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Alfred Enderby Ltd Fish Smoking and Processing Factory, Grimsby

Description: Alfred Enderby Ltd Fish Smoking and Processing Factory

Grade: II
Date Listed: 16 November 2011
English Heritage Building ID: 1402339

OS Grid Reference: TA2785110828
OS Grid Coordinates: 527851, 410829
Latitude/Longitude: 53.5785, -0.0704

Locality: Grimsby
County: North East Lincolnshire
Country: England
Postcode: DN31 3RP

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Listing Text


An inter-war fish curers with smokehouses, converted from a late-C19/early-C20 building.

Reason for Listing

The Alfred Enderby Ltd Fish Smoking and Processing Factory, an inter-war fish curers, is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural: it is a relatively intact example of a smokehouse retaining its internal framework, fixtures and fittings, which is increasingly rare in the national context
* Regional distinctiveness: the building is a good example of a type which represents the significance of the fishing trade to the economy of Grimsby, and in turn the country as a whole


Goad insurance maps indicate this building was originally constructed as a smithy some time between 1896 and 1905, forming part of a wider cluster of buildings used by Letten Bros. At some point between 1917 and 1928 the building was converted to a fish curers through the insertion of ten traditional tall chimneys. The original L-plan structure as depicted on the 1908 OS map of Lincolnshire was also split into different usages, so that the fish curing business was contained within the footprint as exists today. The former projections to the east and north presumably continued in the ownership of Letten Bros, and were demolished some time between 1933 and 1949. At some point between 1937 and 1955, a steel truss roof and concrete floors were inserted, while three chimneys were removed to make way for refrigeration. These changes may have been due to bomb damage during World War II; a line of incendiaries is known to have been dropped just to the north of Enderby’s. It would not have been worthwhile rebuilding the smokehouses after damage, due to fish supplies being severely restricted during the war. The formerly separate toilet block was connected to the main building after this point. EU hygiene regulations brought in during the 1990s resulted in the insertion of lightweight dropped ceilings and wall covering to the ground floor; however these have not interfered with the earlier fabric of the building.

This smokehouse is likely to have been opened by J W Stookes, who owned the business before it was purchased in 1961 by Alfred Enderby. Enderby had been an employee of the firm since 1936, and after returning from the war ran the business as Managing Director. The company experimented with different species throughout the changing markets of the C20, but continues to smoke haddock and salmon using the traditional cool method. Alfred Enderby Ltd is now one of four companies which form the Grimsby Traditional Fish Smokers Group, which has received EU recognition for its methods.


An inter-war fish curers with smokehouses, converted from a late-C19/early-C20 building.

Materials: Brick with steel truss roof and corrugated iron covering.

Plan: Rectangular aligned south-west to north-east along Maclure Street with a small projection to the south-east.

Exterior: The main elevation to Maclure Street is of painted brick and has a stepped eaves cornice. It is of two storeys and four bays, with a single storey extension to the left incorporating the formerly separate toilet block. The original entrance survives behind this. Windows were previously situated to the first three bays on both floors; two to the ground floor have now been blocked while the other has been shortened. All glazing is renewed. To the right there is a loading bay with roller shutters and a wooden balcony with original wood plank double doors above. There is a brick chimney between bays one and two.

The north-west elevation is rendered and mostly blind, save for a window to the first-floor left and evidence of a blocked entrance to the right. The majority of the ground floor is obscured by a detached property in separate ownership. The narrow smoking tower of rendered brick projects from the right hand side. This is topped by seven pyramidal chimney caps with dormer-style wooden louvers; six are surmounted by later metal cowls.

The south-west gable end is blind and rendered with modern signage. The modern entrance is to the right through the toilet block extension. The north-east gable abuts the adjacent building.

Interior: Against the west wall there are seven brick-built smoke holes (chimneys); six are functioning while the seventh has been converted for storage use. They are each fifteen metres high and one metre square. The individual chambers are closed by timber plank hinged doors to the first floor, while the ground floor has removable as well as hinged panels. The functioning six retain their sawdust pan pits, iron spete rests (the small ‘shelves’ lining either side of the chimneys), doors and panels both to the ground and first floor and harness loops to the first floor. The seventh chamber retains the majority of its character, although it has an inserted door to the ground floor and has lost its spete rests. Partitions between the chimneys to the ground floor have modern metal sheet coverings tacked onto the original surface.

The main entrance is now via the modern porch to the south-east, although once inside the original external door survives. This accesses a concrete stair with wooden handrail and square newels. Both floors are largely open-plan to allow for the free movement and processing of the fish around the chimneys. The ground level contains the wet processing, while the upper level houses the dry. Modern large refrigeration units have been inserted to the north-west corners, although these are free-standing to the first floor. The first floor has an office area with half height brick walls and glazed wooden partitions above. This retains its service counter and hatch, as well as cupboards and shelving. The ground floor has a small inserted staff room to the east. Floors are of concrete with a wooden trap door giving access between the two processing areas. Both storeys have lightweight dropped ceilings. The roof structure is of steel girders with both king and queen trusses and corrugated asbestos covering.

Source: English Heritage

Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.