#262 – Prestolite of Leyland

I was quite surprised to stumble across this vast crumbling edifice, less than 10 minutes from my home, as most of the former Leyland Motors plants in Leyland had been cleared. Yet, sat behind rows of houses and a dense row of shrubs was this huge, wartime-era factory, now empty after its last occupants apparently moved production to China.

The place was originally built during the was as a Ministry of Supply site, before becoming part of the Leyland Motors empire in 1966, and was linked by a high level walkway, possibly for a conveyor, to the rest of the main site. The factory produced starter motors and alternators under the Butec name, in 1988, this became Prestolite, when DAF took over the Leyland Trucks business.

As the place was next to a building site, it seemed wise to don hard hats and hi-viz to blend in, especially as the place had two streets of houses lining its boundaries. Needless to say, the curtains twitched as Azubi and myself made our way over the front gate, but we proceeded nonetheless and made our way through the front door and then straight up to the top floor for a look round.


The factory was shaped like a four pronged E for some reason, with large spaces between the prongs.

Unfortunately the place was pretty much empty, and notable only for the remarkable fenestration – the number of windows was incredible, and the cost of replacing them all was probably the main reason the place was demolished. The only thing left was the inevitable random detritus that wasn’t worth moving to a new location, and most of this had been vandalised. In fact it was this vandalism that had resulted in the place being a bit of a hot spot for trouble, with numerous Police callouts to remove the local pondlife. This culminated in an arson attack, when part of the place was being let out for storage, the only casualty being several thousand coat hangars.

There’s not really much else to say about the place – it was notable only for its size and emptiness.  It was demolished in 2009.

The Silver Griddle

 A few leftovers

Fire hose, as used to extinguish the fire

Fire damage



6 thoughts on “#262 – Prestolite of Leyland

  1. Abandoned and crumbling buildings are always interesting for a photographer. But you were able to make something special out of it. For me the first B&W picture tells the story. It has some wonderful tones, and the broken glass breaks the symmetry that otherwise might have made it look less interesting. As it is now, it’s just a great shot. Of the colour photographs my favourite is the one with the clock where the workers punched in out every day. The limited colour palette finds the picture perfectly.


    • Thanks for your comment! I normally post a series all in colour or all in black and white, but some of these didn’t really suit monochrome, so I just left them as they were.


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