Watch the moment 300ft Saxon Pit chimneys are demolished

A slice of Whittlesey's history disappearing as two 300ft brickwork chimneys are demolished at Saxon Pits 

A slice of Whittlesey's history disappearing as two 300ft brickwork chimneys are demolished at Saxon Pits - Credit: Terry Hsrris

A few minutes earlier than scheduled, the first of two 300ft brickwork chimneys were brought crashing down in controlled explosions.  

Klaxons had sounded ahead of the blast and a keen group of onlookers watched as a slice of Whittlesey’s past was confined to the history books. 

50 Year old Saxon Pits Demolised.. Saxon Pits, PeterboroughFriday 21 May 2021. Picture by Terry H

50 Year old Saxon Pits chimneys demolished.. Saxon Pits, Peterborough Friday 21 May 2021. Picture by Terry Harris. - Credit: © Terry Harris

50 Year old Saxon Pits Demolised.. Saxon Pits, PeterboroughFriday 21 May 2021. Picture by Terry H

50 Year old Saxon Pits chimneys demolished.. Saxon Pits, Peterborough Friday 21 May 2021. Picture by Terry Harris. - Credit: Terry Harris

50 Year old Saxon Pits Demolised..
Saxon Pits, Peterborough
Friday 21 May 2021.
Picture by Terry H

50 Year old Saxon Pits chimneys demolished, Saxon Pits, Peterborough Friday 21 May 2021. Picture by Terry Harris. - Credit: © Terry Harris

On the day, and despite fears that high winds might force a postponement, the demolition went ahead smoothly.  

An exclusion zone ensured 100 per cent safety as nitro-glycerine explosive charges were laid to bring the chimneys down.  

A structural survey recommended that the chimneys could be demolished on safety grounds. 


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Historic England says the Saxon pit has been serving brickworks for over 100 years “and the chimneys are iconic on the skyline, representing a long-standing industry in the area”.

50 Year old Saxon Pits Demolised..
Saxon Pits, Peterborough
Friday 21 May 2021.
Picture by Terry H

50 Year old Saxon Pits chimneys demolished.. Saxon Pits, Peterborough Friday 21 May 2021. Picture by Terry Harris. - Credit: © Terry Harris

 

It is expected that a photographic record of the chimneys prior to, during and following demolition will be made for future generations to consider. 

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Saxon Pit is part of the historic network of former brickworks in Whittlesey; it was a major source of employment for over 100 years. 

Unlikely many other heritage assets, the chimneys are not listed despite the best efforts of county council historians. 

Whittlesey town council and other councillors are, however, more concerned about Saxon Pit’s more recent use for the dumping of waste. 

50 Year old Saxon Pits Demolised..
Saxon Pits, Peterborough
Friday 21 May 2021.
Picture by Terry H

50 Year old Saxon Pits chimneys Demolished.. Saxon Pits, Peterborough Friday 21 May 2021. Picture by Terry Harris. - Credit: © Terry Harris

Fenland Council leader and Whittlesey councillor Chris Boden has said there is still no sight of effective enforcement action being taken in respect of “what at face value appears to be an egregious and substantial breach of the existing site operator's licence with the EA”. 

https://photos.app.goo.gl/EBKvrEp2Y2tFzVNeA

Councillors were invited to today’s demolition but some declined.  

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