What's been happening on Wincobank Hill ?

July 2016
Click here to see stunning aerial views of Wincobank Hill and a brilliant short film by 15 year old Dylan Barker: Wincobank: An Emerald Sanctuary https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nUxKc6rxINY

Our exciting 2 year Roots of Iron project for young people, funded by Heritage Lottery Young Roots, has finally come to an end.  Read all about it here  http://rootsofiron.wordpress.com/

November 2015

Light Up the Hill 2015

January 2014
Five went to Rio Tinto
Read the blog to catch up on the latest developments in our Wincobank History Mystery

November 2013
Take a glimpse Behind the Scenes at Wincobank Light Up the Hill Lantern Pageant and find out what Cartimandua did with Caratacus ...  Many thanks to Jon Harrison for making this great little movie.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f86OgvhPKjA

13th November 2013
Light Up The Hill
The photos and comments on this blog says it all.  Many thanks to Gill for sending the link.

13th and 20th August 2013    Families have been having FUN in the woods. 

building dens, learning about the trees, flowers and the birds,

playing safely, climbing trees and clearing away to leave no trace.

And they said - "This is a beautiful place - so peaceful - we've had a wonderful time."
So we say -"Come again!"

The Wincobank Wombles strike again!

The Wombles of Wincobank Hill - Saturday 13th July 2013
After a gentle hour working in the shade we collected eleven bags of litter from the path behind the Wensley Play area.  Six bags of cans and pop bottle went for recycling.  We hope that the young people who use this area will like the new look and will help keep it clean.  We are out Wombling on the second Saturday of every month and we know there is also there is an invisible army who pick up litter as they walk.  If there is an area near you that needs a boost, tell us where and then come and help.  We know it would be better if it wasn't dropped in the first place and we would like to see a deposit scheme for cans and bottle such as operates in Sweden and Canada, but in the meantime - somebody has to pick it up and the Rangers can't do it all on their own.

4th July 2013 The Trees in Our Wood -  with Christine Handley

What a fascinating evening!  We knew our trees are special but we were entranced to hear Christine explain how they may have gained their extraordinary shapes. A combination of managed coppicing and informal "hacking and bashing" has forced the trees to throw up multiple stems to survive. The way they have been cut has largely determined the direction of growth and then the weather has played its part too. Sometimes trees have fallen and then grown up from a length of horizontal trunk.  Hasty felling in wartime has produced the most magical of oak trees on the crown of the hillfort where numerous 70 year old stems grow from a single root that maybe 300 years old. The secret history of the working woodland is just as mysterious as that of the hillfort.  Christine brought the lonely woodland alive for us and painted a vivid picture of the generations of locals who have depended on the woodland for fuel, furniture and for employment.  Next time you walk there pick any tree and study it.  They are all fascinating and each has a story to tell. 

20/ 21 April 2013   Sparks, cinders and slag - making iron the Iron Age Way
As part of the Woolley Wood Bluebell Festival local people were lucky to get the chance of a free
Ancient Metallurgy course run by the University of Sheffield and Regather Trading Co-operative.
For a step by step guide click  here.

2 May 2013: "Atlantis in Wincobank" Chapter 2
What possible connection could there be between Plato's lost city and Wincobank?
That's what we all wondered when Byron Cowling produced a 1920s photo album his children had found in a skip on the Flower Estate in 1990. Determined research by Byron,  local history enthusiast David Green, and Dr Roger Doonan has revealed an extraordinary history mystery, still to be solved, involving a world famous copper mine, Roman waterwheels and a war memorial. Look out for a dedicated page on the website which will share the story so that you can help us find the link. 

The North Sheffield Conservation Group joined Friends of Wincobank Hill for a spot of Wombling 
in the spring sunshine. From an overhaul haul of 35 bags and a mattress at least 12 bags of tin and plastic were recycled.  We would of course, prefer that people took their own litter home to recycle but until that happy day arrives we would like to thank all who take the trouble to clear up after others and help keep the hill looking beautiful.  Come and join us for our next session 10 - 12.30 on Saturday 11th May 2013 meeting at Upper Wincobank Chapel S5 6BB.

All Lit Up
After a few temporary setbacks the tree is shining by night and sparkling by day. Many thanks to the North East Community Assembly and Community First for this lovely addition to our woodland. Happy Christmas to All !

Christmas comes to Wincobank Common
With much ceremony we have welcomed a new Blue Cedar tree to Wincobank Common.
On Saturday 8th December over 100 local people gathered together to celebrate as the decorations went up and the lights went on.  There were, it's true, a few technical hitches, but Santa turned up with a bag full of chocolate and Helena Reynolds, who had played the Northumbrian pipes so beautifully at our lantern pageant, brought her fiddle along to keep the singing bubbling along.  We are looking forward to many such Christmas events in future years as the tree grows to its full glory and we hope all will take care of it and enjoy its splendour.  Many thanks to Community First and the North East Community Assembly for providing the funding.

Wincobank Lantern Procession and Pageant
 Wednesday 14th November 2012 over 250 people walked by torchlight through Ancient Woodlan and climbed up to the hill fort in the dark to watch a re-enactment by 53 Theatre Group of the crucial moment in history when Queen Cartimandua of the Brigantes handed over the rebel King Caratacus to the Romans,  in chains.  On the way they saw trees lit up by candle lamps, heard the haunting music of the lone piper on the hillside, saw the University of Sheffield's fiery Iron Age forge and swayed to Foxy Music's Celtic melodies.
For a full account and more photos please see our blog

Roaming The Ridge     15th September 2012  
Jared Bryson brought history alive for a group of 43 people who came to hear about the history of the Roman Ridge.
Meeting at the Forum Pub on Sandstone Road the group walked along accessible sections of the Ridge and across the Hill Fort and down the other side to join up with the easterly section of the Roman Ridge in a round walk.

Wincobank Summer Fun Day 30 June 2012
Not so long ago this beautiful stretch of open land was known locally as Chapman's Tip.  A natural dip, where old maps show an ancient settlement, was systematically filled with industrial waste from the steelworks below. Eventually, the ground was leveled off, but below the surface a fire smouldered for years and the road was closed for safety. Ventilation shafts were created to allow the toxic gases to escape.  Finally, it was grassed over.  a football pitch was marked out and the former tip was designated a recreation space. Once people lived on this spot, now they play, but a star map engraved on a flat round memorial reminds us that this was territory ruled by Cartimandua, a star-crossed Queen if ever there was one. Now it has been renamed Wincobank Common and thanks to the hard work of the Sheffield Woodland and Park Ranger teams it is a peaceful oasis above a busy industrial area, with the M1 humming only a few miles away.  
We celebrated Summer with a dog show, kite flying, sports and woodland crafts, drumming, circus skills, burgers and ice-cream van.  When the heavens opened, hundreds of local people ran to the shelter of the trees and dodged between tents, but when the sun shone we danced round a Maypole and laughed.

Easter Funday: Sunday 8th April 2012
The standard of egg decorating is getting higher every year, the bowled eggs are rolling further.  Our new ranger team turned out on Easter Sunday with a history trail quiz, easter art and sunflower seeds for sowing.  the University of Sheffield Precious Voices team brought along their amazing geodome and captured names in sand and recorded local dialect phrases.  The sun shone, the daffodils were in flower and  friends gathered to see what was going on.  What a great way to mark Easter.  Thanks to all! ( See our Blog and Facebook page for more photos).

Wincobank Practical Days 4th February  and 24th March 2012 
volunteers including the 92nd Sheffield Scouts turned out in icy temperatures to help the Rangers and Friends of Wincobank Hill clean up the hill fort and cut back the new growth to open up the panoramic viewpoint.  In all eleven bags of rubbish and an assortment of ironmongery and household refuse was collected. The hill is looking really nice now but there is great concern about the broken glass which creates a hidden hazard for children and animals.

Atlantis in Wincobank?    2nd February 2011
Proving that there is even more to Wincobank than a very special hill fort, Byron Cowling, Dr Roger Doonan, and David Green gave a fascinating account of their detective work to piece together clues from a 1921 photo album discarded when the houses on the Flower Estate were demolished.

The trail led to a War Memorial at the Rio Tinto copper mine in Spain and back in time to the excavated Roman workings. The audience were aghast at the story and amazed at the connections and the significance of the finds not only in the context of Sheffield's metallurgical heritage but also Sheffield's status as home of the first football club.

This history mystery is far from complete and someone holds vital information to some important questions.  Watch out for details of a not to be missed repeat event and eventual publication. 

Found on Wincobank Hill

Last year, whilst walking on the hill near the fort John found a flint arrowhead and a flint scraper tool. He told us he knew immediately what these two finds were and submitted them to Western Park Museum for them to log them on the portable antiquities scheme database and also for them to analyse them and provide a report. After three months of Western Park Museum having these finds he has now received them back along with detailed reports. Both finds are dated 2500 bc to 1500 bc making them between 3500 to 4500 years old.  John brought the finds along to the Annual General Meeting where the Lord Mayor Dr Sylvia Dunkley, herself a historian, was fascinated to examine them.

Nicki Howarth and Cartimandua come to Wincobank

Author Nicki Howarth came to talk about her book "Cartimandua, Queen of the Brigantes"  1st December 2011 at Upper Wincobank Chapel. Nicki drove to Sheffield from Warwickshire and back the same night but was delighted by crowd who turned out to hear her speak and the warmth of the reception.

Nicki wrote"  It was lovely to meet you all and I was so touched by the really thoughtful gifts and card. I really miss the warmth of a northern welcome and you all did me proud last night. It was fun, a great turnout and I'm glad that you have had some good feedback. It was a long drive but really worth it!  If anyone has any questions, comments, follow-up etc, please tell them to feel free to e-mail me. My e-mail is on the website
www.nickihowarthpollard.com "
Nicki's fascinating book ISBN:978-0-7524-4705-6) can be bought from Amazon or any other online bookshop or she has left a few signed copies for sale to members attending meetings
 Work Day with the Rangers

Friends and Rangers work together to clear the Hill Fort of seedlings and self-set trees (2008).

A guided history walk with the North Sheffield Rangers takes in the view of Sheffield Forgemasters and the Don Valley (2008).

Heritage Day at the Chapel attracted great interest from local residents who came to see the Wincobank Archives and look around the building.  The mystery of the disappearing Chapel bell was finally solved (2009).

Local school children learn about Iron Age smelting techniques in a Heritage Lottery Fund history project (March 2010).

Willing workers daub the wattle to keep out the draughts on a chilly day on windy Wincobank (March 2010). 

Archaeologists from the University of Sheffield teamed up with the Friends to begin to survey the Hill (July 2010).

Posh Pillar and her Daughters, part of the Journey to Hidden Places public art project, arrive at their resting place by the Jenkin Road entrance to Wincobank Hill.  As well as poems about Wincobank from the 1800s to the present day, there is a memorial to Mary Anne Rawson of Wincobank Hall (October 2010).