Loxley Valley factories, Sheffield, November 2017

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People's Republic of South Yorkshire.
1. The History
Tucked away in Loxley Valley, just outside Sheffield is a large cluster of derelict factories. Industry first came to the Loxley area in the middle of the 17th century when the first mills were set up on the fast-flowing River Loxley. Steel and iron forging and rolling mills were established and became the main manufacturing processes with the Loxley Steel Works, the Green Wheel Steel Works, the Little Matlock Rolling Mill and the Olive Rolling Mill all becoming established industries by the river. Many of the mill ponds associated with these mills are still present on the river and provide a haven for fish and wildlife. During the 1800s the Loxley Valley became an important producer of refractory bricks for the expanding Sheffield steel industry. The bricks were used to line the furnaces and were made from ganister, a sort of sandstone which was prevalent in the Loxley area. Many ganister mines existed in the area supplying the local firms of Thomas Wragg, Siddons Bros., Hepworth’s and Thomas Marshall which sprang up in the district and produced the bricks. Refractory production ceased in the area in the 1990s.

The site was then purchased by the house building company, Bovis Homes Group, in 2006. They intended to build 500 homes on the site. However, the plans have met with stiff opposition from the Loxley Valley Protection Society, the Loxley Valley Design Group, the Campaign to Protect Rural England and Bradfield Parish Council. Bovis have not received permission to go ahead with the development and the site is still a derelict industrial site.

2. The Explore
This place is a very, very large site. Unfortunately in recent times the security has been stepped up. As soon as I parked up I saw the on-site security guy who I nodded to and also noticed the CCTV cameras. I changed my boots and set off trying to pass myself off as a hiker. A footpath cuts through and round the extensive site but the site is pretty-well fenced off and has the Loxley River running down the north side of the site. In the end I satisfied myself with circumnavigating the site and just taking externals.

It’s a massive site and worth a further look. It’s been a bit neglected exploring-wise due to the nearby Dyson Refractories.

3. The Pictures

Loadsa asbestos!

37755591155_fccc2f0b54_b.jpgimg3975 by HughieDW, on Flickr

38610636092_4f7b388a2e_b.jpgimg3988bw by HughieDW, on Flickr

24770704908_6e3c4acaf4_b.jpgimg3981 by HughieDW, on Flickr

26867462009_4d1d8f8b90_b.jpgimg3978 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Love the old chimney:

38610784722_a5d9e748ce_b.jpgimg3980 by HughieDW, on Flick

37925591484_8a43b12c7c_b.jpgimg3983 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Unusually portal windows:

37925564204_babca0a885_b.jpgimg3986 by HughieDW, on Flickr

38643018331_79d700d52e_b.jpgimg3987 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Interesting single-storey brick building:

38586743196_049a6ec682_b.jpgimg3991 by HughieDW, on Flickr

37925356564_e2c8c01cb7_b.jpgimg4000 by HughieDW, on Flickr

More old factories further down the river from the brick works:

38586707726_07fa09a7e7_b.jpgimg3994 by HughieDW, on Flickr

24770480568_a10732037c_b.jpgimg3996 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Hut in the woods:

24770456438_2a1c778510_b.jpgimg3998 by HughieDW, on Flickr

And more old factories:

37925329004_eb1b9be539_b.jpgimg4002 by HughieDW, on Flickr

…and a bit of graff:

37925294934_c40d65c375_b.jpgimg4003 by HughieDW, on Flickr

24770333078_6f90a153d7_b.jpgimg4005 by HughieDW, on Flickr

37925247294_35b082ff69_b.jpgimg4006 by HughieDW, on Flickr

38586503366_66637c99ab_b.jpgimg4007 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Slightly up the approach road is this place, Claremont house. Built in 1895, the large, stone built former dwelling and outbuildings, standing in grounds of approximately 1.4 hectares of land was last used as a social club for employees of the nearby Hepworth’s Refractories, but has been vacant for many years.

38586383386_fbf2b9c3b8_b.jpgimg4015 by HughieDW, on Flickr

38586413866_85a6f16116_b.jpgimg4013 by HughieDW, on Flickr

26866992159_7d6d673e65_b.jpgimg4010 by HughieDW, on Flickr

38642627941_8671f09439_b.jpgimg4011 by HughieDW, on Flickr

And back round to Hepworth’s for another quick shufty:

37755003265_cacf0f1314_b.jpgimg4018 by HughieDW, on Flickr

37925016814_dd042daecc_b.jpgimg4019 by HughieDW, on Flickr

38642488691_eff0d612cf_b.jpgimg4020 by HughieDW, on Flickr

37924950344_3837465cb0_b.jpgimg4022 by HughieDW, on Flickr

…and that chimney again:

37754848705_da94a2ebf6_b.jpgimg4023 by HughieDW, on Flickr

26866723729_701a612133_b.jpgimg4024bw by HughieDW, on Flickr

38586104856_ab5cefacae_b.jpgimg4025bw by HughieDW, on Flickr

38586095826_0d7139dccf_b.jpgimg4026 by HughieDW, on Flickr

24769933488_9b60967fc2_b.jpgimg4027 by HughieDW, on Flickr

On the way back, I drove past the infamous Dyson’s refractories. It’s now a building site and all that is left is the famous chimney:

38609901052_6824e28ce8_b.jpgimg4028 by HughieDW, on Flickr


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Apr 1, 2012
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I like that second shot with the asbestos roofs and the one with the chimney with the shrub growing out the top and pic 23 with the metal flues on the roof HD:highly_amused: anywhere that has a brick chimney gets a thumbs up from me!

Glad you mention the old Dyson place too, I liked that, it's great they have kept that tall brick chimney as I thought that would have gone if they have cleared the site now, but someone must have cared to save it, maybe it's Listed?

Thanks HD :encouragement:


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Oct 14, 2013
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Nice on one hughie nice report.shame you could not get in.you don't seen to be having much luck at the min.looks like it could be interesting internally


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Aug 15, 2021
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Hi - great pictures lots of atmosphere. Went walking there today and a lot of the security has gone - fences are broken down and you can get right up to /inside a lot of the buildings!


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Jun 7, 2014
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Hi - great pictures lots of atmosphere. Went walking there today and a lot of the security has gone - fences are broken down and you can get right up to /inside a lot of the buildings!

yeah it certainly is an easy explore now, but a lot more trashed because so

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