Sleaford Bass Maltings - The Spiral Staircase

History of Sleaford Bass Maltings

This place was built between 1901 and 1906 for the sole purpose of facilitating three key stages in the beer making process. The site was originally purchased by Bass Ratcliff & Greeton Ltd in 1901 and plans for the huge site were prepared by Mr H A Couchman who had prepared designs for various other Bass projects. The site itself comprises of approximately 500,000 sq ft of floorspace and cost at the time roughly £350,000 to construct. The main construction comprises of 8 huge malt houses, a large central water tower close to a tall chimney and the engine houses plus a few smaller ancillary buildings.

Considered to be of special architectural and historical interest, the Sleaford Bass Malting’s were Grade II listed in 1974. only two years later a severe fire spread through the central area which suffered considerable damage. Despite the intensity of the blaze, the structural integrity of the majority of the buildings remained intact due to the quality of the original construction, and this fact probably played a key role in saving the building from demolition when an application was made in 1982.

In 2011 it was announced that the site which had been previously placed on the ‘at risk’ registry maintained by the English Heritage, had now become a national priority. Plans which were announced to develop the site into mixed housing, offices and apartments have currently been stalled by Local Sleaford Council decisions not to sell off land which would lead to a new road being build to allow better access for a proposed new Tesco store. No doubt after tougher negotiations take place the sale of the land will go through and the area will be redeveloped. It will be positive to see these buildings put back into use.

1905 – Built at a cost of £350,000
1939 – Full production on the current site stops
1959 – Malting ceases completely
1973 – Padleys acquire site
1976 – Fire takes place
1982 – Listed Grade 2*
2000 – Poultry production ceases
2006 – Leased by Gladedale Ltd
2009 – Planning application submitted by Gladedale

Planning permission was granted on the 14th November 2011 for the conversion of Sleaford Maltings. the agreement includes mixed use development of 204 residential units, 5,800 sqm health care and community facilities, 1391 sqm of restaurant/retail, associated car parking and development of 24 residential units. The site will be developed by Gladedale known as Avant Homes and the sceme is expected to cost in the region of £56 million.

21st July 2014: News report confirm that the 5 fire engines are currently tackling a blaze at the abandoned Bass Maltings (Source: Sleaford Standard). The fire comes only a month after the BBC had reported a potential legal dispute between the town and district councils over a compulsory purchase order which had been initiated on the site (Source: BBC News).

Our Visit

Visited with AndyK of Behind Closed Doors Photography and Kriegaffe. This is one of those places that is not a million miles away from me but I have never visited, despite having seen many a nice picture coming from these buildings. When the suggestion was made I jumped at the chance to got grab a few snaps of that spiral staircase. The place is pretty huge and really dominates the skyline as you approach! We only got into a couple of buildings but thankfully one of those was the water tower with the famous staircase :). Rooftop was fun, although a little too cold wet and windy to stay up there too long! Enjoy the photos:

Want to see more photos of this place? check out AndyK’s report here: Bass Maltings


If you’ve made it this far… thanks for reading / checking out the pictures. Leave me a comment below or hit the like button to let me know you’ve enjoyed the shots and to encourage me to keep posting more 🙂

Limited Edition prints and Canvases, as well as regular prints, are available for all of the images above on request and visit the store for more prints and products.

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AndyK! says:

This was a fun visit, and was nice to see the place in daylight. Some stunning pics here, particularly liking the view away from the spiral staircase and the shot through the roof. Lots of win all round.


Cheers mate it was a good day out, lots of shots and really glad I got to finally see this place! must find access to those walk of death wooden walkways next time!