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Report - Elizabeth Shaw Chocolate Factory, Bristol. August 2009

Discussion in 'Industrial Sites' started by layz, Aug 24, 2009.

  1. layz

    layz Conquistador d'Wolverton
    28DL Full Member

    Sep 21, 2008
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    Hey guys,

    I visited the Elizabeth Fry chocolate factory with a good friend of mine DjJudas21 this weekend (not yet a registered user). This report is a combination of both of our photos, (the bracketed ones are by him). This place has to be one of the best sites I’ve ever visited, due to its scale and spatial sensation.

    Unfortunately we were only in there for an hour, so didn’t get a chance to see the whole place and I doubt I’ll have a chance to return in the near future. However what we did see was simply epic. The site still has live security and in more recent months a construction team appear to have moved in. I saw evidence of a construction office complete with architect’s site model, however was unable to photograph it through mirrored glass.


    The factory was commissioned by Packer and Co in 1901, designed by the architect F Shove and built by Bristol’s pre-eminent builders of the time: William Cowlin & Sons. The factory was designed as four principle buildings with three glazed hauling ways between them. The main buildings are made from brick, cast iron columns and timber flooring (which was becoming increasingly un-fashionable in large factories). A later 5 storey concrete framed and brick clad building, was erected on the eastern end of the site sometime before the Second World War. The factory was closed in 2006, bringing an end to over 100 years of chocolate production on the site.


    Planning permission was granted in April to transform the factory into a series of apartments and offices. The design firm Squarepeg owns the site and intends to create flagship cycle and eco-friendly studio apartments, due to the site’s close proximity to the Bristol-Bath cycleway. Work was already begun and a number of machines from the site have been cleared.

    A lot more information including history can be found at:

    The Mcfly music video Lies was filmed inside the factory as can be seen:

    Anways the pictures:

    The factory in 1950:

    (The approach: )

    (main reception and office building: )

    (The glazed hauling ways: )


    Typical floor, note the herring bone struts in the floor above:


    :( H-ooh no chocolate:

    :D Hurray 3 tonnes of chocolate:

    Water tanks, and pipes :) :

    The staffroom area:

    The loft space:


    The future:


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