Report - - Sleaford Maltings - Visited 20/06/2008 | Industrial Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Sleaford Maltings - Visited 20/06/2008


Conquistador d'Wolverton
28DL Full Member
Hey guys, I visited the epic maltings last June and thought I’d upload my pictures.
I know this place has been done many times before, but as it was my first it has a special place in my heart, so please don’t bin it ;)

The site was purchased by Bass Ratcliff & Greeton Ltd in 1901, and building commenced to the design of Mr H A Couchman, an architect responsible for previous Bass projects. Construction spanned six years, starting with the engine house and associated buildings, and finishing with the smaller ancillary buildings such as the managers' cottages, dining halls, and the administrative offices. Covering a geographical area of just over 13 acres, and comprising some 500,000 sq ft of floor space, the Sleaford Bass Maltings cost around £350,000 to complete.
Production was under way in September 1906 and fully operational by the following year, with a capacity to produce 60,000 quarters of malt per season. Throughout the first half of the 20th century production continued at a pace but, by the end of the Second World War, had declined to such an extent that many of the buildings had become redundant. While other trades rented some of the unused space, the malt industry continued to decline until, in 1959, production finally ceased. The infrastructure had simply become out-dated and too costly to maintain. In 1973 the Sleaford Bass Maltings were purchased by a local firm, GW Padley (Property) Ltd who utilised it for chicken rearing and vegetable processing, but the chicken rearing came to end during the 1990s when approval was given for residential development of adjacent land.
Considered to be of special architectural and historical interest, the Sleaford Bass Maltings were Grade II listed in 1974, only to suffer considerable damage two years later when a severe fire spread through the central area. Despite the intensity of the blaze, the structural integrity of the buildings remained intact due to the quality of the original construction, and this fact probably played a key role in saving the building from demolition when an application was made in 1982.

The Engine

The malting used two horizontal tandem compound condensing Mill engines built by Robey in 1904, one of which (No 23857) is preserved at the Forncett Industrial Steam Museum.
With a Robey 'bayonet' pattern main frame and developing 200 HP at 70 RPM from its 14" bore HP and 22.5" bore LP x 30" stroke cylinders it drove the maltings equipment through 8 ropes from its 11 ton 13' diameter flywheel, which is cast in two halves.The two engines took six monthly 'turns' at running the machinery in the Maltings, the 'off' engine being serviced and maintained in the unlikely event of any problem with the 'on' engine.
This engine is a great favourite of the visitors and will turn over on as little as 5 psig steam pressure (without the condenser being in operation)



The staircase in the former engine house:


The rope driven flywheel, driven by the engine directly below:


From the watertower, looking west:


looking east:


The main drive-shaft from the engine house through the buildings:


Evidence of the secondary driveshafts, taking power from the main shaft:



Wheels to control the louvres and regulate temp/humidity in the drying room:


Evidence of the grain hoppers at the southside of each building:


The roof, over 100 years old and in brilliant condition:


Arty photo #1:


Thanks Guys



Conquistador d'Wolverton
28DL Full Member
Thanks guys, this is my favourite place... I loved every moment of it, it was truly an epic time and we had a 'grand day out'. I love how well preserved the structure is. How it's 8 massive warehouses, high water tower and lofty chimney dominate the flat surroundings of south Lincolnshire; but are not threatening or sinister but are rather inviting and nostalgic. What it lacks in artefacts inside, it makes up for in integrity and charm. The structure is typical solid Edwardian engineering, and even though some parts are rotten the majority of the 'overly engineered' roof is sound as show in one of my pictures.

It was last summer; (before I’d even heard of Urbex) I went to this place alone having spotted it from the train carriage whilst on a trip to Skegness... on the return trip I left my friends on the train at Sleaford eager to find a way in. Without even thinking of police, security or cameras I happily jumped over the main gate and took loads of photos in an hour (not brilliant ones I may add). Since then I’ve been hooked and yet to find such a magical place....

I could go on all day and bore you all to tears :p

two more photo I like though:

3rd floor of the far-eastern #8 warehouse, localised floor damage:


3rd floor of the far-western #1 warehouse, showing gain delivery pipes, drive shaft and conveyor:



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