Castlegate Festival

Photo - Welcome to Castlegate Festival

Castlegate Festival 2023: 8 to 17 September

This is a celebration of heritage, arts and music at the Grey to Green project, Pollen and Quayside Markets.

Welcome to the seventh edition of the Castlegate Festival. This year’s festival celebrates the heritage, arts and music of Sheffield’s oldest quarter but also looks to its future with the redevelopment of one of its central sites: the Castle site, which is derelict and has been boarded up since the demolition of the Castle Market in 2015. Vulcan (the god of steel) is the glass fibre sculpture on the corner on King St in Castlegate (Boris Tietze, 1962). We have added a shovel and a safety hat to mark the start of works.

Castlegate is home to many art spaces, restaurants, bars, hotels and the National Videogame Museum. It is also the home of the award-winning Grey to Green project, Pollen Market (Sheffield’s first fresh flower market) as well as the Quayside Market in Victoria Quays.

If you do not know the area or have not been for a while, please join us for 10 days of celebrations.

Exchange Streetb Sheffield
Sheffield Pollen Inner-City Flower Market photo
Canal Boat Quayside Market at Victoria Quays
Sheffield Castle
Yorkshire Artspace Exchange Place Studios

2023 festival programme

Exhibition on Castlegate (the street) on the River Don Railings

1 to 30 September, all day, free event

Visit the exhibition about famous people who lived in Castlegate (Blue Plaques), old and new street names, buildings linked to markets in the area as well as historical pubs and public houses in Castlegate. You will be surprised about the rich history of this part of Sheffield.

Quayside Market at Victoria Quays

Saturday 9, 12pm to 9pm, free event

Quayside Market is a monthly street food, craft and independent business market at Sheffield's beautiful Victoria Quays in the heart of the canal basin.

A host of independent award-winning street food and craft beer traders awaits, family-friendly activities, local arts and crafts all taking place under the arches. As part of the Castlegate Festival, this month’s market also hosts local DJs and musicians throughout the day.

More information and future market dates can be found at Peddle.

Skate Jam, Street Party and Festival event at Exchange Street

Saturday 16, 2pm until 5am, free events

Organised by Exchange St Collective (Delicious Clam, Plot 22 and Bal Fashions) and Skateboard GB

2pm to 4.30pm: Skateboarding - Sheffield’s Marioland Skateboard Jam

Sheffield’s annual skateboard jam at Marioland, Exchange St, Sheffield S2 5TR. The UK’s only purpose built, city centre skateboard area. We will be hosting best trick competitions, prizes, live music and extra features along the street. Welcome to all, no need to sign up, just come down and skate.

2pm to 10pm: Street music event - Exchange Street Collective

A one-day free entry music festival, showcasing independent artist and business from Sheffield and beyond. DJ sets from Sheffield crews including RiteTrax, Andy H, Pipes and others, licensed bar, food stalls and market with local independent businesses, art and much more! All ages welcome.

Children under the age of 16 should be accompanied by an adult after 9pm.

10pm to 5am: ESC Night Parties - Bal Fashions and Plot 22

The free festival continues into the night with the finest in underground music from across the spectrum of sound in Exchange Street's intimate club spaces (18+, please bring ID)

View more information on the event page.

Sheffield Pollen Inner-City Flower Market

Sunday 17, 10am to 4pm, free event

Celebrating Pollen Market’s 2nd birthday, come down to Castlegate for a floral feast showcasing plants, flowers and produce in the UK’s greenest City.

An array of 40+ stall holders and a mega line-up of food traders will be taking root in Castlegate for this event. Head down, grab a coffee onsite and enjoy the live music and entertainment. No need to book, the event is free. 

You can also join the Sheffield Castle: Site History and the Future tour, 12:00 and 15:00. Tours last approximately 45 minutes. Book on the day at the Sheaf and Porter Rivers Trust stall.  

At midday, a plaque dedicated to Lizzie the Castlegate Elephant will be unveiled by the Lord Mayor of Sheffield.

More information and future market dates are at Pollen Market and on Instagram @pollenmarketsheffield.

Sheffield Walking Festival

Wednesday 13, Thursday 14, Saturday 16 and Sunday 17, free event

Strap on your boots and take in Sheffield on foot. All events are free and for a range of abilities for the Castlegate Festival:

  • Wednesday 13 September 6.30 to 8.30pm, A Historical Pub Crawl around Castlegate’s lost bars, clubs and pubs and some new ones too
  • Thursday 14 September, 6 to 7.30pm, Tales of City Centre Music Halls
  • Saturday 16 September, 12 to 1pm, Sheffield's Waterfront: Past, Present and Future
  • Sunday 17 September, 12 and 3pm (tours last 45 mins), Sheffield Castle: Site History and the Future (can also be booked on the day at the Sheaf and Porter Rivers Trust stall, Pollen Market)

Book places as well as other slots for other events at Welcome to Sheffield.

Heritage Open Days

Thursday 14 and Sunday 17, free event

This is England’s largest festival of history and culture that gives you the chance to see hidden places. Specifically, for Castlegate:

  • Thursday 14 September, 6 to 7.30pm: Tales of City Centre Music Halls
  • Sunday, 17 September, 2.30 to 4.30pm: A look at Castlegate in Sheffield – A Guided Tour by the Victorian Society

Book places as well as other slots for other events at Heritage Open Days.

Yorkshire Artspace Exchange Place Studios

Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 September, 12pm to 4pm, free event

Join artist Bethan Maddocks to make your own pop-up paper scene that explores the changing face of Castlegate and Sheffield’s past, present and imagined. 

Free and suitable for all children. All materials provided. Drop-in, no need to book.

Bethan is the Testing Ground artist-in-residence throughout September and October and will be making new work at Exchange Place Studios. Visitors are encouraged to walk by throughout the festival and see a series of changing paper installations in the windows. 

Find out more about Bethan at Bethan Maddocks.

Food, Films and Art at Kommune (Angel St)

Films Monday 11 to Sunday 17, 7pm, free event

Art Market Sunday 10, 11am to 6pm, free event

From 11 to 17 September, immerse yourself in the magic of cinema with free daily screenings of cult movies, then join us for a vibrant Art Market on Sunday 10. 

Explore a diverse selection of prints, original art, custom clothing, handmade products, photography and more. Kids will have their own creative corner with colouring and drawing all day. It will be a fun day filled with community spirit. Don't miss out.

Follow all details on Kommune's official page, and remember to tag them in your photos. 

Fast Travel, The National Videogame Museum (Angel St) 

Friday 8 to Sunday 10 and Thursday 14 to Sunday 17, check opening times, fee paying event

Discover worlds real and imagined at The National Videogame Museum. We are extending our popular Fast Travel programme especially for the Castlegate Festival. 

Visitors can be whisked around the museum by following one of three unique trails (Real World, Local Line or Out of this World) hopping off at any game station that takes their fancy and discovering old favourites or a host of fresh games.

There is also opportunity to view our display of rare gaming objects such as maps, manuals and artefacts that explore the travel theme, and take part in family friendly activities from our award-winning Learning Team - contribute to a giant 'World Building' map or even program a mini robot.

Book your tickets and see opening times on The NVM.

Two & Six: Castlegate’s newest micropub at 26 Snig Hill

Saturday 9, Sunday 10, Saturday 16 and Sunday 17, 11am to 4pm, free event

The Two & Six Micropub is hiring extra space for the Castlegate Festival and will offer arts and crafts family friendly activities during the festival. 

Activities will be most suitable for younger children aged 3 to 8 years, but all ages and accompanying parents/carers will be accommodated.

For all opening times and other information on the events, visit Two and Six Micropub.

Yorkshire Artspace’s annual Open Studios

Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 November 2023, 11am to 5pm, free event

Come back to Castlegate for YA Open Studios event. There is more information is at Yorkshire Artspace.

Supported by

Castlegate Festival has been funded by Sheffield City Council, Sheffield BID and the City Ward Councillors through Central Local Assembly Committee.

Sheffield City Council
Sheffield Bid

They Lived in Castlegate: the stories behind the plaques

Castlegate is Sheffield’s oldest quarter with at almost 1000 years of history, but much of this is not well known. As people return to the quarter to live, work and have fun often in regenerated older buildings,  this history is being rediscovered. Building on 2019’s revival of historic street names this years Castlegate Festival gives you the opportunity to learn more about a few of the notable people who lived, worked or had fun in the area over the last 400 years, by following a trail of ‘Blue Plaques’.

1. Mary Stuart, Queen of Scotland and France: Imprisoned Sheffield Castle 1570-84 (see hoarding, Exchange Street)

Mary was committed into the charge of George Talbot, 6th Earl of Shrewsbury and Sheffield’s Lord of the Manor because he was a leading figure at the court of Elizabeth 1st queen of England and was also one of the most wealthy individuals in the north of England at the time. As a Catholic with claims to the throne of England as well as Scotland, she was considered highly dangerous and her 14 years of confinement mainly at Sheffield Castle, (formerly on this site) Manor Lodge or Chatsworth were constantly surrounded by plots and conspiracies to free her, the last of which led to her execution. However she had the last word in the end as when Elizabeth died childless it was Mary’s son James who became the next king of England and Scotland! 

2. George Talbot c1522-1590, 6th Earl of Shrewsbury, Jailer of Mary Queen of Scots (see hoarding, Exchange Street)

George Talbot was a fabulously wealthy Tudor aristocrat who despite his title considered Sheffield and its castle as his home. He inherited huge estates and many houses and castles in South Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire, from which he built an early industrial empire including iron, coal and shipping, run mainly from his principal residence in Sheffield. He was also a trusted figure at the court of Elizabeth 1st being appointed to many diplomatic and military roles including Earl Marshall of England - essentially head of the army - and was also entrusted with the huge responsibility and expense of keeping in captivity Mary Queen of Scots (and formerly Queen of France) along with her considerable court, at Sheffield Castle and his other secure houses and castles for 14 long years. During this time is formidable wife, Bess of Hardwick, became convinced he had fallen for Mary, who was famously attractive, and their marriage fell apart until they lived seperate lives, he with his housekeeper at Handsworth.

3. Tommy Youdan c1816-76, Theatrical Impressario and sponsor of the World’s first football cup (Exchange Place)

Thomas Youdan was a larger than life figure in the world of popular entertainment in Victorian Sheffield, much of which was centred around the Castlegate and West Bar area. He ran a succession  of theatres specialising in melodrama, spectacular scenary, animals and other exhibits. His first flagship theatre, the Surrey Music Hall on West Bar burnt to the ground in 1865 (after a show called the Great Fire of London went seriously wrong). Not deterred he bought the Adelphi Circus on Exchange St and renamed it the Alexandra,  hosting most of the best known music hall acts as well as equestrian shows.He also served for six years as a City Councillor, engaged in many charitable activities and perhaps most famously, sponsored the first recorded multi-team football competition in the world - the Youdan Cup, still played for today in Sheffield.

4. Pablo Fanque c1810-71 UK’s First Black Circus Master (see hoarding, Castlegate)

Pablo Fanque (born William Darby 30 March) was born in 1810 in Norwich. He was an outstanding equestrian performer and the first recorded non-white British circus owner in Britain. His circus was popular in Victorian Britain, particularly in the industrial north, for 30 years, in a period that is regarded as the golden age of the circus.

Pablo Fanque was a leading innovator in the management and promotion of circus, employing his own architect and graphic artists to present his touring shows. He married a Sheffield woman and both performed in and staged many seasons of shows at Sheffield, particularly around the Castlegate area including Sheffied Fairground on Blonk St and the Alexandra theatre on Exchange St. Since the late 20th century, Pablo Fanque has been best known from being mentioned in The Beatles song "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!" on their album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967) which was inspired by one of his posters.

5. Bess of Hardwick 1527-1608, Countess of Shrewsbury, Successful Tudor business woman (see hoarding, Exchange Street)

Bess came from an obscure Derbyshire family to become one of the most successful independent wormen of Tudor England. She did so by marrying and outliving a succession of four husbands each more wealthy than the last, and then ensuring that she held onto her own property and investments. As well as living at Sheffield Castle (formerly on this site) and Manor Lodge she went on build Chatsworth & Hardwick Halls, and established a powerful family of her own living to a great age for her times and maintaining control of her life to the end. 

6. Henry Seebohm 1832-1895, Quaker Steelmaster, Explorer and Ornithologist (corner of Blonk Street)

Henry Seebohm came from one of the many German families who had settled in Bradford a generation before and who in this case belonged to the Quaker protestant faith. He teamed up with another German immigrant to set up Seebohm and Diechstahl’s steelworks between the Wicker and the River Don. His Quaker roots were an influence in the way he treated his workforce who were among the first to be allowed paid holidays, and he was linked to the Rowntrees of York, well-known Quaker chocolate-makers and  philanthropists. But his most lasting achievements were arguably in his passion for bird watching and exploration, notably to Siberia, which he regularly pursued and wrote up in a series of travel and ornithology books, including one of the first comprehensive  books of British birds. His collection of birds eggs became the basis of that in the Natural History Museum. After the death of its two founders and during the First World War, the firm changed its name to Arthur Balfour after its then MD because its German name attracted hostility and suspicion.

Today nothing is left of Seebohm’s riverside steelworks but his books and collections live on.

7. Benjamin Blonk 1747-1813 Scissor maker, cutler, Steam power pioneer (Blonk Street)

Benjamin Blonk was a Sheffield steel, tool and scissor maker who operated a prominent factory - the Wicker Tilt a water-powered steel forge and grinding shop just downstream of Ladys Bridge. His name is also associated with the introduction of steam powered grinding and with Blonk Bridge although it was actually built some time after his death. The Blonk family were engaged with scissor-making for several generations and it is believed that they may have been one of a number of Huguenot families - C17th French Protestant refugees from religious persecution - who were welcomed for their skills and resettled in Sheffield. Their original name may have been Blanc - White in French.  

8. Lizzie: ‘Tommy Ward’s Elephant’ Beast of Burden World War 1 (old Hancock and Lant building, off Lady’s Bridge)

With many of its cart-horses commandeered by the army for the war effort, Thomas W Ward, famous scrap, coal and machine dealers of Sheffield, acquired a trio of circus animals – an elephant and two dromedaries - from a travelling circus menagerie who wintered in one of the Wicker arches. They were uses to haul heavy loads such as machinery and steel and became a familiar and popular site on the streets of Sheffield. They were housed in this multi-storey stable block built for railway horses. Lizzie was renowned for a mischievous sense of humour, stealing pies from shop windows and occasionally upsetting loads she didn’t like. It's not yet known how long she lived after her wartime service, nor what happened to the dromedaries.

9. Ella Gasking OBE 1891-1966 M M.D. Batchelor’s Foods: Mushy Pea Pioneer (old Hancock and Lant building, off Lady’s Bridge)

William Batchelor (1861-1913) was a tea dealer in Sheffield, originally from a modest Lincolnshire background and a strict Primitive Methodist. Batchelor opened a factory for the manufacture and sale of dried peas in the basement of the Primitive Methodist chapel on Stanley Street, off Wicker in 1899. The busines had grown to employ 50 people when Batchelor died in 1913. With his sons at war, and his wife an invalid, if was left to his 22 year old daughter, Ella Hudson Gasking (1891-1966), to run the company as managing director. This she did extremely successfully. Gasking was a warm and friendly woman and a hard worker but had no business training. She later commented, “I myself never even dreamed of being a business woman…I took over because I had to”.

Following the end of the First World War, Gasking was assisted in management by her two brothers, Maurice and Frederick  Batchelor.

Dried peas in cartons were popular but the peas had to be soaked overnight before use. Ella went to the USA to study US canning methods, and returned in 1930 to set up a pea canning factory in the empty former Bryars multi-storey stables, at Lady's Bridge. The canned “processed” (or mushy) peas were an immediate success, such that within a few years she needed to relocate to a much larger factory at Wadsley. Batchelor’s went on to have the highest sales of canned and dried peas in the world. Turnover was just under £1 million. Ella was awarded the OBE.

Today, Batchelor’s still has a major trade in tinned peas, but is perhaps best known for its convenience foods such as Cup-A-Soup and Super Noodles. Campbells Soups, made famous by 60s pop-artist Andy Warhol, were for a time marketed as Batchelors in the UK.

10. Henry Bryars b.1853, Horse Vet, Dog Rescuer, Edwardian Developer (old Hancock and Lant building, off Lady’s Bridge)

Henry Bryars was a successful veterinary surgeon, animal breeder, race horse owner and property developer who has left us one of the most distinctive groups of buildings in the city situated on Ladys Bridge, Blonk St and the River Don. One of his most successful business projects was to be awared contracts to stable and care for the large number of cart-horses belonging to railway companies in Sheffield, many of which were concentrated around Wicker. On the basis of this, in 1899 he instigated an ambitious multi-use development comprising a four storey stable block with a farriers and sick bays on the groundfloor and stables above reached by ramps instead of stairs. To this were added stables for his own race-horses, a house and surgery for himself, two blocks of shops with flats over and a home for stray dogs in the basement! The buildings by noted Sheffield architects Flockton, Gibbs & Flockton are clad in shiny glazed brown brick throughout in a unique style with hints of medieval northern Europe. 

With Bryars’ death and the end of horse transport his business wound up and the stable building has passed through several further uses including the birth place of the Mushy Pea and a famous furniture emporium Hancock and Lants. It was nearly demolished in the 1980s for a road scheme. In its most recent refurbishment it has been cleaned and converted to flats and a shop,  showing the ongoing resilience of many of Castlegate’s buildings.  

11. Charlie Peace 1832-79, Notorious Sheffield burglar, Escapologist and Murderer (Waingate)

Charlie Peace was born in the Millsands area of Sheffield and like many others began his working life as a child in the steelworks. He suffered a serious industrial injury which left him unable to pursue this form of work and eventually turned to crime, becoming a professional burglar travelling widely and becoming adept at disguise and escape as well as the use of guns. After killing a policeman in Manchester, he fled back to his native Sheffield, where he settled for a time in Bannerdale, becoming obsessed with his neighbour's wife, eventually shooting her husband dead at their house. Escaping again to London, he carried out many more burglaries while apparently living as a respectable family man, before being caught in the prosperous suburb of Blackheath, wounding the policeman who arrested him. He was then linked to the Sheffield murder, returned to Sheffield, held and arraigned at the Sheffield Court on Castle St. He was later taken and tried at Leeds Assizes. Found guilty, he was hanged at Armley Prison. 

Bizzarely his violent and colourful life story has fascinated subsequent generations and has inspired authors, comic book writers and film producers to write many stories about his fictional exploits, often portraying him as a cheerful rogue.

12. Arthur Davy 1838-1902, Baker, Grocer, Tea Merchant (corner of Castle and Haymarket)

Arthur Davy founded a business which grew into Davy’s Bakeries & Cafes - Sheffield’s answer to Greggs from the Victorian era until the late C20th. He started as a wholesale grocer and tea merchant in the Bridgehouses area but expanded into groceries, baked  goods, cooked meats and cafes with premises all over Sheffield including Fargate (now WH Smith), the Moor and two buildings on Haymarket . One was the Mikado Café and bakery of 1904 on the corner in an unusual Arts and Crafts style by local architects Flockton Gibbs (also responsible for Henry Bryars Stables and parts of the Old Town Hall). Perhaps surprisingly the bakers ovens were on the top floor, with products passing down through other floors for finishing, packing and sales. The Mikado Café later moved up the hill to occupy a stylish Art Deco building which is still there. A much larger bakery was built on Paternoster Row but closed in the 1980s to be replaced by the National Centre for Popular Music, now Hallam University’s Student Union. The company was acquired in 1974 and all its shops and bakeries closed. 

The original 1904 Davys Café and Bakery has recently been converted to apartments by developers Uown under the name of The Old Bakery bringing people back to live right in the heart of Sheffield’s ‘Old Town’.

Castlegate 2020 Virtual Tour videos

Trueloves Gutter road sign

Trueloves Gutter (Castle St/Exchange St)

Perhaps disappointingly the name seems to have come from a family called the Trueloves who lived on either Castle St or Exchange St. The Gutter part probably reflects that most streets in old Sheffield doubled up as drains, which were flushed periodically by opening the Barkers Pool reservoir, removing debris, dead cats and worse to the Don at Ladys Bridge!

Under The Water road sign

Trueloves Gutter (Castle St/Exchange St)

Perhaps disappointingly the name seems to have come from a family called the Trueloves who lived on either Castle St or Exchange St. The Gutter part probably reflects that most streets in old Sheffield doubled up as drains, which were flushed periodically by opening the Barkers Pool reservoir, removing debris, dead cats and worse to the Don at Ladys Bridge!

The Isle road sign

The Isle (Estelli Parade)

The millrace or goyt for the Town Corn Mill which formed what became known as the Kelham Island actually ran right into the town rejoining the Don just above the Wicker Weir. So this area was referred to as ‘The Isle’ or sometimes confusingly ‘The Isle of Wight’!

Chandlers Row road sign

Chandlers Row (Castlegate West)

For over 200 years the land now known as Castlegate was occupied by slaughter houses and related processes. One of the most important would have been the candle-makers or chandlers.

Castle Orchard road sign

Castle Orchard (Castlegate)

The area now occupied by Castlegate and Exchange St was once the orchard supplying  Sheffield Castle which would have dominated the area on the opposite bank of the River Sheaf.

Sergeants Walk road sign

Sergeants Walk (North Bank)

This probably referred to the favourite walk of the soldiers who garrisoned the castle although some lawyers were sometimes also known as ‘serjeant’

Water Street road sign

Water Street (Magistrates Court Forecourt)

What is now the forecourt of the Magistrates Court was once a narrow lane leading down to the Don at Bridge St.

Nags Head Yard road sign

Nags Head Yard/ Shemeld Croft (Commercial St)

Commercial Street is really a ramp built by the Midland Railway Company in 1870 to allow better access to their new Midland Station. Its construction required the demolition of a number  of narrow mediaeval lanes mostly named after inns or pubs of which Nags Head Yard was obviously one.

Shemeld is an old Sheffield family name and crofts were old courtyards which became notorious slums in the Victorian period.

Canal Bridge road sign

Canal Bridge (Exchange St)

When the Sheffield Canal was opened in 1819 it was as the motorway of its age, opening a relatively rapid route for goods and people to Rotherham, Doncaster and the sea, via the Humber Estuary. A new bridge was built over the Sheaf to connect with the Canal Basin. Later the Corn Exchange was built on the right bank of the Sheaf and the Sheaf culverted over to create a new market place, hence the change of name to Exchange St. However this required the demolition of Tennants Brewery which was moved to a site next to Ladys Bridge  but confusingly  was named Exchange Brewery. This name survives in the name adopted by the redevelopment of the site as ‘Exchange Riverside’

Shambles Lane

Shambles Lane (off Exchange St)

When Sheffield Castle was demolished at the end of the C17th Civil War the markets which must have clustered around its outer walls gradually took over the site, with the butchers being particularly prominent. Shambles was the name given to streets where the butchers had their stalls, most famously at York.

Castle Folds road sign

Castle Folds (Exchange St)

This name has been applied to various lanes around the Castle including Exchange St . It is now attached to the loading bay at the rear of Wilkos which seems a bit sad! However if you look at the big stone wall which forms the back of Wilkos you are apparently looking at stonework salvaged from the Victorian Norfolk Market Hall which stood on the same site.

Pudding Lane road sign

Pudding Lane (King Street)

Pudding was an old word for offal – hence ‘black pudding’ – reflecting the fact that King St has been associated with butchers and markets for many hundreds of years, including the Fitzallan Market. The street is believed to have been renamed to the more respectable-sounding King Streey in honour of the coronation of either George II or III.

Historical pub crawl plaques

This year’s Festival History Plaques take a look at Castlegate’s many pubs, hotels and clubs. Some are gone, some are still with us and some that are reopening or entirely new.

Ten red plaques are now in place, forming a circular walk.

Guide walks

There will be guided walks as part of the Festival from 6:30pm to 8:30pm starting at Exchange Street/Waingate on 13 and 16 September.

To book for the 13, visit the Sheffield Walking Festival.

For the 16, just turn up.

The guided walks will include many more lost pubs and their stories. They will finish with a sneak preview of two new yet to open bars.

Here is some background on the ten plaques:

Tontine Hotel

Tontine Hotel, Shoezone Waingate

Sheffield’s grandest and busiest coaching inn opened in 1785, and was funded by a betting scheme. It hosted public meetings, elections, protests, riots and balls. It served as the town hall until one was built across Waingate in 1808. It was destroyed by the coming of the railways and to make way for the Norfolk Market.

The Cannon

The Cannon, Castle Street

Parliamentary troops are said to have bombarded the Castle from here in the 1644 siege, along with the Big Gun on Wicker.

The pub is late nineteenth century. In the late twentieth century it had a secret basement nightclub and acquired some notoriety.

The Black Swan Boardwalk

The Black Swan/Boardwalk, Snig Hill

This is the site of another eighteenth century coaching inn destroyed in the blitz and rebuilt in 50s to become a famous music venue. It hosted early gigs by Joe Cocker, The Clash, Arctic Monkeys and many more.


Penthouse Club/Rebels, Dixon Lane

Peter Stringfellow’s 5th Floor nightclub opening in 1969 was his last venture in Sheffield. In the 70s, it became a new wave, punk and metal stronghold changing its name in 1980 to ‘Rebels’ before closing in the late 90s.

The Bull and Mouth

The Bull and Mouth,

Petal at Waingate/Castlegate

This name originates from a mishearing of the Battle of the Boulogne Mouth. It once served butchers from slaughterhouses on Castlegate. Now it serves customers and flower sellers from Pollen Markets on Castlegate and is due to reopen.


The Ladys Bridge Hotel, Ladys Bridge

Former tap of Tennents Exchange Brewery 1853-1993, home of Gold Label Barley Wine. It also featured a cellar bar used by the Brewery workers. Now part of the Exchange Brewery charitable workspaces.


The Marples, Fitzalan Square

Large Victorian pub and wine sellers. It was officially named the London Apprentice but known by the name of the owner. It was destroyed in 1941 blitz, which took 77 lives as people sheltered in the cellars. It was rebuilt in 1960s and is now a cash converter and flats.


The Barrow Boys, Shude Hill

This is a favourite subterranean haunt of market people from the ‘Rag and Tag’ in arches below Commercial Street. It is under refurbishment and expected to reopen as a music venue.


The Alexandra, Exchange Place

Former pub and Irish Centre named after the famous theatre and circus that operated here from 1837 to 1914 latterly under the ownership of the popular and eccentric Tommy Youdan. Pablo Fanque, the only black circus proprietor of the time, also promoted many shows here. At its height, it was extended out over the River Sheaf and had a capacity of 2,000. 


The Two Rivers, Castlegate/Blonk Street

Former Gents Urinal that formed part of Castlegate around 1917. It has now been transformed into a stylish bar that is due to open.

Infographic with yellow and pink vertical lines on left and man holding sticks on right