Sheffield Castle - De Lovetot
The lordship of de Busli was brief and passed to William de Lovetot, another Norman knight. He moved to Sheffield from his previous home in Huntingdonshire.
It is most likely that around 1100 de Lovetot constructed the first earth and timber castle on the site of the later stone structure.
The castle probably took the form of a "motte and bailey", the motte being a large mound and the bailey an outer wall. The inner ward probably utilised the natural sandstone outcrop.
Some historians have associated de Lovetot with the development of Sheffield as an urban centre. His name has been linked with the construction of a bridge over the River Don, close to the castle; the first parish church on the site of the present Anglican Cathedral; a town mill; a hospital dedicated to St Leonard on Spital Hill; and the establishment of a market. Unfortunately, little evidence exists to substantiate such claims.
The earliest known written reference to Sheffield Castle, "castellum de Sedfeld", dates from 1184 and concerned the construction of a fence around the stronghold, by the second William de Lovetot.
The fence, however, offered no protection against fire, which broke out in 1985. Urgent repairs to the castle were required at a cost of 66s - 8d.
"TERRA WILLEMI DE LOVETOT…Et in reficiendo castello de sadfeld quod perierat per incendum lxvi s. et viii d".
The de Lovetots remained lords of the manor for only three generations, the direct line of succession passing through an only daughter, Maud, who in 1187 was made a ward of Henry II.
Sheffield Markets History