Archaeological study of Castle Hill to report - plus visitor centre images get huge reaction online - read comments here

CASTLE Hill will be giving up some of its secrets next month.

Images for a new Castle Hill visitor centre

CASTLE Hill will be giving up some of its secrets next month.

The results of a detailed archaeological survey will be released by experts.

And their findings will hopefully explain a lot more about the significance of Huddersfield’s most famous landmark.

The survey was commissioned in the summer by Kirklees Council and was made possible with initial backing of a £14,300 development grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

The information gained may be used to plan further archaeological investigations and to develop a full application for an £850,000 Lottery grant to undertake a conservation project at the site in the interests of archaeology, wildlife and recreation.

Space-age technology was used by the archaeologists and their early studies revealed evidence of farming and possible fortifications.

Sam Harrison, project archaeologist from the West Yorkshire Archaeological Services (WYAS) said they had identified a previous agricultural system and also possible ditches that may have been additional defensive earthworks.

Now the experts are putting together a full report which will be unveiled on January 15 at Huddersfield Town Hall.

News of the findings comes at a time when the landmark is very much in the spotlight.

Huddersfield businessmen the Thandi brothers have submitted a third planning application to build a new pub on top of Castle Hill, having had two previous applications rejected.

And earlier this week, the Examiner revealed ideas for a futuristic visitor centre on the site.

Click on the link to view a gallery of images of the visitor centre

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The project is the work of an architect and a design studio and their ultra-modern vision for the site has prompted a massive response from people interested in any possible developments on Castle Hill.

Dozens have contacted the Examiner’s website with their views on the ideas.

Castle Hill Ranger Julian Brown said: “Earlier this year we received a Development Grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to commission the archaeological research, which included a geophysical survey of the entire ancient monument and an analysis of the Varley Archive, which is housed in Tolson Museum.

“The results of this research should be used to inform further archaeological investigations at Castle Hill”.

The Varley Archive includes results of previous studies at Castle Hill.

The presentation by the archaeologists will be at the Town Hall at 7.30pm on January 15 and anyone interested in attending should contact Grace Wood at Kirklees Museums and Galleries on 01484 223800.

Read the comments from our website and Facebook about the visitor centre idea on the next page

Comments on the story on www.examiner.co.uk

Yeton : What an abomination, totally out of keeping with the site, I'm all for some sort of building there, preferable a well designed pub, but this is...words fail me.

Lukehudds1: At first I was shocked but decided go to their website provided at the end of the article.

This design will not be a permanent fixture; it is to only exist on the hill for a brief time so it can pass on the legacy it sets out to achieve. The damage to the Anglo-Saxon earthworks is also said to have been taken into account with the design and will be minimal.

Jackdaw: Why not cover the tower in ivory and the use it as Kirklees MC's new HQ? Then our esteemed councillors could sit in it all day dreaming their grandiose dreams, planning the destruction of our landscape, and playing at petty party politics whilst cut off from the real world and all those nuisances whom they are supposed to represent.

rj :I cannot be bothered to read all the hype and propaganda along with the ifs and buts of the article. I do however have one question, hopefully there will be one amongst us that can answer: Who would paying for this?

Steve88: Must admit I do really like it. I would much rather have a modern building like this than a fake olde worlde pub pretending to be something it’s not. The main picture reminds me slightly of the centre they have at the base of Mount Teide in Tenerife.

Antipodean: This type of building is what other countries do every day of the week with young dynamic architects and designers not some Disneyland fake Tudor style candyfloss castle pub.

Tradders: Bit of imagination being shown at last.

Nougat: Who is going to man it?

Why would they want to sit up there all day on their own?

Maximim: Why does everything have to be brought up to date these days? Leave the place alone. I am quite happy to go up to Castle Hill, maybe have a cup of tea and a bun brought with me, enjoy the view and watch the children run around. With all the vested interests in planning and building, we may even have a large wind generator, (not turbine) sympathetically incorporated in to the tower. For goodness sake leave the place alone.

F1Yorkie: A complete and utter eyesore. If this is ever given the green light I'll eat my pants. It looks totally horrendous. Just give us a pub back for goodness sake!

Jimmy Shuffle: Where did they get this from? The Tellytubbies?

ABywater: It looks too modern. If something is to be built it needs to be fitting for the hill's history and I don't think this is.

I can appreciate the idea behind it, and think the idea is a good one, but aesthetically this isn't what I'd want to see.

Kipper: I can understand people wanting a pub back. People want to enjoy the hill as they used to. Many people have special memories of times spent there. We don't need a visitor centre. The proposed uses for this centre are served already by the Tolson Museum and the art gallery. There have already been fantastic exhibits at the Tolson Museum regarding the Castle Hill site.

It is hypocritical to say that a pub cannot be rebuilt but this can be built. If the Thandis are not to be permitted to rebuild the pub due to reasons already stated by planners and councillors then the site should be left alone and nothing built there.

Tates: Fantastic concept. Looks amazing. Why not combine resources and move forward with such a radical and exciting project and extend the development to include restaurant, bar, function facilities and education/heritage centre. Most of this could be kept below ground level with a grassed roof to minimise visual impact and maintain the character of the site. What an opportunity for Huddersfield to set the standard in eco-development and create one of the most amazing venues in the north of England.

T3: I love it. Go to the Netherlands and visit some of their attractions.

What’s the point in building something in 2000s that look like something from the 1300s?

Ruby5: Well done, a very positive proposal, good concept and well designed. The Thandis could work in partnership and move forward with this exciting project. The bar (should we need one) can be incorporated within this project. Any project built on encouraging local history education must be explored. With most of it set into the hillside it still preserves the keeping of the area whilst providing stunning views for visitors to enjoy from within. I appreciate the ‘old timers’ will say ‘leave it like it is’ and some will say ‘lets have a pub’ this is the way forward to preserve and showcase the history of the site (which we are currently not doing) whilst promoting the positive coffee culture. Lets be the trend setter and move forward with this design.

How about a public consultation, and the public decide the future of the hill? With say maybe three or four alternative projects?

Birkbyproud: Re-build the pub!

I have never visited Castle Hill to look at the ramparts, ditches and consider who might or might not have lived or fought there...I went to appreciate the views and maybe have a pint.

I have been less since the pub closed.

The hill's use has changed constantly over the ages and should be used for present day needs not fenced off for a museum.

Northernstock2: This is the best idea yet. Reminds me of The Eden Project building with the dome shaped roofy bits.

Anyway as long as the public have the same access to the outdoor area, the carpark stays free and no further future building work is ever permitted, oh and finally building plans are conformed to, then I'd be much happier taking my family and their future generations there. I would be someone who could see myself spending time and money there, taking in the views and the fresh air. It's much better than having a pub, which could attract the wrong sort and I don't think children belong in pubs anyway.

And why shouldn't Huddersfield have a fab visitor attraction.

Visitor centre gets a thumbs up from me.

See the next page for comments from our Facebook page

Quotes from Examiner’s Facebook page

Stephen G Gaunt: The pub has gone, and more and more pubs go out of business every day, live with it. And IMHO that design is fine, much better than the new college buildings on Chapel Hill and the university monstrosity on Firth Street. But it would probably cost too much.

Rue Fairbank: Well, I think it's an awesome idea! The reason Castle Hill is a landmark and not a popular attraction is because there's nothing to do there! And, a pub is a lame idea. Why go to the top of a hill in the cold and rain to go to a pub when surely there's one closer that isn't so much hassle to get to? Even if they decided to build a pub just so that it's back looking the way it was for those that want it to be the same, it won't be the same, and it wont feel the same. Personally, I think that a visitor centre would appeal more to people visiting the town and if it blends into the landscape like this one, no one can complain that it's an eyesore any more than they could if they built a new pub!

Rich Oats: Haha that's ridiculous. The cafe on the summit of Snowdon is bad enough. Just build a Wetherspoons and call it a day.

Ebony Clement: It looks lovely, but I'm not sure if "history" and "futuristic" go hand in hand...

Vince O'Neill: I think the fact that the Thandi brothers ruined the site in the first place with their disregard for planning restrictions should rule them out of building another pub on the site, but there should be a pub there, so put it up for designs to be submitted by interested parties

Andrew Paul Garner: It must be April 1st already , put it back how it was when people used to go there...

Fergal King: I don't care about the pub. The design is fine for a city centre not an English Heritage site IMHO.

Jim Chisem: Why don't they just leave grass up there?

Elle Olivia Whitehead: I think they should leave it how it is!

Ben Carter: Why not just knock the actual tower down and build another pound shop? We need another...

Aden Roper :How about a bit of futuristic thinking? This will be dated within a few years...

Benn Kafanke: also parking...

Adam Chase: I just want a pub up there so I can go chill, eat some food and have some beers like the good ol days!

Jane Mellor: Yuk.

Paul Booker: It’s an awful climb to find no pub at the top!

Derek Boothroyd: I still think more should be made of our home made attraction and naturally splendid location.

Jagjit Singh Takhar: Tarmac the parking space, then build a nice park around Castle Hill and then ask for views of what should happen next.

Phil Munt: Rebuild the pub!

Adam Chase: Just a nice, British beauty spot

John Ashcroft: I think, yes build a visitor centre, and a pub, but in low level so as not to detract from the tower and in keeping with the other stone buildings in the area.

Oh, and a chair lift from the town centre! ( that should generate some interest )

And Kirklees, try this novel idea.... FREE parking!

John Farrell: What part of rebuild the pub can’t these daft planners understand.The people want it back to what it was; a Victorian OUT FOR THE DAY PLACE. Stop trying to persuade us what is best, do as you’re told for a change. Let them rebuild the pub.

Lee Smith: I’d prefer a pub back full of pictures of the original hotel pub. Have some memories from my younger years restored.

Steffy Lou Carter: Hideous.

Jules Vickerman: Love it, but not instead of the pub please.

Sarnie Zdanowicz: It’s about time we moved on from old to new; looks good to me and to all who say bring back the pub, the drink driving limit is going down so unless someone is giving you a lift you will be over.

Maureen Clark: NOOOO! Hideous and pubs have had their day too. Just leave it as it is. Why do anything with it. The tower IS the landmark!

Kevin Mclean: The well is missing, I didn’t help dig that out for nothing!

Chris M Harkins: Why don't they put a voting paper through every door in the town and ask the people what they want rather than have a small group of local MPs making the decision on our behalf?

Zoe Watkins: I love it! Think it looks amazing! No rubbish, dodgy characters etc! Great!

Diana Dayntydot Jordan: I really do not like it.Looks like part of a football stadium!

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