Saturday, 4 January 2014

Art in the City

Art in the City

Continuing our weekend walking we headed into the city centre this week for a spot of culture, and to pick up my new diary from John Lewis :) .  It's amazing how you can live in a city and not even realise what you are part of.  How many times have I walked past the Winter Gardens and not noticed 'walking man'?  How did I not know the silver balls outside the Winter Gardens were actually a commissioned piece called 'Rain'.

This walk is taken from the website (which you can sign up to for free).  It allows you to download walks based on your postcode which makes life MUCH easier for someone like me who barley knows one end of Sheffield from the other.

Route in hand (detailed below but available to download here I made the boys their 'treasure map'.

Maps and route in hand we set off for the tram and headed into a very busy, sunny, city centre.

First stop...... Town Hall.

Spanish Civil War memorial 

[1] Turn left out of the Town Hall entrance towards the Peace Gardens, turn left along the side of the Town Hall building and follow the walkway, turning right and back on yourself to descend the ramp into the Peace Gardens.

Standard units of length

This was the first surprise for me.  9 years I have lived in Sheffield for and walked passed here on my way to work and I had no idea these were here.  Ben loved looking at the measures.

How many times in the Summer do your children (I know mine do) love to play in the Water Fountains in the
Peace Gardens?  

Did you know.... the eight large water features surrounding the Peace Gardens actually make up the Holberry Cascades?  These are dedicated Samuel Holberry, the leader of the Sheffield Chartist Movement and were designed by Derbyshire artist Brian Asquith

[2] Double back and continue straight on through the Peace Gardens passing the fountains and go forwards across the pedestrianised area, passing the large sculptures entitled 'Rain' (designed by Colin Rose, they resemble huge raindrops).

[3] Enter the Winter Gardens building to your left and follow the walkway through to the other side. 

We love the Winter Gardens, but were really surprised to see it decked out like a Fairy Kingdom.  The boys thought the butterflies and new flowers were fantastic..... and as for the fairy castle.....


Here you could take a detour to explore the Millennium Galleries (mostly free of charge) but we chose not too.   It is a handy place to remember tho as downstairs are free to use toilets.

[4] Exit the Winter Gardens and cross the road and continue straight ahead into Tudor Square. You can see the Crucible Theatre directly in front and the Lyceum to the right.

[5] Walk down to the Crucible turn right and continue to the end of the square. Cross Norfolk Street and then turn left.

Stop to have a look inside the Upper Chapel courtyard on your right to find 3 sculptures: 'Running Woman', 'Mother and Child' and 'Angry Woman' by artist George Fullard (1950s). The women are represented in various states of motion and emotion.

Unfortunately the Courtyard was locked but we had a peak through the railings.

[6] Leave the garden and cross back over Norfolk Street, turn left around the corner passing the Winter Gardens again. Notice another George Fullard sculpture: the 'Walking Man' in front of the building. 

Now continue straight on passing the Central Library on your left. This building houses Graves Art Gallery. Admission is free, and it contains some impressive art works and often has special exhibitions. Follow the walkway at the end of the road down to Arundel Gate.

[7] Cross Arundel Gate at the crossing and then bear slightly right following either the steps or slope downhill. The building on your left has a poem by Andrew Motion on the wall (which can be seen from the railway station) and welcomes visitors to the city. 

What If..? 
                               by Andrew Motion

O travellers from somewhere else to here
Rising from Sheffield Station and Sheaf Square
To wander through the labyrinths of air,

Pause now, and let the sight of this sheer cliff
Become a priming-place which lifts you off
To speculate
What if..?
What if..?
What if..?

Cloud shadows drag their hands across the white;
Rain prints the sudden darkness of its weight;
Sun falls and leaves the bleaching evidence of light.

Your thoughts are like this too: as fixed as words
Set down to decorate a blank facade
And yet, as words are too, all soon transferred

To greet and understand what lies ahead -
The city where your dreamling is re-paid,
The lives which wait unseen as yet, unread.

Continue down the hill until you reach Paternoster Row.

Past the man on the wall.....

[8] Cross the road here and then turn right towards the Showroom Cinema and continue along Brown Street, passing the Site Gallery.

A top drinking destination for work nights out, yet I'd not noticed the mural on the wall next to the Rutland Arms by Graffiti Artist Phlegm.  

[9] At the end of Brown Street, cross the road, turning right up Furnival Street. Turn right onto Arundel Street, passing the Furnival Galley in the Hallam University building, which is open to the public.

[10] Take the small lane opposite the Hallam University building and continue straight on until you reach Arundel Gate. Cross using the pedestrian crossings then turn right and continue towards the Cheese Grater carpark building ahead of you.

[11] Take the steps to the left hand side of the Cheese Grater building. Continue on, then turn left on reaching the Peace Gardens. Continue forwards passing Brown's Bar and towards Pinstone Street.

[12] Cross Pinstone Street and go straight on towards John Lewis car park. Turn right onto Burgess Street. You now emerge into Barkers Pool.

Home of Jessica Ennis' gold postbox.  

Some lovely fountains (brilliant for bubbles on freshers week and known to turn pink on occasion).

Horse and Rider

 Visit the small garden (Fountain Precinct) to the right of the City Hall, then cross in front of the City Hall building.

It ALWAYS annoys me how people cannot clean up after their animals..... spot the poo under the bench at the back?? Noah didn't.....put it this way - those shoes were not coming home with me.... thank goodness Mothercare is across the road and had a sale on!!


Barkers Pools was known as Balm Green until 1434. It was originally a collecting point for a number of natural springs. Fountain Precinct contains the sculpture 'and 'Cat and Bird' by Vega Bermejo.


Instead of ending the walk at Orchard Square as suggested in the route I took the boys to Castle Square tram stop, where you can find another of Sheffield's great sculptures ... the fighting rams.

We then headed onto Carbrook (Meadowhall retail park) and found what we have named "The Thinking Men".  There is no plaque with them and I am yet to find them online ... if anyone knows of their story please get in touch.  We had a lovely time sitting looking at them with our lunch trying to work out what they were thinking of, where they had come from and why they were there.

Twitter came through ...... Thanks to @TashTheBlade  who let us know the statue depicts a game of marbles.  It originally had glass balls but they were vandalised when Carbrook opened.  

Shattered and loaded up with bags it was time to head home.
 ......... now where should we head to next time?

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