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Great Britain Stanners Close's Steel Works Offices - Wolsingham - Dec 20

jtza

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Stanners Close’s Steel Works Offices



When I started writing this report I was unaware of some older visits to this site (one being of the offices themselves) which made delving into the history behind this entire steelworks rather enjoyable. To conclude it and give some historical context for the building, I’ve added a bit more than may be deemed necessary for vandalised office building. Some of this history here may be a repeat of the recent report of the railway shed as that was also apart of this site (Wolsingham Train Depot Report).

Charles Attwood founded and carved a way in early cast steel making. Attwood created Attwood’s Patent Steel in 1862 and later founded the ironworks in Wolsingham. The works were erected in 1864 after another corporation by the name of the Baring Brothers refused to participate in Attwood’s steel making methods. The steel was produced from Weardale iron ore and was a huge local employer at the time. The works could use this iron ore due to the fact Attwood had previously set up the Weardale Iron & Coal Co, who controlled their own iron ore, coal, and limestone supply. When Charles died, his nephew took over business and trading as John Rogerson & Co until 1930. By 1984, operations at the work halted after great war efforts throughout. A “workers cooperative” continued to manufacture on a much smaller scale before the site finally closed in 2008. The site is known by many names such as Weardale Castings and Engineering, Wolsingham Steelworks/Ironworks and Wolsingham Steel Co Ltd.

Although this report is of the only remaining building, the offices, here are some archive photos of the steelworks itself and some posters used.

External of the steelworks. The long building extending to the far right with arched windows is the railway shed.



Internal and posters/flyers/adverts?







The offices are original and sat on the site back when it began operation back in the 19th century and sadly closed in 2008 too. A caption from a photo of the office building on geograph.org.uk said it might have been an engine house but inside ruined any hope of some older engine house type features. Nowadays the building is wide open and had a fair bit of foot traffic, presumably from locals. A company by the name of BXB Wolsingham Ltd was in the process of forming a "masterplan" to eventually result in planning permission back in 2019 and here we are in 2021 with nothing happening. Online, there is hope this particular building will remain considering the original demolition process back in 08' cleared the entire site apart from any linked buildings on the Weardale Railway site. The derelict land is an "eyesore" for locals and the hope from them for regeneration is high. In 2008 it was meant to become an office park and have newer industrial uses also including retail. Whether that will be the case now is unknown.

When planning to visit the railway shed it was hard to miss this building on maps. After we'd finished exploring over at the trainyard myself and @Urbandoned took a quick look inside to see what remained. Echoing what I said earlier, I thought nobody had bothered to post this or perhaps not been this way before so it was worth it my eyes. Nearly 2 years later and it was relatively the same. It was part way through writing this up that I noticed the older reports and wasn't going to bother stopping half way through ;)

Finally some pics. We started downstairs which had a number of office spaces. Some rooms had been totally stripped of everything including the flooring and some had most of the bits in there. Some documents lay in and around the mess which was nice to see.







Steelworks plans.







Bathroom with the tiles still intact.



Another string of office spaces. Some larger and some smaller.







Entrance.



We then headed upstairs which had the nicest features. There was more colour and light being let in up here and yet again more documents and older items to see.





Old mechanical keyboard.



Old Grundig TK141 tape recorder from 1969/70.



And finally some more documents.





That's all, thanks for reading!​
 
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