Guibal Fanhouse “SS Castle”, Eston

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A fantastic building hidden away in the woods, an 1876 fan house to draw fresh air through the mines, the fan inside was 30 feet diameter by 10 feet wide.

Named “SS Castle” due to the wall ties. The layers of graffiti suggest its been a popular haunt for the junior drinkers of Eston and Lazenby for many years.
Guibal Fanhouse Eston 5
Guibal Fanhouse Eston 3
Guibal Fanhouse Eston 4
Guibal Fanhouse Eston 1

The listed building entry calls this “Lovell Drift Fanhouse” but the origin of this is confused. The area was known various as Lazenby Pit / North Drift / Wilton Drift / Eston Quarry / Lowther Quarry bit never Lovell Drift, Lovell Hill is 1 mile to the east.


20 thoughts on “Guibal Fanhouse “SS Castle”, Eston

  1. In my opinion the fanhouse is the most important relic of the Eston mine complex. It is just a shame some pond life chose to vandalise the information board so soon after installation.

  2. my husband was born and bred in lackenby,for as long as i can remember he has always wanted myself and our young family to see and appreciate his’childhood playground’…..After 37 years my husband took us to, as he recalls it being named’ miners trot, such a beautiful walk filled with so many memories,some tearful for mike……untill we got to the S.S castle as the local children called it, what a disgusting display of disrespect to a building of such heritage….how is this aloud to happen?/? graffitti from top to bottom, beer cans,butane gas canisters,, do these vandals realise men lost their lives in this area?? i felt my husbands sorrow, the council should make the little b******s clean it from top to bottom, just another example of the utter disrespect of todays youth, such a bloody shame

    • I agree with you 100%, unfortunately the local council have virtually no interest in preserving out mining heritage as many locations on my website demonstrate.

    • well yesterday eg(28.4.14) i went with my school up eston hills and went in the S.S castle and we were told at the top of eston hills ,the man that produced and directed the movie a century in stone owns the top of eston hills and he wants to own it all to make it all be cleaned up and on the 3rd of May they are doing a litter pick up every single piece of rubbish , and then they will open it up to the public and the ss castle will be cleaned up and who ever was spotted doing it they will be forced to clean it up . Eston Hills will be back to being a beautiful tourist atraction :0)

  3. its disgusting chris, something needs to be done, surly the council would listen if enough people spoke out??? look forward to visitig your website after work.

    • chris ive contacted redcar council and have recieved a response regarding the fan house, they are not sure wether its council owned but it clearly states its a grade 2 listed building, do you have any idea who is responsible for its upkeep?? the council are trying to find out and hopefully something will be done to clean it up, im not going to let it lie many thanks mike

  4. a good few years ago I was a volunteer warden at Lazenby Bank and the fan house was part of our patch and the wardens had the keys for it . Dosn’t prove ownership though !!

  5. Hi everyone.
    I’ve spoke with you a few times before Chris.

    A few years back I attempted to get the council to sort it out, to no avail, gave me the runaround etc.

    I made a Facebook page to gather interest in the restoration and clean up of the SS Castle
    In just over 24 hours it has got over 500 likes and plenty of people willing to volunteer to help clean up etc.

    It is a Grade II listed building built in the 1870s roughly. The building is now privately owned by someone I have been told who lives in Durham. We are trying to chase this person up. I have had councilors get in touch with me already regarding this project. They are getting word out to everyone who may be able to help us with this task.

    With it being Grade II listed, by law nobody can alter the structure without permission. This carries a £20,000 fine and a prison term.

    We have the ball rolling with the Facebook page. Please feel free to take a look and chip in any ideas.


    Michael Readman. Eston.

  6. Saw this fantastic piece of history for the first time today. It’s such a shame that it has been left to go to ruin along with the many other old mine buildings that are dotted across the Eston Hills. I think it’s shameful that our local councils have left our industrial heritage go to rack and ruin when it should be preserved for future generations to lean about Teesside’s industrial heritage. After all, if it wasn’t for our industrial heritage, Teesside would be a completely different place to what it is today.

    Also I’ve joined the Facebook group as posted above, and I wish them every success with their efforts!

  7. When a was a kid we used to go up the ills nearly every day and always ended up at the SS castle many many memories of eston ills ie: the Nab, the Elephants Arse, the Half way mark, Cally Bank , Sheep Dip, Ghost Town with a huge slab of concrete covering Pit Top.
    And if a remember right if you carried on past SS castle towards Wilton bank through the woods there was a lake ( well because we was only kids it seemed like a lake but was probably only a pond never the less we used to swim in it lol) a think it was called the blue lagoon lol…….. great times

  8. The Man Who Directed A Century In Stone , he said he would like to raise other £15grand to buy Eston Hills to make it all clean

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  10. I used to live in Wilton Village as a child. I have many memories of wandering around in the woods as a child, and visiting the SS Castle many times. In those days (late 1960s), there were no grates. You could walk down the inclined shaft. How we never did, I don’t know.

    You could get there from Wilton either by walking up Wilton Bank or by the woodland track from behind Wilton Castle. There was an extensive set of carriage trails I think built for the Lowthers.

    Has anyone photographed the remains of the lion bridge?

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  12. I’ve just read all these comments then noticed there all from years ago apart from the last one , just an update for those interested, there’s a forsake sign at the bottom of the hills beside the motorway but I’m unsure what they are selling

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