From The Neolithic To The Sea: A Journey From The Past To The Present
Thorpe Marsh Power Station
Statistics
Category
County
Coordinates
Grid
Condition
Age
Admission
Power Station
South Yorkshire
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Part Demolished
1959
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  • History
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Thorpe Marsh Power Station is located close to Doncaster in South Yorkshire. It was a coal fired 1 gigawatt power station but has been demolished with only the six cooling towers and two ash slurry hoppers remaining.

The Power Stations construction was started in 1959 and the first phase completed in 1963 and the second in 1965. Thorpe Marsh was built as a prototype to all the large modern power stations built along the river Trent and most the coal fired stations in the United Kingdom. Thorpe Marsh had two generating set which were powered by coal as well as a gas turbine set which used a static industrial version of the Rolls Royce Avon aero engine.

Safety at the plant became a major concern when four workmen died at the power station on 7th January 1973. Although a verdict od accidental death was recorded for all the men who died the Central Electricity Generating Board was taken to court for allegedly breaching the safety provisions of the Electricity Regulations of 1908 under the Factories Act.

The Central Electricity Generating Board operated Thorpe Marsh until 1990 when National Power took over following privatisation in 1990. National Power closed the power station in 1994 selling the land to Able UK in 1995. A majority of the power station at Thorpe Marsh was demolished, all but the six cooling towers, two ash slurry silos, railway siding and the large switching station close by. The cooling towers, which are 340ft high and 260ft in diameter, have been left due to fears of the demolition explosions would rupture the banks of the nearby River Don, the canal and damage the railway tracks close by.

Thorpe Marsh now sits awaiting an uncertain future even though proposals for a car distribution depot or using the site for land fill have been raised, neither have been popular.

The power station's cooling towers were featured in the final episode of the 1999 ITV drama, The Last Train, and in the first episode of the 2009 Channel 4 drama Red Riding.