Sheffield Tower Blocks and High rise Apartments of the 20th Century

Sheffield has an interesting history of high rise living which stretches back quite a long way. In this selection I intend to present the remaining tower blocks and apartments which remain from the 20th century. Unfortunately there are only a small number left on the ground today.

Upperthorpe 1959 and 1961

In this view from the other side of the valley we can see the area in it's full context. The tall tower in the centre is the Sheffield University Arts Tower, with the large bulk of the Hallamshire Hospital behind it, which we are seeing from the side. To the left of the picture we see the blue and cream Netherthorpe towers at the top of the dual carriageway Netherthorpe road. On the right of the picture we can clearly see the group of 7 brown and cream towers at Upperthorpe. The single highest "Oxford", standing apart from the rest.


On this page we are taking a look at the brown and cream towers.

Alongside the bottom section of Crookesmoor Recreation Ground is a line of towerblocks, which are in the district of Upperthorpe. The lower three were completed in 1959, and later the top 4 joined them to be completed 2 years later in 1961. These blocks originally the same style as the single bedroom blocks at Callow Mount, were modernised and reclad between 1993 and 1996 at a cost to the council of £7 Million.

Refurbishment by Henry Boot

The principle reason for the refurbishment was that the thermal insulation was extremely poor and it was making the living conditions bad for the residents because heating had become expensive and difficult to afford for people on low incomes. Insulation was not an important consideration when the towers were originally built because fuel was much cheaper in 1960 and it was not something which anyone thought of as a priority. The lack of insulation and poor state of the buildings was blamed on some of the health problems of the residents, as evidenced by damp apartments. Also the Co2 immissions for the blocks was below that required by the UK government, security was an issue, there were vacant flats and problems with residents wanting to move out due to the poor quality of the accommodation. By improving the blocks the owners ( Sheffield Council ) wanted to increase the value of the property, and their desirability which would make it much easier for them to be let to tennents.

The blocks were wrapped in rockwool, then clad with an aluminium rainscreen, the underfloor heating was replaced with a municipal gas fired heating scheme, and the open balconies were enclosed with glass. All windows were replaced with sealed double glazed units.

The flats had an existing problem referred to as "cold bridging" where each floor slab was exposed all the way around at it's edge as part of the external wall of each tower, this had the effect of cooling the floors and was solved with the new cladding method.

The first 4 blocks were completed by 1994, the final 3 were complete by 1996. By 1998 the same contractors "Henry Boot" had also improved the 4 similar Netherthorpe blocks ¼ of a mile away toward the city centre.

 

 

Here, looking up from the bottom of Martin Street, we can see Adelphi, Martin, Burlington, and Bond in that order.

 

Block Name Top to Bottom Address Tot Floors Residential Floors Bedrooms per Apartment Total Bedrooms in Block Year Completed
Oxford 469 - 563 Oxford Street
13
12
1
48
1961
Albion 481 - 575 Martin Street
13
12
1
48
1961
Bond 385 - 479 Martin Street
13
12
1
48
1961
Burlington 289 - 383 Martin Street
13
12
1
48
1961
Martin 193 - 287 Martin Street
13
12
1
48
1959
Adelphi 97 - 191 Martin Street
13
12
1
48
1959
Wentworth 1 - 95 Martin Street
13
12
1
48
1959

 

 

Here I am taking you on a walk from the bottom of the hill up to the top


The First group of 3 blocks were the first to be built in 1959

1 Wentworth

This block was named after Wentworth Street which was parallel to Martin Street until the 1950s when in the post war slum clearences, the back to back houses on that street and this whole area were demolished and replaced by modern houses including these flats.

 

 

2 Adelphi

This block takes its name from Adelphi Street which crossed martin street here until the 1950s when the flats were constructed. Adelhpi street was full of small dwellings which were cleared in the post war slum clearences

 

3 Martin

This block takes the name of this street where all these flats stand

 

 

 


A second look at the index table

Block Name Top to Bottom Address Tot Floors Residential Floors Bedrooms per Apartment Total Bedrooms in Block Year Completed
Oxford 469 - 563 Oxford Street
13
12
1
48
1961
Albion 481 - 575 Martin Street
13
12
1
48
1961
Bond 385 - 479 Martin Street
13
12
1
48
1961
Burlington 289 - 383 Martin Street
13
12
1
48
1961
Martin 193 - 287 Martin Street
13
12
1
48
1959
Adelphi 97 - 191 Martin Street
13
12
1
48
1959
Wentworth 1 - 95 Martin Street
13
12
1
48
1959

 

Now onto the upper group of Blocks which were built slightly later in 1961

4 Burlington

This block takes it's name from Burlington street which originally crossed the site but now only goes as far as Martin Street.

 

 

5 Bond

This block is named after Bond Street, which also dissapeared in the redesign of the area in the 1950s and 1960s

 

 

6 Albion

This Block Takes it's name from Albion Street, just across the road.

 

 

 

7 Oxford

This highest block is offset to the right from the alignment of the rest of the towers, it is located on the corner of Martin street and Oxford Street.

 

 

 

 


In June 2010 Paul johnson Contacted the webmaster with update pictures for these pages, here follows a selection with grateful thanks.