Visited with Frosty, Shadow, Muffie and Vanishing Days,
Mid Kent College Horsted Campus was originally built to be a government training center, it was left for nearly two years until it was actually opened as the Medway College of Technology. The campus originally opened with these original subjects, Building, Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mathematics, Mechanical Engineering, and Science. From walking around the site now, it is clear a lot more subjects were available and a few of the buildings look to be of a much more recent time. The campus was opened by the Duke of Edinburgh in 1955, when he also met a few of the students and staff.
This place is much more interesting that you first think it's going to be. There's around 10 seperate buildings on the site, we managed to explore 2 of them fully, and most of a 3rd one before being distrubed by a pikie with a rather large crowbar in hand - we decided a hasty exit was called for. There's soooo much more to see however, and I don't think we've seen the best of it yet.
Unfortunitely the pikies are ruining it inside very quickly, it won't be long before it's a total mess. At the moment there's quite a lot of interesting bits and pieces to see.
View along the front of one of the buildings
Not worked out why I like this staircase so much yet.
Evidence of Science and engineering all over the site with lots of big bits of equipment left in situ
They also did Drama and performing arts by the looks of things in the curious round building which had this studio at the bottom and dressing rooms etc. all round the 2nd floor.
Absolutely mint lecture theatre
Interesting specimen in the Biology Lab
More labs - there were loads of them
There's definitely more to find here.
It's been a long time coming this, I've had my eye on this place for years (literally) just waiting for the right time to crack it. Well the time was right this weekend!
After several recces of the site over the last few months, and a close study of the plans we were ready to give it a shot. The origenal plan was to do it in a week or so's time, but Shadow and me decided to stop on our way to Nottingham, as we were driving virtually past it on the way it seemed rude not to - it was well worth it! Just a shame we were pushed for time as the light was fading and we also needed to get back on the road if we wanted to get to shadows house at anything resembling a decent hour so we only spent about an hour on site. I had already explored the tunnel on the site with CaveZombie a few months ago, and the tunnel door which was wide open when we visited is now welded shut, so just as well we grabbed the chance to look at that when we did!
The CEMEX plant at Halling is the last of the cement works on the Medway to close. While the main production plant closed in 2000, a small team has continued to grind clinker (cement in lump form) brought in by road from elsewhere. The clinker grinding operation is now planned to end when CEMEX UK opens a new 1.2 million tonnes per annum grinding and blending facility on the Thames at Tilbury. I believe the tilbury plant came online late in 2008 (or at least it was scheduled to) which makes the facility at Rochester redundant - although when we were looking round the site some of it did look very live still. However a vast majority of it is being cleared by demolition crews.
The plans are, yep you guessed it, houses! 550 of them to be precise. For those who are interested there's more information on the CMEX website. http://www.cemex.co.uk/su/pdf/Cemex_Panels.pdf The developers have had to reduce the number of houses from the origenal 700 they wanted to build to 550 due to local objections. The planing permission was only formerly applied for in September last year as stated in this document for those that like to read these things; http://www.medway.gov.uk/ddc20080903r.pdf so it's going to be a while before development startes properly I think.
Anyway, on with the photos;
1. The plant looms out of the distance
2. As you get closer you realise how massive this place actually is.
5. Inside the buildings, the lights are still on
7. The cement rotory kiln all still in place, just as I hoped!
9. Look up and this sight greets you, pipes, tanks, valves and switches all over the place
15. Underneath the massive rotory kiln
16. Cimmney closer up - it's 375 feet high - took me friggin ages reading a 1974 planning document to find that information. I don't think it's climbable thou, or if it is I don't know where the ladder is!
There's a lot more of this site to see, but we just didn't have the time to do it on this occassion. We saw the main bit thou which was much more complete than I thought it would be given it's been standing for 8 years+ now. There is also a 600 metre long tunnel on site, which used to have a conveyor running through it. The door to this has now been welded shut, but if you want to see my photos from inside it that were taken a month or so back when the door was still open, they're here viewtopic.php?f=12&t=842
Thanks for looking!
Thought I'd post up photos from my visit here in April this year.
This location is very under-valued in my opinion, it is in fantastic condition inside and makes for a really interesting couple of hours explore. The building is pretty big inside, many offices and little back rooms to be found, as well as two projector rooms (Projectors sadly gone) with 3 cinema screens and lots of other random rooms. There's also a fair amount of origenal features and detailing in the building, which is fantastic!
The cinema closed its doors in 1999 (I think) when the multiplex odeon opened down the road at lockmeadow. It has laied empty ever since, although someone must maintain it, as it's surprisingly clean and tidy inside, and the ventilation/heating system is still on (as the bingo hall underneath share the same system)
Apologies for the quality of these pics, they were on my old camera and were mostly handheld as I didn't posess a tripod back then!!
Going up . . .
Pop corn anyone??
To the Cinema Screens
This is Screen 2, Screens 1 and 2 are virtually identical mirror images of each other where the origenal audatorium was split in 2.
Motors that powered the screen curtains and shuttering.
Screen 3 was the most amazing room with the most fantastic plasterwork in the ceiling.
And this random room, who knows what it was used for, but there were lots of period features in it, and a bloody strip light right in the middle spoiling it all!
Random rooms everywhere with all sorts of bits in
Some projector room equipment, but no projectors
And a couple of images from the roof looking over maidstone
It was an amazing place to look round, nice and warm and dry for a change as well.
This is the only surviving example of a kent colliery, and is looking in an increasingly bad way in recent times.
They're still un-sure what they want to do with the buildings, so at the moment they stand there empty, a monument to the sites past use.
All the mine shafts have one of these on them, there were 3 in total, this one was the shallowest, the deepest was over 900metres making Snowdown the deepest colliery in Kent.
Not a lot to see really, but a nice way to spend a couple of hours, and quite a laid back explore as the security people patrolling were actually fine with us being there
Please ignore the quality of these pics, it was over a year ago and I was still getting used to the camera!
Soooooo after seeing a couple of reports go up recently covering this part of the old college, and tried previously on numerous attempts with no avail a few years ago when we managed the sports hall and Withersdane Hall parts, i decided now was the time to return and have another go.
Credit to whoever put this part on the achievable list as previous to this outing security had always patrolled and none of us could ever find a way in.
Fast forward to some overcast late morning, i asked @starlight if she was up for having another look round the place, knowing she had also been for a look but not manged this part either. We hooked up and set off just down the road to this place which is very close to where im usually lurking.
History of the college: Which im sure you have all read in other reports of this place...
The College of St Gregory and St Martin at Wye, more commonly known as Wye College, was an educational institution in the small village of Wye, Kent, England, 60 miles (100 km) east of London in the North Downs area. ... The college was officially closed by its then owner, Imperial College London, in September 2009.
Founded in 1447 by John Kempe, the Archbishop of York, as a college for the training of priests, in 1894, the school moved to new premises, and the South Eastern Agricultural College was established in the buildings with Alfred Daniel Hall as principal. In 1898, Wye became a School of Agriculture within the University of London. Until 2005, Wye College was a well-known study and research centre in the fields of rural business and management, biological sciences, and the environment and agriculture. The college was officially closed by its then owner, Imperial College London, in September 2009.
Today, buildings that formerly housed Wye College have been repurposed as the Mind Campus in Withersdane Hall, a substance abuse rehabilitation clinic, and Wye School, a school for children of year seven and up. The main campus and several other buildings have been owned by Telareal Trillium since 2015 who are developing a masterplan involving some new housing.
I cant really say much about the actual wander around, it was non eventful as security really has been wound down since i was last here. It was extremely easy going and with a bit of improvisation and teamwork we managed to cover all of this section of buildings.
As i think stated in previous reports, not much left in there but very clean suprisingly and the lecture hall was a highlight for me.
Cheers for looking, blut.