Glimpses of a long-lost past of Sheffield’s industry

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An archaeological dig on the site of a major new university building is revealing glimpses into Sheffield’s industrial past.

Work is going on off Charles Street, where Sheffield Hallam University’s £30 million Institute of Education is to be built.

Archaeologists working for the city’s ArcHeritage team have uncovered units dating back to 1804 on the site of the flagship building, which will also house some of Hallam’s faculty of development and society.

Finds include two wells and evidence of a white metal foundry, a carpenter’s business and a row of one-roomed cottages, as well as a collection of knives, clay pipes and ceramics.

The findings have now been transported off the site ahead of the start of building work later this month.

Dr Glyn Davies said the land, originally known as Alsop Fields, was owned by the Duke of Norfolk and originally intended as land for housing.

Instead it became separate industrial units and latterly, Brown Street car park.

He said: “It’s a fascinating glimpse into Sheffield’s past, when it went from a small town to a huge industrial city.”

The new building will be situated on the corner of Charles Street and Arundel Gate.

It will house the Sheffield Institute of Education - which brings together the university’s teacher education courses and education research.

The building will be six storeys high in places, with several outside terraced areas.

A special concertina-style bridge will connect it to the university’s Arundel Building.

Its innovative design also includes a central walkway through Brown Lane which will be enclosed by a glass atrium – the walkway will be open to the public.

The development includes a 300-seat lecture theatre, teaching rooms and a café.