Sheffield Castle and The Aftermath of The English Civil War

Askew, Rachel (2017) Sheffield Castle and The Aftermath of The English Civil War. Northern History . pp. 1-22. ISSN 0078-172X

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The demolition of castles following the English Civil War is often seen as an inevitable consequence of the conflict, with their slighting often being ascribed to a need to prevent further bloodshed and punish the ruling elite. However, recent studies have demonstrated that the destruction of elite buildings during this period was far from straightforward, and this complexity is reflected in the methodology employed to damage them. At Sheffield, so extensive was this damage that, less than a century later, not a trace remained of what had once been one of the largest castles in South Yorkshire. Whilst little remains of the building itself, the rare survival of a set of demolition accounts, alongside a large number of other sources including personal correspondence, estate rentals and town records, means it is possible to explore in great detail the circumstances of the castle’s slighting. Through these a far more nuanced picture of civil conflict emerges with the castle’s destruction taking place within a complicated dialogue between the Lord of the Manor, Parliament’s officials and the inhabitants of Sheffield themselves.

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