite Sheffield Castle excavations

To watch the series of videos created during this excavation in 2018 visit our YouTube collection here.

Work now underway digging Sheffield Castle Work underway digging Sheffield Castle