Project examines heritage of city’s iconic marketplace

Sheffield Castle Market'1984
Sheffield Castle Market'1984

IT is not going to be there much longer, so a project to encapsulate the history of the Castle Market is timely.

A year in the life of the market will collect stories and memories from more than 100 traders before they relocate to The Moor premises at the end of next year.

The Trading Histories multi-media project - a record of the 700-year history of the site - is being financed by £31,200 from the Heritage Lottery Fund, it was announced this week. One of the vacant stalls will be a focalpoint for contributions.

Sheffield-based heritage practice ArcHeritage, part of the York Archaeological Trust educational charity, has secured the grant for the year-long initiative, which starts next month.

Backed by the council, it will also see local schoolchildren examining the history, buildings and produce of the market, and workshops led by social documentary photographer Ian Beesley, poet, performer and writer Ian McMillan and artist Kid Acne.

Material from the public will be gathered at research workshops at Sheffield Archives and the Local Studies Library.

Fiona Spiers, head of the Heritage Lottery Fund for Yorkshire and the Humber said: “The Castle Market site is historically significant, with a market trading on site for over 700 years. This project will preserve this unique heritage, recording its history and capturing the memories and stories of the traders before they are lost with the relocation of the market in 2013.”

Anna Badcock, regional director of strategy and development at ArcHeritage, said: “This is a really exciting opportunity to capture and preserve the spirit of Sheffield’s Castle Market in a vibrant and lasting interpretive record.”

Council leader Julie Dore said it was “a fantastic way to document the proud history of Sheffield’s markets. It is a fitting end to celebrate the stories and memories before the move to The Moor next year.”

Sheffield’s Market Charter was granted in 1296, and the market has been located in the Castlegate/Waingate area ever since. The latest market hall was built in the 1920s. It is due to close in November 2013 when the new building off The Moor should be ready for business.

Provisional plans are to demolish the Castle building to make way for offices, but only once the site has been investigated for remains of Sheffield Castle.