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In 2013, we reported on fieldwork carried out ahead of the construction of an Aldi distribution centre at Goldthorpe. This revealed the remains of three Bronze Age cremation burials, a late Iron Age and Romano-British system of fields and two corn-drying kilns that were radiocarbon dated to the 5th or 6th century AD. Kilns of this date are a rare discovery.
In advance of development now proposed for an adjoining site, SYAS has advised on the need for a review of previous investigations carried out locally – to help clarify the site’s potential. This review has now been completed and the report produced confirms that evidence for Iron Age and Romano-British field systems continues into the proposed application area. As with the Aldi site, there is also a possibility that earlier prehistoric and medieval remains may be present, although the evidence is not clear cut.
SYAS has, therefore, recommended that a scheme of investigation be secured by a condition on any planning consent for the proposed development.
Late in 2014, archaeological fieldwork began at Manor Farm in advance of the first phase of construction of a mixed-use scheme, the planning consent for which requires archaeological investigation. An earlier evaluation had suggested evidence for Romano-British iron working here and industrial activity has now been confirmed. A large dump of ash and slag was identified, along with the possible base of a ‘non-tapping’ iron smelting furnace. A later ditch was found to contain a number of limestone slabs covered in an iron residue, which it is thought may have come from a Roman period furnace. Two ring gullies (probably indicating the positions of roundhouses) were also identified, along with a quantity of Roman pottery, including greyware and a large mixing/ or grinding bowl known as a 'mortaria'.
A metalworking site of this size is not a common find for the Roman period in South Yorkshire, although the Doncaster area is known to contain a number of pottery production sites of Roman date. Fieldwork on this phase is now complete, but as work continues on the post-excavation assessment, SYAS hopes we will learn more about this industrial activity and about the people who lived and worked here.
Back in 2012, a trial trench evaluation on land off Church Street demonstrated the presence of archaeological features on the site and, on the recommendation of SYAS, a condition requiring further investigation was attached to a planning consent for residential development. The evaluation had revealed a north to south aligned ditch, which may have been a boundary ditch to the settlement in the medieval period, as well as some evidence for post-medieval industrial activity. Interestingly, evaluation of the plot to the north, in 1990, had revealed ironworking slag in association with pottery of the 14th-16th centuries in a ditch close to the street frontage.
Recently, SYAS has discussed a project design for further investigation of this site with the developer’s archaeological contractor. Following our comments, a project design for the work has been agreed with SYAS. This document will now need to be formally submitted to the Local Planning Authority for approval and, after this, the fieldwork can then commence.
Demolition works are now ongoing at the former Castle Markets off Waingate; SYAS are liaising with the demolition team over the works, in order to ensure the protection of the remains of Sheffield Castle that are preserved within two chambers beneath the modern building.
The modern building represents two main phases of construction: the Castle Hill Markets, constructed between 1928 and 1930 (later used as the meat & fish market), and the post-war expansion of the market hall and associated low & high office blocks, which were constructed between 1958 and 1961. In advance of the demolition commencing, a programme of photographic recording work was carried out for us, to create a lasting visual record of the external and internal appearance of the buildings.
The photographic recording comprised three main stages of work: an initial record made when the market was in operation, a supplementary record made following the vacation of the building, and a more detailed record of decorative surfaces finishes within the post-war buildings, including formica sheets and ceramic tiles manufactured by Pilkington.
Reports detailing all the archaeological work will be added to the Sites and Monuments Record.