Monument record MYO4295 - Cocoa Works Haxby Road

Summary

By 1897 Rowntree's had moved business address to a new purpose built premises on Haxby Road, at the same time as becoming a limited company under the directorship of Arnold Stephenson Rowntree. By 1906 the business employed 4000 people, with all manufacture taking place at the new Haxby Road site by 1907, the workforce increasing again to 6000 by 1920. Joseph Rowntree died in 1925. The workforce, in line with the philanthropic beliefs and social research conducted by its’ Quaker employer were well looked after. The Haxby Road premises in contrast were well lit and ventilated. Access was provided free of charge to a doctor and dentist by 1909 and to an optician by 1919. A company magazine CVM (1902) disseminated news and developments directly to employees. Free schooling was given to those under 17 and a firms pension was introduced in 1906. In 1918 the firm provided one weeks paid holiday and, in 1919, introduced the 44 hour working week. A purpose built dining room was constructed in 1913 on the east side of Haxby Road and accessed by a subway with enclosed walkways/corridors. A new garden village ‘New Earswick’ had been built by 1901, which provided good quality homes for York workers (not just Rowntree employees) on low incomes. In addition the firm gave the City of York Yearsley Baths in 1909 and Rowntree Park in 1921 for public use. A works library was opened in 1927 and theatre in 1935 as memorials to Joseph Rowntree. Throughout the 20th century the brand became known for Fruit Pastilles (1881), Fruit Gums (1893), Black Magic (1934), Kit Kat (1935), Aero (1935), Dairy Box (1937), Smarties (1938), Polo (1939), and After Eight (1962). In 1969 the firm merged with John Macintosh and Sons Ltd to become Rowntree Mackintosh Ltd and adding lines such as Rolo, Munchies and Quality Street. The Yorkie and Lion bar were introduced in 1976. In 1988 Nestlé acquired Rowntree Plc, investing in the York site and creating a new polo mint, chocolate making plant, cocoa processing plant and additional Kit Kat plant and an automated plant for Aero production. The south part of the site closed in 2006 when Nestlé considered the Victorian structures no longer suitable for modern production methods, although the north part of the firm’s premises continues in operation."

Location

Grid reference Centred SE 6052 5369 (416m by 502m)
Map sheet SE65SW
Unitary Authority City of York, North Yorkshire

Map

Type and Period (9)

Full Description

By 1897 Rowntree's had moved business address to a new purpose built premises on Haxby Road, at the same time as becoming a limited company under the directorship of Arnold Stephenson Rowntree. By 1906 the business employed 4000 people, with all manufacture taking place at the new Haxby Road site by 1907, the workforce increasing again to 6000 by 1920. Joseph Rowntree died in 1925. The workforce, in line with the philanthropic beliefs and social research conducted by its’ Quaker employer were well looked after. The Haxby Road premises in contrast were well lit and ventilated. Access was provided free of charge to a doctor and dentist by 1909 and to an optician by 1919. A company magazine CVM (1902) disseminated news and developments directly to employees. Free schooling was given to those under 17 and a firms pension was introduced in 1906. In 1918 the firm provided one weeks paid holiday and, in 1919, introduced the 44 hour working week. A purpose built dining room was constructed in 1913 on the east side of Haxby Road and accessed by a subway with enclosed walkways/corridors. A new garden village ‘New Earswick’ had been built by
1901, which provided good quality homes for York workers (not just Rowntree employees) on low incomes. In addition the firm gave the City of York Yearsley Baths in 1909 and Rowntree Park in 1921 for public use. A works library was opened in 1927 and theatre in 1935 as memorials to Joseph Rowntree. Throughout the 20th century the brand became known for Fruit Pastilles (1881), Fruit Gums (1893), Black Magic (1934), Kit Kat (1935), Aero (1935), Dairy Box (1937), Smarties (1938), Polo (1939), and After Eight (1962).
In 1969 the firm merged with John Macintosh and Sons Ltd to become Rowntree Mackintosh Ltd and adding lines such as Rolo, Munchies and Quality Street. The Yorkie and Lion bar were introduced in 1976. In 1988 Nestlé acquired Rowntree Plc, investing in the York site and creating a new polo mint, chocolate making plant, cocoa processing plant and additional Kit Kat plant and an automated plant for Aero production.
The south part of the site closed in 2006 when Nestlé considered the Victorian structures no longer suitable for modern production methods, although the north part of the firm’s premises continues in operation.

The first departments were the Fruit Room and Gum Department, built by 1895-9. Later buildings included the 1896-8 Loading Shed and Packing Room, Store Room, Almond Room, Sugar Room, Joiners Shop, Extraction Room, Cool Room, Cream Boiling Room, two box rooms, Clear Gum Room (1897), Office Block (1898-9), Cream Block (1904). The multi-storey ‘Elect’ Block (1903) and Melangeur Block (1906) and Almond Block (1907) to the south and west of the site had been built.

NMR information:
No List Case 503250/001

In the centre of the southern end is a range of single and two-storey brick buildings dating in part to between 1895 and 1900, with north lights. They are largely open internally with cast iron supports for the roofs. In some places former external windows, now blocked, can be seen in surviving walls. They are almost entirely enclosed by later buidlings. Of the same era is the General Office, to the west, see HOB UID 1458733. To the north of the General Office are further fragments of early sheds.
To the south of these, and on the southern edge of the site, are the Melangeur and Almond Blocks, built in 1906 and 1907. These are multi-storey buildings in reinforced concrete with brick facings, constructed using the Mouchel Hennibique technique. The Melangeur Block, built and still used for processing chocolate, is four bays long and six storeys high, and has a Renaissance style frontage to the west front. Later additions are attached to the north and west. The Almond Block runs east-west to the east of the Melangeur, and is also six storeys high and has thirteen bays. The style is plainer than the Melangeur, though the overall dimensions are similar. A slightly later eight bay Extension Block to the east is in similar style, though this was built using a slightly different technique patented by the in-house architect W J Swain.
Running north from the Almond Block Extension along the eastern perimeter of the site is the Cream Block and extension, built between 1936 and 1938. This is a steel framed construction with red brick walls and projecting piers, concrete lintels and concrete roof, six storeys high and twenty five bays long. Internally all of these blocks have open floors supported by cast iron columns of varying designs, and largely original windows of either casement or sash design.
On the western side of the site, north of the late ninetenth century buildings, is an office block built in several phases from 1914 to 1955. The earliest parts are of reinforced concrete, providing offices over existing loading bays. The 1955 part is steel framed, and the current building is six storeys high, nineteen bays long, with a central semi-circular entrance porch of brick columns supporting a first floor balcony. Between this and the northern end of the Cream Block is Building 6, constructed around the turn of the 19th/20th century, and Building 9, a little later. These are multi-storey brick buildings, originally with pitched slate roofs, though that of most of Building 6 has been replaced by a flat roof. Much of the exteriors of both buildings are abutted by other structures and have mostly replacement windows. There is a little architectural detailing on the west front of Building 6.
North of the Office Block and the Cream Block there has been extensive rebuilding of earlier structures, and as the complex has extended northwards the buildings mainly date from the 1980s to the present day and consist of large functional processing plant and warehousing as well as more recent office accommodation. To the east, the former Post Office building, dating to the 1920s, is unaltered externally but is now used for storage. It is of reinforced concrete construction, probably by W J Swain. Further to the north is the Card Box Mill, also by Swain in 1921: it is of reinforced concrete with a north lights roof.
The site was considered for listing in 2007 but was not deemed to meet the criteria fo listing for the following reasons:
The majority of the buildings are of recent date and of no architectural interest.
The older buildings have been subject to extensive alteration.
The technological interest present in some of the buildings is limited.
The overall intactness and integrity of the complex is severely limited by its piecemeal and haphazard development, and by the lack of evidence of process flow within the site. (1)

1 English Heritage Listing File Alison Clarke, 23-MAY-2007


NMR, NMR data (Unpublished document). SYO2214.

Prospect Archaeology, 2017, Cocoa Works Haxby Road DBA (Unpublished document). SYO1943.

2017, Cocoa Works, Haxby Rd HER ST (Unpublished document). SYO1942.

The Jessop Consultancy, 2017, Cocoa Works, Haxby Road (Unpublished document). SYO2181.

On-Site Archaeology, 2019, Cocoa Works, Haxby Road BR (Unpublished document). SYO2182.

Sources/Archives (5)

  • --- Unpublished document: 2017. Cocoa Works, Haxby Rd HER ST.
  • --- Unpublished document: Prospect Archaeology. 2017. Cocoa Works Haxby Road DBA.
  • --- Unpublished document: The Jessop Consultancy. 2017. Cocoa Works, Haxby Road.
  • --- Unpublished document: On-Site Archaeology. 2019. Cocoa Works, Haxby Road BR.
  • --- Unpublished document: NMR. NMR data.

Protected Status/Designation

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (4)

Record last edited

Sep 12 2019 12:25PM

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