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Litchfield Maltings

Wolverhampton and Dudley’s Lichfield Maltings, was originally part of a brewery owned by ‘The City Brewery Company’ that was established in 1874.

The Maltings were built in 1891 to designs by George Scamell of Westminster. In 1916 a fire closed the brewery and in 1917 the company was taken over by Wolverhampton and Dudley.

The modern storage unit was added in the 1970’s. At the time of closure in 2005 there were five employees.

Langwith Mill

A four storey cotton mill built in 1760, powered by the river Poulter via a mile long contoured canal from Langwith Lodge Lake.

Originally the mill was sixteen windows wide, which must have made it one of the largest mills in the district.

Cotton spinning ceased in about 1848 and the building was converted into a corn mill in 1886. It is built in limestone with a slate roof, alongside was a large dam for water power supply, now a meadow.

Langwith Mill is a curtilage building to the Grade II listed Langwith Mill House and a building of local interest in its own right.

Kingsway Hospital

Originally built in 1886-1888, it was designed by Hull based Benjamin S. Jacobs, an asylum specialist and built in the corridor plan. It was built in red brick, in a neo-Jacobean style, a much favoured design for public institutions and was a massive structure, grouped symmetrically around four internal courtyards. the interior consisted of large, airy dormitories and wards.

The main buildings were an administration block to the north (the main entrance) and on the south side, most of the wards, which were positioned so as to catch the sun at some time of each day, facing only east, south or west.

The more elaborate central block was built in darker brickwork and housed the assembly hall, with a chapel above it, which boasted a fine, open steelwork, trussed roof. Extensions were added in 1891, 1901 and 1902 to cope with the increasing population of the area. A new bakehouse was built in 1908 and in 1915 further extensions were added.

There was a model farm on the site where selected patients could work in order to endow their lives with some purpose. After the war, in 1948, the hospital and associated buildings passed to the NHS, which made further additions, half the farm buildings were demolished leaving the rest for storage.

The hospital finally closed in 2009.

Kimberley Brewery

William and Thomas Hardy bought the Samuel Robinson Brewery in 1857, originally trading out of a converted bakery on Hardy Street, they moved into the current brewery in 1861.

In 1930 they merged with a local rival ‘Hansons Brewery’ due to increasing pressure from larger breweries. In 2006 the Hardys & Hansons Kimberley Brewery and all its associated public house were sold to Greene King.

Holme Bank Chert Mine

Holme Bank mine was opened in early 1800 and worked up to 1960.

There are many workings within the site and it is notable for the large packwalls used to support the roof after the chert beds had been removed. It later became known as Smith’s Mine after a later owner who operated the mine, they also manufactured Davie blocks on the site for building and continued to do so on site up to about 1995.

Hartlepool Magnesia

In 1937 The Steetley Manufacturing Company built a pilot plant, it was known as the Palliser Works, named after the wartime fortifications that were there. The British Periclase Company was incorporated and a full-scale commercial magnesia plant was erected.

When war broke out in 1939, Hartlepool was the only source of magnesia in Britain and was sold under the name of Britmag.

In 1941 the plant was under government ownership, in 1952 it was passed back to its original owners.

1992 saw the company come under ownership of Redland plc, Magnesia was never part of Redlands’ business strategy and the plant was sold in 1997 and renamed Britmag. This company traded until the end of 2001 and then went into administration in January 2002. The site was reborn as CJC Chemicals in April 2002 without the refractory production units. CJC Chemicals ceased production June 2005. For more information please visit:

Hams Hall ‘B’ Control Room

Hams Hall B Power Station was planned in 1937. It began generating electricity in 1942. Between 1946 and 1949 the station was expanded, this increased the generating capacity to 160,500kW. Its water was cooled by four cooling towers.

The station used Parsons Alternators and December 1945 a corroded metal connection between the chimneys and boilers was the cause of a complaint of pollution. The connection was finally replaced in 1948 and until that time the pollution continued.

At the time of closure in 1981 Hams Hall B was generating 306 MW. Its four cooling towers were demolished in November 1985, with chimney number 2 going down in September 1988.

The main control room is an isolated building with a duodecagonal roof and is all that is left of the site.

Forest Mills

John Lawson Thackeray, (later mayor of Nottingham 1854-55 and 1865-66) moved down from Manchester in the 1780’s, he established what we call the Forest Mills factory some time in the early to mid 1800’s, just as the industrial revolution was in full flow, machines were putting people out of work and in 1811, a movement was formed by workers in the lace and hosiery industry in Nottingham, known as the Luddites. Factories and machinery, where being destroyed by this group of protesters but the government used the militia or army to protect industry, rioters who were caught were tried and hanged, or transported for life.

After the protests ended in the 1830’s, John Thackeray set about producing lace to a high standard and quality, he was rewarded in 1851 when at the Great Exhibition, his lace was awarded a gold medal which subsequently gained him a full order book.

As the demands for lace declined, Thackeray’s failure to upgrade machinery to modern standards forced the factory to finally close in 1950.

Dove Creamery

In the 1870’s the Duke of Devonshire founded the Dove Creamery in Hartington (later to be come known as The Hartinginton Cheese Factory) which produced a white crumbly Derbyshire cheese until 1894, when a fire partially destroyed the building. In 1900 Mr Thomas Nuttall took over the company and began producing Blue Stilton Cheese and was one of only 3 companies producing this cheese in the UK. The company was finally taken over and expanded by his son Mr John M Nuttall and in the 1920/30’s Hartington cheese was supplied to King George V by Royal Warrant. In 1930’s the Hartington creamery was acquired by the Milk Marketing Board and so became part of what was later known as Dairy Crest.

2001 saw a massive expenditure program that lasted until 2004, this included a ‘continuous vat production system’ that would replace traditional cheese making processes. This was the only one of its kind in the UK and was referred to as the’Continuous Coagulator’. Long Clawson Dairy acquired the creamery in August 2008 for the sum of 3.5M. The site finally closed in march 2009 with the loss of 150 jobs.

Doncaster High School For Girls

The school was designed by J. M. Bottomley and G. T. Wellburn of Leeds and built in 1910. It was built in an Edwardian Baroque style, in an English cross bond utilising red brick and with white faience dressings.

In 1935 the building was altered to a design by T Sydney Athron and E Vincent Dyson, first floors were added to the two wings and the Hall was moved from the ground floor upstairs into what is known as the Waterdale Wing.

In 1971 the school amalgamated with Doncaster Grammar School and was renamed Hall Cross Comprehensive. The building here is the Waterdale location.

The school finally amalgamated with the Boy’s Grammar School to become Hall Cross Comprehensive School and finally moved to a new location. The Girls School has sat empty ever since.

Cookridge Hospital

The hospital first opened its doors in 1869 to provide a place for patients who had been treated at Leeds General Infirmary to continue their recovery.

Over the years the convalescent hospital was gradually extended, and during the First World War the building was requisitioned to care for wounded servicemen, resuming its civilian role after 1919.

In 1939 it was taken over by the Government and briefly housed the Leeds Maternity Hospital. In 1949 was acquired by the Leeds Regional Hospital board and began to concentrate on the treatment of cancer experimenting with radium, it was developed as a regional radiotherapy centre using the latest technology a number of new buildings were constructed on the site during the 1950s and 1960s.

The hospital finally closed around 2008.

Clipstone Colliery

Clipstone Colliery.

The village of Clipstone, was built on the site of Clipstone Army Camp in 1926 by the Bolsover Mining Company. It was built as a model village with the latest housing and facilities to provide accommodation and recreation for the mineworkers.

The colliery was sunk to exploit the Barnsley seam or ‘Tophard’, as it was known locally. In the 1950’s the shafts were deepened to over 1000 yards (920 m) to exploit other seams.

The colliery was closed by British Coal, as the National Coal Board had become, in 1993 and reopened by RJB Mining (now UK Coal) in April 1994, the licence to dig for coal being limited to the Yard seam which is located at a depth of 957 yards (870 m). At around 200 feet, the headstocks of the colliery are regarded as the tallest in Europe and the third tallest in the world. They are Grade 2 Listed structures and can be seen from all over the district.

The colliery was finally closed in April 2003. The local residents have called for their demolition.

Carmel Convent

Carmel Convent.

I would first like to thank the Sisters of Camel Convent for allowing access to their home, their hospitality was very much appreciated.

Built in the early 17th Century, Cockerton Field House is believed to be over 700 years old. The Carmel Order moved here on 1830, in 1832 a new Chapel and Choir were built. In 1842 some old outhouses were taken down and a new wing containing a laundry, bakehouse and brewhouse were built, these later became the printing wing.

Future years saw Father Roby succeeded by Father James Brown and under his supervision the present Church, Choir, Sacristy and Cloisters were added. Infirmaries overlooking the Choir were also added.

Further history and information on the Carmelite Nuns can be found here:

British Waterways

British Waterways

The warehouse built in the 1930’s, is constructed of reinforced concrete and is considered to be the best of this type in the country. Situated in line with the river wall,this facilitated the loading and discharging of vessels. There are 4 floors each 170 feet long and 50 feet wide, giving a total floor space of 34,000 square feet. The ground floor is of reinforced concrete specially treated to ensure freedom from dust, while the upper floors are of wood on reinforced concrete. On the ground floor there were electric transporters capable of travelling at a speed of 100 feet per minute for the full length of the warehouse, and in addition capable of stacking goods to a height of 9 feet above floor level, they could also discharge goods from barges direct to railway trucks, or load lorries or drays at the various bays. The upper floors had four electric hoists, hoisting at 70 feet per minute and travelling at 100 feet per minute. Two of these hoists work inside pent houses under which barges may be discharged or loaded in wet weather. In addition to the electrically-operated machinery, spiral sack chutes were provided as well as gravity chutes capable of conveying loads 3 feet 3 inches wide.

Barnes Hospital

Barnes Hospital.

Also known as Barnes Convalescent Home, whilst the hospital was constructed in a rural setting, it is now surrounded by roads.

The main building is Grade II listed, and lies on green belt land. A donation of 26,000 pounds for the founding of a new convalescent hospital was made in 1869 by Robert Barnes. Construction of the hospital, started in 1871 and was completed in 1875. It was constructed of bricks, the clay for which was provided locally.

During World War II the hospital was used as a convalescent home for wounded soldiers.

The main use for the hospital in its later life was for geriatric care and stroke patients. It closed in September 1999.

The hospital was sold in 2001. The hospital temporarily housed a large group of Kosovan refugees following its closure

Aston Hall Hospital

Aston Hall Hospital.

Aston Hall Hospital sits in the scenic village of Aston-On-Trent in Derby, the hospital dates back to the 1930s and stretches over 3.2 acres. The hospital was purchased by the Nottingham Corporation in 1924 as part of the old Aston Hall estate, since the hospitals conception it has always dealt with patients suffering from mental health problems and learning disabilities. Each of the ‘houses’ could house up to 50 patients but in later years this capacity dropped as patients where transferred to other hospitals in the area.

Aston Hall boasted a one of a kind leisure centre within its grounds and was the only hospital in South Derbyshire to house a hydrotherapy pool.

In 1998 it was announced that the hospital would close amid fierce opposition from local residents who wanted it to remain open and to continue caring for its then 58 resident patients.

The ‘village’ as locals called it, finally closed its doors in 2004.

Anzio Training Camp

Anzio Training Camp.

Originally built in 1943 as a transit camp for United States Army anti-aircraft battalions, in 1946 it was taken over by Polish troops from Italy and other Polish troops arrived later.

After the war the camp continued as a Polish civilian settlement until 1964 when those living there were rehoused on a new estate to the north.

In the early 1980’s the site was cleared and in 1983 Anzio Camp was opened there as a training camp for use by the regular army,the TA and scouts.

Finally closing in 2004 as being surplus to requirements by the M.O.D.

Camp De Souge France

This was a more exciting find on one of our French holidays, I had been searching the interweb for memorials dedicated to the French Resistance and came upon one located near Bordeaux, no problem I thought, I checked the map got the location and we set off, on the approach road we noticed all the military signs but thought well the road is open so we carried on, we came a cross a barrier that was up and the traffic light showed green, so off we continiued, we came across a truck and Lucy asked if he knew where the memorial was, the reply was that we should not really be riding round and active army base without permission and we was escorted to the guard house where the we where introduced to the Base Commander, who was dressed in a track suit and smoking what i would like to think was a goulois cigarette, he spoke good English and explained that we should not be riding round an acitve army base without permission, to which i replied ‘the barrier was up and the light was green’ he took it all in good humour and got someone to escort us to the memorial with a warning not to stray of the road as there was live training being carried out, we gave him our thanks and got to see the memorial, then made our way of the camp, the barrier was down when we exited, but was lifted as we approached it. (so I guess we where being watched)
Camp de Souge, north west of Martignas-sur-Jalle and some 20 kilometres west of Bordeaux. has been military base since 1900 and now home to the French Army’s 13th “Régiment de dragons parachutistes”, providing accommodation and dedicated training and manoeuvres areas.
Here in July 1940, the base was taken over by German forces and over the next four years, more than 300 members of the French Resistance were executed here, most notably on September 21st 1942 when 70 people were killed.
The final execution occurring on August 21st, just days before Bordeaux was freed.
It wasn’t until 1999 that a permanent memorial was installed at Souge, in large part thanks to the tireless campaigning of an association known as Comité du Souvenir des Fusillés de Souge.
On six glass panels, the names and ages of those known to have died at Souge are listed in chronological order of their death.
Ceremonies of remembrance are held around October 24th of each year, the rest of the year, the memorial remains silently tucked away within the grounds of the military base.