Last month @SpiderMonkey and I were given the heads-up on this place and after a quick Google we decided to head down to Worcester at the next available opportunity. We noticed a few people had tried before, only to find active security scuppering their success, so we were slightly apprehensive about what we may have to deal with. It would seem we got lucky with timing and found it relatively relaxed. I had serious wind that day!
St Mary’s Convent School was originally Battenhall Mount, an impressive house built around 1865-9 for William Spriggs, a Quaker and Worcester Clothier, in the Italianate style popularised by Prince Albert. In the 1890s the house was enlarged in a matching style by the architect John Henry Williams of Worcester for the Hon. Alfred Percy Allsopp. Allsopp was a local brewer who owned the Star Hotel and was Mayor of Worcester in 1892, 1894 and 1905. The original house is now incorporated into the South West corner of the property.
The building was used as a convalescent home during the First World War. It then became the home of the Sisters of St. Marie Madeleine Postel, a Roman Catholic Teaching Order, in 1933. St. Mary’s was a popular and well-regarded independent nursery and school until its closure in 2014.
Italianate styled interior, matching the external appearance...
Moving into the music room, which was just as impressive with its large fireplace
And this drawing room!
Entrance lobby and top of the tower
Moving further, we find the later addition of buildings that forms the main concentration of classrooms
Yes, we tried it out!
St Mary's School also has a nursery in the same grounds, in a separate building set a little away from the main buildings.
Evening kids, first report of the new year and as its my home town i kinda feel like i should make a bit of effort with this one. My long standing curiosity of what was on the other side of a certain wall in worcester was satisfied last night when i finally got around to hopping it and having a nosey, this in turn sparked a morning's research into what the tunnel was used for, which then lead to me reading a whole bunch of other stuff about the rest of the shrub hill and lowesmore industrial sites. As i said this is home turf for me and some of the derp warehouses that were standing around this part of town some 15 years ago when i was a young punk skiving off school were some of my first explorations, long before the cameras, the forums and the term uRb3X it was just me and my mates being little shits and going where we wanted. After a few years of raving it up reaching for the lazers and going out on the smash every weekend here i am full circle hanging out in derps again, only difference is this time i got a camera and a car Anyway enough of the life story, on with the explore, the shrub hill tunnel is a tunnel which runs down from the main lines of shrub hill, it was a siding used to service various companies. HHere's a lovely little hand drawn map of what we are looking at, pic courtesy of miac.org.co.uk, the tunnel is the dotted line running diagonally across/underneath the heenan froude ltd company Little bit of history about 3 of the companies the tunnel and siding serviced - In 1857 Thomas Clunes established the Vulcan Iron Works, Cromwell Street, Worcester as iron and brass founders. clunes later went into business with a couple railway fellas by the name of McKenzie and Holland and branched into the railway signal manufacturing business. Mckenzie & Holland manufactured signalling equipment which was used in many British and overseas signal boxes. The company expanded to become the foremost manufacturer of signalling equipment in the UK. Walter Holland became a J.P. for the City and County and was Mayor of Worcester from 1878 until 1881 and again in 1887. Mckenzie & Holland merged with other signal manufacturers in 1901 and became a limited company at the same time, wholly owned by the Consolidated Signal Company Limited. The Worcester operation was closed in 1921. The Mckenzie & Holland locomotive was then purchased by Heenan & Froude Ltd who took over responsibility for rail traffic. As you can see from the map above and the pic below here the tracks from the tunnel led right down to the worcester birmingham canal to accommodate goods coming in or going out via canal barge and locomotive, given the vulcan iron works were in the iron business i'm imagining a lot of coal was more than likely being brought down the shrub hill tunnel. The shrub hill tunnel ran underneath another company by the east side entrance to the tunnel, the Heenan and froude ltd company. Heenan & Froude was famous for building the 518ft high Blackpool Tower. It was once one of the largest employers of skilled workers in the area. The Company, who also had a factory in Manchester, opened its operation in Worcester in 1903, having moved from the Aston Iron Works in Birmingham to a part of the former worcester engine works co site at Shrub Hill. Heenan & Froude was a general purpose engineering company who made amongst other things exhaust and mine ventilating fans, colliery and mining plant, belts, conveyors, elevators, sawing machines, bench chains, water dynamo meters, spherical, horizontal and vertical engines, patent water boilers, bridge and roof iron work, and refuse destructors. Heenan & Froude also used the sidings that had been laid in 1865 and that were connected the 'vinegar works branch line. Shunting of rail traffic on the site was originally the responsibility of mckenzie & holland. When Mckenzie & Holland ceased in 1921 its locomotive was sold to Heenan & Froude who took over the shunting of the railway traffic. A new locomotive was purchased in 1928. The location of the engine shed is not known. This is the heenan and Froude building, the tunnel on the left in the first two images with the clock tower is the same as the small dark tunnel on the right in the third pic, im just stood right up the other end. i actually rooftopped this building when i was a kid, camera wasnt great on my 3310 though
This is a quick couple of pics of how everything lays out on top, mainly because there's scaff and i could get a nice shot over the area
On with the tunnel pics then This is the west side tunnel entrance leading into what was the vulcan ironworks/mckenzie holland and onto the canal.
The tunnel on the right in this pic is the east side of the tunnel, 2
that's about it i reckon, thanks for looking kids happy new year to y'all
houses of god rooftops seem to be the flavour of the day so heres a couple from my myself and perjurys hometown of worcester back in the summer
only got up one side as they were only working the SW tower, my old lady was actually up in the tower helping archive some of the library ready for internal renovations, some of the literature dates back to the 10th century, saw some pics of them looked pretty damn cool, needless to say she wasnt in there as i scaled the scaff outside as id have had a clip around the earhole, but was around the same time they were working the exterior, nice little spot to watch the sunset and have a beer in the summer
By Perjury Saint
I couldnt find much history on this one, but heres what I could find...
SPX Cooling Technologies are a leading full line, full service cooling tower and air cooled condenser manufacturer.
The companies that formed SPX were founded more than 100 years ago and have over 250 gobal patents in the power generation, industrial, refrigeration and HVAC markets.
Ive known about this place for a while but it seemed a bit locked down, not today!! Nice saturday morning mooch...
Heres me pix...
Ta for lookin'!