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Thread: Middlewood church, Sheffield, South Yorks, April 2019

  1. #1
    Join Date
    January 2013
    People's Republic of South Yorkshire.

    Default Middlewood church, Sheffield, South Yorks, April 2019

    1. The History
    Middlewood church was built just after the mental hospital of the same name, probably in 1875 at a cost of £6,000. It was stone built in the Gothic style with an interior that could accommodate 700 worshipers. The hospital itself opened three years earlier on the 21st of August,1872. Over the years it has had several names including including the South Yorkshire Asylum, the West Riding Asylum and the Wadsley Mental Hospital. At the height of its operations it had a capacity of with 2,000 beds. The hospital closed its doors in 1996 and developed into a private housing development called Wadsley Park Village. Many Grade II listed buildings avoided demolition. These included the Kingswood Ward which was converted into 85 apartments and the administration and clock tower building which was converted into 38 apartments. And, of course, the church.

    The church in its early days:

    sheffield middlewood old by HughieDW, on Flickr

    The first service at the church was held on Sunday 21st of March 1875 and was conducted by the Reverend C.E. Lamb, Vicar of St. Maryís Church, Bramall Lane, with 500 people in attendance including patients, staff and visitors. The church suffered fire-damage in 1988 but a successful fundraising campaign saw the church restored to its former glories. Despite this it saw its last service on Wednesday 6th of November 1996 around the same time as the hospitalís closure, 124 years on from the hospitalís opening. The church was put on the market shortly after and saw Canon John Browning leave the church heíd been canon at for nearly a quarter of a century. Since then it has been left empty.

    Interior shot:

    sheffield middlewood interior by HughieDW, on Flickr

    A previous owner submitted applications to convert the church into apartments, and these were granted in November 2004, but planning permission subsequently lapsed. In March 2012 plans were submitted by architectural design consultancy Coda Studios planning to convert the church into a mixture of town houses and apartments. These got nowhere. So, in 2015 another planning proposal was tabled to make alterations to create 10 dwelling houses, 4 apartments and 2 studios. The recommend was refused due to the need to fell mature lime trees, loss of wildlife and the proximity of the church to a playground. The Grade II listed church remains officially on the market with Estate Agents, Knight Frank.

    The church in more recent times (1991):

    sheffield middlewood 1991 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    2. The Explore
    Had my eye on this place for a long time. Itís a fine-looking church but has been pretty much sealed. A tip off that it was doable was received so off I went to investigate. It turned out to be good intel and soon I was inside snapping way with my only company the several pigeons that has made it their how. Very enjoyable explore and despite most of the interior being stripped out, enough original features and stained-glass windows to get a decent set of pictures.

    3. The Pictures

    Through the bushes we peek:

    Middlewood 01 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Bell tower:

    Middlewood 02 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img0586 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    And weíre in. Overview looking towards the organ:

    Middlewood 03 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    And the pretty much perfect stained-glass windows at the opposite end:

    Middlewood 04 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Loving this carved sandstone Corinthian-topper column:

    Middlewood 05 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    And the tiled floor:

    Middlewood 06 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Middlewood 08 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Whatís left of the former organ:

    Middlewood 07 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    And where the organ used to be situated:

    Middlewood 09 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img0573 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Middlewood 10 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img0574 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    All the floors have been ripped out:

    Middlewood 11 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    But some of the radiators remain:

    Middlewood 13 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img0577 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Some more fine stained-glass windows:

    img0559 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img0560 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img0566 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    A few more pictures of the churchís glorious exterior:

    Middlewood 14 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img0587 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img0584 by HughieDW, on Flickr

  2. Thanks given by: ajarb, etc100, Hugh Jorgan, Mearing, noiseboy72, paul.richards.up, Sausage, smiler, tony willett
  4. #2
    Join Date
    October 2010
    Lost in Cornwall


    Liked that, Well shot Hughie, Thanks

  5. Thanks given by: HughieD
  6. #3
    Join Date
    February 2015
    Aberdeen, Scotland


    Nicely done. I'm surprised that the stained-glass windows have survived compared with the rest of the church.
    When the going gets tough - the tough get going.

  7. Thanks given by: HughieD
  8. #4
    Join Date
    January 2008


    Nice, do like the encaustic tiles, they look a bit like Minton Hollins if you're lucky. :)

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