A TRIBUTE to York’s industrial past is being created within a housing scheme in the city.

Work is under way on what might be the first specially designed display area for industrial artefacts in a UK housing scheme.

York property developer Northminster Ltd is working with The Association for Industrial Archaeology (AIA) to conserve historic brewing artefacts at Clementhorpe Maltings in the city, which it is converting into six townhouses in a £2 million regeneration scheme.

The former 19th-century Grade II listed maltings house, which was disused for half a century, is among only a few to have survived.

It is even rarer for still housing the original maltings artefacts, including a double-bucket elevator, a large hopper for grain storage, a seed-dressing machine, a cast-iron steep and furnace.

Tadcaster Tower Brewery Company, founded in 1882 with the amalgamation of three local breweries, used the 10,000 sq ft maltings house from 1895 until the late 1950s.

It is not known exactly how old many of the artefacts are, but the seed-dressing machine dates from the 1920s and was built by agricultural machinery manufacturers Nalder & Nalder Ltd, Wantage, which ceased trading in 1959 after 102 years.

Other original historic features such as timber trusses, malt bin doors and steel mesh used on the drying room floors are being re-used as design features in the redevelopment.

Northminster Ltd is creating the display area in a communal entrance to the houses so their owners and visitors can enjoy them as they walk in. Many of the items, which are being left in place, will also be visible from the dining room and bedroom windows of some of the finished properties.

Northminster development surveyor Alastair Gill said: “We are integrating the original features within the redevelopment as a permanent reminder of the listed structure’s Victorian industrial past.

“The artefacts will add to the heritage feel of the homes.”

Civil engineer Nick Beilby, a member of the AIA who is advising Northminster Ltd, said: “I’m providing basic engineering advice for the conservation, including using engine oil for the ironwork and belt dressing for the leather belting.

“Northminster Ltd should be applauded for the trouble they are taking. It would be very easy for them to have discarded these artefacts but they value the building’s heritage and have incorporated them into its future use.”

The refurbishment by York building company Croft Farm Construction is scheduled to be completed this autumn. York-based property and construction consultants LHL Group Ltd are the project managers and local estate agents Hudson Moody are marketing the development.