Category Archives: Derelict

Sleaford Bass Maltings

The site was purchased by Bass Ratcliff & Greeton Ltd in 1901, and building commenced to the design of Mr H A Couchman, an architect responsible for previous Bass projects.

Construction spanned six years, starting with the engine house and associated buildings, and finishing with the smaller ancillary buildings such as the manager’s cottages, dining halls, and the administrative offices, the Maltings cost around £350,000 to complete. Its eight massive malt houses, central water tower, and tall chimney dominate the skyline.

The malt production finally ceased in 1959.

In 1973 the Sleaford Bass Maltings were purchased by a local firm, GW Padley (Property) Ltd who utilised it for chicken rearing and vegetable processing, but the chicken rearing came to end during the 1990’s.

Considered to be of special architectural and historical interest, the Sleaford Bass Maltings were to become Grade II listed in 1974.

Sheffield Old Town Hall

The original bulding was built in 1807 by Charles Watson to replace the first town hall that had little scope for extension.

The hall housed the Town Trustees and the Quarter and Petty Sessions, it was a five bay structure opening out onto Castle Street.

In 1833 and 1866 it underwent extensions by William Flockton and included a clock tower that was built over the new main entrance which orientated the entrance onto Waingate, at this time, the courtrooms were linked by underground passages to the police station.

The building underwent a further extension in 1896-97, by the renamed Flockton, Gibbs & Flockton, and became Sheffield Crown Court and Sheffield High Court. In the 1990s, these courts moved to new premises, and since at least 1997 the building has been left unused.

In 2007, it was named by the Victorian Society as one of their top ten buildings most at-risk.

Rutland Cutlery

Rutland cutlery, who was part of the Osbourne Tableware Group, was a blade grinding and polishing company located in Sheffield south Yorkshire.

It was due to celebrate 300 years of trading in late 2009 but was unexpectedly put into receivership in January 2009.

Six months earlier it was acquired by two local businessmen who had ambitious plans to put the company (better known as Nickel Blanks) back on its feet bringing all of its five subsidiaries together under one roof at Meadowhall Sheffield.

The site you see here was the Rutland Cutlery side of the group.

Rockwood Pigments

The point of note for this site is that the entrance to ‘Side Mine’ is located within the grounds. The Side Mine was opened as a show cavern between 1825-1845. The mining finished when the owner gave up his attempt to drain the workings of water.

The site that the colour works sits on, is composed of mine waste from the Side Mine, the owner erected a water wheel of 80hp, capable of raising 1000 gals per hour, this was then used to grind barytes for the paint industry, just as the industry was demanding a cheap alternative to white lead.

Redmires Water Treatment Plant

Built in 1950, the original water treatment plant supplied water to the south western outer reaches of Sheffield, through Ringinglow and Rud Hill service reservoirs.

It consisted of 7 horizontal pressure filters, capable of an average output of 16,000 cubic metres a day, with a maximum of 18,400 cubic metres a day.

In 1983 a 15,000 cubic metre clear water tank was added.

In 1986 the water was found to contain excessive iron and aluminium levels and by April 1988 a new Sirofloc process was in operation, it was the first of its kind outside of Australia. The new plant represented a major advancement in the development of a new type of treatment process for drinking water.

Record Marples

The earliest recorded (so far) mention of ‘Marples’ is about the 1540’s, in Baslow, Derbyshire.

There the family stayed until about 1750, when they moved to Sheffield.

The years 1772 & 1774 saw the birth of two sons, William & Robert, both of whom were listed as Joiners tool makers. William’s son, William (b. 1809) was most likely the founder of the firm William Marples & Sons (also joined by George Marples), later becoming Record Marples. The other son Robert (b. 1801), produced the first of the long line of Joseph Marples (b. 1801). This Joseph being the founder of our company in 1840. During this period there were no less than seven Marples’ companies operating out of Sheffield, all somehow being related.

RAF Upwood

RAF Upwood opened as an airfield in 1917 by the Royal Flying Corps. Originally used as a night-landing ground, by 1918 five hangars had been built and the centre became a training station.

At the end of World War I the airfield was cleared but in 1934 RAF Upwood was reactivated and expanded to deal with the increasing threat posed by the German Luftwaffe. The new base became operational in February 1937, housing two flying units. These original squadrons were reassigned in 1939 and replaced by No.90 and No.35 Squadron. Neither squadron saw combat and they were merged as No.17 Training Unit. When this unit departed Upwood in 1943, the grassed runways were replaced with three concrete runways. The base re-opened in October 1943 and between 1944 and 1945 was used by No.139 and No.156 Squadrons.Their Mosquitos and Lancasters saw action in Germany, dropping target indicators over Berlin and bombing Stuttgart. The base housed several bomber units during the 1940’s and 1950’s, some of which took part in the Suez crisis.

In 1961 Upwood was transferred to RAF Strike Command and by 1981 the base was almost dormant. Control was passed to the United States Air Force and Upwood became a satellite base of RAF Alconbury, providing housing and support for personnel. In 1986 a multi-million dollar medical facility was opened, delivering outpatient services to American military members in the area. The end of the Cold War saw a phased rundown of RAF Alconbury and in 2005 the last USAF family moved out of the Upwood housing area.

As of 2009 there are plans to regenerate the area into housing and light industry.

RAF Driffield

The first aerodrome to occupy the site was made up of wooden and brick buildings, known as Eastburn, No.21 Training Depot was the first unit to occupy the site from July 15, 1918, joined later by Nos. 202 and 217 Squadrons from March 1919. However, by early 1920, these units had disbanded, leaving a deserted airfield, which was removed some years later.

During the early 1930’s, Driffield was selected for one of the RAF’s expansion scheme aerodromes, with construction work beginning in 1935. This new airfield consisted of five large aircraft hangars, curved round the grass runways. Placed neatly behind these hangars were the many buildings that made up the camp. Opened in July 1936, RAF Driffield became home to a number of bomber squadrons. By 1938, these had been replaced by No.77 and No.102 Squadrons, and were eventually equipped with the twin-engine Armstrong Whitworth Whitley bomber.

At the outbreak of WW2 the No102 squadron dropped parcels of propaganda leaflets over France and the following night No 77 squadron did the same. March 1940 saw No 77 squadron drop some 6 million leaflets over Warsaw. August 1940 saw an attack by 50 Junkers Ju 88 Bombers which caused extensive damage and 13 deaths. The aerodrome was closed for repairs until early 1941 when fighters replaced the bombers, then late 1941 the bombers returned.

In 1943 the site was closed again this time for the construction of 3 concrete runways then reopened with bombers. In 1977 the airfield and camp was taken over by the British Army who renamed it Alamein Barracks and used as an Army driving school. By the early 1980s, the control tower and air-raid shelters disappeared, while the hangars that protected aircraft for many years were converted to protect Government surplus grain from the elements. In 1992, the RAF regained ownership of this historic aerodrome, naming it: RAF Staxton Wold-Driffield Site. Once again, the RAF ensign flew over Driffield, but not for long.

In 1996, the RAF itself transferred its own personnel and facilities to RAF Staxton Wold, thus bringing an end to 60 years of service. On June 28, 1996, the RAF ensign was lowered for the last time, bringing to an end RAF Driffield.

Pye Bank County School

Following the 1870 Education Act, the newly elected Sheffield School Board constructed 39 new schools in the city. Pye Bank School being one of them, designed by the architects Innocent and Brown and constructed in the ‘english domestic gothic’ style it was opened in 1875.

The Sheffield schools are regarded as the best surviving collection of ‘Board Schools’ outside London.

In 2003 the school was moved to a new building that was built on the former St Catherine’s RC Primary School site.

All of Innocent’s surviving Sheffield schools are Grade II Listed Buildings, however today, a significant proportion of these Victorian structures are being replaced by a brand new school building programme.

Pye Bank School stands in a prominent position on the hillside with great views across the city and there are plans to convert it into apartments.

Millbrook Goods Yard

In 1932, a private railway siding was added on a loop of the LNWR Line at Millbrook, known as the Micklehurst Loop to serve Hartshead Power Station in order to facilitate the handling of coal.

The sidings were capable of holding some 130, 10 -12 ton wagons with provision for 100 full and 30 empty. A fireless steam locomotive, which is charged with steam through a pipeline at a pressure of 200 psi, was used for shunting purposes and the locomotive could travel 9 miles with one charge.

There were two 20 wagon tippers, and modern automatic weighbridges, meaning incorrect weighing of coal was impossible.

The coal was fed into an underground hopper before being transported by an underground conveyor to an overhead enclosed conveyor which ran over the River Tame and Huddersfield Canal to the power station.

The loop closed in 1968 but the sidings continued in use until 1975 when Hartshead power station finally closed.