Monday 16 September 2013

Butcher Works & Freeman College

This weekend, lots of venues were open in Sheffield for the Heritage Open Weekend.  I love this event as they open doors that you never usually get to see behind.  
My blog lurker pal Nic and I decided to make it a full day out on Saturday, so started with a gorgeous "Eggs Benedict" breakfast at the new Tamper Coffee Cafe on Arundel Street - highly recommended.

 The cafe set the scene for the day really as it has been converted from another old workshop in the city.  They have done a fabulous job of it.
 They have a takeaway, an indoor eating place and they also use the courtyard for outdoor eating too.  I love the way they have reused this great old space.
 Our first port of call, was The Butcher Works across the road.  This was one of the first of the larger workshops that the council decided to find a new use for instead of knocking down.  The gent who showed us around was one of archaeologists who worked on the conversion project.  He showed us some really interesting parts of the exterior and showed us how it would have been added to over the years.
 It is now lovely apartments and also houses some exclusive workshops too, but the big secret that I didn't know beforehand was that some area's have been left untouched.
 They have done a great job of renovating the brick work as these workshops were thrown up in a hurry and the bricks were always substandard.

 One of the rooms left untouched is the grinding room - it has a spooky feeling - making you feel like you have literally just stepped back in time.  they do have plans to restore this further, but at the moment it is left as they found it.  Its amazing.

 I loved the very old pair of bellows in here too.

 After our tour, we wandered to the next building which houses the Freeman Clollege which is part of the Ruskin Mill Trust.  Student who have special needs, can learn skills here that are really unique.  This converted old workshop is stunning and the environment and atmosphere in the college is wonderful.  It is truly a unique place.
 We watched one one man making spoons.  The cutlery they produce is beautiful.
 My pal and I also had a go at weaving and needle felting (we didn't make these I hasten to add).
 They have a gallery where you can view the students work.  It was a very welcoming place - we loved it.
 The building is also home to the Fusion Cafe (which I believe is vegetarian) and where you can see an example of the vaulted ceilings that they had to build when they installed the heavy grinding stones on higher floors.
I love this area of Sheffield and yet its an area that many have never explored.  It's full of lovely surprises.


Anonymous said...

You find the most exciting places to visit. Those buildings are rather lovely aren't they?

love those cupcakes said...

I do wish we cared about our old buildings in the same way here. Sadly, we have a council in demolition mode. (To create, along with other messes, and unbelievably, a bypass that goes through the middle of town. Bonkers.)

Lyn said...

we always try and find somewhere to go on the Heritage Open Weekend too. It is a great idea and like you say you get to see some amazing places.

Unknown said...

How lovely - wish I'd have come along too. x

John Going Gently said...

Thanks. For that
I am overdue a visit to Sheffield
This looks a nice place to meet with friends

Lisa said...

Perfect way to start your very interesting day. What an added bonus getting to see some of those rooms in their original state.
Let's hope more people find out about these places from reading your post and go to visit too.
Lisa x

Linda P said...

A great opportunity to see how this project is developing and what has been done already. I do hope they keep that grinding room as much as possible as it is. I love the atmosphere of places that have been left untouched for years.
Thanks for sharing, Diane.

Patricia said...

Sounds like a brilliant day. These heritage days are a wonderful idea. London has a weekend of Open House days this weekend which I'm going to try and get to on Sunday. Your breakfast would certainly have set me up for the day!
Patricia x

HippieGirl said...

Wow, blows my mind how beautiful it is there. Might have to write this down when I get the chance to see the UK; remember to see this!!

Rowan said...

This looks fascinating and you're right, it's an area I've never really explored. Couldn't have done last weekend anyway but will look out for the next Heritage Open Days.

Curtise said...

You know, I still haven't been to Tamper, I MUST go! Your breakfast looks most delicious.
What an interesting day, love all the photos, especially of the Butcher Works. xxx

elsy said...

we were in sheffield saturday diane taking youngest back to uni but due to a mess up with the keys to her new house we didnt get further than a meal on the eckie (!) rd.....tamper cafe will have to wait till next time but have told her to do a recce. love sheffield a lot!