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The Park Square Hole


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hilldweller

I've posted before about the air shaft / emergency exit for the old Nunnery Pit that stood up above Sheaf Street. It was behind the one time home of Mudfords the canvas people on South street. My father once had to come out that way when the cage winder failed.

I wonder if it was located where the present hole appeared ?

I do remember something about a mine shaft being filled in when the Sheaf Square was built.

HD

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I've posted before about the air shaft / emergency exit for the old Nunnery Pit that stood up above Sheaf Street. It was behind the one time home of Mudfords the canvas people on South street. My father once had to come out that way when the cage winder failed.

I wonder if it was located where the present hole appeared ?

I do remember something about a mine shaft being filled in when the Sheaf Square was built.

HD

I would say the hole that appeared was in the area of the Norfolk Brewery,

Flas Earth

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Norfolk Brewery plan below. Presumably the "Midland Pumping Station" was part of the brewery - supplying the Mineral Water Department and brewery with water from a bore hole?

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  • 2 months later...
History dude

I was talking to a tram conductor the other day and though the hole is filled in it's only a tempory fix.

He told me that the hole was actually connected with the River Sheath. When Park Square was constructed they built a structure over the River that would take the normal level of the water plus a bit extra. But thanks to our changing climate we haven't had the normal flow of water plus the bit extra allowed for. As a result the soil has washed away and sunk. Thus creating a hole that has been filled with basalt for the time being. A 5 mph speed restriction is in place at present.

But as soon as the weather warms up Park Square will be closed to the trams and the hole will be sorted out.

However this will take at least one month!!!

So it's back to replacement buses. There's also some rails to be replaced elsewhere, where the trams run on railway track this will be done quickly. However when the tracks join the roads that takes longer to do.

So expect more tram chaos in 2015!

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hilldweller

I could understand if the subsidence was associated with generally lowered water tables in the general area of the culverted River Sheaf but the actual river is in a very substantial culvert well to the west of where the hole appeared.

The second part of the culvert starts at the bottom of Pond Hill (where the river is open for a short distance) and flows under the corner of the Pond's Forge Baths, it then flows in a slight curve to it's junction with the Don by Blonk Street Bridge.

Those intrepid Herberts on the UK Urban Exploration Forums make regular explorations down there and the size of the culvert in the last section under the Exchange Street area is truely awesome. If you Google Megatron Sheffield you will find photos of the entire culvert from Queen's Road to the River Don. The photo's will be copyright 'so I won't post them but the parabolic brick arch section is of gigantic proportions, you can gauge some idea of the size from blokes stood in some of the photo's. There must be millions of bricks involved in the construction which begs the question when was that section of the culvert built ?

I think the arch section is somewhere under where the old Fruit and Veg Market was.

It seems funny that no old photos of it's construction appear in Picture Sheffield. I remember some bods from the University doing a dig in what was then a car park and exposing the top of the arch.which wasn't very far down.

If that arch ever fell down they'd be able to garage the entire Supertram fleet down there with room for Manchester's fleet as well..

HD

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History dude

From what I understand of Railways when the track is laid down it also has to have drainage system or the line would flood. Unlike roads were the water drains to the side, railways drain at the centre. This is one of the reasons why new roads are never built on old railway lines. I think this is connected with the underlying structure and is what is the cause of the problem. After all you never see puddles of water on the tracks in Park Square! So it has to go somewhere. One fairly small hole can be the tip of the iceberg. I suppose we will find out how much infilling is needed what they start work on it next year.

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History dude

I have to add also that I'm not a fan of those people on the UK Urban Exploration Forum. Some of them go into these underground water system with no proper equipment and no consideration for how much danger they could do to themselves or others. They have no idea if these places are safe to go into. They certainly have never asked permission to journey into these places.

Therefore HD I'm glad that you did not post these links. Copyright indeed, I liked to see someone who took the picture take someone to court for using it! Since the picture(s) was taken illegally and they were probably trespassing that would be fun to watch!

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Sheffield History

I have to add also that I'm not a fan of those people on the UK Urban Exploration Forum. Some of them go into these underground water system with no proper equipment and no consideration for how much danger they could do to themselves or others. They have no idea if these places are safe to go into. They certainly have never asked permission to journey into these places.

Therefore HD I'm glad that you did not post these links. Copyright indeed, I liked to see someone who took the picture take someone to court for using it! Since the picture(s) was taken illegally and they were probably trespassing that would be fun to watch!

Live and let live

I find that post a little bit bitter to be fair

The urban explorers of our city bring us some truly fantastic photographs of the city that we'd never get to see otherwise

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History dude

I have a video camera I could go around filming all sorts of things. But I wouldn't do that if it was a place where I could put my life at risk, or that might require a 999 call. Going into places such as underground tunnels is very dangerous. I have seen photo's from them where they have gone into parts of the River Sheaf that had workmen working in them. They could have fetched the whole structure down, or caused an accident which would have required the emergency services to be involved, costing money and all for a nice picture!

I really can't believe Sheffield History would condone behaviour from people who do things with scant regards to safety and what must be illegal in the first place. If that is the case you might as well let people post the Picture Sheffield pictures or copyright material from Sheffield Archives without permission. After all it can't do any harm to post them... Can it?

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Just come to this thread so maybe a bit late, but remember that Park Square was raised by some 20 feet when Supertram was constructed to allow the tramway to bridge roads. There was a heck of a lot concrete used in there, along with fill from various sites. I was talking with some bods who took down the traction pole where the hole had appeared, (it's a bit further north than the area circled on the plan) and at that stage they were unsure why it had formed.

The square is unstable in a few locations, the high mast lighting column opposite Commercial Street on Park Square developed a lean about 10 years ago, its concrete base was intact but the ground around it was sinking. When we got the experts report of the surrounding ground it became apparent that we would have to have a new base constructed in a different area, so a new one was made about 15 feet further away, the bolts of the old base which to mast was fixed on are still in the grassed area.

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