Abandoned Underground Medical Centre of Firth Brown Steels, Sheffield

abandoned-sheffield-firth-brown-steels-medical-2 (Image: Paul-Powers.com; Firth Brown Steels’ abandoned underground medical centre)

The days of high employment and mass production in the UK steel industry are sadly over, but the city of Sheffield remains a major player in metallurgy and specialist steel-making. Back in its glory days, however, the iconic Steel City truly was a northern powerhouse. It was here in the 1740s that Benjamin Huntsman discovered the crucible technique – the same decade that Thomas Boulsover accidentally invented Sheffield Plate. Just over 100 years later, Henry Bessemer’s eponymous Bessemer converter rendered Huntsman’s method obsolete. Then, in 1912, Harry Brearley invented stainless steel.

abandoned-sheffield-firth-brown-steels-medical (Image: Paul-Powers.com; time capsule: Firth Brown’s mysterious medical centre)

Brearley achieved this quantum industrial leap while working in the Brown Firth Research Laboratories, a joint venture between local steel-makers John Brown & Company and Thomas Firth & Sons. The two firms would eventually merge in 1930, becoming Firth Brown Steels. And though it’s now part of the massive Sheffield Forgemasters, some of the grand old Firth Brown buildings still stand – echoes of industrial innovation that haven’t yet given up all their secrets.

Exploring Firth Brown’s Abandoned Underground Medical Centre

abandoned-sheffield-firth-brown-steels-medical-3 (Image: Paul-Powers.com; the abandoned underground medical centre today)

One of the most intriguing aspects of the company’s compelling hidden history is the abandoned underground medical centre, which is located – or perhaps buried – somewhere on or near the old Firth Brown Steels complex on Carlisle Street East.

We’re not sure where, exactly, and urban explores who’ve documented the site on forums like 28 Days Later have remained tight lipped, no doubt in a bid to protect this haunting time capsule from the unwanted attention of mindless vandals.

abandoned-sheffield-firth-brown-steels-medical-4 (Image: Paul-Powers.com)

Morris earlier wrote in our feature on the abandoned places of Sheffield: “As such a vast business, it was deemed necessary for [Firth Brown] to have a medical centre on site. And it’s this ruined old medical centre that we’re interested in today. Only down here, in these cracked and grimy rooms, can you really appreciate how much life has changed in 100 years.”

As these images by Paul Powers and True British Metal reveal, the abandoned underground medical centre of Firth Brown Steels still bears an old-time atmosphere. The entire place has a spooky wartime feel to it, and an air of melancholy and decay permeates the scene.

abandoned-underground-medical-centre-sheffield (Image: True British Metal)

It appears to have changed little over the years, though some graffiti scrawled on the walls of a derelict consulting room bears the date ‘1956’, suggesting the now-abandoned medical centre was still in use after the war. Contributors on the Sheffield Forum appear to back this up. One former employee recounts a visit their in the late 1970s or early ’80s with a friend who’d injured his leg in an industrial accident.

abandoned-underground-medical-centre-sheffield-2 (Image: True British Metal)

What is less clear, however, is whether the abandoned Firth Brown medical facility is actually underground at all. Some forum users suggest the ghost rooms lie intact but buried, though clearly still accessible. Others, however, allude to the idea that the term ‘underground’ is used more metaphorically, in reference to the hidden or even secret nature of the facility.

Either way, the underground medical centre’s specific location isn’t revealed. Posters on the Sheffield Forum identify its general location as Carlisle Street East, but beyond that, urban explorers are maintaining their characteristic silence. And if it means this amazing time capsule endures, that’s absolutely fine by us.

abandoned-underground-medical-centre-sheffield-3 (Image: True British Metal)

Related – 10 Fascinating Offbeat Places in Sheffield, South Yorkshire

 
 


 
 
 

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