Fargate

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This article is about the shopping area in Sheffield. For the All My Children character, see Myrtle Fargate.
Fargate shopping precinct, Sheffield. Once a busy road, it has been pedestrianised for several decades and is Sheffield's main City Centre shopping area, home to many well known companies. The image shows classical architecture on both sides with one plan spaces in the centre, dotted with trees and the buildings on the High Street are visible beyond the trees.
Fargate shopping area

Fargate is a pedestrian precinct and shopping area in Sheffield, England. It runs between Barker's Pool and High Street opposite the cathedral. It was pedestrianised in 1973. Fargate also holds a Continental Market approximately 4 times a year, which includes European stalls selling cheeses, confectionery, clothing, plants and crafts including jewellery and ornaments.

Joseph Woolhouse, in his "A Description of the Town of Sheffield", written in 1832 while the cholera was raging in Sheffield, "In going up Fargate there was houses built on both sides. The Lords House stood a little on the North side of the present Norfolk Row. A very elegant old House, it was inclosed by a Wall in a half Circle and Palisaded. The present Duke of Norfolk was born in this house. This I expect is the reason why it was called the Lord's house, he being I.of the Manor".

More recently, the street was home to Sheffield Assay Office.

2011 United Kingdom protests[edit]

Protests (mainly peaceful) occurred on Fargate between 11 March and 13 March. On 12 March, barricades were erected on Fargate after a number of incidents, including a group of protesters running into the Topshop store.

Coles Corner[edit]

Main article: Coles Corner

The corner at bottom end of Fargate (opposite the cathedral) is known locally as Coles Corner. It was a famous meeting point in the city, named after Cole Brothers who occupied the building. Originally The Albert Hall cinema which burnt down in 1937,[1] it is now home to a modern building which currently houses HSBC, Starbucks Coffee, Vodafone and The Carphone Warehouse. A plaque has been erected in memory of the Cole Brothers store. The location was immortalised by Richard Hawley's album of the same name.

Carmel House[edit]

In November 2005, the University of Sheffield´s archaeological consultancy, ARCUS, unearthed a medieval well of over three metres in depth in the sandstone bedrock beneath Carmel House on Fargate.[2] The Sheffield city centre site was being excavated as part of a redevelopment project.

Pottery found in the well suggested that it was in use by 1300 AD, and had been filled in around the time of the English Civil War. Medieval pots included jugs made in the Hallgate area of neighbouring Doncaster and other items from the Humber Estuary.

This discovery was said to offer significant evidence relating to the medieval town of Sheffield, still a small market town, before its growth during the subsequent Industrial Revolution. Dating of the well indicates that it was probably dug around the time of the rebuilding of Sheffield Castle in stone, in 1270, and the granting of Sheffield's Market Charter by Edward I in 1296.

Due to the conditions in the well, animal bones and plant remains (possibly including microscopic pollen grains) were preserved and analysed by the University's Department of Archaeology laboratories.

In February 2005, Sheffield City Council's Executive Director of Development and Leisure had commented, "Carmel House, at the junction of Fargate and Norfolk Row is an imposing Victorian stone fronted Grade II listed building which, together with the adjoining terrace of attractive Georgian brick properties, is almost completely empty and is in need of refurbishment. Full planning permission was granted in January 2004 for a comprehensive scheme which will involve creating four new modern retail units by demolishing the existing buildings behind the retained façade."[3]

The Council's Conservation Advisory Group "regretted that its advice regarding the development of Carmel House had not been taken into account and it wondered whether Carmel House would be liable to be removed from the List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest, in view of the extent of demolition which had taken place."[4]

Ferris wheel[edit]

Fargate Ferris wheel
Main article: Wheel of Sheffield

The Wheel of Sheffield was a 173 feet (53 m) tall Ferris wheel assembled on Fargate in mid-July 2009 in ten days and remained at the top of the pedestrian street until January 2010.[5] It had 42 gondolas, each capable of carrying up to eight people.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Taken from 3. Meet Me at Cole's Corner in More Sheffield Curiosities, A further selection of strange sights, unusual buildings and rare survivals by Duncan & Trevor Smith
  2. ^ "Sheffield University Media Centre". 
  3. ^ Sheffield City Council, "Proposed Compulsory Purchase Order: Shops at Carmel House, 57 and 63 Fargate"
  4. ^ Sheffield City Council — Sheffield Conservation Advisory Group Minutes 20 December 2005
  5. ^ Giant city wheel starts turning, BBC News

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 53°22′54″N 1°28′09″W / 53.381573°N 1.469116°W / 53.381573; -1.469116