Whenever I travel into the city I usually get off at Cathedral Stop as it's the most convenient for the areas where I shop, walk to the central library, art galleries and museums, theatres, the Hallamshire University. The Anglican Cathedral has undergone enormous changes in the last year due to the reordering project, including the forecourt and side area of the cathedral and I've been recording all these changes.
This was the forecourt in the Autumn and Winter of 2012 before boarding was put up and the work started on it and on the main entrance (on the extreme left) which will provide better access.
In the early 19th century the area around the cathedral, which was then a parish church, was less built up and it was not until later in the century that the population grew with the development of industry in town and further construction work, workshops and impressive buildings took place around the church. The churchyard was surrounded by metal fencing and a large entrance gate. The base stumps of each iron post can be seen today sunk into the low stone foundation wall at the eastern side of the site.
Being a newcomer to Sheffield I had passed these structures many-a-time without realising what they were. I had assumed that they were stone pinnacles that had once adorned the church building until I went to a talk about the history of the cathedral and also got more information about the building on the Heritage Day in September.
In any case, I'm glad I took a photo of them as they were there, together with two old, large lamps on concrete stands, up until a week ago.
Now you see them and now you don't.... as I discovered when I went into the city last Thursday. A large hole at an angle to the cathedral had recently been dug and suddenly I realised what was about to happen.....
The stone structures are actually the old gate posts (although they don't look like the ones in the early 19th century print) and I shall have to do some more research about their age. They have been dismantled and stacked up ready for reconstruction. The 'hole' with the cement foundation is the area where the new entrance will be. The re-ordering of the cathedral is called the Gateway Project and the idea behind it is - Access for all, learning for all, a place for all people.
The next time I go into the city I shall expect to see more developments outside as well as inside the cathedral. The construction work is being undertaken by experienced workers who have been employed on former projects such as at York Minster.
The tour of the interior work on Heritage Day in September was also interesting and more about that another time.
The Archer Project which gives support to those in need (food, clothing, creative work such as growing vegetables and making hanging baskets of flowering plants for sale and much more) still continues as well as all the other activities in the cathedral.