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Petitioning Sheffield City Council

Re-erect 'Sheffield’s Nelson’s Column' in new retail quarter

Photo: Copyright University of Sheffield. 

The Victorian Society is urging Sheffield City Council to return its Crimean War Memorial, Sheffield’s equivalent of Nelson’s Column, to the city centre as part of a £480 million investment in a new ‘retail quarter’. Please sign and share this position to show your support for returning the memorial to its rightful place in the centre of Sheffield. You can also comment on the plans to ask the Council to include the memorial in its retail quarter plans. 

The Grade II-listed memorial was designed by George Goldie in 1858.Placed at Moorhead, it was a major visual and civic focus of the city and one of the first ever war memorials to commemorate ordinary soldiers, rather than just their leaders. In 1958, the monument was removed as part of a road scheme, and placed, minus the column, into Sheffield’s Botanical Gardens. In 2003 listed building consent was granted to remove the monument from the Botanical Gardens on the condition that it would be re-erected on a new site within two years. 

This deadline expired many years ago and the monument remains hidden in storage. As the monument’s owner Sheffield City Council is responsible for the failure to carry out the listed building consent’s conditions. As the local planning authority it is responsible for the failure to enforce those conditions. 

Sheffield Council’s decision to hide its Crimean War monument for over a decade is all the more sad given that such monuments are relatively rare. Earlier this year the Council stated that returning the memorial to Fargate in the city centre would detract from the war memorial in Barkers Pool, and instead suggested Castlegate as a potential location but made no commitment and offered no time frame.

The documents accompanying the planning application for the new retail quarter note that ‘public art should be used to define, enhance and provide focal points of interest’. It would be absurd to spend money commissioning new pieces of public art when the Council already has a high quality, listed, piece of public art dedicated to the memory of Sheffield’s fallen languishing in storage.

The Victorian Society wants to ensure that this tribute to Britain’s war dead is restored to a prominent city centre location. 

Who are we?

The Victorian Society is the national charity campaigning for the Victorian and Edwardian historic environment. You can find out more about our work here.

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