5 unusual Yorkshire structures with listed status
PUBLISHED: 21:40 12 November 2017 | UPDATED: 21:43 12 November 2017
Not all of Yorkshire’s treasured buildings are hundreds of years old.
This is one concrete building that is definitely not a monstrosity. When the amazing Grade II St John and St Mary Magdalene Church in Goldthorpe was built in 1916 it became only the second church in the world made from semi-ferro concrete. This was reckoned to be the building material of the future and needing little maintenance, which was especially appealing as the church was built during the Great War when skilled craftsmen were away fighting. Despite its modernity, the church was designed in an Italianate style and it soon became popular. Unfortunately the hopes for concrete didn’t materialise and rainwater corroding the iron work almost reduced the place to rubble. Architects trained in repairing ancient stonework had to learn new techniques to patch it up and ensure this marvel stands for many more years.
Daleks on the Humber
There are many fine lighthouses in the British Isles, many are triumphs of engineering built on precarious rocky outcrops lashed by the weather. But let’s hear it for the lesser lights of our stormy coast in the shape of two Grade II 20ft examples overlooking the Humber Estuary at Paull. They were built in 1870 by Trinity House to help trawlers navigate through a deep water channel with skippers lining up on them both to fix their position. One looks remarkably like a Dalek and was installed on rails so it could be moved to cope with shifting mudbanks, meanwhile its red painted partner was built on stilts. As lighthouses go they are tiddlers and were retained despite a re-alignment of sea defences locally in 2003. They won’t feature in a book of romantic lighthouses, but they are still keeping seafarers safe as they have for nearly 150 years and prove size isn’t everything.
The No.5 Compartment Boat Hoist has graced Goole Docks for over a century. It is the last of its kind anywhere in the UK and a survivor of a bygone age, built to haul 40 tonne coal barges out of the water and tip their contents into ocean going ships. Those barges were called Tom Puddings by the dockers because of their similarity to a string of black puddings as they were towed in lines from Yorkshire’s coalfields by tugs. By the time of the Great War Goole exported more coal than anywhere else in the UK and the hoist was key to its success. Standing over 60 foot tall and powered by hydraulics it handled barges at the rate of one every ten minutes. Only in recent years as this once decaying hulk been given Grade II status and since it has had three spruce ups. Now cherished, it features on the logo of Goole Civic Trust.
Vaunted bridge on the A1
Normally if you drive over an historic monument you would get arrested. Not so on the A1 in West Yorkshire. Wentbridge Viaduct was built during an upgrade to the Great North Road in 1961 and its 94 metre span traverses the River Went. It was declared an historic building because of the novelty of its construction which involved the first use of external pre-stressing cables in the UK. But let’s not get bogged down with technicalities. Its elegance may be hidden from motorists, but seen from below it’s a beautiful bridge built on an epic scale. It even earned international recognition. The viaduct was one of only two bridges from Britain featuring in the Twentieth Century Engineering exhibition at New York’s Museum of Modern Art in 1964. A building magazine at the time was equally impressed - Britain now had a bridge that could hold its own with any on the continent it trumpeted. So the next time you whizz across allow yourself to feel a tingle of pride.
Elegant Emley Moor
If Wentbridge Viaduct hides its beauty, then Emley Moor TV mast displays its across a landscape of hundreds of square miles. Located near Huddersfield and topping out at more than 1,080ft it can even be seen from Sutton Bank, near Thirsk, on a clear Day. This is Britain’s highest free standing structure and was built in 1969 to replace an iced up predecessor that collapsed in a storm. The elegant tower has magnificent views from an observation deck and it takes a lift a full seven minutes to get to the top. Currently the company that owns the mast is looking to build a temporary replacement nearby supported by steel cables so major upgrades can be carried out on the main aerial. That may clutter up the view for a few years, but that’s a small price to pay to give it a more secure future. If Emley Moor mast wasn’t there we would really miss it and that’s a fine recommendation for any building. w