This former school swimming pool was built in 1904 and abandoned in 1997. I happened upon it randomly and had a hunch that there might be a swimming pool inside but didn't expect much given the state of the exterior. Well, it turned out to be pretty decent inside. Clearly nobody has been inside here for a very long time. The pigeons have set up shop and went absolutely bonkers when they saw me. They've really done a number on the place, or should I say a number two? It's pretty minging to be honest but at least there's no shitty graffiti or vandalism. This was a night visit so I had to light paint all my shots. I didn't do too badly considering but it would be cool to see it in daylight. Hopefully someone else will have a look soon.
This long curtain covered spectator seating for some reason
The floor up here was well dodgy, you can just about see some holes on the left of shot
Cheers for looking
The once grand Bureau Central administration building now stands decayed and rotting, but still retains nearly all of it's character.
The Bureau Central was the main offices for the de Wendel Family Metal company. The Family had been involved in metal industry since the 18th Century. By the 19th Century they were the 3rd largest iron company in Franc. In 1870 they became the largest iron company after a major furnace upgrade successfully modernised their production.
During this period they employed 7000 people and were producing 112,500 tonnes of iron and 134,500 tonnes of pig iron each year.
When they expanding to steelmaking, they needed a grand main office to impress customers and keep on top of their every growing enterprise, and so in 1892 Central Bureau was built. In 1926 the Bureau Central was expanded to cope with the still growing paperwork.
The de Wendal iron enteprise continued to flourish until the post WW2 period where business fell into a decline. The mining industry was nationalised and eventually the whole family company was completely nationalised.
Bureau Central was abandoned in the 1980's after a company merger. The building itself is listed and protected.
The first attempt at Bureau Central was a bit of a fail as there was a worker cutting trees right behind the building, exactly where I needed to be. So I went off to explore a plan B (Terre Rouge) and returned a few days later on a Saturday morning when it was much quieter, and I got in with no drama this time.
The building is very decayed and has been well trashed. Looking at older photos it seems its been in a bad state of decay for a number of years, and not much has changed recently.
It's got 4 levels including a huge basement level. The building is pretty big, with lots of rooms, but most of them are empty and layered in collapsed ceiling material.
However the grandeur, architecture and nice lighting makes it the most photogenic explore I've done for a while. The long corridors, skylights and peeling paint tick all the boxes of a good decay photo.
I was there alone for a couple hours until 5 German Explorers showed up to explore it too. Turned out to be a really decent bunch too.
A cracker of an explore!
The present chateau style house, the third on the site, was built for the Hughes copper mining family. The house, designed in the 1870s, was called a 'calendar house' as it had 365 rooms. It is set in walled gardens of around 18 acres, which are themselves set in grounds of around 5,000 acres, encompassing open fields, parkland and forests. The 1870s structure is an example of the myriad of new types of buildings that were arising during the Victorian era to fulfil increasingly specialised functions. For example, there was a room in the mansion that was only to be used for the ironing of newspapers, so that the ink would not come off on the reader's hands.
The property was last used as a private home in 1929, after which it was converted to a 'rheuma spa', a health centre for the treatment of people with rheumatism. The spa remained until the outbreak of World War II, when the hall was taken over as a hospital. Post-war the hall became Clarendon Girls' School, but after extensive fire damage in 1975, the school was forced to close. Restored by businessman Eddie Vince as a Christian conference centre, it was sold at auction in 2001, but a proposed redevelopment by Derbyshire Investments failed to materialise. The property was to be offered for sale by auction on 12 October 2011 with a reserve price of £1.5million which did not include the 5,000 acres of surrounding land. However it was bought shortly before auction by a businessman who bid closest to the £1.5m guide price. He intended to develop the property into a hotel, but these plans never materialised, and the property lies derelict. In 2015 Kinmel Hall was identified by the Victorian Society as one of the top ten at-risk Victorian and Edwardian buildings.
This has popped up a few times over the last few years and amazingly nothing much has changed since the last report in 2016. I failed here a couple of years back so it was time for round 2 with @Andy& @Miss.Anthrope. We don't take Ls baby! Renovation work appears to be taking place so there are definitely people working here during the week. The ground floor is where all the good stuff is at. Upstairs everything is pretty much stripped and empty. Anyway, I'm glad to have finally made it in here. Definitely one of the best mansions in the UK.
Cheers for looking