Report - - Great Northern Railway Warehouse, Derby, June 2019 | Industrial Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Great Northern Railway Warehouse, Derby, June 2019


28DL Regular User
Regular User
1. The History
The bonded Railway Warehouse was built for the Great Northern Railway (GNR) at their Friargate Station in Derby between 1877-8 by Kirk & Randall of Sleaford. Constructed of red brick with a Welsh slate and glazed roof, it was rectangular in shape with triangular office block with a mezzanine floor to the east. The main part of the warehouse was built over three floors. The basement level was used for storing bonded goods of all types. The next floor provided more storage whilst the top floor served as a grain store and featured two grain chutes and ten hydraulic cranes

Services stopped operating from Friargate station in 1963 and from the goods yard in 1968. Hence it has now stood empty for over half-a-century. It was listed as Grade II in 1986. Planning was granted to the current owners, Clowes, in October 2011 for 140 homes, offices, cafés and shops, while turning the warehouse into a supermarket. However, in June, 2015, the firm revealed that a downturn in financial fortunes for Britain’s supermarkets had prevented progress. In 2017 national architecture charity the Victorian Society included The Great Northern Railway Warehouse on its 2017 top-10 endangered buildings list. The year after, in 2018, Clowes confirmed that it still intends to restore the warehouse building to its former glory, having announced a deal to create the school on the nine-acres of Friar Gate Goods Yard.

Nearby is the Derby Friargate Goods Yard Engine House which is in equally a poor state. The engine house supplied power to the hydraulic lifts and capstans at the Great Northern Railway goods warehouse. The building pictured in 2012:

Friargate engine house by HughieDW, on Flickr
Picture © Copyright Stephen Richards

During the buildings later years the Friargate Pine Company took it over, using it as a warehouse and fireplace show room. However, it was ravaged by fire in 2013 very sadly causing the death of a homeless man sleeping inside died.

2. The Explore
After a fail at a nearby mill, this place was also a fail. It is completely secured and even after two circuits of this massive building, getting in was wasn’t going to be a possibility. A ladder would have got me up to the 1st floor windows but even then, it would have been touch and got if I could squeeze through the rough-iron windows frames. The current owners have secured it good and proper which explains the lack of recent reports on this place. However, given the number of external shots I got plus the nice graff and the nearby engine house made it still worth a report.

3. The Pictures

img1433 by HughieDW, on Flickr

The western end:

img1434 by HughieDW, on Flickr

And some decent graff to be fair:

img1435 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img1436 by HughieDW, on Flickr

The northern side:

img1437 by HughieDW, on Flickr

The massive iron roof girders:

img1438 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img1439 by HughieDW, on Flickr

A tantalizing glimpse inside:

GNR Warehouse Derby 03 by HughieDW, on Flickr

The warehouse offices at the eastern end:

GNR Warehouse Derby 01 by HughieDW, on Flickr

And another peek inside:

GNR Warehouse Derby 04 by HughieDW, on Flickr

The southern side:

img1450 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img1456 by HughieDW, on Flickr

GNR Warehouse Derby 02 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img1451 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img1452 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img1457 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img1461 by HughieDW, on Flickr

GNR Warehouse Derby 06 by HughieDW, on Flickr

On to the engine house:

img1462 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img1465 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Also pretty much gone inside too:

GNR Warehouse Derby 07 by HughieDW, on Flickr


28DL Regular User
Regular User
Never heard of the poor sod dying in there during a fire before, jesus. I hope you had a look round the yard while you were here, like an art gallery for graff.


Super Moderator
Regular User
Amazing that's still there Turk & I explored that about 15 years ago!


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
It could be turned into such a nice building as it has a prominent position from memory, when I went it was full of undesirables lurking outside and used needles all over the place. Great photos though :thumb