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Report - Firbeck Hall, South Yorkshire - July 2014

Discussion in 'Residential Sites' started by Bent Nails, Jul 3, 2014.

  1. Bent Nails

    Bent Nails 28DL Regular User
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    Firbeck Hall was built in 1594 for a William West, who made money as a lawyer, had noble connections and wrote a legal textbook.

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    Various owners took charge over the centuries including MP, traveller and writer Henry Gally Knight, who remodelled and extended the hall in 1820 in the Elizabethan style seen today. Belgian refugees were housed here in the First World War.

    It reopened and modernised as a country club in 1934, being patronised by royalty and celebrities and hosting the BBC's Late Night Dance Music radio show. The Second World War led to it being used by Sheffield Royal Infirmary and the RAF.

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    After that it served as a rehabilitation centre for injured miners until 1984 and for industrial injury victims until 1990, following which it fell into disrepair. It was bought four years ago, but planning permission for development doesn't seem to be forthcoming.

    Access to the grounds seemed straightforward. Approaching the building at the point in the photo below, a cat hopped out into the road, and then from the bushes to the side, a terrific bang!

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    It sounded like a firework - a banger. Maybe something unexploded was triggered, or a booby trap. A spent cartridge on the floor (one of many) - was there someone with a gun?

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    Took cover for a pause. No-one. Circling the site, camera phone drawn as a demonstration of peaceful intent, noticing blue plastic barrels everywhere, a pipe was found sticking out of the ground like an improvised artillery device. Something wasn't right about this place.

    [​IMG]

    This device looked like a big nipple.

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    So an approach, and quick shots of the front and side.

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    There was a parked 4x4 on the next corner. Withdrawing, the route back led to the sports building - the gymnasium was splendid.

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    A quieter return trip (this time with backup) followed the next day for the hall internals - restoration seems unimaginable.

    Ground floor
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    Upstairs
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    The Sun, February 1986
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    Cellar
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    I've put together a YouTube slideshow with one or two extra shots and some music from one of the musicians in attempt to recreate the atmosphere from the 1930s.

    [video=youtube;Y8O2aHzxl1E]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y8O2aHzxl1E[/video]

    Cheers for reading.
     
    #1 Bent Nails, Jul 3, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2014

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  2. Muttley

    Muttley 28DL Regular User
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    Good report.

    It's a rum old place for sure.
     
  3. Fairdo's

    Fairdo's 28DL Regular User
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    Very nice m8, been meanin to ave a go at Firbeck for a bit....
     
  4. Bent Nails

    Bent Nails 28DL Regular User
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    Cheers both and yes it is - any idea what the barrels and things are for?
     
  5. Jidell

    Jidell 28DL Full Member
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    Great pics pal!
     
  6. ACID- REFLUX

    ACID- REFLUX 28DL Regular User
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    Well done :thumb I've always avoided the ace due to Mr Angry and his mates ( lots of threatening been done on older posts)

    The blue barrels are what they normally use for feeding Pheasants etc and I seem to remember a mention of them breeding Game birds before ( ooh missis :) got cartridges set up as flash bangs for warning off predatory animals and explorers alike :)
    Keep off my land !!!!!
     
  7. Thebluegeek

    Thebluegeek 28DL Full Member
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    Great report! Think I need to get myself to that peeling paint stair case!
     
  8. Bent Nails

    Bent Nails 28DL Regular User
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    Thanks! That makes sense. Just found some excellent info on its time as a country club, in particular the BBC show with one of the bandleaders, Charlie Kunz.
     
  9. Muttley

    Muttley 28DL Regular User
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    Good info in that article...

    Don't suppose "clap hands here come Kunz" would be quite as acceptable in 1930's high society!
     
  10. The_Raw

    The_Raw 28DL Regular User
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    Very cool report, an enjoyable read with some fantastic history and nice pics. Really liking the gymnasium and swimming pool shots :thumb
     
  11. AuntieKnickers

    AuntieKnickers inquisitive historian
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    Looks good, like the old style gym stuff.
     
  12. Infinity

    Infinity 28DL Full Member
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    Loved the look of this place so though I would go along recently with 2 non members...we encountered 'mr angry'. After a few minutes of 'discussions' of him saying he'd called the police etc I managed to calm him down and we had a good chat about the place. He even said I could take a few pics of the outside of the building.

    If anyone is thinking of going here, be VERY careful. They do organised shoots on the property and he even mentioned that he has traps set up! Oh and be careful where you park, he has mates in the houses nearby who told him we were approaching. We'd only been on the site for 5 mins before he showed up.

    If you do attemp it, good luck :thumb

    PS. Well done The_C for managing it, great shots!
     
  13. KM_Punk

    KM_Punk Muppet
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    Cool place, looks almost untouched. Those barrels are for feeding game birds and the pipe is to make the birds less fearful of sudden bangs(apparently). Cheers for sharing :thumb
     
  14. Bent Nails

    Bent Nails 28DL Regular User
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    Thanks, must have been lucky to avoid him in person!
     
  15. JaneEyre

    JaneEyre The clumsiest explorer in Yorkshire!
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    Its a lovely place, kinda glad their doing something with it

    Great shots, loving the gym x
     
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