Bass Maltings, Sleaford, Lincs, May 2017

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People's Republic of South Yorkshire.
1. The History
The Bass Maltings in Sleaford consist of eight large disused malt houses. Designed by Herbert A. Couchman and built between 1901 and 1907, they were originally owned by the Bass Brewery of Burton upon Trent. They are the largest group of malt houses in England and in 1974 were Grade II* listed by National Heritage. The complex is constructed using red brick with Welsh slate roofing and follows a rectangular plan along an east-west orientation. The central four-storey water tower is flanked by four malt houses either side with a tall, octagonal chimney behind the tower. All eight malt houses are built to an identical design and layout. The barley was fed into a granary section, before being moved onto the germination floors and then transported to one of the twin kilns, where the malting process took place.

After germination barley is then dried to form malt, a key ingredient in the brewing of beer. The fact that the Sleaford area was a major producer of barley in the 1880s and the fact that the town had good railway links attracted the Bass brewery company to Sleaford. The complex ran a full capacity until after the war but more efficient techniques at Bass's other plant in Burton-upon-Trent led to the closure of the maltings in 1959. Since then part of the complex has been used to rear poultry in the late 20th century, but the buildings have not been fully occupied since Bass left and fires in 1969 and 1976 caused severe damage to three of the eight malt houses. Since the 1990s the site has effectively been derelict. Proposals to convert the buildings into office, retail and residential space have come and gone.

A regeneration scheme was announced in 2004, supported by the Phoenix Trust. The maltings were to be converted into residential, retail and business space. Public consultation took place between 2005 and 2006 and approximately 90% of participants supported regeneration with three-quarters asking for a cinema and entertainment complex. The Gladedale Group were developing the project. They worked with the Prince's Regeneration Trust to draw up plans for the site's regeneration which protected the historic exterior in the following three years. This culminated in the submission of planning permission in 2009 and the £50m development was duly approved by North Kesteven District Council (NKDC) in 2011. Tesco was also granted permission to build a £20 million supermarket along side the plan to create retail and office space and 220 apartments. However a year later, in 2012, Sleaford Town Council refused to grant permission for a link road connecting Boston Road to the site. After a two-year stalemate, NKDC served a compulsory purchase order on the site in 2014. This, plus financial difficulties, led to Tesco pulling out and the subsequent announcement by NKDC that all development plans were on hold.

2. The Explore
Well, to be precise – 'perimeter fence' explore. Although, in the past, many a report came out of the maltings these have now all dried up due to a tightening-up of the ‘ security. Given the lack of reports and the sheer scale of the complex I thought an external-only report was better than nothing.

3. The Pictures

From a distance:

35006839796_d3205c5357_b.jpgimg0633 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Former Techfoods depot:

35047464595_ab631c7885_b.jpgimg0571 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Other peripheral buildings:

34883087642_5530078693_b.jpgimg0572 by HughieDW, on Flickr

34236610943_806411790f_b.jpgimg0573 by HughieDW, on Flickr

34882988142_e0b8fbc78a_b.jpgimg0576 by HughieDW, on Flickr

From the West:

35047220465_104284901d_b.jpgimg0579 by HughieDW, on Flickr

34915520181_a860a5161a_b.jpgimg0578 by HughieDW, on Flickr

35006587966_4080512ab8_b.jpgimg0582 by HughieDW, on Flickr

From the East:
34203156234_5817c24a3f_b.jpgimg0587 by HughieDW, on Flickr

35047116205_4937f824e8_b.jpgimg0588 by HughieDW, on Flickr

34203108984_0b1f7f2513_b.jpgimg0589 by HughieDW, on Flickr

35047041225_140b6e60b5_b.jpgimg0595 by HughieDW, on Flickr

34236302083_6e6b9bb386_b.jpgimg0597 by HughieDW, on Flickr

34236275713_384ce2f14f_b.jpgimg0601 by HughieDW, on Flickr

35006395836_3af3abe6a2_b.jpgimg0603 by HughieDW, on Flickr

35006367826_50f0c1f366_b.jpgimg0607 by HughieDW, on Flickr

And from the front:

34658938510_e2cc21288c_b.jpgimg0608 by HughieDW, on Flickr

35046810035_55de404e6b_b.jpgimg0611 by HughieDW, on Flickr

34914994591_cac9f16b41_b.jpgimg0613 by HughieDW, on Flickr

34914951051_ca363011fd_b.jpgimg0615 by HughieDW, on Flickr

The legendary water tower:

34658779020_7aa92e6249_b.jpgimg0617 by HughieDW, on Flickr

35006179876_29ef5c3cae_b.jpgimg0619 by HughieDW, on Flickr

34914848691_512b5c9a1c_b.jpgimg0621 by HughieDW, on Flickr

34882344052_e7b73d26eb_b.jpgimg0622 by HughieDW, on Flickr

34235903883_5c5ec9bd0e_b.jpgimg0625 by HughieDW, on Flickr

34235858273_d702c39cd8_b.jpgimg0627 by HughieDW, on Flickr

34882235912_d9216b622e_b.jpgimg0631 by HughieDW, on Flickr
Last edited:


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Lovely pics, the place is very architecturally pleasing!
Is there access in ? went there once, but secca was all over us before I got out van!

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