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Report - - Sharpness Dock Grain Silo, Gloucestershire - August 2015 | Industrial Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Sharpness Dock Grain Silo, Gloucestershire - August 2015



clebby

( . Y . )
Regular User
#1
Sharpness Dock Grain Silo, Gloucestershire.

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At the risk of sounding conceited, and please believe me when I say that isn't my intention, why the hell aren't people out there cracking their local sites? Since last summer we've posted several new and interesting places from Gloucestershire - Prinknash, Standish, Longfords, Lister Petter etc - not even counting the sites that I found back in the day. There's more do to in Gloucestershire than I could have possibly imagined when I started exploring, and I have no doubt that this is the case for all of the other 85 counties in the UK. Surely there's hundreds of gems out there waiting to be found, no? Of course there's a small group of people who are unearthing new stuff - you just have to look at the Bristol lads, or the guys cracking all those Northern mills to see that - but there's whole counties of England that seem to have nothing in them, and this simply can't be the case. [/speed]

Anyway, this is just another one of the sites in Gloucestershire, and I've no doubt that there'll be many more to come. To be fair, I've known about it for years but have always been dissuaded by the fact it's slap bang in the middle of a live dockland. However the Likely Lads' recent spree of Bristol mills resparked my interest and I thought it was about time to give it a go. As it turns out, the dock is considerably more relaxed than pretty much any other in the country and so the building wasn't exactly difficult to get to, but the fact we actually managed to get in was an unexpected bonus!

The history of the docks:
Sharpness Docks developed in the later nineteenth century after a new dock was built in the 1870s to accommodate the larger ships then coming into service that were too big to pass up the canal. Prior to this, the old entrance to the canal had no provision for cargo handling, and all ships continued up the canal to discharge at Gloucester.

Warehouses were built beside the New Dock, principally to accommodate imported grain, and new houses were built on the dock estate for key workers. Railway lines around the docks were linked with the Midland and Great Western main lines and provided an alternative to the canal for distributing imports and receiving exports. Sharpness Docks continues as a working port, but most of the old warehouses have been replaced by more modern facilities.
The history of the silo itself is harder to come by, though from what I can tell it was built in 1937 to replace a large warehouse and adjoining store that were destroyed by a spectacular fire in 1934. A sign on the office building (in use) reads Sharpness Silos Ltd. who were dissolved in 2000, possibly giving an indication of the closure date though I'm convinced it's been in use until much more recently than that. Weirdly enough, whilst we were inside some men on a cherry picker began breaking up part of an external metal canopy with an oxy acetylene torch. 80 years this building has stood there through thick and thin, and I think by chance we turned up the hour that they started to tear it down. Now that's good timing!

Visited with huey and WDW. Big love to huey for finding the way in as usual <3

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It is an honest 1930s industrial building. A few grain silos have been posted up over the years, but what makes this one unique is that whilst it's very original, it's also absolutely pristine, and it doesn't look like someones dumped an imperial tonne of pigeon shit on the insides.

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A cute little workshop sits in the middle of main floor, where the grain is distributed via conveyor to individual silos.

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It's not particularly high, maybe 50 meters or so, but it does offer schweet views of the docks and right down to the Severn bridges. You can also just about make out Pine End Works across the river from the roof.

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Above the main floor is a room housing the lift machinery and motors for the grain elevators:

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Olschool elevator:

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And finally, the base of the silos - note the original stenciling:

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Definitely worth a detour off the M5 if you happen to be passing by.​
 
Last edited:

ImmortalOwl

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#4
Very nice stuff, mate. And bravo for daring to trespass in Sharpness, those folk with webbed feet would have had you squealing like a pig if they'd have caught you :eek:
 

clebby

( . Y . )
Regular User
#7
Smashing report. It made a good end to the day being able to get in this place. No pigeons too which I was rather pleased about!
Aye, I think it might have been mothballed or something which would explain why it's being looked after. Get your photos up!
 

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