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Great Northern Railway Company grain warehouse, Nottingham, December 2017

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HughieD

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1. The History
A corn warehouse built in 1857 for the Great Northern Railway (GNR) Company. Designed by Nottingham Architect T C Hine in conjunction with the adjacent main station building on London Road, it incorporated a major technological achievement for the time. The principal roof which spanned the huge void used iron suspension rods to support the first floor, thus providing the maximum possible roof space for storage of grain. Hine used a similar system in the Adams Building, Stoney Street. Some old plans:

38237744054_28ae29acef_b.jpgGNR Warehouse by HughieDW, on Flickr

The Grade II listed building was sold by Nottingham City Council, but the new owner failed to honour the contractual obligations to carry-out a restoration scheme. In 1998 a lot of the original internal design was damaged in a major fire. Sadly, the roof collapsed and the cast-iron columns and wooden sack hoists were removed in the "clear-up" process. In 2000, after a number of arson attempts, the owner was refused permission to demolish the building.

One area of the warehouse is now just an empty shell held up by an extensive scaffolding. The intact warehouse became a home for Nottingham's druggies and homeless. In 2005 the bodies of two women were found on the site; the 18-year-old Katie Baxter and twenty-six-year-old Zoe Pennick were killed and buried in the grounds of the derelict warehouse. Both went missing within days of each other between the Christmas 2004 and following New Year. They were found six days apart in the same part of the warehouse. Subsequently two men were tried and jailed for the murders in 2006. The 26-year old Mark Martin was involved in both murders and another murder at a different location. He claimed he wanted to become the city's first serial killer. His accomplice, John Ashley was convicted of the joint killing of Ms. Baxter.

2. The Explore
Had this place on my radar for a while. I’ve always been puzzled why so few reports come out of Nottingham. There’s stuff there but much is sealed. The warehouse has had a step up in its security in recent years. The west entrance is via the Virgin Active car park. Aside from their own CCTV there is wooden fencing and anti-climb paint. Hence I tried my luck at the eastern entrance just off a small spur of a road. At the moment I arrived I saw a security man entering the site. Given I was solo, on a tight schedule and said security man, I decided to do a perimeter sweep and go for externals. Perhaps another time for the inside. Still worth a report given the expanse of the place and the lack of recent reports of this wonderful structure.

3. The Pictures

Virgin Active end. The eastern entrance:

25082770728_aaf6017c93_b.jpgimg4138 by HughieDW, on Flickr

38238185444_043b5b4794_b.jpgimg4144 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Front(-ish) elevation:

24089424647_16ee08d24f_b.jpgimg4135 by HughieDW, on Flickr

24089309617_921dc21020_b.jpgimg4142 by HughieDW, on Flickr

And detail:

27177454759_ee8c696e9d_b.jpgimg4134 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Window detail:

38068157655_fe6e13884f_b.jpgimg4140 by HughieDW, on Flickr

27177322229_297c277724_b.jpgimg4141 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Along the back:

38068017965_033ab4e0d4_b.jpgimg4146 by HughieDW, on Flickr

And some graff (oh no, it’s him again!)

25082581748_ba988dc296_b.jpgimg4147 by HughieDW, on Flickr

And round to the west entrance:

38953817241_6c8332385d_b.jpgimg4149 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Used to be a carpet warehouse in latter life:

38953781891_d2ae5a2fef_b.jpgimg4150 by HughieDW, on Flickr

24089095547_157bf42725_b.jpgimg4153 by HughieDW, on Flickr

38237965594_f46b3ef4be_b.jpgimg4155 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Side elevation from the east (note lift gear on roof):

38237831104_735ee8f19e_b.jpgimg4162 by HughieDW, on Flickr

24088992727_303058fd99_b.jpgimg4158 by HughieDW, on Flickr

38953570791_49b322ff3d_b.jpgimg4161 by HughieDW, on Flickr

38237737154_882e563104_b.jpgimg4166 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Front elevation from the East:

38237763234_0ed6d4cc04_b.jpgimg4165 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Remaining ironwork of the over-rail wooden hoppers:

27176814469_bf2ddfdf81_b.jpgimg4167 by HughieDW, on Flickr

38917399582_e4df9c741f_b.jpgimg4168 by HughieDW, on Flickr

38917360372_5574108fba_b.jpgimg4169 by HughieDW, on Flickr

And an elevation of the north side:

38067475925_882267c208_b.jpgimg4173 by HughieDW, on Flickr

38237590044_a6375bf7d4_b.jpgimg4174 by HughieDW, on Flickr
 
Last edited:

prettyvacant71

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Lovely documented externals HD, I really like the brickwork and the arched windows with the fitted iron shutters.

Fascinating history you have dug out too! Yeah it's funny when Listed buildings that are often very expensive to restore keep getting arson attacks, some are probably bored locals but I know some are paid by property developers to burn them down and cause enough damage to make them nonviable for repair, hence demo and loads more ugly profitable new builds appear literally overnight. Pretty gruesome story about the murders too. I hope it gets the chance to have a new life, these bricks shells can be saved with some effort and dosh it's just a matter of finding someone who has the passion and not instant profit as motivation.

Thanks HD I like lookin at your finds!
 

BikinGlynn

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Nice one Hughie, strangely I drove past here yesterday & wondered what it was! no chance of an explore though I was away for the girlfriends birthday!
 

Mikeymutt

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That building looks like it was prob quite a grand looking building once like most of these old railways buildings were.hopefully you have better luck next time mate.another nice set of somewhere a bit different
 

rockfordstone

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Lovely documented externals HD, I really like the brickwork and the arched windows with the fitted iron shutters.

Fascinating history you have dug out too! Yeah it's funny when Listed buildings that are often very expensive to restore keep getting arson attacks, some are probably bored locals but I know some are paid by property developers to burn them down and cause enough damage to make them nonviable for repair, hence demo and loads more ugly profitable new builds appear literally overnight. Pretty gruesome story about the murders too. I hope it gets the chance to have a new life, these bricks shells can be saved with some effort and dosh it's just a matter of finding someone who has the passion and not instant profit as motivation.

Thanks HD I like lookin at your finds!
it sucks doesn't it. the same soulless looking housing buildings with cladding and glazing that appear. a building like this (the facades at least) could be re purposed to look like a smart yet historic looking residential block. hopefully something like this can happen here
 

Dirus_Strictus

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some are probably bored locals but I know some are paid by property developers to burn them down and cause enough damage to make them nonviable for repair, hence demo and loads more ugly profitable new builds appear literally overnight

In 30 plus years of arson investigations where large derelict/vacant buildings were involved, I only came across four cases (out of a total of 45 incidents) where so called 'developers' were actually involved in the arson planning. In all cases skilled arsonists set the fires - the integrity of the structures was compromised and immediate demolition followed on public safety grounds. No developer is going to involve local idiots to set a fire on which their profits depend on; they would soon join the fire setters, starring at the interior of one of the State's less attractive interiors!
 
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