Report - Sunwin House Department Store - Sheffield - June 2014

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Is this the future?
Regular User
Mar 16, 2014
Sunwin House Department Store opened in around 1990. The site was originally owned by Redgates, a toyshop rumoured by some to be desperately expensive. Redgates subsequently closed its doors in 1984 as it fell into administration. The site was reopened in 1987 as a Zodiac toy store (Zodiac Toys Ltd.), a nationwide toy retailer that owned over ninety stores across the UK. Nonetheless, it wasn’t long until they also closed their doors, in around 1889/1990. In the period that Zodiac Toys Ltd. owned the premises, it added two additional floors to the existing structure, increasing the scale of the building dramatically. This site is often confused as being the home of Hamleys toy store (London’s branch) that opened briefly in Sheffield, however, Hamleys was in actual fact located in 34-36 Rockingham House, The Moor. Hamleys toy store also closed in the very early 1990’s. Notwithstanding, Sunwin House opened soon after Zodiac’s closure and was established as a Co-op owned department Store and didn’t close until around 2005. During this time Sunwin House existed as an example of the 90’s dreadful architecture; all-inclusive of ‘golden tinted glass, horrid chandeliers and other bits’. The building had stood derelict since this time, although TK Max re-opened the premises briefly, in 2008, as a temporary location whilst they renovated their main site.

Initially we had planned a visit to the old BT telephone tower, however, when we arrived security emerged from the side gate, and stared at us – long and hard. Although we were tempted to make his day much more interesting, we decided to seek out another location. We passed Sunwin House minutes later and decided to take a quick look. A few hours later we discovered that there is access to another abandoned site. Inside, the building is huge, and although it has been stripped of almost everything, it’s worth a visit for the roof-top views, the escalators, old-school elevators, and the feel of an empty department store that was obviously once quite grand; in a 90’s sort of way.

1: Sunwin Customer Enquiries


2: Department Store Shop Floor - Escalator Doors


3: Escalators


4: Forgotten Safe


5: Food Court


6: Food Court Kitchens


7: Bathrooms


8: Service Room (Rooftop)


9: Window Cleaning Rig


10: BT Telephone Tower


11: Town Hall Clock Tower and Sheffield


12: The City of Sheffield


13: Rooftop Hardware/Machinery


14: Rear Alley (From Rooftop)


15: Stairs and Escalators


16: Department Store Shop Floor


17: Men's Fitting Room


18: Escalators (Upper Floor Shot)


19: The Remains of an Escalator - Out of Service!


20: Store Directions Board




Authorised Trespasser
28DL Full Member
Sep 3, 2013
Well worth a trip to Sheffield, I would also be keen on getting into the BT Tower. Tried doing a reccy at a similar BT building currently being demolished in London (Fleet Building) and secca were straight out even just walking round!

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