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Having passed Park Hill Flats countless times over the past 18 year or so I've always fancied getting up on the roof so after managing to miss out on a trip here earlier in the year there was no way I was passing this opportunity up, especially with the knowledge of the access tunnels underneath.
Visited with a few members from another forum
In the nineteenth century the Park Hill area was made up of old quarries, untidy waste ground, steep alleyways and some of the worst slums in Sheffield. This densely populated area consisted of 2 or 3 storey back-to-back housing around central courtyards. Often there would be just one standpipe for around a hundred people. This, combined with the lack of any proper sewage system, allowed diseases such as typhus, dysentry and cholera to ravage the area. In 1864 back to back housing of this type was prohibited.
During the 1870's Sheffield Corporation built drains and sewers through the city. Although originally the untreated raw sewage was sent directly into the rivers, at least the sanitation within the housing areas like Park Hill was improved. During the 1880's the provision of water supplies passed from a private company to the corporation and the first sewage treatment plant was built.
Slum clearance began in the 1930’s but was halted by the 2nd World War. By the time the issue was reassessed in 1953, a radical solution was needed. This took the shape of Park Hill Flats, built between 1957 and 1960. The unique design was based on an idea by French architect Le Corbusier of creating ‘Streets in the Sky’. The 995 flats were built on top of a 1:10 gradient making them range from 4 storeys high at the top end to 13 storeys at the end nearest the city centre.
This layout allowed nearly all of the decks to reach ground at some point, meaning milk floats and other services could access them. The community feel of the previous traditional streets was recreated where possible by rehousing neighbours next to each other.
Park Hill Flats attracted worldwide attention and were praised for their innovative design. In December 1998 Park Hill Flats became Grade 2* listed giving it equal status to the Turret House at Sheffield Manor Lodge and making it the largest listed building in Europe.
History lifted straight from Sheff Council Website
Well after a comical start of 6 blokes attempting to squeeze through a gap that clearly wasn't made for anyone to get through and dodging secca we somehow arrived in the service tunnels, well the others finally did when they chose the right route (Adam)
Once we were all in we made our way out of the dimly lit entrance almost crawling through what felt like a good 1/4 mile of tunnel until we could finally stand, this completely threw my sense of where feck we were on the site as there were too many corners to take note of.
As we moved through going up and down ladders to different levels in the tunnels it was obvious some of the waste pipes had leaked in the past so we made our best attempts not to stand in the puddles.
Around a corner and at the end of the tunnel there was light once again.
The pipework in this section looked a lot more modern.
Although some of the electrics didn't...
Quickly pose for a group shot and we're back on our way
A quick attempt was made to enter the service tunnels in the renovated section but ended in fail so we headed up on to the roof
The vertical service shafts are seriously confined, but at least if you slip you'll not be far from the ladder and more likely to get wedged than fall to the bottom.
Finally on the roof, what I'd been waiting for!
Luckily the views from the roof we got to were better than those from the renovated section
Finally finishing with another group shot with what looks like almost all of us in it.
Really enjoyed this, a nice change. Cheers all who came along
The fortress with a lot of murals in its bunkers is part of the second fortified belt of forts of Metz and had its baptism of fire in late 1944, when the Battle of Metz occurred. The Fortification was part of a wider program of fortifications called "Moselstellung", encompassing fortresses scattered between Thionville and Metz in the valley Moselle. The aim of Germany was to protect against a French attack to take back Alsace-Lorraine and Moselle from the German Empire. The fortification system was designed to accommodate the growing advances in artillery since the end of XIXth century. Based on new defensive concepts, such as dispersal and concealment, the fortified group was to be, in case of attack, an impassable barrier for French forces.
Covering an area of 83 ha, the Fortress is constructed from 1907 to 1914. The group fortification has 2 fortified barracks and can accommodate a total of 560 men. It has 8 pieces of artillery, 6 of them 100mm and 2 of them 77mm. It has eight domes and twenty observation points and lookouts. The various items are connected by 1,700m of underground galleries. In its water tanks, it has 2,640 m3 of water. The energy required for its operation is ensured by seven diesel engines of 27 hp each.
During The Annexation of Alsace-Lorraine, the fort receives a garrison of gunners belonging to the XVIth Army Corps. From 1914-1918, it served as a relay for the German soldiers at the front post. Its equipment and weapons are then at the forefront of military technology. In 1919, the fort was occupied by the French army. After the departure of French troops in June 1940, the German army reinvests the fort. In early September 1944, at the beginning of the Battle of Metz, the German command integrates the fort into the defensive system set up around Metz.
In Second World War, on September 2, 1944, Metz is declared fortress Reich by Hitler. The fortress must be defended to the last by German troops.
Visited with The_Raw, extreme_ironing and Maniac.
Big thanks to TBm and Northern Ninja for cracking this and the intel............
Explored with UrbanGinger,Stealth and Obscurity..
No mishaps or hassles with getting to the bunker other than a man in a red van with his dog being nosey so no grand stories of our escapades im afreaid..(yay i hear you say no waffling shit)
Some history from wicki
American military forces were first stationed at High Wycombe in 1942, shortly after the United States' formal entrance into World War II. So urgent was the action that Wycombe Abbey School, situated on the land that would become the station, was given three weeks to find new facilities; failure in this effort led to the school's closing, until the independent girl's school was returned by the US in 1945.
In 1952, the station, formerly known as Daws Hill House, welcomed US forces again. The following years of the Cold War saw fluctuation in the base's importance.
Approximately 800 personnel were stationed there when, in 1969, their numbers were reduced, so that, in the early 1970s, only a small group remained for upkeep of facilities.
Then, in 1975, activity escalated, revitalising the station's importance to the American military in Europe. Its nuclear bunker, with 23,000 square feet (2,100 square meters) of space, housed high-tech equipment for the direction of nuclear bombers and guided missiles.
Use of the station was reduced with the end of the Cold War; by 1992, US Defense personnel at RAF Daws Hill numbered fewer than 350.
In 2002, the UK Ministry of Defence proposed to close RAF Daws Hill some years in the future, turning the 50 acres (20 ha) of land over to other public and private use and relocating American Naval personnel and activities to other locations near London, particularly RAF Uxbridge. The plan apparently fizzled, however, when the US Navy voiced its preference to remain. High Wycombe, desiring to build at least 400 new houses by 2011 for its growing population, considered the land ideal for up to 600 houses; but nearby residents also rejected the proposal because of the changes that it would entail, including increased traffic on relatively quiet roads.
The station was home, between 1971 and 2007, to the London Central Elementary High School, part of the Department of Defense Dependents Schools, with pupils in grades K?12. Also at Daws Hill are 70 housing units for American personnel and their families. Other facilities include warehouses and those for vehicle maintenance, as well as support buildings for persons who lived and worked at the base, such as a bank, a post office, a bowling alley, sports grounds and buildings, a small exchange, an automobile refueling station, and a social club
On with My pics from our outing.
Sorry its a bit pic heavy but its a huge site and theres a lot of bits of machinery all over the place as well as vast empty rooms.