A series of Open Days will start on Saturday as work continues on the excavation of the site of the medieval castle in Sheffield at Castlegate.

This will be the first time that the local community will have a chance to see the progress of the dig and to talk to the archaeologists about the work that is going on and finds made so far.

The work is being carried out by archaeological and heritage practice, Wessex Archaeology, and has been commissioned by Sheffield City Council as part of its Castlegate Kickstart regeneration programme in order to determine the level of preservation of the remains of Sheffield’s castle and later industrial development.

This will help to shape the future development and enhancement of the former Castle Markets site on Exchange Street.

Six open days are planned: on Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 September, Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 September and  Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 October. On 6 October, visitors to the site can meet with artists using the site as inspiration for their work.

Book a place on one of the Open Days. Spaces are limited.

Mili Rajic, Project Manager at Wessex Archaeology said: “This is very much a community project and, as we progress on this dig, we want to ensure that the people of Sheffield have a chance to come and see the site of such an iconic symbol of Sheffield’s past.

“We have local volunteers working alongside professional archaeologists on the site as well as students from the University of Sheffield.  So far, we have opened up 11 of the trenches and are slowly uncovering some of the industrial Victorian history of the site.  As we go deeper we hope to find traces of the original medieval castle.  We look forward to welcoming members of the public on to the site to find out more.”

Mazher Iqbal and a big hole in the ground
Mazher Iqbal on the Castlegate site

Councillor Mazher Iqbal from Sheffield City Council said: “This is a great opportunity for the local community to get involved in uncovering the history of the castle and see the exciting progress first hand.

I’d encourage everyone who can to take the opportunity to visit the site if they can and find out more about Sheffield’s past.”

Professor John Moreland, Department of Archaeology, University of Sheffield said: “The excavations on Castle Hill are amongst the most important to be conducted in Sheffield in modern times. They are aimed at uncovering, and restoring to the people of Sheffield, important parts of their heritage. We are delighted that Wessex Archaeology, through these Open Days, are providing the public with an opportunity to get an early insight into their discoveries.”

Martin Gorman, Chair of Friends of Sheffield Castle said: “Naturally, we are delighted that our Members and the local community are going to get the chance to visit the Castle site and view the excavations, and we are grateful to Wessex Archaeology for facilitating this. We are hoping that this work will shed new light on the Castle remains but also help bring to life the history of Sheffield from the earliest days.”

Book a place on one of the Open Days. Spaces are limited.

View our gallery for the first day of Castle excavations.