With a 2.5 meter high, fully reinforced security fence, cameras at every angle and motion sensors tucked away in strategical places, this building was designed to keep people out.
A load of good that did, eh?
This building is shrouded in mystery, its former use was totally unknown and even google wasn't any help! Turns out it was the old headquarters for the Department of work and pensions, but they could not afford to keep it running, so became a rejected building for social security. No one has ever documented this building and not a single photo of the insides can be found.. Until now.
Not my fanciest of camera work but the night time was the best time for this trip. So granted the shots could be better but with not a lot of time on our hands (and maybe setting a motion detector off) we had to make do!
The building itself was actually very clean and tidy, in and out. Fair bit of dust and clutter from the stripping off pipes from underneath the flooring but no graffiti, no vandalism.. Not a single sign of "outsiders".
Truly trapped in time with 1990's tech scattered, but nothing of worth, just old school things that required Ethernet and a few tapes and old floppy disks.
For the most part it was quiet and things were calm, the main worry was watching for the missing floor panels and pesky motion sensors above a certain few doors. So I gather most office blocks like this are still protected (A company called 'clear way') which is kind of surprising considering how long it has been abandoned and I cannot find out anything to do with that buildings future.
Originally used as a primary headquarters for the department of work and pensions, handling data and dealing with data to do with peoples income and possibly entitlement of benefits, sits unused and had been abandoned between around 2002 but the exact time is yet to be known.
It was being used through the 90's that's for sure with lift service sheets with the last service being 2002 and floppy disks and tapes dating through the 90's.
It is unfortunate we could not see the whole building, as out of the three floors it had only the ground and second were explored. The lower ground floor proved to be a challenge as that's were the sensors really were, so we decided to leave it and head out quiet as a mouse. But not without having one last look at the glass atrium of course.
Over all this building is still somewhat a mystery and i'm fairly certain we are the only people to document this building, which is mad for me.
This is my first real forum and I hope you enjoy the photos,
Til the next one!
"Take nothing but photos, leave nothing but footprints"
1. scouting a way in
2. The atrium, looking straight through
5. This tells me they were short of funds.
7. The windows for the atrium
8. Lift mechanics
9. The lift motor and pulley system
10. Service history for the lift
11. A letter (with buildings address) for evaluation of the one lift
12. Typical office corridors, minus the health and safety hazard
13. Vintage mounted desk with plug sockets built in
14. Huge computer room
15. Keys still left as they were since closure
16. Media storage units
16. Hand drawn schematics for lift dated 89
17. Lift room
18. Temperature gauges
19. Wiring for the lift
20. Very rusty keys
21. The motor for the lift
22. Lift schematics
23. The original blueprint before the construction of oak house
24. This still works!
25. Flooring lifted for strip down before being abandoned
26. Old school floppy disk dated 91
27. Media room and units
28. Stannah lift lever
29. Inside the vast atrium
30. Another angle
31. Vintage clock and safe
In 1847, Joseph Watts of Dewsbury and William Stones (1827 -1894) of Sheffield began brewing together at the Cannon Brewery in Sheffield's Shalesmoor district near Kelham Island. ... He renamed it the Cannon Brewery after his original premises.
Stones soon became one of the richest men in Sheffield and worked up until his death in 1894. A light coloured beer, named Stones Bitter, was produced in the early 1940’s and this soon became a popular choice amongst steel workers across Sheffield.
Cannon Brewery grew significantly as its reputation increased and sales prospered, to the extent that new offices, stores, workshops and cellars were all improved and developed. At its peak, the brewery produced 50,000 hectolitres of cask conditioned Stones each year and many of Sheffield’s public houses developed close ties to the brewery and Stones Bitter. An on-site public house was also opened within Cannon Brewery in 1964, “ originally named ‘The Underground’, but renamed as ‘The Pig and Whistle’ to service both visitors and workers, and this can still be found today. Cannon Brewery was closed in 1999 following reports that were indicative of a substantial decline in the sale of cask ales.
The owner of the site is a demolition contractor and has submitted an application seeking permission for his business, Hague Plant, to bulldoze the buildings on the 0.7 hectare plot which, in documents drawn up by R Bryan Planning, are described as being of utilitarian design and of no historic or architectural significance. The owner is keen to redevelop the former brewery but has said that it is not effectively marketable in its current state, especially as the high cost of demolition and potential decontamination, particularly from asbestos, are a deterrent to developers.
Been looking at this as a potential explore for sometime... The buildings and architecture are something else and anyone who's anyone on the Sheffield graffiti scene have decorated the building with some great pieces.. The former brewery is in poor condition but offers explorers a great opportunity to appreciate the history and architecture of the former brewery. A real shame when they decided to pull the building as this is a real part of Sheffields brewing past.. explore whilst you still have chance.. as this building offers plenty for all.
15. and 16.
Graffiti on site
22. My favourite pic I took of this place
"Times have changed, the place in its current condition is trashed and flooded... (2018)"
In the 14th century the Bretton estate was owned by the Dronsfields and passed by marriage to the Wentworths in 1407. King Henry VIII spent three nights in the old hall and furnishings, draperies and panelling from his bedroom were moved to the new hall. A hall is marked on Christopher Saxton's 1577 map of Yorkshire... The present building was designed and built around 1720 by its owner, Sir William Wentworth assisted by James Moyser to replace the earlier hall. In 1792 it passed into the Beaumont family, (latterly Barons and Viscounts Allendale), and the library and dining room were remodelled by John Carrin 1793. Monumental stables designed by George Basevi were built between 1842 and 1852. The hall was sold to the West Riding County Council in 1947. Before the sale, the panelling of the "Henry VIII parlour" (preserved from the earlier hall) was given to Leeds City Council and moved to Temple Newsam house. The hall housed Bretton Hall College from 1949 until 2001 and was a campus of the University of Leeds from 2001 to 2007.
Work began on site in march 2016... The MüllerVanTol studio has been appointed to design the interiors of the Grade II listed mansion and the refurbishment of other listed buildings is well underway. Most of the 11 student dwellings which were built in the 1960's and 1970's have been demolished including Eglinton, Litherop, Swithen and Haigh, Grasshopper will be the last to go in late 2017. A real shame considering the position of the college which specialised in design, drama, music and other performing arts with notable alumna attending.
The Hall itself resides in 500 acres of park land which is home to the Yorkshire Sculpture park (YSP). (YSP) was the first of it's kind within the UK and his the largest in Europe, providing the only the place to see Barbara Hepworth and Bronzes by Henry Moore. Over 300,000 visitors are said to visit the park each year and on previous visits its been easy to blend into the crowd and walk around the exterior of the old Hall this said access internally as always been restricted. Access to the Hall today is strictly prohibited and is protected by 6ft metal fencing which spans the entire grounds including former classrooms and the stable block and more so their is a high presence of security on site with the developers keen to keep the public away. Recently signs have appeared to restrict the public taking pictures near the Hall itself... typical signs read (restricted use of photography in this area). The developers seem to be going to extreme lengths to protect the design ideas of the Hall and are passing these restriction onto local media and staff working onsite... I'm guessing the developers are wanting to keep their plans secret until the grand opening later in 2019.
During the festive Holiday period we decided to pay a visit... making our way to some of the former classrooms and the student centre. This led to the stable block passing by the former dwellings and down to the main hall. We were surprised to have got this far and would have been more than happy with some nice externals of the buildings on site. YSP was very quiet and we were aware of sticking out in the surroundings so decided to head inside. Making our way down to the hall we were sure we would be found before we had chance to pull out our cameras. We were quite taken away by the sheer scope of the refurbishment and the beautiful restoration work been carried out we soon forgot about the threats of been in the Hall. Slowly documenting our visit and proceeding through the Halls rooms we became aware our explore light could be attracting unwanted attention from the outside as daylight was running out. Turning it off where possible it was obvious that it would be shining like a beacon through the Halls many rooms, we decided to head out with the premise of returning in the morning. Unfortunately on our return we were met by the security who TBH was sympathetic in escorting us off the premises. It seems like our well documented day at Bretton Hall was a one off and maybe we will have to wait to see how the restoration unfolds when the Hall is reborn as an hotel.
1. Entrance Arcade belonging to former stable block (circa 1800).
2. Beaumont Bull & Wentworth Griffin above the columns on each side of the archway below the cupola.
3. Lost student art outside the experimental theatre... former carriage house
4. Looking down the Colonnade
5. The stable courtyard
6. The south range of Bretton hall dates back to 1720
9. Giant pilasters supporting the pendent at the north range of Bretton Hall
8. Three storey nine-by-five-bay main range.
9. Pathway leading to the exterior of the former library
10. Former Orangery
11. Plaque detailing the history
12. Former dinning room with marble fireplace
13. Typical Rococo style in the former dining room
14. Typically their would have been a frieze around the fireplace
15. Looking up at the glazed dome
16. Looks like restoration as begun on the pendentives
17. Former drawing room with its spectacular baroque ceiling
18. Close a look at the baroque ceiling
19. Originally Regency Library then later converted to a display room.
21. Left overs from the colleague era
22. looks like works yet to begin in this area of the hall
23. Leading back to the library
24. restoration of the cove Acoustics to amplify sound in the music room
25. Light hanging from the Adam style celling
26. South ranges main staircase
27. Main staircase with a wrought iron railing
28. Stone stairs leading down to the basement
29. A form of art nouveau
30. Inside the main range
31. Coving shelves
32. Beautiful example of a transom window
33. Mid - century scandinavian style chair
34. Adam style celling's from 1770
35. Developer keeping with the original sash windows
36. Groin vaulted passage with three arches and piers decorated with grisaille paintings in the Portico Hall
Added buildings from the former college days
37. The gymnasium
38. exterior of former classrooms
39. Former student centre reception
40. Corridoor leading to the classrooms
41. The student centre was empty
42. Damaged computer
44. typical student dormitory
45. recreational room
46. Entrance to one of the very few remaining former dormitory buildings
The history of the Bretton Hall could be a thread all on its own ... as could the documentation of the architecture its position as educational faculty and importantly the future usage of the Hall as an entertainment venue. I've done my best to condense this were possible and in doing so have provided a comprehensive report regarding Bretton Hall..
Hope you enjoyed the report