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Sheffield City Council to reconstruct castles missing Great Bastion in Inner City

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Last year Sheffield City Council announced spectacularly breathtaking plans to reconstruct the medieval Great Bastion, Moat and Drawbridge of Sheffield Castle as part of the re-development of the Inner City. While some might call it Disneyland in the City many in Sheffield are strongly in favour and excited by the Councils bold redevelopment plans.

Links to the redevelopment proposal are provided below
https://www.sheffield.gov.uk/planning-and-city-development/regeneration/castlegate-regeneration.html
http://www.thestar.co.uk/news/business/business-news/sheffield-s-lost-castle-to-live-again-1-6758594
http://friendsofsheffieldcastle.org.uk/?topic-tag=book&paged=11

The purpose of the redevelopment is re-establish Sheffields identity and to provide a strong visual rallying point for the resurgence of the city’s economy and a real sense of community pride. Essentially the redevelopment gives a new heart or in this case an old heart and core values to the city which has undergone many life threatening changes in the last 50 years from the start of its industrial decline in the early 60s.

The rebuilding of the castles Great Bastion will encapsulate all the strength of the cities past great history and the values that will be carried through to the future  to ensure that it continues to have a vibrant and dynamic future.

The model provides an impression of the proposed redevelopment of Sheffield’s Castlegate and Riverside areas and the reconstruction of the medieval great bastion, moat and drawbridge of Sheffield Castle. The original medieval buried moat will be excavated together with what remains of the original castle foundations which currently lie buried beneath the city.

According to Sheffield Council -“Eagerly-awaited plans for the regeneration of Sheffield’s Castlegate and Riverside quarters are being revealed as we and our partners launch a series of funding bids to transform the environment and encourage new business. This is a huge step forward in plans to regenerate this part of the city centre, which include the rediscovery of Sheffield’s lost castle and the creation of new green spaces for families and visitors to enjoy. The extent of the surviving castle ruins is not fully known. But if bids are successful, work will begin with a series of trial trenches in areas of the site not previously investigated. A new park will then be designed to allow these castle remains to be conserved and interpreted.

According to Sheffield Council -“Eagerly-awaited plans for the regeneration of Sheffield’s Castlegate and Riverside quarters are being revealed as we and our partners launch a series of funding bids to transform the environment and encourage new business. This is a huge step forward in plans to regenerate this part of the city centre, which include the rediscovery of Sheffield’s lost castle and the creation of new green spaces for families and visitors to enjoy. The extent of the surviving castle ruins is not fully known. But if bids are successful, work will begin with a series of trial trenches in areas of the site not previously investigated. A new park will then be designed to allow these castle remains to be conserved and interpreted.

The Castlegate site is of huge historical interest but little of the castle above ground has survived.  Initial designs for the site include the reconstruction of the main entrance to the castle, known as the Great Bastion or gatehouse on its original foundations, which are known to survive, including a drawbridge over the re-excavated moat.”

The Castlegate site is of huge historical interest but little of the castle above ground has survived.  Initial designs for the site include the reconstruction of the main entrance to the castle, known as the Great Bastion or gatehouse on its original foundations, which are known to survive, including a drawbridge over the re-excavated moat.”

The similarities and possibilities for the reconstruction of Barnard Castles missing Great Bastion are obvious, real and very exciting. If a semi-circular bastion was originally present on Bridgegate there would be historical credibility for reconstructing this feature perhaps as a new focal or rallying point for the resurgence of the local economy and community pride in the town as well as attracting very favourable publicity nationally and increasing tourism revenue.

Such a major and exciting heritage project would surely be worthy of heritage funding and Royal Patronage at the very highest level.

The reconstructed bastion could be a multi-functional structure providing both covered public amenity space, exhibition space (perhaps even a museum of medieval siege craft) as well as a magnificently bold landmark/ viewing platform overlooking the River Tees.

At the same time the development would vastly enhance the views approaching Barnard Castle from the ancient Roman and medieval west road over the river. In addition such a structure could provide much needed support to a section of the castles west wall and slope which are unstable and perhaps of questionable historical value.

Related News: Barnard Castle Walls Achilles heel and missing bastion

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