Revealing Castleward - public art consultation event

Developer Compendium Living teamed up with Denis O’Connor and Bernardine Rutter of Sculpture Works, the artists commissioned to produce the public artwork for the city’s £100 million Castleward development, to host a public consultation event at its project office on Canal Street.

Visitors were invited to share their stories, photos and mementos of Castleward in order to document the area’s past and contribute to the research that will inform the designs of the artwork that will be sited on the new boulevard linking the city centre and Derby Midland Station.

Denis comments: “The purpose of the two-day consultation event was to both collate and archive historical information specifically from the Castleward area and to present preliminary designs for the proposed public artworks for the new boulevard as part of the 'Revealing Castleward' consultation programme.

“A variety of different groups, businesses and residents, ex-residents and people interested in local history were invited to share stories, memories, photos or maps relating to the area, as well as artefacts, such as small hand tools, that would have been used in the area’s industries. 

“All photos and artefacts have been documented and will be used to inform the research and designs of the proposed artworks.

“Those who attended were very engaged in revealing stories about Castleward and were very complimentary about the artwork proposals and Compendium Living's regeneration of the area.”

Dave Bullock, Managing Director at Compendium Living, comments: “We are delighted with the response we have had from the public following our recent request for old photos of Castleward and look forward to seeing how the area’s past will influence its future artwork.”

The event attracted over 100 visitors and has been hailed a success. 

Bernardine says: “It was a real delight to meet so many enthusiastic people; visitors to the event have allowed us to identify the industries, shops and trades that operated in the area and it provides a real insight into the community that lived and worked in Castleward. 

“There were some delightfully heated debates about what was located where and when.”

Castleward was one of the main industrial hubs of the city in the 18th, 19th and 20th Centuries, but a ‘city of trades’ became a ‘city of lost trades.

The area once housed bobbin turners, silk spinners and silk throwsters, letterpress printers, bookbinders, clock and watchmakers, tin platers, carpenters, foundry men and blacksmiths, to name but a few. 

Bernardine says: “We are interested in revealing the industrial origins of the site and the ‘traceries’ of a forgotten period in Derby’s industrial heritage, and how it influenced the growth of the city.

“Our research is still ongoing and we are still gathering tools, images and stories from the area, so if there is anyone who worked or lived in the area who would still like to get in touch, we would be delighted to talk to them.”

To share photos, artefacts and stories about Castleward with Sculpture Works, please contact Bernardine Rutter on 01629 825270 or email

Compendium Living, as part of phase one of Castleward, is transforming five acres of land into 163 residential units, approximately 16,500sqft of commercial space, a tree-lined boulevard and a new urban park. 

Find out more about Castleward by visiting or calling 01332 370885.

Media enquiries:

Compendium Living – Hannah Elwell or Sarah Ross, 0116 247 1777,