Sheffield Crown Court - The Cells

History of Sheffield Crown Court

Sheffield Old Town Hall stands in centre of Sheffield, England. The building was commissioned to replace Sheffield’s first town hall, which had opened in 1700 to a design by William Renny. This first structure stood by the parish church, on a site with little prospect for extension. The Old Town Hall was built in 1807–8 by Charles Watson, and was designed to house not only the Town Trustees but also the Petty and Quarter Sessions. The initial building was a five-bay structure fronting Castle Street, but it was extended in 1833 and again in 1866 by William Flockton (1804-1864) of Sheffield and his partner for the project, Abbott; the most prominent feature was the new central clock tower over a new main entrance that reoriented the building to Waingate. At the same time, the building’s courtrooms were linked by underground passages to the neighbouring Sheffield Police Offices. The first Town Council was elected in 1843 and took over the lease of the Town Trustees’ hall in 1866. The following year, the building was extensively renovated, with a clock tower designed by Flockton & Abbott being added. By the 1890s, the building had again become too small, and the current Sheffield Town Hall was built further south. The Old Town Hall was again extended in 1896-7, by the renamed Flockton, Gibbs & Flockton, and became Sheffield Crown Court and Sheffield High Court. In the 1990s, these courts moved to new premises, and since at least 1997 to present, the building remains disused.

In 2007, it was named by the Victorian Society as one of their top ten buildings most at-risk. The present owners have had the old Town Hall since 2004 but it has stood empty since then. It is Grade II listed and was supposed to go to auction in October 2008, but when BBC Radio Sheffield contacted the auctioneers they hadn’t been paid their fees so it wouldn’t be able to go under the hammer.

Our Visit

Visited with AndyK of  Behind Closed Doors photography and Donna. It was good to revisit this place once more. I can’t say a great deal has changed in the place since my visit last year… The hall that connects the 2nd large courtroom and the judges chambers was covered in about 1″-2″ of water which shows that the roof had started to fail again. The floors seemed to be getting pretty unsafe towards the staircase at the back of the chambers, in particular, the floor in the toilet at the top of the stairs had completely collapsed. A short but fun visit, thanks to Donna for doing a bit of modeling again, on with the photos…

Don’t forget to check out my previous visits from these abandoned courts:

Sheffield Crown Court, South Yorkshire – November 2012

Sheffield Crown Court, South Yorkshire – March 2013 (revisit)

Sheffield Crown Court, South Yorkshire – July 2013 (revisit 2)

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 🙂

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