Report - George Barnsley and Sons, Sheffield, October 2015

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28DL Regular User
Regular User
Jan 15, 2013
Funny that it's taken me so long to go round this place, especially given how close it is and how legendary a place too. But at last get round it I did with non-member S-Kempy. It's been done to death but that's because it is a special place. You can literally spend hours in this gem. Entry has been on-and-off over the years. The way in is a bit of a round-the-houses affair but once in you have the run of the place. There's loads to see - multiple buildings with multiple floors, each floor with multiple rooms. It's not been trashed and there's plenty to see aside from the fabric of the building. Some of the floors are a bit rotten but strategically placed planks do the trick quite nicely. For such a big place there isn't that much history about it. Here's a summary of what I could find.

George Barnsley and sons were England's premier makers of forge filing and cutting tools for leather workers and shoe makers The company was founded in 1836 and was initially based on Wheeldon Street. Records show they moved to Cornhill in 1847 and then on to Cornish Place, on the River Don, just three years later. By this time they had expanded their product range to include steel files and butchers knives. George Barnsley was Master Cutler in 1883. The company grew throughout the 19th century and the Barnsley family were well thought of in the Steel city. Their 1944 listing identified them as manufactures of files and blades, shoe knives and leather workers tools. Four years later they became a Ltd company. George Barnsley died at his home at No. 30 Collegiate Crescent on 30th March 1958 where he lived with wife Mabel and mother-in-law Elizabeth. Sadly the factory became outdated and the inefficient production meant that the company could not keep pace with a competitive import market. With the costs of production growing George Barnsley's closed its doors in 2003. The site has sat derelict and unused ever since.

The place as mentioned earlier is very big and also very atmospheric/photogenic. Hence it has been very difficult getting my pictures down to below 30. Anyhow, that's enough tittle-tattle. Let's get on with the show...

A couple of externals for starters:

img8184 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img8185 by HughieDW, on Flickr

And we're in. Some heavy machinery:

img2093 by HughieDW, on Flickr

And the great smell of very old Brut:

img2095 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Had to take the Typhoo tea shot:

img2126 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Holy deck-chair!

img2150 by HughieDW, on Flickr

But it's all about cupboards innnit?

img2156 by HughieDW, on Flickr

..and tea:

img2160 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Wall-to-wall cupboards!

img2164 by HughieDW, on Flickr

And holes too!

img2174 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img2176 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Obligatory bridge shot:

img2179 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Loving the doors:

img2198 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img2200 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Sneaky external from the third floor:

img2211 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img2214 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img2216 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Wonder if the light-bulb still works?

img2230 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Top of the shop!

img2232 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img2242 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img2249 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img2258 by HughieDW, on Flickr


img2262 by HughieDW, on Flickr


img2266 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img2268 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Ooooo...spiral staircase porn!

img2273 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img2293 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img2301 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img2304 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Last one out turn off the lights...

img2312 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Thanks for looking!

Caz Lh

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Feb 4, 2013
Was here yesterday but didnt go in because my partner said it was too dangerous and he wouldnt go with me and i was afraid of going in alone
Great pix though, i will be back with someone who is less scared :D


28DL Regular User
Regular User
Jan 15, 2013
Was here yesterday but didnt go in because my partner said it was too dangerous and he wouldnt go with me and i was afraid of going in alone
Great pix though, i will be back with someone who is less scared :D
Not too dangerous if you tread carefully on some of the upper floors!

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