Between 1957 and 1961, Sheffield Corporation City Architect’s Department built Park Hill Estate. Architecturally, this estate is of international importance. It is also the largest listed building in Europe (Grade II* listed 1998). The deck system is unique as the steeply sloping site allows all but the uppermost decks to reach ground level. The building ranges from four to 13 stories, and included shops, almost 1000 flats and four pubs.
The four pubs were each built to a common plan: four-bay ground floor units with clear storey windows, close to the shopping centre. They faced in two directions: a lounge and public bar, linked by a central bar and glazed screen.
The Parkway Tavern was originally managed by Hope and Anchor Brewery, advertising Carling Black Label and Jubilee Stout. The pub later became part of the Bass empire. It closed in 2006 and has a two-bay mosaic mural which is a remarkable survivor (architects: Hadfield Cawkwell Davidson & Partners).
The Parkway Tavern was used in the 2014 film ’71. Directed by Yann Demange, it follows a riot on the streets of Belfast as a young and disoriented British soldier is accidentally abandoned by his unit. The flats were used to recreate Divis Flats.
Initially, these ‘streets in the sky’ enjoyed popularity and success; tenants had the luxury of private bathrooms and efficient heating. However, by the 1980s, Park Hill had become dilapidated and was no longer popular. It had both poor noise insulation and badly lit walkways, passages and alleys.
The estate is currently being redeveloped as part of a joint venture between Urban Splash and Places for People, work commencing in 2007. The structural frame is retained while architectural and internal features are replaced. The Parkway space re-opened in 2021 as Park Hill Provisions, the first convenience store on the new development.