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Report - Bass Maltings, Sleaford - June 2012

Discussion in 'Industrial Sites' started by Session9, Jul 3, 2012.

  1. Session9

    Session9 A life backwards
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    History (extract from English Heritage website)

    At the turn of the 20th century, Sleaford was well placed for a malting complex on this scale. Situated in a very rural environment, it was close to extensive fields of barley, a seasonal workforce was on hand once the summer harvest had been gathered, the area was served by a plentiful water supply due to Artesian well dug at the end of the 19th century, and the railway line was in close proximity for ease of transportation. The site was purchased by Bass Ratcliff & Greeton Ltd in 1901, and building commenced to the design of Mr H A Couchman, an architect responsible for previous Bass projects. Construction spanned six years, starting with the engine house and associated buildings, and finishing with the smaller ancillary buildings such as the managers' cottages, dining halls, and the administrative offices. Covering a geographical area of just over 13 acres, and comprising some 500,000 sq ft of floor space, the Sleaford Bass Maltings cost around £350,000 to complete. Standing against a backdrop of flat landscape, this impressive complex can be seen for many miles, its eight massive malt houses, central water tower, and tall chimney dominating the skyline.

    Production was under way in September 1906 and fully operational by the following year, with a capacity to produce 60,000 quarters of malt per season. Throughout the first half of the 20th century production continued at a pace but, by the end of the Second World War, had declined to such an extent that many of the buildings had become redundant. While other trades rented some of the unused space, the malt industry continued to decline until, in 1959, production finally ceased. The infrastructure had simply become out-dated and too costly to maintain. In 1973 the Sleaford Bass Maltings were purchased by a local firm, GW Padley (Property) Ltd who utilised it for chicken rearing and vegetable processing, but the chicken rearing came to end during the 1990s when approval was given for residential development of adjacent land.

    Considered to be of special architectural and historical interest, the Sleaford Bass Maltings were Grade II listed in 1974, only to suffer considerable damage two years later when a severe fire spread through the central area. Despite the intensity of the blaze, the structural integrity of the buildings remained intact due to the quality of the original construction, and this fact probably played a key role in saving the building from demolition when an application was made in 1982.


    Today

    Planning permission was granted in 2011 to redevelop the site into mainly residential; including some new build. Currently the process has halted due to two councils in dispute over an access road and the project is now a year behind schedule.


    The explore

    I have been fascinated by the maltings for sometime, having past it by train on the way to Skegy on several occasions. The flat Lincolnshire countryside made that journey to Skegy from the Midlands seem like an endurance course, but i would shake myself out of my comma briefly to look at the railway interest and the maltings. The interesting railway traction is long gone and soon the long silence at the maltings will be history too.


    On with the fots

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    Carpet of wall to wall deep pile pigeon shite. Sort of looks attractive..

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    Thanks for looking :)
     

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