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History

While records are relatively vague, it is reported that St. Anne’s school was constructed sometime in the 1800s. The school is likely to have been constructed during England’s Industrial Revolution as Bishop Auckland became a large mining town following the arrival of the railway to the area. The railways meant coal could be transported to the coast and shipped abroad much more easily; however, more miners were obviously required to meet the growing demand for the fossil fuel. Subsequently, the population in Bishop Auckland increased rapidly; the population increased from 1861 in 1801 to 10,000 in 1891, and to 16,000 by the turn of the twentieth century, and more facilities such as schools were suddenly required. 

It is well known that the town’s history surrounds its links with the Bishops of Durham, and despite causing controversy with the local aristocracy, a number of them were keen advocates for improving education for the poor, to improve their social, financial and moral circumstances. As with any powerful authority, the influence of the Bishops and their attitudes towards education continued long after they were stripped of their power in 1836, meaning the area remained a great centre for Christianity (on account of the Saints the region produced), learning and arts. To emphasise why their influence, ethics and morals lingered long after they were gone, for most of their reign the Bishops of Durham were given power equal to that of the King of England. In other words, they could hold their own parliament, raise armies, appoint their own sheriffs and Justices, administer laws, levy taxes, issue charters, collect revenue from mines, salvage shipwrecks, administer the forests and mint their own coins.

Unfortunately, the early years of the twentieth century brought a decline in the area’s booming industry, as coal reserves were starting to become exhausted. Colliery employment had halved by the 1920s, and, equally, the railways which supported the mining industry were also cut back as fewer were needed to transport coal. With lower employment opportunities, the once prosperous town faced a declining population, resulting in the closure of schools, businesses and other facilities. While St. Anne’s survived throughout most of the 1900s, the school was eventually sold and became Durham County Council’s Education Offices. The offices were moved in 2010, and since then they have been left to deteriorate. Plans to demolish the site, to make way for a housing project, were revealed in 2015. Despite the vandalism, anti-social behaviour and rats the derelict building has attracted, many locals have opposed the decision to bulldoze the former school, stating that the buildings are of an innovative architectural design. 

Our Version of Events

Realising that we’ve been focused on a lot of underground and train related stuff recently, we decided it would be good to spice things up a bit and have a look inside a few local ‘derps’. One of these was St. Anne’s school which has been on our doorstep for years. As with all buildings that look completely trashed, it’s easy to set them aside and cast them off as being empty and shit, but as we’ve found out many times in the past, sometimes you can be surprised by what you find inside. Unfortunately, though, St. Anne’s school wasn’t one of those buildings; instead, it turned out to be completely stripped, to the extent that there’s virtually nothing inside.

Access to the building wasn’t particularly difficult, as anyone who’s stood outside will notice, and after a quick scout around the outside we soon found ourselves inside – free to roam the old corridors and classrooms. As noted above, the building has deteriorated badly, so we had to watch our footing here and there. For the most part, however, the building is easy to navigate. On the whole, we were incredibly disappointed to find that there’s nothing left inside, but we did try to take advantage of how photogenic some of the decay that’s managed to spread throughout the building. It only took around twenty minutes to cover the entire site, but we were glad we took the time to visit a fine looking building that’s been completely ignored for too long. 

Like the entry, exiting the building was a smooth affair. We managed to get out again without attracting much attention (we think), and decided to have a walk down to the local shop to grab a bite to eat. Exploring is hungry work after all, and, as the Shreddies advert taught us many years ago, it’s important to keep hunger locked up till lunch. On the way, however, we encountered a few of the locals as they flew past in their chavved up automobile. In typical Bishop Auckland style, they decided to lob a chicken nugget out of the window, presumably in the hope that it might hit one of us… Well, we just thought we’d let those local goons, who were most likely the result of some chemical spillage that occurred in the area in the late 1980s, know that you missed.

Explored with Ford Mayhem, Meek-Kune-Do and Box. 
 

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I love how 'school meals' is written in picture 7. Some nice other bits of signage too. Schools aren't built like this any more, would have been lovely in its day :) 

nice pics, :thumb 

 

:comp:

 

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  • Similar Content

    • By Zen1991
      History- The building is from the 'railway era'. The hotel was a hub of the community, it had a fantastic ballroom and restaurant. Many people came by rail to stay at Sutton Bridge. 
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      The Bridge Hotel in the 50's
       
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    • By Gromr123
      This one required an early start, but the morning adventure to The Kings Hall was worth the effort. Visited with Zombizza. 

      History
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      The Explore
      Started nice and early, and managed our entrance fairly incident free...if we don't count the massive tear in my trousers..
      It's a pretty spectacular place with a wonderful blend of natural decay and marvelous original features/architecture. With little to no daylight, we decided to wonder round the back rooms while the sun came up before the spending too much time on the main attraction, the large auditorium. 
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      Photos
       
      The Auditorium
       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       



       

       

       

       

       

       

       



       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

    • By Maniac
      Not the most inspiring of places, but it's quite remarkable because of how quickly it got trashed. It closed in june that year, and by ocotber it was royally trashed. It's now been flattened and the land is still for sale.








      The weird thing about this place was remembering it from when I was a kid, was sad seeing it so trashed.
      Cheers
      Maniac.
    • By Maniac
      Well it was a pretty foolish decision to try this one really, but it was just too tempting since the rumors of it being wide open and security not giving a damn just made it too tempting to try, and we desperately wanted to see inside this place before it gets stripped by pikies or burnt to the ground, which is probably what will end up happening unless something drastic is done to keep people out the building.
      It was about 9:30 in the evening when Fluff, Ryda and Impact arrived at my house. From there we took the supercav to Buckmore, which was surprisingly deserted - there wasn't a soul around. So we grab our stuff, and walk through a gaping great big hole in the fence up one of the main tracks towards the deserted leisure complex.
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      In we go, we ended up in the climbing wall area. No sooner had we got into the building when we heard noises, then saw torches. Shit, we can't be busted already surely? Luckily (or un-luckily as it will pan out) it turned out to be some people from Essex, infact it turned out to be quite a few people from essex, about 20 of them in total just wondering around being far to noisey for my liking. This did two things 1. it made us a little more relaxed as if there's 20 of them in the building and they've not been busted, if there are any security they can't be doing a very good job. But it also made us a tad nervous since these people wern't your typical urban explorer type, I think Essex boys and girls sums it up nicely, and they were doing a nice job of smashing every beer bottle they came across, and breaking the remainder of the windows
      Essex People

      The main hall where the rave was



      At this point we contemplated leaving after only taking a few photos, as the essex boys and girls were becoming a liability, but we hadn't come all this way to just give up, oh no! So we lay low for a bit in one of the smaller rooms, took a few photos of corridors and had a cup of coffee (cheers ryda ) The noise had subsided, it was safe to come out, so we did, and started doing what we do best.
      Remember this place was absolutely mint just a week ago.









      At this point we managed to get split up, and try though we might we just couldn't find fluff and impact anywhere, so me and ryda just carried on looking round the building trying to find the swimming pool area, which we managed to do just in time to see headlights coming up the main road leading to the centre. Fuck, security - duck down, so we hid behind the small pool while security shone lights though the windows round the pool area. Boy are there a lot of windows in that pool area. After what felt like hours, they had got far enough away for us to make a dash back into the changing rooms, where we hastily packed away our camera gear in preparation for possibly making a run for it.
      We still had no idea where fluff and impact were at this point, although we had seen them through a window earlier being lit up by security so we knew people were onto us. We sat in the changing rooms for a bit before hearing a shout 'come on out, we know you're there' from outside in the corridor. This corridor was the only exit, so we decided to just give ourselves up in the hope that they'd just give us a ticking off and let us walk off site.
      Little did we know at that point that half of medways finest were already on site looking for us, they had dogs, vans the lot. The other half of medways finest were still on their way, in total at it's height there were about 20 police personnel on site. We just went quietly, not a lot else we could do, although I did protest a little at being arrested for buglary, afterall we wern't stealing anything. We still didn't know where fluff and impact were at this point. We were later re-united at the police station.
      I have to say the police were very professional at the way they handled the situation, and once we were back at the police station (They took us all the way to Tonbridge because the nik at Medway had a powecut ) they were actually quite friendly and seemed to show an interest in what we were doing. We were held in the cells for the rest of the night, and were all interviewed this morning, then the entire thing was dropped as we were expecting. We were then left with a problem, how the hek to we get back to the car? The police arn't that well known for providing a taxi service. Lady luck must have been smiling down upon us today however, because the officer who interviewed us managed to get the go ahead to drive us back to where the car was. Thank you very much officer, you saved us a fortune in taxi fayres.
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      One last word. Stay away from buckmore, you will end up in a shite load of trouble if you're caught. They are going to be locking the building up tight, we all said at interview how easy it was to get in, and it needs to be sealed up. The officer in charge is going to see that this happens. I know it's a shame that we won't be able to explore it, but that's £15 million of building there just getting slowly more and more trashed. It's not beyond saving quite yet, but given a few more weeks of abuse it very soon could be.
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    • By Maniac
      Location - BAE Systems, Rochester, Kent
      Date Visted: February 2008
      Curent Status: Has now been demolished
      Future Plans: Redevelopment.
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      The older part of the complex dates from the 1930's and was probably built when No 23 Elementary and Reserve Flying Training School took over use of the site in 1938. The newer part was probably built in when GEC (comprising Marconi and instrument makers Elliot Automation) took over use of the site in 1979. BAE aquired both of these companies in the following years, and continued operations a Rochester until the site was vacated in 2004.
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      Rochester airport itself is now run on a care and maintenance basis by a group of entusiasts, who are currently negotiating with Medway council over a long term lease for the site. The buildings ajoining Maidstone Road are the ones we visted; they are currently being demolished and the land is set for redevelopment. As you can see there's not a lot left, but it was still interesting to look round none the less.








      If you have an electric panel fetish, then this is the place for you.







      Roof Space

      Thanks for looking
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