The Dilapidated Salvation Army Citadel in Cross Burgess Street, Sheffield

(Image: Google Street View. The former Salvation Army Citadel in Sheffield)

In the centre of Sheffield, Britain’s old Steel City, stands a forlorn Salvation Army citadel that has been abandoned for more than a decade. The dilapidated red-brick structure near the corner of Cross Burgess Street and Pinstone Street, occupies a prime location in the heart of the industrial city. But apart from a brief period of control by the anti-capitalist group Occupy Sheffield, in 2012, the religious corps building’s future remains empty.

Sheffield’s Salvation Army citadel is a Grade II listed building and dates to around 1890, though it was “altered” in 1950, according to the Historic England website. Its distinctive castellated facade was typical of Salvation Army corps buildings, reflecting the Christian organisation’s quasi-military structure.

(Image: Fiona – website)

Historic England describes the citadel’s interior as follows: “Theatre-like auditorium has canted corners and ramped seating, and a gallery and cross beams carried on cast-iron posts. Steel trussed roof with large central rooflight. Altered plain proscenium arch with platform and pulpit in front.”

Unfortunately, the Cross Burgess Street building, one of various abandoned and empty corps buildings featured in an earlier article, has been unused since the local Salvation Army corps moved to a new premises in Psalter Lane more than ten years ago. The Sheffield Telegraph reported in 2012 that the citadel was owned by a developer, but efforts to convert it into a bar had fallen foul of council planning rules. Permission was later granted to turn it into shops.

(Image: Fiona – website)

In January 2016 the Star newspaper included the neglected citadel in an article about the South Yorkshire city’s at-risk buildings. According to the newspaper: “The Victorian Society’s list of most endangered buildings also includes The Salvation Army Citadel on Cross Burgess Street in the city centre, St Michael’s RC Mortuary Chapel at City Road Cemetery and All Saints’ Mission Room on Forncett Street, Burngreave. The list was created in 2014 to raise awareness and since then, the group has been given permission to convert the Citadel into a shop, as part of the new Retail Quarter.”

The long-awaited Sheffield Retail Quarter has been in the pipeline for years. But ongoing delays have long kept the ambitious scheme on hold. That was until a few weeks ago, when the Star reported that the project was finally poised to break ground with construction of a new office block on the site of the demolished Grosvenor House Hotel.

With the proximity of the “Grotty Grosvenor” site to Cross Burgess Street, hopefully the long-overdue development of the Sheffield Retail Quarter will bring about a change of fortunes for the abandoned Salvation Army Citadel also.

(Image: Ian S)

The Protestant building also hit the news in January 2012 when members of Occupy Sheffield moved, having spent the previous two months camping outside the cathedral. The Sheffield Telegraph reported at the time “the anti-capitalist protesters say they will “make the building safe and secure and will then open it for public use”. Community groups that can no longer afford to pay for accommodation because of funding cuts will be able to use the building, which has been renamed The Citadel of Hope.”

With a presence in 127 countries and a global membership of over 1.5 million people, the Salvation Army is best known as the international organisation that runs thrift stores, charity shops and shelters, and provides disaster relief around the world. It’s also a Christian Protestant church, founded in London’s East End in 1865 by former Methodist minister William Booth and his wife Catherine.

Read Next: Freemasonry Forsaken: 16 Abandoned Masonic Lodges, Temples & Halls


About the author: Tom




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