Archive for the ‘Industrial Archaeology’ Category

St. Keverne , Nare Point, Porthallow and Porthoustock, Cornwall

January 29, 2012

DSC_0002 - MOD2 - Daffodial Fields near Tregaminion - St Keverne - Cornwall - 28-1-2012 - BIPS©2012

January daffodils in fields near Tregaminion, near St. Keverne

DSC_0006 - MOD1 - Footpath through Daffodial Fields near Tregaminion - St Keverne - Cornwall - 28-1-2012 - BIPS©2012

Public footpath through the daffodil fields at Tregaminion,
near St. Keverne

DSC_0011 - MOD1 - Treehouse in Ash Tree near Tregaminion - St Keverne - Cornwall - 28-1-2012 - BIPS©2012

Treehouse in Ash Tree at Tregaminion. near St. Keverne

DSC_0039-43 - MOD1 - Beyond & Above - Lane to Parbean Cove - Cornwall - 28-1-2012 - BIPS©2012

Beyond & Above : along the lane to Parbean Cove

DSC_0049 - MOD1 - Lane to Parbean Cove - Cornwall - 28-1-2012 - BIPS©2012

Approaching Parbean Cove

DSC_0065 - MOD1 - Cave at Parbean Cove - Cornwall - 28-1-2012 - BIPS©2012

Cave at Parbean Cave

DSC_0069 - MOD1 - Parbean Cove Nar Point view to Falmouth - Cornwall - 28-1-2012 - BIPS©2012

View to Falmouth from Parbean Cove

DSC_0074 - MOD1 crop1 - Nare Point Coastguard Lookout - Cornwall - 28-1-2012 - BIPS©2012

Nare Point Coastguard Lookout Station

DSC_0082 - MOD1 - Nare Point - life on the rocks - Cornwall - 28-1-2012 - BIPS©2012

DSC_0083 - MOD1 - Nare Point - life on the rocks - Cornwall - 28-1-2012 - BIPS©2012

Life on the Rocks : beach life at Nare Point

DSC_0098 - MOD1 - St Keverne Quarries - remains of railway on causeway at Porthkerris Cove - Cornwall - 28-1-2012 - BIPS©2012

St. Keverne Quarries (between Porthallow and Porthoustock) : remains of narrow gauge railway on causeway at Porthkerris Cove

DSC_0092 - MOD1 - St Keverne Quarries - remains of causeway railway and Pencra Head incline - Cornwall - 28-1-2012 - BIPS©2012

St. Keverne Quarries (between Porthallow and Porthoustock) : remains of narrow gauge railway on causeway at Porthkerris Cove and view south up Pencra Head incline

High Dale & Magpie Mine

June 16, 2010

DSC_0004 - MOD2 - High Dale - IB 16-6-2010

View (north) down High Dale

DSC_0031 - MOD1 - Magpie Mine - Sheldon - IB 16-6-2010 

DSC_0055 - MOD2 - Magpie Mine from field of wild flowers- Sheldon - IB 16-6-2010

Magpie Mine, Sheldon

DSC_0034 - MOD1  - Magpie Mine - Sheldon - IB 16-6-2010

Magpie Mine - Sheldon -  IB - 16-6-10 -

Vernacular mine architecture – Magpie Mine, Sheldon

DSC_0064 - MOD1 - Dry ston wall near Sheldon - IB 16-6-2010

Irregular dry stone wall near Sheldon

Saltaire No.1

October 8, 2009

DSC_0047 - No1 Wall Edge Saltaire - IB1-10-09

Coal’s Cathedral – Clipstone Colliery

July 4, 2008



Clipstone Colliery in Nottinghamshire closed in April 2003.  The headstocks and winding house are Grade ll listed.  All of the other buildings at the colliery – which were not listed – have now been demolished leaving the remainder alone in a sea of bulldozed black and brown.



Newark and Sherwood District Council held a local referendum on the future of the site in 2003 where – supposedly – the majority of the villagers voted in favour of total demolition so that the site could be repopulated with characterless metal boxes for the tasteless frozen chicken and ready-meals packing industry, and erection of densely packed future slums from the likes of Wimpey and Barratt.   How many of the voters were newcomers (who just require a McDonalds within 5 minutes drive of their front door) and how many were miners or other long time inhabitants of the area?


If you stand on the adjacent road and watch the passing traffic you’ll see that more than 50% of drivers look over at the remaining buildings; one wonders how many of them really wish that someone would save this graceful cathedral to coal for future generations.

The headstocks rise elegantly skywards and surely offer a breathtaking view of the adjacent Sherwood Forest.  The machinery house (between the twin headstocks)  is a beautiful example of post-war modernist industrial architecture.  For inspiration the planners and developers could look at Titan Clydebank (a massive shipyard crane that now has an elevator and viewing platform) or to Germany and the Duisburg Landscape Park, a contemporary park around the old steelworks. <BIPS © 2008>


The Folkestone Saga – Triennial Precedes Demolition of Victorian Landmark

June 24, 2008
There has been good media coverage (BBC Culture Show and the Architects Journal to name but two) of the current Folkestone Triennial.  What has seemingly escaped most reporters is that the same organisation sponsoring this contemporary art-fest will shortly be responsible for the wholesale destruction of Folkestone’s spectacular harbour bridges, and railway link to the rest of the UK.  Laughingly, the Triennial bills itself as “Sculpture, photography, film, installations, sound-work & performances inspired by Folkestone’s past, present and future” the very “past” that is planned for annihilation, and a “future” that will be much the worse for the loss of historical perspective.


The railway viaduct and swing bridge cross the inner harbour.  The infrastructure may need a refresh but in my opinion it is an attractive and functional element that should be retained.

Roger De Haan’s Folkestone Harbour Company purchased the harbour in 2003 using funds from the sale of his family’s Saga travel business; that’s the one specialising in vacations and financial services for the over-50s.  As part of the redevelopment Master Plan, as prepared by Foster+Partners, the 159-year old branch line railway will be totally demolished.

De Haan’s philanthropy is surely well meaning and generally to be applauded, especially by the inhabitants of the seaside town.  However, Foster should know better than to propose a purely clean-sweep approach that will deny the town of an important part of it’s heritage; prevent the development of a useful transport corridor; and the retention of what should be a much loved tourist asset.



The Folkestone Harbour branch railway curves gracefully through the town and across the harbour.  De Haan and Foster propose ripping up the railway and replacing it with a significantly widened road so that cars can flood the harbour redevelopment.  The area may well need some selective pruning during the redevelopment and application of new love but the railway branch line does not strike me as the visual offender.

There may still be a last-minute reprise for the railway and its infrastructure as the operators of the Venice Simplon Orient Express (the British part of the train runs from London to Folkestone Harbour where passengers are detrained for a bus connection to the Eurotunnel Shuttle terminal in Folkestone ) are believed to have made a formal objection against closure.

Let us hope that sense prevails and alternative schemes for reuse of the railway are part of the final redevelopment plan.  Apart from the ongoing use by the Orient Express and occasional steam hauled enthusiast trains (which could be linked with future editions of the Triennial for one) could a park-and-ride scheme not be operated using the likes of the Parry People Mover; there is even ample space for an edge-of-town car park off Western Road, where the harbour branch railway connects with the mainline between Dover and Ashford. <BIPS © 2008>

Tinsley Towers

June 22, 2008


“Tinsley Towers” – more correctly the cooling towers of the long closed Blackburn Meadows power station  – on a grey and drizzly Saturday evening.  This view from the end of Petre Street looking east towards Rotherham. <BIPS © 2008>

Steel City Signage

June 21, 2008


A brilliant logo on the front of the Starweld building on Harleston Street, a short crawl from The Crown Inn on the corner
with Petre Street.

While many seem happy to disassociate Sheffield from its heavy industry, steel and machining history there are fortunately many small businesses that are proud of this heritage.  A short walk around the Lower Don Valley one drizzly Saturday evening found the following examples of Steel City Signage.


The small foundry of Durham Foundry, also on Harleston Street.  Check out their website for some atmospheric shots of a real, small industrial concern.


Don’t underestimate the company with the cute “floating” bucket in front of their building on Petre Street.  Daver Steels have supplied specialist  structural products to numerous major new building projects, including: The Welsh Assembly in Cardiff, Aintree Racecourse, New York Times Tower, and Paddington Station in London. 
<BIPS © 2008>

Magpie Mine – Peak District Lead

June 6, 2008

Magpie Mine Derbyshire

The remains of Magpie Mine, near Sheldon in Derbyshire, are probably the most complete example of a 19th century lead mine in the UK.  Lead was mined here from c.1740 until final closure in 1954.  The extensive remains include: the Cornish Engine House (in ruins) from 1869; a circular chimney from 1840; a square chimney, also from 1840, with the flue that connected it with the 1869 horizontal winding engine; a replica horse gin, and the steel headgear and cage from the final mining operations in the early 1950’s.  At the entrance to the site are the Agent’s House and Smithy, built in the 1840’s, which is used by those that now care for the remains of Magpie Mine.

Magpie Mine Derbyshire

The site, which is a Scheduled Monument, is under the care of the Peak District Mines Historical Society who also operate the excellent Mining Museum in Matlock Bath. 

Magpie Mine is easily reached with a 5-10 minute walk over one of a number of footpaths running from nearby roads, or from Sheldon village.  The site is 2.5 miles due west from Bakewell, 16 miles southwest of Sheffield, and 22 miles northwest of Derby.  <BIPS © 2008>

Yorkshire Chemicals, Leeds

June 4, 2008

Demolition of the former Yorkshire Chemicals plant in the Hunslet area of Leeds is almost complete.  This photograph, taken in mid-May, shows the final remains of the factory, between Cudbear Street and Black Bull Street, adjacent to Hunslet Lane.

Yorkshire Chemicals - Leeds - Demolition

The company was a manufacturer of dyes for the textiles industry but went into liquidation in January 2006.  Yorkshire Chemicals had a second, much larger site, on Kirkstall Road, Leeds which is also to be demolished.  <BIPS © 2008>