Industrial plant and housing complex, Sielpia Wielka
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Industrial plant and housing complex

Sielpia Wielka

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An example of a carefully designed and laid out - in terms of function, space and technology - industrial complex of the 1st half of the 19th century, featuring late classicistic architecture with the original exposure of the interior and machinery of the old plant.

History

The former rolling mill and puddling furnace plant is one of the technical monuments of the industry that developed in the Świętokrzyskie region over centuries. The north part of the region which is now referred to as Old-Polish Industrial Region or Old-Polish Industrial Area, was a site for ore mines, blast furnaces, iron works and manufactures of tools and armaments. The regular industrialisation started after 1815, under the Russian occupation, mainly due to the activity of Stanisław Staszic, the Rev. Drucki-Lubecki and the Bank of Poland.  The facility in Sielpia was built in that period. It was designed in 1818 by Stanisław Staszic. The construction started in 1821 and finished by 1841. The complex encompassed: power reservoir (on the Czarna River), inlet canal, production shops, administrative building, auxiliary buildings, factory hospital, residential facility for the administration and a housing estate - probably designed by Karol Knake - and the technological devices designed by foreign specialists (e.g. Philippe de Girard who built the turbine). The mechanical equipment was probably built in Rejów, Starachowice and Bialogon. In 1904 the plant became a private property and was decommissioned in 1921. It was registered as an engineering monument of historic interest in 1934, which was the first such decision in the country pertaining to an industrial area. The site became the local Museum of Technology and Steel Industry. During World War II, the plant was devastated and stripped of its equipment by the Germans. After the war, when the former Museum of Industry resumed its operation as the Museum of Industry and Technology of the the Polish Federation of Engineering Associations, the Sieplia plant, gradually renovated and maintained, was made its local branch. In 1962 the Museum of the Old-Polish Industrial Area was opened. In the old rolling mill and puddling furnace shops filled with attractive machinery and equipment from the surrounding metallurgical plants (mostly of the 19th and early 20th century but also from the 18th century). The old water power system was destroyed during the flood in 1937; in the 1960s, the reservoir was rebuilt (for retention and leisure purposes) together with the causeway, new weir and culvert (for the internal power-generation system).

Description

The complex sits on the west side of the Kielce-Końskie road running on top of the causeway. On the east side, there is a water reservoir (originally divided) damming the water in the Czarna River. The complex consists of factory buildings (including the internal power-generation system) and an industrial housing estate. The factory and residential buildings were laid out in a regular, classicistic form on two adjacent rectangular plots. The north plot (factory) is separated from the south plot (of residential nature and containing the so-called market) through the utility buildings (administration, school, residential house for the administration personnel). An additional value of this spatial arrangement is an estate road running from the “market” towards the west and a symmetrically located, lower section of the inlet canal, opening up outside the plant premises. The main production building is located on the axis of the factory square determined by the route of the partially covered inlet canal. The architecture od the rolling mill has five gables on the front façade but is almost open-space inside, with a multi-nave division by brick arcades on pillars and cast iron columns. Behind this building, there are two perpendicularly set drying plants and a gate with two gatehouses to the south. Located in the central part of the complex, the school, residential and administration building are abandoned and are gradually deteriorating; only overgrown pieces of the wall have remained after the factory hospital (in the north part of the complex). The housing estate consisted of 29 houses of two kinds: smaller ones (single-family) were located along the estate square and larger ones (two-family) were located in the south terrace and along the west street. Although the buildings have undergone upgrades and reconstructions, their original dimensions have been been, to a large extent, preserved. All the buildings are built of quarry stone, with brick inserts and plaster. Mainly wooden gable roofs (partly with pediments), once covered with shingles, now sheet metal, tar paper or cement tiles. The interior of the main production shops has been largely reconstructed using the original and secondary (but equivalent or similar) materials and pieces of equipment.

The area of the plant is owned by the state; managed by the museum, available during the museum opening hours; the area of the housing estate belongs is privately owned.

Compiled by Włodzimierz Pedrycz, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Kielce, 05.09.2014.

Bibliography

  • Koźminski K., Zagłębie Staropolskie w Kieleckiem, Warszawa 1955.
  • Rey A., Zagadnienia energetyki wodnej w budownictwie przemysłowym Zagłębia Staropolskiego w I połowie XIX w., Kwartalnik Urbanistyki i Architektury, 1957, t.II. z.3-4.
  • Krygier E., Ruszczyńska T., Katalog Zabytków Budownictwa Przemysłowego w Polsce, Wrocław - Warszawa 1958, t.II, z.1, powiat Końskie, s. 59-60.
  • Radwan M., Rudy, kuźnice i huty żelaza w Polsce, Warszawa 1963.
  • Zieliński J., Staropolskie Zagłębie Przemysłowe, Wrocław-Warszawa-Kraków 1965.
  • Wojewódzki R., Najważniejsze zabytki techniki powiatu koneckiego, Tradycje przemysłowe ziemi koneckiej, Kielce 1991, s. 51-61.
  • Główka J., Hutnictwo i przemysł metalowy w Zagłębiu Staropolskim w okresie międzywojennym 1918-1939, Kielce 2012.

General information

  • Type: factory
  • Chronology: 1821-1830 r.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Sielpia Wielka
  • Location: Voivodeship świętokrzyskie, district konecki, commune Końskie - obszar wiejski
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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