Restoration of historic Kelham gatehouse well underway

Published 28th November 2016 at 12:13pm

The restoration of a building acknowledged as one of the most important pieces of industrial architecture in Sheffield is well underway, and one quirk of its age is being left for all to see. The gatehouse at Green Lane Works, in Kelham Island, was placed on the ‘At Risk’ register by Historic England, but now developer Citu is ensuring its future for years to come.

The building, which dates from 1860, will form a key part of Little Kelham, a development over over 250 low-carbon homes. The restored gatehouse will be an entrance to the new community, and will also house office space, apartments and a new bar-restaurant.

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Restoration work has included replacing the roof and some of the damaged timbers which form the skeleton of the clock tower. Over the years, as the timbers have rotted and become damaged, the top of the clock tower has developed a lean, clearly visible with the naked eye. Rather than try and correct the lean, the conservation team has simply strengthened the structure to ensure it doesn’t move any further.

Chris Thompson, Managing Director of Citu, said: “This is just the first phase of bringing this stunning heritage building back to its former glory. “The leaning clock tower is something that has happened over a number of years and we think it’s part of the building’s charm, so we have made it secure and are cleaning, redressing it, ensuring that it will be a key part of Kelham Island for many, many years to come. “We’re looking forward to the next phase of the building’s restoration and eventually seeing the gatehouse become a focal point of the Kelham Island community again.”

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Citu is also repairing the clock as well has replacing leadwork, cleaning masonry and re-rendering elements of the gatehouse. New, energy efficient double glazed heritage windows have been made by local company Crookes & Son Joinery.

Craig McHugh, from Historic England, which provided grant funding for the project, said: “Driven by industry and innovation Kelham Island has been evolving restlessly for over 150 years, creating the vibrant mix of uses and buildings that gives the place its character today.  We’re delighted to see that the repair works are underway to this landmark building as part of the latest chapter in the area’s regeneration.”

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Funding for this phase of Little Kelham also came from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Growing Places Fund backed by the SCR JESSICA Fund. The SCR JESSICA Fund provides funding for solid, viable schemes in Sheffield City Region. It is focused on economic growth and employment in Sheffield City Region by providing modern employment space to attract new employers and encouraging existing businesses to grow.

William Church, Director at CBRE and SCR JESSICA Fund Manager, said: “We are delighted to be able to help the Sheffield City Region in supporting such a scheme through the SCR JESSICA fund. Bringing back such iconic buildings to economic use encapsulates everything that the Fund, established by Sheffield City Council and Sheffield City Region, supports – great placemaking and job creation.”

In his book on Sheffield, renowned architecture writer Nikolaus Pevsner described the Green Lane Works Clock Tower as “the most spectacular survival of factory architecture in Sheffield.” Early drawings of the Green Lane Works gatehouse show it originally had two wings, which were later demolished. Building work on two new wings is well underway. All but one of the newly converted Green Lane Works Clock Tower apartments have been sold. Next year work will begin on converting the adjacent Green Lane Works Riverside building into apartments

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