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Tate & Lyle Sugar Silo, Huskisson Dock, Liverpool

Reproduced by permission of Historic EnglandSince the 17th century the amount of sugar used by Europeans has soared. Its use, particularly in the 'new' drinks of tea, coffee and chocolate, and later in hot puddings, helped sugar to become an everyday commodity imported in large quantities to satisfy demand.

The sugar producers Tate & Lyle commissioned the Cementation Company to build a new, state-of-the-art silo at the Huskisson Dock site in Liverpool. This enormous project, which started in 1955, took about two and a half years to complete. The silo was built of reinforced concrete with a pre-stressed concrete floor, and comprised 12 sections each supported by six external ribs. A photographic record of the construction process was kept and is reproduced here.

Many people consider concrete to be an ugly and purely functional material. Its use in the soaring curves of this silo shows its possibilities and justifies the categorising of the structure as a Grade II Listed Building.

Story author: English Heritage

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