Archaeologists say they have unearthed the major
significance of a castle that was destroyed 370 years ago.
Sheffield Castle deserves a place in English history alongside famed medieval landmarks such as the Tower of London, the experts think.
The little that remains of what was once a huge structure was hidden for years in the basement of a concrete markets complex.
But the site has been opened up by a redevelopment, and archaeologists say there is strong evidence that more substantial parts of the castle walls may still be in place.
Sheffield University said its study “reveals the castle was among the most important political and cultural centres in medieval England, home to aristocrats who played major roles in local, national and international affairs”.
The team concluded the structure “shaped the development… of modern-day Sheffield”.
Professor John Moreland, of the archaeology department, said: “Sheffield is seen as the Steel City, but what our research makes clear is the city has a deep history that dates right back to the Middle Ages.
“Unfortunately, since the castle was largely destroyed… and multiple developments have been built on its site ever since, this rich medieval history of the city has largely been forgotten or ignored.”
The castle, which was started in 1270, was a Royalist stronghold in the English Civil War. Parliament ordered for it to be razed in 1646.
The university studied archaeological work dating back to the 1920s. The recent dig began in 2018.
Artefacts found over the years include a medieval ear scoop.
Experts think the gatehouse – parts of which were excavated in the last century – consisted of two D-shaped towers.
The city centre site was covered by market complexes in the 1920s and 1950s.
They were demolished five years ago. There is also evidence of a castle from the 11th century.