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Report - - Hepworth Refractories, Loxley Valley, Sheffield, S.Yorks, June 2020 | Industrial Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Hepworth Refractories, Loxley Valley, Sheffield, S.Yorks, June 2020


HughieD

28DL Regular User
Regular User
1. The History
The site, known as Storr’s Bridge Works, was last occupied by Hepworth Refractories, a former brick factory located, in the Loxley valley, north-east of Sheffield. It also home to Carblox in the 70s, part of the Marshalls group, who made carbon blocks of different sizes for steel furnaces.

The site has been an area for industry since the 17th century. Initially home to Loxley Steel works, the Green Wheel Steel works and two rolling mills – the Green Wheel and Olive rolling mills, the valley was totally decimated by the Great Flood of 1864. Now only the mill pond areas remain. The area has been a source of ganister (a type of sandstone which was prevalent in the Loxley area) since Victorian times. It was a key material in the manufacture of ‘hollow refractories’ - bricks that were used to line the walls of furnaces in the production of steel. Mining and the production of refractory bricks began in the late 1800s. In the 1930s there were a total of three firms in the Loxley Valley (Dysons, Thomas Marshall’s and Thomas Wragg and Sons) producing hollow refractories and, between them, they supplied 95% of all the hollow refractories produced in Great Britain.

When war broke out in 1939, the industry became vital to the war effort, and if the Germans had bombed the Loxley Valley successfully, the war would have been over very quickly. As a consequence, there was a gun site on Wood Lane, Stannington, which shot down several Luftwaffe planes during the Sheffield Blitz.

View of the River Loxley at Storrs Bridge Works in the 1960s:



Hepworth’s closed in the 1990s and the site fell into abandonment. However, in 2006 the site was bought by Bovis Homes with a view to building 500 new homes on the site. That was then defeated by local opposition, who objected on the grounds that the local area’s infrastructure could not support this level of development. During this period, Bovis beefed up the security on the site with a solar-powered CCTV and a speaker system along with a resident guard. In 2018 URBED were appointed by landowners Patrick Properties Ltd to help prepare a scheme that is “not a bog-standard housing development” as this is more likely to get past Sheffield City Councils planning requirements.

2. The Explore
A post-lock down revisit. A massive industrial behemoth of the Loxley river five or six miles north west of Sheffield that often gets overlooked by a lot of explorers. The series of factories are trashed and derped but still fascinating in a derpy kind of way. Long gone are the live secca while Bovis Housing had an interest in the site. Hence currently it’s an easy in and there’s the added bonus of a number of nice pieces of graff that have appeared. The weather was nice, and I think I managed to get a better set of pictures than I did first time around.

3. The Pictures

Let’s start off with the locker rooms at the far north-west:























Let’s move on the main Hepworth factories. This is where all the best graff is and this old chimney:



















Some lovely Brayk pieces:







New MARRS piece, loving the DD and Mutley vibe here:









Across the way in this aircraft-hanger like building full of broken up rubble:



 

HughieD

28DL Regular User
Regular User
CONTD.

Finally, it’s on a little way down river to the kiln’s part:











More MARRS:





































There’s even an old WW2 Air-raid shelter here:



And finally – the reason why all of this is here in the first place…the River Loxley:

 
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mookster

grumpy sod
Regular User
Have to say I love Marrs' style of graff, that's refreshingly different to see.
 

Calamity Jane

i see beauty in the unloved, places & things
Regular User
Lovely huge place, plenty of remnants & a shelter to boot. Great street art around. Nice one :thumb
 

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