Castle market in Sheffield will not be listed

Does this pave the way for excavated Sheffield castle ruins and park? Or just Leeds-style crap office blocks?

This morning it was announced that the Minister for tourism and heritage has decided not to list Castle market building.

This news means that in theory the major stumbling block to the Castlegate part of the 2008 city centre masterplan has been removed.

The masterplan outlined a vision for the excavation of Sheffield castle ruins, which are under the present market building, and the creation of a park in the vicinity. This would be an important part of of the regeneration of the Castlegate and Victoria quays area.

The debate about whether or not it should be listed has gone on for a few months now. Some people see the old markets as a eyesore in an already run down area and would be glad to see it gone.

Others see the 1960s building as an example of what makes Sheffield different to other northern cities. They argue that it is a unique place where working class people come to shop that has been neglected over the years, which should be kept in the heart of the city.

On the radio tonight a councillor said that archaeologists would be given time to investigate the ruins of the castle to see what can be made of them. But in a recession is it possible that the masterplan proposals would never be realised anyway?

The author of the blog posts linked to above, Owen Hatherley, has said in reaction to the announcement that the remains of the market are dull and that ‘there will be no park, just a wasteland that will eventually be filled, in the extremely unlikely event the economy picks up, with Leeds-style crap office blocks.’

What do you think? Should we demolish the market building now it will not be listed and hope that the masterplan comes to fruition? Or does it have a social value and architectural merit that we need to retain?

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4 Comments

  1. P Roberts

     /  21 December, 2010

    I believe the Castle Market buildings are an eyesore and need to go. I do however see them as socially important, both in terms of a shopping experience and for employment. I thought an area had been cleared at the bottom of the Moor for a new building housing the market to be built? The only stumbling blocks i can see are what we can make of the Castle ruins and where will the money come from to regenerate both areas. In times of austerity it is hard to see the justification for spending the amount of money required but without the investment the future looks bleak for the markets and the whole area as it falls into further disrepair. Either way this is a big project but doing nothing is not an option. Victoria keys is a lovely historic area that is under utilised due to no footfall for the businesses located there. To make this the leisure destination it deserves to be in needs an easy link to the city.

  2. Thanks for this insightful post Robin. Thank goodness that eyesore locus for trouble is going! Here is historian & author Ron Clayton’s post on the subject at NW Sheffield blog http://wp.me/p12f2c-3WE

    My best! 8-)

  3. Moveing the market areas from there historical area is social vandalism.if we do need? a new market the use Castle House.

  4. Moveing the market areas from there historical area is social vandalism.if we do need? a new market then use Castle House.

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