By Kev C
Hi, this is my first report, I don't really know what to write but here goes.......
Unless you have been on Mars or in a coma for the past couple of weeks you would most probably have heard about this Manor House. Some pictures were posted & the guys who posted them had pretty much made it crystal that they were not going to be sharing its location. The post stated that they hoped that people would forget about it & that it would be saved. Or to put it another way - they threw the gauntlet down big time and by doing that it had made it the UK’s most hunted derp within the UE community, and surprise surprise within a day it had been found by more than one person. The actual post & chats that I had with them gave me a couple of very good clues & to be fair to the guys when I told them that I had it they did clue me up with everything I needed to know.
Anyway, It just so happened that I was in the area with some free time on the Wednesday so I popped along. I got there before sun up & had the house to myself for a couple of hours, it was a pretty much ad hoc visit & quickly realised that I needed a wider lens, I knew some guys were planning to hit it on the Saturday & decided a revisit was in order.
Messages were sent & arrangements were made for the pre-Sun up meet, I’d gotten wind that there may be a few people there so I was not surprised to see a few other faces when I opened the door at around 7am. The pre-dawn light, or rather lack of it meant that we all sat around having a chat & a schmoke as more & more people turned up out of the darkness. I didn’t count but I’m told that at 08:30 there were 21 of us in the house and that the snack bar had ran out of breakfast rolls & that pin badges & t shirt sales were through the roof.
The 19th century house itself is on a massive estate and parts of the estate are live & lived in. There are 2 floors & a basement, the house has some lovely features, the stairs, the swimming pool & indoor courtyard & there’s plenty to spend a couple of hours there photographing. The basement is quite big & has a drive in access point & (GoonTube Click bait warning time) has a FERKIN PANZER TANK in one of the rooms, that’s the headlines and that’s what the Goons will be selling it as but the reality is that it is a home made & nowhere near finished & is made of wood. A bit meh for me tbh. Just outside the house there is a BMW parked half in a bush. The house is ok, the features are great but there’s more to be offered from this site. There’s numerous buildings to visit & as soon as I had shoot the last bits I wanted to shoot myself, Paul & Curt went off to see what we could find, there were some ruins , out buildings & a pyramid near the house that looked cool & as we were walking through the woods we could hear the familiar sound of guns being shot in the not too far distance. We had a bit of a scout around & found the ‘hunters’ in an adjacent field. Now if this was a GoonTube video we’d have become the ‘hunted’ but as this is real life we just ignored them & went the other way. One of our goals was the indoor Tennis courts, this was pretty hard to miss once you got near it. We opened the door & were amazed, yeah it was a tennis court, but it’s last use had been as a venue to watch the Football World Cup on a projector screen, there was a bar set up & every nations flag was hanging up & bunting all over the place, we found a large number of pint glasses depicting the “World Cup 1996” so it appears that it was the last time the courts had been used other than for a bit of storage. TBH it was quite trashy but among the trash we found (click bait warning) a HUMAN SKELETON!! And what you going to do with a skull on a explore? Yep, put glasses on it & a fag in its mouth, named him Dr McCoy and take some pictures. What... you wouldn’t... yeah I know, Exploring is a serious business but I like to have a laugh too while I’m out visiting. We were in the tennis courts for quite some time before going to the wood sheds & then the boat house. The boat house was the main thing on my hit list & it was ok, I was setting up to shoot & among the sounds of gun shots ringing out we heard someone shouting “YOU IN THE WOODS!! STAY STILL!!” so we done what any self respecting Umbexer would do & we bailed back through the wood to the soundtrack of “STAY THERE!” & gunshots. As we were running I got my foot caught and I went down like I’d been shot, Paul & Curt were worried & frantic, and by worried & frantic I mean pissing themselves laughing, I don’t know if it was a dream or not but I’m sure I heard Paul say “what the fuck are you doing on the floor, get up!” and as I got up I could see that we’d run into the guy who was shouting at us. “What you doing on my land?” the ruddy faced man shouted, “We’re photographing the Red Kites” I replied & he told us to go over the fence & “gerroff moi land” & we left.
Well, that was my first report, probably my last too :-
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)"
A rather big, very secure office building that was believed to be used as a computer centre for the department of work and pensions. Nothing about the building online as far as I am aware apart from it was said to be a rejected building for social security and not a single photo of the insides can be found. Been vacant for at least 10 years and we was probably the only people to be see inside since it was boarded and locked about a decade ago. The structure's size in total is around 80,000 square feet, consisting of 3 floors. It was also protected by motion sensors so had to tread carefully but managed to get a few snaps of the best bits. Enjoy
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
After a work conference, I decided a trip to the rather nice Belfast Mortuary was in order to help cure the immense hangover I had from drinking many pints and many whiskies the night before.
Closed for a while, and slowly disintegrating from the local delinquents attention.
Clear and Concise
DSC06568 by Dale Hamilton, on Flickr
DSC06599 by Dale Hamilton, on Flickr
Fridge Close Up
DSC06602 by Dale Hamilton, on Flickr
DSC06606 by Dale Hamilton, on Flickr
DSC06566 by Dale Hamilton, on Flickr
DSC06584 by Dale Hamilton, on Flickr
DSC06586 by Dale Hamilton, on Flickr#
The other slab
DSC06572 by Dale Hamilton, on Flickr
DSC06578 by Dale Hamilton, on Flickr