Loxley United Reformed Church

Today, the once beautiful Grade II listed chapel is an empty shell. Damaged by fire, vandalised and full of graffiti, it is another one of Sheffield’s forgotten buildings.

The building was originally known as the Loxley Congregational Chapel. Constructed in 1787, the church closed in 1994 due to low congregation numbers, making it unsustainable to keep open.

Many of the 240 victims of 1864 Great Sheffield Flood are buried in the cemetery. When the Dale Dyke Dam was filled for the first time, its banks broke sending 650 million gallons of water down the Loxley Valley into central Sheffield. The dam broke around midnight. Most people were sleeping and so they were caught completely off guard. It still remains to this day, one of Britain’s worst man-made disasters.

The website Commonwealth War Graves identifies 14 graves of war dead commemorated in the cemetery.

The building was destroyed by fire in August 2016. Works have been undertaken to stabilise the walls and to restrict access. However, the metal sheets have been partially bent to enable access through downstairs windows. Restoration and reuse is under discussion. (Historic England)

Abandoned Storr’s Bridge Works (Loxley, Sheffield)

WOW! What a place this is and I am really happy that I got to see it before it gets demolished, even though I know that I am a little late to the party. 28 Days Later and Derelict Places have lots of reports on this place, going back a few years, so you can take a look at how the place has deteriorated.

The footprint of this place is huge, the site was owned by Bovis Homes who bought the site back in 2006. They had planned to put 500 homes on the site. However, local opposition halted plans stating that the area could not sustain that many new homes, which I agree with 100%. I believe that discussions are underway once again to build on the site, but the plans have been scaled down. I personally think that the site should be made into some sort of nature reserve as it is located in a quiet valley surrounded by countryside.

The factory is known locally as the Storr’s Bridge Works. However, I believe that it has been occupied over the years by a few different companies, including Thomas Marshall and Co,  Hepworths and Carblox. The valley of Loxley supplied bricks to the Sheffield steel industry, beginning in the 1800s and ceasing in the 1990s. The area was rich in ganister which came from the Stannington pot clay seam. There were multiple mines in the area (I believe one may remain but I have yet to find it).

The factory closed when the demand for produce decreased alongside the decline of the steel industry in Sheffield.

There is hardly anything left of the factory today. Most of the interiors have been removed and what is left has been trashed. People have done a great deal of fly-tipping on the site also, which the council have failed to clean up.

The site is located along a public footpath and whilst there are some signs up that say “do not enter” the site is easily accessible due to the temporary fencing being removed in parts. There is some great graffiti (and some not so great) on the buildings. The most interesting part of the site was being able to walk through what I think are the old furnaces.

If anyone reading this worked at the factory, please comment and share your memories as I would love to hear them.

If lockers could talk. I bet these have heard some stories.

The Mystery of the Creepy Coastal House.

I tried to recall from my many visits to the area if this house has always been derelict. However, I could not remember. The house is situated along a public footpath, a route popular with walkers and joggers. Despite the boarding on the windows, there are no fences up, no private, or no trespassing signs. I find it strange that a house in such a beautiful area is derelict.

In the garden, there is an old, rusty lawnmower and some plant pots that grass has now grown over. It appears that the gardens were once carefully maintained. There is a small outhouse containing some rubbish and a catalogue from the 1980s. It looks like maybe this house has not been touched for some time.

There is no glass in the windows, but there is a small gap in the boarding that I managed to poke my GoPro through. When I looked at the video (linked above), the inside of the house is ransacked. Perhaps someone broke in and looked through whatever was left for anything valuable. From the interiors, I think the house has been derelict for some time.

I have scoured the internet, but I cannot find any information relating to the history of the house. I wondered what its initial purpose was. It is situated away from the other residential homes around the port. I wondered if this building was either a watch house or a fisherman’s house. The stairs at the rear, that provide access to the upstairs level made me think that it served another purpose than just being a residence. Perhaps someone elderly lived in the house and after they passed away, there was no-one to inherit the property, so it was left.

For now, it remains a mystery.

Llanlleiana Old Porcelain Works, Anglesey.

There does not appear to be a great deal of history written on Llanlleiana. From what I have read, the works processed deposits of china clay found on Dinas Gynfor into porcelain. The works were relatively small, consisting of only one building and the remote chimney. The works closed in 1920 after they were damaged by fire.

If you know any more info on the works, please leave me a comment.

For a look around the works, please watch my video below.

Thanks for reading.

Main Building
Remote chimney on the hillside.

The Remains of RAF Woodhall Spa

Today, parts of the old RAF base at Woodhall Spa make up the Thorpe Camp Visor Centre. However, if you look around the area, there are other hidden remains of the old base.

Before my visit, I found some blog posts and watched some YouTube videos on the derelict parts of the base. However, when I got to Woodhall Spa, some of them have now sadly been demolished.

However, if you know where to look (some locals told me) there are still some buildings that remain.

RAF Norton Aerodrome

This site is very overgrown, there is a lot of rubbish; an old van, broken caravan and litter. It looks like people have used it as a dumping ground. There are some buildings left but they are pretty trashed and are covered in graffiti. I do not know what the future of the site is. Earlier this year the Sheffield Star published as story which stated that the buildings are to be demolished. However, the future of the site is currently unknown.

It would be nice if the council converted into a park as the site is huge and there are some lovely wildflowers. However, it is prime real estate and I would have thought that Sheffield Council will put houses on it, or sell it for housing eventually. It is in a Green Belt area so maybe that will have some say on what the site will be used for in the future.

There is not a great deal of information online about the site. I assume that the local archive will have more, but with COVID, it is currently closed. The air base began as the No 16 Balloon Training Centre in 1939, and was the home of three squadrons of barrage balloons to fend off attacks.

In 1943, the balloons were transferred to London and Norton was used as a station in the in the Royal Auxiliary Air force Signals Group, concerned mainly with radar & radio equipment, becoming the n°3 Ground Radio Servicing Squadron. This continued until 1965, when under an RAF reorganisation the Squadron was moved to Rutland. RAF Norton officially closed in January 1965.

In the 1970s, the site was owned by the NHS. There were plans to build a third big hospital for Sheffield on the site. However, for whatever reason, this did not happen. I remember learning to drive here as a teenager, I think it was £5 and parents used to take their kids there to practice along the runways. That was in the early 2000s. I believe this ceased as the council felt there were too many health and safety issues. However, as you can see from the pictures, the site is very easily accessible and there were a lot of people milling around, some people on quad bikes, motorbikes, etc. I think it is more of a health and safety hazard now than when it was used as learner driver training.

Thanks for reading.

The Ruins of Errwood Hall

Errwood Hall is located in the Goyt Valley near Buxton. From what I have read, the hall was built in around 1845, for a wealthy merchant from Manchester called Samuel Grimshawe.

The Grimshawes loved to travel and would bring back exotic plants which they would plant in the gardens of their home. As you walk up to where the hall once stood, you can imagine what these gardens used to be like even though they are now overgrown.

The last surviving family member, Mary Grimshawe-Gosselin died in 1930. The contents of the house were auctioned by auctioneers Turner and Son. The hall itself was purchased by the Stockport Water Corporation in connection with the construction of the nearby Fernilee Reservoir. Sadly the hall was demolished in 1934.

Below are a few images that I took whilst visiting, it was in the middle of the day so the light and shadows were a little harsh. The hall is a popular lunch stop for hikers, I have been on a weekend and there were lots of people sat around the ruins, so I went back on a week day to get some photos with no people in.

Thanks for reading.