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Thornton Cemetery 2011

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The original ancient church of St James in Thornton locally known as the "Bell Chapel", and was built in the years 1612, although an earlier chapel was originally built here in 1587.

This early 16th Century building, by all accounts was a mean and unattractive one, Leyland describes it as “narrow, contracted, and unsightly.

The Bell Chapel underwent many alterations in the years leading up to the appointment of Patrick Bronte as parson in March 1815.

Born on March 17th in Drumballyroney, County Down, Ireland, he was ordained into the Church of England in 1807. In 1859 Patrick Bronte preached his last sermon from the pulpit of Haworth Church, and died two years later on the 7th June. He was 84. He outlived all of his four children and is laid to rest in Howarth Church.

The building was in poor repair when Patrick arrived, and characteristically he undertook a program of repairs. Early in his ministry he conducted there a thanksgiving service for the victory at Waterloo over Napoleon, four of Patrick’s famous children, Charlotte, Emily, Branwell and Ann were all baptised in the Old Bell Chapel during the period he was there, and the original font from the old chapel, used to baptize his children, is now on display in St James’s across the road.

Still around the year of 1815 the village of Thornton had deeply divided loyalties over religion because there was a large non-conformist following in the area at the nearby Kipping Chapel in Thornton, which was thought to be the largest of the Independent or Congregational Churches in the area and had an every increasing size of congregation. In contrast Patrick’s poor little chapel was already in a dilapidated condition so he wasted no time in trying to improve things, and one of his first actions was to stop the practice of allowing burials to take place under the chapel floor. This practice had been previously allowed, for the more wealthy locals who could afford the extra charge of a few shillings, but this was causing a putrid smell to permeate the building. Someone described the interior of the chapel at the time as follows: “The interior is blocked on the ground floor, with high backed unpainted pews. Two Galleries hid the windows almost from view and cast a gloom over the interior of the edifice. The area under the pews, and in the isles is paved with gravestones and a fedit, musty smell floats through the damp and mouldering interiorâ€.

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After the building and consecration of the Church of St James it first became a ruin, with the font being used over the road in the Church of St James. Today, all that remains is a small room "vestry" and the cupola which is originally from the top of the original tower and the above mentioned font.

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The Graveyard of the old chapel had over 6000 burials from the 1500's onwards with the last one taking place in 1965.

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A Masonic grave in the graveyard. Here's what it all means.

The all seeing eye

Freemasonry employs a mystical eye in its imagery known throughout the occult world as the all-seeing eye. This symbol is used to show an immortal being.

The square

Blue Lodge Masons are taught that the Square is to remind them that they must be square in their dealings with all men.

The compass

The real meaning of the square and compass is sexual. The Square represents the female. and the Compass represents the male.

The sun, moon and stars

The sun, moon and stars, known in Scripture as the host of heaven, are found to be to the fore of Masonic imagery.

Other symbols.

Freemasonry uses many other symbols such as keys, blindfold, a sword pointing to the heart, a 'mystical ladder, a coffin' and many more. All these symbols carry a hidden occult significance, which can only be comprehended by acquiring knowledge provided during ritual initiation. This teaching and imagery is common to all secret societies and is shared also with Mormonism and the New Age movement.

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    • By Urbexbandoned
      History
       
      Pair of former chapels, now disused. 1856. By Michael Drury. Coursed and squared rubble with ashlar dressings and plain
      tile roof. Gothic Revival style with pointed arched windows and Geometrical tracery.
      EXTERIOR: chamfered and moulded plinth, sill band, moulded eaves, coped gables with crosses and finials.
      North side has a central gable with an archway and shafts, flanked by single gabled buttresses. Beyond, single blocked
      3-light windows.
      To left, the octagonal east chapel has angle buttresses and 3 gables, each with a 4-light window. Roof gablets. Fleche
      removed.
      To right, west chapel with apsidal end and buttresses, 3 bays, with six 2-light windows with hoodmoulds. In the north gable,
      a 5-light window.
      Square north-west tower, 3 stages, has to north a gabled doorway with shafts. Above, a trefoiled vescia piscis and to
      east, a 2-light window. Third stage has a foiled corbel table and to north, a rose window. On the other sides, 3-light
      windows. Spire removed.
      INTERIOR: east chapel has an arch braced conical roof with collars forming a corona. West chapel has a moulded stone arch
      to the apse, and an arch braced double purlin roof. Both chapels have foliage corbels.           
       
      The Explore 
       
      This was the first explore out with my new camera and i'm pretty chuffed with the pics. I really can't take any credit at all for this,  @hamtagger, has been watching this place for probably the best part of 2 years. I would have known nothing about it otherwise. We were on an evening walk through the cemetery (being interested in the dead and all, this is how we roll) when we noticed that the door was slightly ajar. Outside the door there are a few beer cans which at a guess gave me the impression that a drunk had tried getting in. Not equipped with our camera's and with light not being on our side we decided to come back another day. After a few days we found ourselves in there one afternoon. Not knowing what to expect really, we knew that the place had been closed for a long time and judging by the quantity of pigeon shit even behind the door which had built up in to a mound having been recently opened it was longer than we thought. This should have been called the Pigeon Palace. What a lovely little place for these flying rats to nest. 
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      6, The Pews had suffered from woodworm, sadly.
       

       
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      8, The remains of the tower
       

       
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    • By Landie_Man
      After The Blue Church; we headed towards Leeds and stopped off at this Mill en-route to another site in Thornton.
      The outside looked promising but the inside proved to be pretty derpy and trashed sadly. It would have once been a nice site but has had large sections demolished and also suffered a ground floor fire in 2011.
      The roadside part appeared sealed and the bit at the back that we explored was divided up into smaller units after the operations ceased, a lot of it sealed off from the inside. Not much interesting went on after the mill closed. Mainly Graphic Design and Keyboard Lessons.
      The site began operating at around 1831 with Joshua Craven as the centre of a putting-out system, and developed as a mill from about 1848. The first building; the large mill, was completed by 1849 and the first warehouse, dated 1849, followed soon after.
      Craven continued to buy land in the area to accommodate his growing business. By 1851 the firm was described as a worsted manufactury which employed 240 people. The operations continued to expand, with the small mill built around 1850-60, and the second warehouse which fronted the road in 1855.
      It soon traded under “Joshua Craven & Son” which continued until 1875, when the buildings were bought by Adolphus Getz of Bradford, and subsequently by others until at least 1929.
      In 2015 the buildings still sit disued.
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      More At:
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    • By mookster


      Whilst heading into Leeds myself and Landie Man spotted what looked like a promisingly large derelict structure from a distance, so after a quick about-turn we parked up and made our way inside not knowing what the place was other than some kind of mill. Further research afterwards revealed it to be Prospect Mills.
      Sadly not much of the place is accessible, after it closed as a fully functioning mill it was divided up into many smaller units which also blocked off a lot of the stairs so only one building and one floor of the larger building is accessible, with the roadside building sealed up and the central part demolished. There was a big fire on the ground floor of the accessible building in 2011 which has seriously compromised the floor above - it was quite unnerving seeing charred wooden beams supporting broken flagstones balanced precariously above my head on the ground floor thats for sure!
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      A bit of history from the British Listed Buildings website.











      Thanks for looking, more here https://www.flickr.com/photos/mookie427/sets/72157652331295758

    • By brainblow


      Today I visited this old graveyard somewhere in Belgium.







    • By Involuntary Abstinence
      Hello again.
      Here is another hospital report.
      I visited Thornton last February and it was my first explore done with another fellow explorer (non-member). In retrospect, the place is not all that interesting as a whole, but at the time it the first hospital I had the chance to get into, and it was a place of firsts.
      Thornton, located in Fife in Scotland, was a fever hospital. It is hard to find a lot of information online.
      Here is one bit of info I located:
      These buildings were built as part of an isolation hospital (serving mainly patients with diphtheria, scarlet fever, meningitis etc); later one building was used as a hotel but now the whole place seems to have been abandoned.
      [link here]
      It has also been made known that after the hospital was shut down, the place served as a children's home and later they used it to park lorries used by Strathore Plant Hire Ltd. If you consider the hotel business that also ran for a few years, one can understand why this place holds a million of random stuff piled up and laid to rest there, from lorry tires and magazines, to toys and a wheelchair.
      The whole complex is right on Strathore road, but apart from a house where people still live in, there is nothing else in the vicinity. So if you are relatively quiet and avoid attracting the attention of the residents of that house, it is a very easy explore.
      We parked on the side of the road and headed up the muddy pathway leading to the west side of the complex. No big drama, very easy to get instant access (no fences etc).

      The place has been left to rot and fall into the hands of vandals for some time now and it shows right from the get go. What is also clear is that you can find many interesting things to shoot.

      Love switches

      One of the big rooms.

      The typical hanging apparatus.

      A red door always makes the explore more exciting.

      We spent quite some time there, mostly because we were on a mission. As Di had been there before, she knew of a wheelchair that was said to be around. In older reports we had spotted the old wheelie and we really wanted to locate it. Weirdly enough, the chair at some point had decided to play the role of the Chief and McMurphy and we found it in the position below:

      It took about 30' to free the wheelie. I must say I felt a far more greater sense of accomplishment having dislodged the tree branches that had managed to grow through the wheel's spokes, than when I got my master's degree. I literally wanted to lift the chair over my head and scream. Instead we rushed it into the almost perfect corridor and had a bit of fun.
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      The other corridor.

      Another interesting bit was when walking around a room I suddenly, in a very bullet-time slo-mo effect kinda way, felt my right foot sink into the floor. It was my first ever experience of the sorts and the feeling was a mixture of "what the heck is going on here?" and "should I laugh or turn white?". It's funny that several explores since then and some really bad floors, stepping on a rotten floor that feels like a waterbed has become such a familiar feeling.
      Psycho shower.

      Silent hill.

      Just piles of trash upon trash upon trash...and a chair.

      And a baby chair.

      After running through all the hospital buildings we moved to the hotel that was in the worst shape of all as clear indications of a fire and a collapsed roof invited us in. We both climbed halfway up the stairs but I believe we made the right call of not trying the first floor. When you feel you can squeeze your fist through the floor I think it's a sign not to continue. But then again who knows...that's the beauty of this I guess. The fact that you really can't tell most of the time so you just use your gut feeling at any given moment. Maybe a different day I would have tried it.
      Bar fight results.

      Wallpaper delight.

      The hotel was quite interesting with its big bar/restaurant bit where tv stands where still screwed on the walls and several curtains still hanging untouched by the fire. The kitchen was also quite cool with nice peeling. Generally all the buildings had some really nice wall decay.
      Thornton is one of those places where setups are so over-done that I guess it might end up feeling too staged to satisfy you. Don't get me wrong, I loved the glow worm doll in the baby trolley and other stuff, but yeah, I always prefer experiencing something that nobody has messed with, despite the obvious value from a photographer's point of view.
      Like this one, one of the best setups I have encountered.

      After taking a few more exterior shots (nice cloudy day) we left Thornton. I can safely say I won't be revisiting ever. However, I am really happy I got that under my belt.
      For more photos on Thornton and other explores check my facebook page. Thanx for reading!


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