28 Oct 2013

The Cathedral Quarter, Sheffield

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.  


  1. A very, very interesting post Linda, thank you. Happy to hear you escaped the worst of the bad weather. I had heard about the storm over the UK.

  2. Very interesting Linda, I guessed they might be gate posts, but only because I am a bit of a geek about these sort of things, great to know that they will be being used again! xx

  3. glad you are safe and that Cathedral is magnificent. so they are remodeling part of it.. amazing to me. i have never ridden a public transport train in a city... only a long distance train. at least the train is easy to spot so you don't miss your ride. my favorite today is the last one. that is just beautiful.

  4. Hi Linda,

    The Cathedral is amazing and will be lovely watching the remodelling take place and see it all finished.
    Great to see the pretty hanging baskets and gardens.
    So glad to hear that you are safe - we have been hearing it on the news and it sounds awful.
    Enjoy the holidays with the family

  5. Wow...what changes are underfoot!

  6. Glad you are alright, Linda. Great series of photos!!!

  7. We also stayed safe from the storm here although it was very wet and windy especially Sat night/Sunday morning. Thankyou for sharing your photos of Sheffield, a place I have still to visit one day.

  8. Fascinating, Linda. What a good idea to keep a photographic record of all that is happening and of where things used to stand before they were moved. We didn't have such bad weather as was predicted either as it didn't get far enough up the country to be a problem. I love the bright blue tram in your first photo:)

  9. I do hope they put those lovely lamps up somewhere soon! I loved the old print of the parish church, it was a stunner back then before it's promotion. A lovely post.xxxx

  10. I will look forward to seeing the finished gateway. I know it will be lovely.

  11. Hello dear Linda

    I'm always so interested in reading these wonderful posts you put up!
    I haven't been to Sheffield - sadly as like most of these English cities they have a wealth of history to discover.
    We spent 2 nights in York and loved it - a magnificent Cathedral so I'm sure Sheffield will be in a win/win situation with that experience.
    There is such a wealth of history to be found in each and every hamlet in England.

    I'm playing catch up - life has been busy - hopefully I'm back on track again!

  12. Fascinating to see the development work going on as the city centre is renewed and the cathedral surroundings improved. I grew up not far from another parish-church cathedral, Blackburn, though i haven't been back fro many years.

  13. Thank you for this interesting post Linda. Glad you managed to avoid the storms.
    Patricia x