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Report - Sheffield Court House – Sheffield – March 2013

Discussion in 'Other Sites' started by The Lone Ranger, Mar 3, 2013.

  1. The Lone Ranger

    The Lone Ranger Safety is paramount!
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    Sheffield Court House – Sheffield

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    History

    It started off in 1808 as a Town Hall and courts for the Petty Sessions (now known as Magistrates' Courts) and Quarter Sessions. The city was growing enormously at this time. In 1866 it had to be extended by the Sheffield architects Flockton and Abbott. That firm of architects built the police offices just across from here, at the back of Castle Green, at the same time. Incidentally these might be brought back into use as Police offices. By the 1890s the building had become too small again, and a whole new Town Hall was built on Pinstone Street.

    That one opened in 1897 around the time that Sheffield was given city status. From then on the building on Waingate became an even larger courthouse and the police court. The law quarter of Sheffield is still based around this area, with the current Law Courts and many solicitors offices in this area too. It remained a courthouse and police court until the late 1990s when Sheffield High Court and Sheffield Crown Court moved to new premises behind the High Street so a lot of people over a century and a half have been in and out of this building for good reasons and bad.

    Since that point, the old Town Hall on Waingate has been derelict, so much so that in 2007 the national charity The Victorian Society placed it on their list of most at-risk buildings in the whole of the UK. The present owners have had the old Town Hall since 2004 but it has stood empty since then. It is Grade II listed and was supposed to go to auction in October 2008, but the auctioneers hadn't been paid their fees so it couldn’t go under the hammer.

    My Visit

    Well as it was Sunday that meant only one thing, time for a stroll. I had wanted to pay here a visit since it popped up on the radar, alas I’m a tail end Charlie as even the Saga red socks rambling club paid it a visit in December.

    Armed with my map case, compass, gaiters, wooly hat, SPAM butties and a flask of Cocoa I rendezvous with Ojay for a fun packed incident free explore. As usual things didn’t quite turn out to plan and there was the odd incident!

    The early drive over went smoothly, but after parking up firstly Ojay discovered his tripod had vanished somewhere along the trip, then Ojays Twatnav sent us in the wrong direction when we set off walking and after 3 circuits of Sheffield and a quick stop off at Harwich we more or less ended back at the car when the Court House appeared almost in the afternoon sun. My turn next, thinking there was a large ledge at the access point I threw my camera bag up just to see it disappear from view and listen to the dull thump, thump as it fell 16ft to the ground. It was at this point I thought I hope this is actually the way in as £2000 worth of kit had just been launched into an unknown void! Thankfully that was the last of our mishaps, camera and lenses still work (thanks LowePro) and we had a grand couple of hours strolling around the building.

    As it was actually still early when we got in we headed up to the clock tower for a few photos.

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    It was then back into the main building to visit the many court rooms.

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    Many dodgy characters must have passed through here over the years!

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    Not too many items left to look at apart from the fantastic decor and furniture, but did see this registry book from 1984.

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    A quick stroll up into some smaller upstairs offices and stairwells

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    And we ended up in the old original court room, it was pitch black in here.

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    Back out and in the many corridors and stairways, it’s a grand building.

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    I did love these set of steps and apologise for putting 3 photos in.

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    The stroll wouldn’t have been complete without a stroll down to be basement and cells.

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    When Ojay suggested to sit in a cell for a people shot I thought it was a good idea at the time.

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    Think he had the last laugh though!

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    If anyone’s passing in the near future I’m running low of SPAM butties and the cocoa has gone cold!

    Well that’s it, a quality Sunday stroll, glad I got to see here finally.

    Cheers

    TLR. ​
     

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