A work of sublime beauty

I used to run a series of posts titled ‘Site Unseen’, and it would appear that I’ve not ‘seen’ a sight which I’ve used on countless occasions for years.

Matt Brown, Editor-at-Large at the Londonist recently started a post with: ‘Look me in the eye and tell me that this isn’t a work of sublime beauty’.

The ‘beautiful’ building was the exit ramp in a Romford car park.

In 1993 Romford’s Star Brewery was closed, and with it went the smell on Monday brew day of mashing grains and boiling wort. The brewery’s 165ft high chimney was repaired, re-clad and utilised as a fulcrum for the wraparound spiralling sculpture car park’s entry ramp.

And the object of Matt’s admiration? The exit ramp, a Brutalist concrete perfect spiral, and something of a rarity, London has only one other in Uxbridge, which lacks the symmetry of Romford’s beauty.

Featured image: Romford: The Brewery Development car park access ramp. This spiral car park access ramp is in the south-eastern corner of the development. Havana Close is the road in the foreground. By Nigel Cox (CC BY-SA 2.0).

Romford Brewery car park ramp and brewery chimney. The brewery chimney and Romford Brewery car park ramp. By Snidge (CC BYSA 2.0).

4 thoughts on “A work of sublime beauty”

  1. Back in the day I would wander around Romford Market inhaling the ‘scent’ from the brewery. Like Marmite, sourdough bread & Julian Clary it was one of those things you either loved or hated; no in-between. An elderly lady passed out & collapsed in a heap on the corner of North St. & Market Place when the brewery was going full throttle. I gave her the kiss of life & miraculously she came round before the paramedics arrived, blaming the stench from the brewery making her nauseous & dizzy. I thought at the time that during our ‘kiss’ that it tasted more like she had been sampling the finished product from the brewery rather than just sniffing the air. Thanks for bringing back the memories.


    1. What a brilliant anecdote. My late uncle told me of selling second-hand cars in Romford market alongside cattle being sold in adjacent pens. I once smelt the brewery but too late to smell the cows!


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