Sheffield's most historic 'haunted' pub damaged in arson attack

Carbrook Hall, Sheffield
Carbrook Hall, Sheffield

Sheffield's most historic and haunted pub, dating back to 1176, has been damaged in an arson attack.

Petrol or oil was thrown through a window at Carbrook Hall, Attercliffe, in the early hours of last Sunday - causing smoke and fire damage inside the Grade II* listed building.

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Firefighters extinguished the flames and an investigation established that the blaze was started deliberately.

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Carbrook Hall on Atterclife Common was originally an ancestral family home and later turned into a pub.

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Leading parliamentarian John Bright owned the building during the Civil War and talks took place there ahead of the siege of Sheffield Castle.

It is renowned as one of South Yorkshire's most-haunted buildings, with reports of mischievous spirits throwing bottles around and ghostly apparitions.

The pub closed in February 2017 when it was bought by West Street Leisure, with the new owners insisting that they are keen for the historic building to be preserved, brought back into use and 'into the 21st century'.

A multi-national company is in talks with the owners and possible plans for the building are being drawn up.

The building is registered as an 'asset of community value', making it harder for the owners to sell, demolish or change the use of the premises.

Director Sean Fogg said he is devastated at the blaze.

"The building is steeped in history, it is a massive historical asset for Sheffield," he said.

"We initially had talks with Sheffield Council about Carbrook Hall becoming a museum but the money for that was not there and I respect that council's decision but while it has been empty we have had four break-ins and now the fire.

"I am devastated at the damage. The wood panelling and interiors are irreplaceable. Once they have gone they are lost forever.

"It needs to be brought into the 21st century and used again. It doesn't work as a pub but it is all happening in that area and could work in many other ways. I don't want a supermarket or apartments but it could work as a a quirky cafe bar or an eatery.

"We want it restored so that the whole of Sheffield can benefit and appreciate the splendour of the building again."

Brian Holmshaw, of Sheaf Valley Heritage, who campaigned for the building to be kept as a pub as an 'asset of community value', said he is disappointed at the arson attack.

"We tried to keep it open as a pub because if you keep buildings like this open the likelihood of this sort of thing happening is far less likely.

"This is something we feared as this is what happens when you board up historic buildings and leave them.

"Historic England needs to be notified immediately. They will need to send a team in to assess the damage because there are various areas inside where the heritage value is enormous."

A South Yorkshire Police spokeswoman said: "It was reported that something was thrown through the window causing the property to set alight."

Anyone with information should call South Yorkshire Police on 101.