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Explore Sheffield Castle, Old Town Hall and more with Virtual Castlegate Festival

Sheffield Old Town Hall
Sheffield Old Town Hall. Photo: Bruno Postle (Flickr, CC-BY SA)

One of Sheffield’s newest festivals — the Castlegate Festival — returns with a difference this September.

Castlegate Festival Goes Online

This September’s Castlegate Festival has been forced to go online due to new ‘Rule of Six’ social distancing guidelines.

Castlegate Festival, organised by the Castlegate Partnership, celebrates the historic areas around the old Sheffield Castle (Castle Market) site.

Usually a host of interesting street activities, the festival has been mostly postponed. Tours and events had been planned by community groups Friends of Sheffield Castle, Friends of the Old Town Hall and Sheaf and Porter Rivers Trust.

However a number of virtual activities will take place instead.

Virtual Castlegate Festival

A number of the events will now take place virtually, in association with Heritage Open Days.

Interesting virtual tours are set to include a look around the Old Town Hall, a canoe trip through the area’s medieval bridges and exploring Sheffield Castle’s remains and archaeology.

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A self-guided walking tour will also be available to download to follow yourself in safe groups. Additionally, a new online guide to the Castlegate Quarter will be published.

“Although we can’t currently promote social gatherings in the quarter, we do urge people to enjoy the virtual tours we will be offering online, or follow the self-guided walk in safe groups to see how the area has begun to change and to visit some of its new attractions as they open. 

“To support this we will be publishing a new online guide to the quarter to help people explore. Notwithstanding the present challenges presented by COVID-19, everyone involved with Castlegate has demonstrated huge energy and commitment in driving forward this historical and important part of our city, we thank them all for their work and efforts.”Martin McKervey, Chair of the Castlegate Partnership

Virtual Tours Planned for Castlegate Festival

Tours planned for the new virtual Castlegate Festival include:

  • Castlegate’s River Sculptor: Daniel Bustamente talks about his unique installations in the Don at Blonk Street
  • Grey to Green and Love Square: a walkabout with the designers
  • Medieval Arches of Ladys Bridge and Wicker Tilt: via canoe
  • Old Town Hall: including Georgian and Victorian Courtrooms, Judges Rooms, cells, and 1950s extensions
  • Sheffield Castle: including hidden River Sheaf, Castle remains, recent archaeology, Sheffield Fairs and music halls
  • Terminal Warehouse: Georgian canal architecture and machinery ingeniously converted to unique modern design studios and living spaces

A full schedule is due to be published this weekend at the Castlegate Festival website.

▶️ WATCH: The Sheffield Guide to Secret Tunnels, Hidden Rivers and The Megatron.

Castlegate Regeneration

Despite the challenges faced by the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been much to celebrate in the Castlegate area this year.

The Grey to Green scheme now flows through the area and will receive a formal opening on 26 September. Subsequently, a pathway has been formed from Shalesmoor through Castlegate complete with the planting of shrubs, trees and wildflowers — adding an impressive and attractive splash of colour to the area.

Additionally, the Kollider business hub and Kommune foodhall continue their success, plans have been submitted for the Old Town Hall, the new Ding Junhui Snooker Academy has established, many vacant premises have been refurbished and a number of new businesses have opened in the area.

Marioland — a new street skating installation — is also set to open this weekend, in association with Skate England.

“I feel for all those businesses and partners in Castlegate who have been working so hard in the last few months to celebrate the many positive developments now evident in Castlegate, however public safety must be our priority at this time. Our Castlegate team will continue to offer support and promotion of the regeneration vision we share.”Councillor Mazher Iqbal Cabinet Member for Business and Investment

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Founder and editor of The Sheffield Guide. A lifelong Sheffielder with a local pride that lovingly crafts each and every piece created. Discover the very best of the Steel City with The Sheffield Guide.

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