Pilkington Glass

This Glass Factory was constructed between 1919 and 1922 at a huge cost to the company "Pilkington Glass" which itself has been trading since 1826. Since the takeover by a Japanese company, NSG, in 2006 this factory was left neglected until its final closure in 2008 causing the loss of 100s of jobs. the site was late sold in 2009 but left abandoned ever since.

During its 80 years of operation the Doncaster factory employed thousands of employees and was well known worldwide for their advancements in the manufacturing of glass. the site originally manufactured plate glass in the traditional methods which included huge grinding machines to flatten the glass. Pilkingtons later develop the continuous flow process for "Float Glass" where molten glass is poured over a molten tin bath at 1000C, this process produced high quality glass without the need for grinding and was much quicker and cost effective advancing the glass manufacturing industry hugely.

Pilkingtons in Doncaster was a manufacturing monster, peaking at ~3,000 employees but by 1966 was only running at 56% capacity. As the glass industry advanced the Doncaster site remained using traditional methods which could have been a factor into the site eventually closing its doors. 

Since closing this has been a hot spot for the urbex community appreciated for the colours, state of decay and sheer size. the factory is now being demolished for further development projects such as housing and space for up and coming businesses. 

WH Shaw Pallet Works

These buildings are classed as the "Dobcross Loom Works" and were built in 1860. For 37 years, until 2006, it was home to one of the largest pallet works in Europe.

The stunning building at the entrance known locally as ‘The Cathedral’, the main building housing the clock tower. The building with the clock tower is a Grade II listed building and any future development of the site will have to incorporate that building into their plans.

Nothing is left of the loom works, but the Pallet Works’ site, covers 22 acres, is up for re-development. The buildings were used for munitions in World War I and for making parts for Russian submarines in World War 2.


After over 36 years of making wooden pallets, and a major employer of the village, the factory closed down in 2006 after going into administration. There was a huge auction at the factory on the 7th March 2007 when to name just a few of the items sold were Eight Fork Lift Trucks,Pallet Trucks, Climax 90 Sideloader, Ford Agricultural Tractor, Rolls Royce Diesel Generator, Wellman Robey Ygnis & Senior Green Gas Fired Steam Boilers, Atlas Copco Air Compressors, Pressure Washers, Welding & Fitters Shop Equipment including Mig Tig Welders, Cut Off Saws, Power Hacksaw, Drills, Degreasing Bath, Collectible Office (Partners Desk & Boardroom) Furniture & Equipment including computers, Canteen & Kitchen Equipment. Three Scania Sleeper Cab Tractor Units, Leyland Daf 85 330 Shunter Tractor Unit and a Ford Transit 190 Dropside Tipper.

At one time the factory even had its own buses transporting staff to and from the pallet works.'

Retro Substation 

Zombie Tool Makers

This building was built in the 1850’s before, in 1937, becoming home to one of the most recognisable tool makers in a city iconic for its manufacturing abilities.

The company ran operations for 71 years. At some point in the early 1970s the facility was the target of a payroll robbery that took place on the stairs that lead up from under the bridge to the wages department. The gang had posed as decorators painting the stairwell to gain access, and threw acid in the face of a security guard. He was ok, though rumour has it that it was an unsuspecting production manager that had held the door open to let the robbers in.


its 3.7 acres was up for sale but is used as a venue for “zombie experience Airsoft” until further plans are made. Planning permission granted in 2008 allows for demolition, alteration and extension, but also for the retention and conversion of two buildings. It is 100,000 Sq.ft in size and is spread over a 4 floor factory and a 2 floor office block.

Rock Nook Mill

Classic Car Water Plant

By the side of the water works is an old garage which used to restore old cars, it is unsure what happened to this company. Redmires Reservoirs are fed from various small streams including Fairthorn Clough from the Hallam Moors. Consisting of three reservoirs known as Upper, Middle and Lower, these were built to supply clean drinking water to the local city following a Cholera epidemic in 1832. The Water Treatment Works are located beside the Lower reservoir The old treatment plant. dating back to 1950. the water works used seven horizontal pressure filters which were installed in 1950 and clear water tank which was installed 1983. Preliminary treatment of the water began in the lower reservoir before it was filtered. Lime was added to separate the natural aluminium from the water, making it clump together so it could be filtered out. The Treatment Works produced water below modern standards, although it was still safe to drink. The water was of a satisfactory colour and cleanliness, but iron and aluminium levels were too high. A new plant was constructed opposite the old works in 1986-8 and made use of the Australian system called the Sirofloc Process. The water from this new plant was then piped to the old works to be filtered as a final process. Today the old treatment works are in a poor state, it has been abandoned and lies derelict.

Permanite Asphalt

Permanite Asphalt was incorporated in 1989 although the site was previously operational as part of the Cawdor Quarry complex. Permanite Asphalt later transitioned into Ruberoid and then finally taking on the parent companies name “IKO Group”. The site was close around 2009, 7 years before the company was dissolved.

This Derbyshire plant manufactured asphalt flooring blocks which were used as a waterproof flooring of new buildings.


The process included taking powdered limestone from local quarries and mixing it with hot bitumen brought down from Ellesmere port. The bitumen was readily available due to it being a bi-product of the fuel oil-refining processes in the area. The mixed solution was then poured into moulds which were stored on the floor of one of the large sheds to cure before stacking in storage buildings.

The plant saw many developments around the 80’s when a big investment into automated machines was made, replacing many workers. Despite best efforts to keep the plant running autonomously the machines were unreliable and often broke down.