The maltings were also damaged by three fires. Little is known about the 1969 fire (presumably it was
contained and any damage repaired) but a fire in 1976 swept through the central area and partially destroyed three
malt houses, the Barley Kiln and the Green Barley Store (or Barley Screen). A third fire in 1999
damaged malting house #1, but we didn’t explore that area.
The damage we observed was all from the 1976 fire. It shows how well the buildings were constructed because
their shells are still considered structurally sound.
The site has now been acquired by Gladedale Special Projects who plan to convert most of the site to 204
residential dwellings, healthcare, community facilities, retail, restaurant space and office space (which begs the question
whether there’s anything else left to throw in the mix). Some areas affected by the 1976 fire will have to be demolished
but the majority will be put to a new use.
Therefore it makes a change to explore a building which has a potentially bright future.
We left the Maltings in high spirits, our encounter with security soon forgotten. And we’d made perfect time,
because I’d pencilled in another site for the late afternoon: the return to St John’s in Bracebridge Heath.
© Simon Cornwell 2009