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Report - Cannon Brewery, Sheffield, September 2015

Discussion in 'Industrial Sites' started by HughieD, Sep 28, 2015.

  1. HughieD

    HughieD 28DL Regular User
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    It’s funny. You’re never a tourist at home right? Ironic that it’s taken up until now for me to do this place. It is one of the Sheffield Big 3 along with the former Law Courts and GBs. But the fact that the go-ahead as been given to demolish the former Stone’s Brewery in Neepsend finally pushed me to get my act together and explore this trashed but fascinating place. The place has been done to death but not that much recently so here’s the history bit again as a refresh.

    The origins of Stones beer goes right back to 1847 when Joseph Watts of Dewsbury and William Stones (1827 -1894) of Sheffield began brewing together at the Cannon Brewery in Sheffield's Shalesmoor district. The name is most likely come from the nearby foundry that cast gun barrels. The Cannon Brewery site itself was the original premises of Shepherd, Green & Hatfield who started to brew here back in 1838 back when the area was still a respectable residential district. However, in 1868 Stones took over the lease from SG&H and renamed it the Cannon Brewery after its original premises in Shalesmoor. In 1894 William Stones died and left the brewery to his cashier James Haynes and Richard Wigfull, a corn miller. The following year Stones was incorporated and the brewery was equipped with an expensive plant, stores and cellars, covered and open yards, offices, stabling and workshops. The marketing and sales offices on the brewery site were completed in 1958. Another addition was a new half-a-million pound 5-storey brew-house building which was operational by 1962, representing one of the most up-to-date in the UK. An on-site pub followed two years later in 1964. Built in the basement of the brewery, it was initially called The Underground, but was later renamed The Pig and Whistle. At the brewery’s peak it was producing 50,000 hecto-litres of cask-conditioned Stones per annum.

    Things were about to change though. Bass purchased Stones for £9 million (about £140 m in today’s money) in 1967 in what was termed a ‘friendly takeover’. Initially they retained the production of the popular Stones Bitter. However in 1970 Bass suggested that the Cannon Brewery might be shut down. The continuing popularity of Stones Bitter though ensured the Cannon brewery survived for the time being. The office building was sold off in 1985 and latterly occupied by an accountancy firm. In 1992 a visitor's centre building was opened and three years later the brewery became an unlikely film set for the film “When Saturday Comes” (starting Sean Bean as a hard-drinking brewery worker with aspirations of playing for his beloved Sheffield United).

    Sadly, though, the inevitable happened and Bass closed the brewery in April 1999, citing the decline in sales of cask conditioned ales. The closure resulted in the loss of 57 jobs while allowing Bass realise efficiency savings of around £1 million. Since then site has become increasingly trashed as a decade and a half of abandonment has taken its toll. In August 2015 the City Council approved an application by site owners Hague Plant to demolish and redevelop the site.

    Visited with non-member S-Kempy. In terms of the place as an explore, for me, it was fantastic. Although it is trashed the graffiti certainly adds something and the sheer size of the place means you can always find something of interest. I had real trouble editing the photos down to a manageable level for this report. And here they are.

    The first thing that greets you is the brewery gates:

    21526565779_038793fcc4_b.jpg img1907 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    And we’re in…

    21093478393_91e2b62974_b.jpg img1775 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    This trailer isn’t going anywhere fast…

    21547572918_475e24f6c6_b.jpg img1779 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    A few clues as to the site’s former use:

    21526501700_42f5f61216_b.jpg img1785 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Was this water storage tower?

    21723690691_5e523607e2_b.jpg img1789 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Here’s the five-storey brew-house

    21093367723_ca41f37470_b.jpg img1790 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    The main yard is a bit of a mess:

    21527509099_a5a852d95d_b.jpg img1795 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    OK…that’s were we’re heading!

    21091591424_bb9a8814b8_b.jpg img1799 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    So…into the brew-house…

    21527445479_cdfb1a58e5_b.jpg img1815 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    He’s the brewery’s logo on a surviving window:

    21526305100_c2f4a8b948_b.jpg img1819 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    These are the stairs up to where the vats were:

    21526278040_db47999f37_b.jpg img1820 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    And this is where the vats were:

    21702657372_d9c97424f5_b.jpg img1822 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    The view across from the third floor to the other side of the site:

    21702625292_2019505eef_b.jpg img1829 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Wires from the wall:

    21093095943_4c7935a714_b.jpg img1831 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    And here’s the lift motor at the top on floor five:

    21093061473_36fa0550fb_b.jpg img1832 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    But it’s all about that staircase:

    21714028875_9e3d85f6f2_b.jpg img1839 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Perhaps not this way down…

    21527164199_210b14e7d0_b.jpg img1846 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    In the building next to the brewhouse:

    21091219414_1643c4eaee_b.jpg img1847 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    21702373022_03d83fcc3a_b.jpg img1850 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Worker’s lockers:

    21525907670_46ba5d2fb1_b.jpg img1851 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    There’s loads of graff. Some good, some bad, some extraordinary. Won’t bore you with it all but this piece was quirky:

    21702292322_900c53492f_b.jpg img1855 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    On into the “Conditioned Beer Dept”

    21702260292_8e197d2e5b_b.jpg img1859 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    OK, there’s some rather cool graff there!

    21092742233_f14b61fc16_b.jpg img1873 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    I do like a bit of Colorquix:

    21722992271_db1ec0f664_b.jpg img1874 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Loving these old take-out casks:

    21687531386_1cc9407a01_b.jpg img1887 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    This place is near the visitors centre. Strange thing? Completely devoid of tags/graff etc:

    21702047452_c3f3ab313f_b.jpg img1900 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    And it’s still about the staircases over this side of the site:

    21090804024_71a15356ba_b.jpg img1904 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Down in the basement it’s looking a tad untidy:

    21525533320_ba71004beb_b.jpg img1905 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    But look at this beaut!

    21092428853_66f68ec1b4_b.jpg img1906 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    OK…that’s enough. Will just leave you with this external of the brewhouse:

    21093502113_d6fe7f13bf_b.jpg img1908 by HughieDW, on Flickr
     
    The Wombat, Springypeach and WildBoyz like this.

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  2. WildBoyz

    WildBoyz Is this the future?
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    Nice set of shots. Really crisp and clear.

    Is there an article or something about it being demolished?
     
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  3. Cuuvin

    Cuuvin 28DL Colonial Member
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  4. Springypeach

    Springypeach 28DL Full Member
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    Some awesome graffiti! Nice pictures mate
     
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  5. HughieD

    HughieD 28DL Regular User
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    Cheers mate. It's not going to around too much longer so all those that haven't been round make sure you do...
     
  6. Will Knot

    Will Knot 28DL Regular User
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    Always worth a look, just to see the new graff :D
     
    HughieD likes this.
  7. UrbexCamo

    UrbexCamo "Just having a look officer"
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    Awesome looking place!!!
     
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  8. The Wombat

    The Wombat Mr Wombat
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    Nice work Hughie :)
    Must give this place a visit soon
     
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  9. HughieD

    HughieD 28DL Regular User
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    Thank you kind sir. Yes, do it Wombat. Currently no demo action there at the moment.
     
  10. Speed

    Speed Got Epic?
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    Jeez that place is battered now!
     
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