Public Art Research Archive, Sheffield Hallam University, UK


Extracts from Council Leaflets giving information on Tudor Square.
Document One:
Extract 1:

"...Tudor Square is a unique City Centre square devoted to the arts. The large pedestrian space will host lively activites at its northern end in front of the Lyceum Theatre: jugglers, bands, performing troupes and street theatre. The southern end contains a large central sculpture display and seats. Sculptural exhibitions * will be regularly mounted during the summer.

"As part of the City Council's commitment to a 'percentage for art' policy, the artist Paul Mason was selected to join the design team based in the City Council's Planning Division. The square has become a work of art in its own right, with stone carvings, ornamental railings and tree grilles, mosaics, flagpoles, a variety of sculptures and the newly restored Lyceum Theatre frontage creating a strong cultural presence. Blanc de Bierges paving, criss-crossed by stone bands, plus the sandstone forecourt to the Lyceum Theatre, create a lightness of design to complement the Victorian exuberance of the Lyceum Theatre (built 1897) and the formal Art Deco geometry of the Central Library. Seats also in Blanc de Bierges, are complemented by lively street lights and bollards. The Ruskin Gallery (established 1985) at the Norfolk Street entrance to the square, represents the strong links between arts and crafts.

"The area once was industrial: Thomas Boulsover, a silversmith, discovered the 'Old Sheffield Plate' silver-plating process in his works which were located where the Boulsover monument now stands at the south end of the square. The monument was created by the sculptor, Richard Perry..."

Extract 2: "Importance of Tudor Square to the city of Sheffield

"Much of the area of the square was cleared in the 1930's and has been in use as a public car park. However it has an interesting history. The urban expansion of the 1700's saw 'little mesters' workshops established here (acknowledged now by the Boulsover monument, although it was Henry Tudor who stamped his name on the locality).

"The arts had a historical presence: the Theatre Royal stood facing the Lyceum frontage and there was an Atheneum and an Assembly Rooms. This tradition is maintained by the Crucible, Lyceum and Library theatres, the Graves Art Gallery and the Central Library. The School of Art and Crafts** (1840's) which stood to the east of the Lyceum, saw a renaissance of arts and crafts designs acknowledged throughout the land at the time. Its successor is the Ruskin Gallery, established by the City Council in 1985. John Ruskin (1819-1900) considered that Sheffield was his ideal of a city where craftmanship was still being practised as an art form and he established an art gallery within the City as well as sponsoring workers' education classes for men and women.

"The Adelphi Hotel, where the Crucible now stands, was where both the Bramall Lane and the Yorkshire County Cricket Clubs were founded in 1855 and 1863 respectively.

" On account therefore of the area's historical background and present arts involvement, the City Council chose to create this square as a focal point for the arts in Sheffield. By creating a public open space it enables the general public to be involved, to enjoy, and to appreciate various aspects of the arts and to gain another attractive off-street public space for relaxation and enjoyment."

* Sculpture Exhibitions update: no sculpture exhibitions have actually been held in the square as yet. It is possible that security implications have made this idea unworkable at present. [D.Ball: 11/11/96]
** The School of Art and Crafts. This was located on the site of what is now part of Sheffield Hallam University's City Campus.

The above two extracts are taken from a booklet produced by the City Council at the time of Tudor Square's opening in 1991.

Document Two: City of Sheffield Design Award 1993

"....Two awards were made in 1993, one of which was given to: Tudor Square, Surrey Street - Norfolk Street.

"Designers: Sheffield City Council Planning Divison, Highways and Traffic Division.
Artists: Paul and Sue Mason, Richard Perry.
Client: Sheffield City Council Planning and Economic Development Committee.
Builder: Sheffield City Council Works Department.

A brief description of the project stated... "The creation of a new arts square in the heart of the City. This was felt to be an excellent new civic space transforming what was a rather ugly and unkempt series of roads and parking areas into a real asset. The division of the potentially awkward shape into two distinct parts of hard and soft was thought to work very well and as the square matures this would become more marked. The link to the underground car park was thought to be excellent. The materials were of high quality and had been detailed with subtlety and sympathy to create a well co-ordinated scheme. Overall the Panel was impressed by the aim of the scheme to create a unique arts square as a setting for the arts buildings and activities which surround it. Of particular significance was the way in which artists had been involved from the outset of the design process. This is an excellent and unique scheme which has added life and vitality to the Civic Centre. A civic space which its citizens love and enjoy and of which the City can rightly be proud..."

text from Leaflet produced by Sheffield City Council, 1994

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