Putting the Sheaf back in Sheffield – a small but extremely important stretch of urban river for daylighting

Sheffield gets its name from the Sheaf-Field, the location next to the old Norman Castle where the River Sheaf joins the Don. It was an important strategic stronghold as well as a meeting place and market location in medieval times. The site has been hidden and buried for around a century.

Plans have been developed for an important project to deculvert the river in this historically critical location.


The site lays at the heart of Sheffield and is one of the key actions in the Sheffield Waterways Strategy. It has been a shared ambition of many partners working together for several years.

With this in mind I rooted out this image of the site, exploring urban forms for a daylighting scheme here, from 2009! The image was drawn up in sketchup but based on cross-sections and topographical data from a hydraulic (river) model to investigate flood risk management scenarios. The historic local pubs were kept in the picture, of course…

Let’s hope the project gets funded.


Deculverting image Copyright Tom Wild

Oh, by the way, the curly pig-tail structure was the old car ramp access to the castle market (both now gone), right over the ‘Sheaf Field’.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: