Another local one that I've been wanting to do for ages, but never got round to it until now.
It's filled full of asbestos, so I made sure to bring my good PP3 mask, but even that wasn't enough probably.
During World War 2, the Southern Railway took over the Deepdene Hotel near Dorking in Surrey for its wartime emergency headquarters. In the grounds they excavated an underground control centre taking advantage of a network of existing natural caves that had been acknowledged 300 years before in the diaries of John Evelyn. Because of the natural protection afforded by the location of the caves they were eminently suitable for the development of a bunker to house both the headquarters' telephone exchange and Traffic Control who also had their underground control centre there with underground divisional controls at Woking (South West Division), Southampton (Western Division), Orpington (South Eastern Division) and Redhill (Central Division)
I got a message in the morning saying it's doable and to go soon. So a few hours later I was there and inside.
I'd been meaning to do this one for a long time now, especially as its pretty local, so now was a good a time as any.
It's actually not a very large bunker, but its nice for its modest size. The infamous 100 steps lived up to its reputation as terrifying. I only went up a few steps, but that's enough.
I actually bumped into another explorer here who got the fright of his life as I turned the corner and shown my light at him in a moment of confusion and panic. Turned out to be someone else who got the memo and took a trip down to see it from a little further afield.
A nice little bunker, rich full of history.
With a 2.5 meter high, fully reinforced security fence, cameras at every angle and motion sensors tucked away in strategical places, this building was designed to keep people out.
A load of good that did, eh?
This building is shrouded in mystery, its former use was totally unknown and even google wasn't any help! Turns out it was the old headquarters for the Department of work and pensions, but they could not afford to keep it running, so became a rejected building for social security. No one has ever documented this building and not a single photo of the insides can be found.. Until now.
Not my fanciest of camera work but the night time was the best time for this trip. So granted the shots could be better but with not a lot of time on our hands (and maybe setting a motion detector off) we had to make do!
The building itself was actually very clean and tidy, in and out. Fair bit of dust and clutter from the stripping off pipes from underneath the flooring but no graffiti, no vandalism.. Not a single sign of "outsiders".
Truly trapped in time with 1990's tech scattered, but nothing of worth, just old school things that required Ethernet and a few tapes and old floppy disks.
For the most part it was quiet and things were calm, the main worry was watching for the missing floor panels and pesky motion sensors above a certain few doors. So I gather most office blocks like this are still protected (A company called 'clear way') which is kind of surprising considering how long it has been abandoned and I cannot find out anything to do with that buildings future.
Originally used as a primary headquarters for the department of work and pensions, handling data and dealing with data to do with peoples income and possibly entitlement of benefits, sits unused and had been abandoned between around 2002 but the exact time is yet to be known.
It was being used through the 90's that's for sure with lift service sheets with the last service being 2002 and floppy disks and tapes dating through the 90's.
It is unfortunate we could not see the whole building, as out of the three floors it had only the ground and second were explored. The lower ground floor proved to be a challenge as that's were the sensors really were, so we decided to leave it and head out quiet as a mouse. But not without having one last look at the glass atrium of course.
Over all this building is still somewhat a mystery and i'm fairly certain we are the only people to document this building, which is mad for me.
This is my first real forum and I hope you enjoy the photos,
Til the next one!
"Take nothing but photos, leave nothing but footprints"
1. scouting a way in
2. The atrium, looking straight through
5. This tells me they were short of funds.
7. The windows for the atrium
8. Lift mechanics
9. The lift motor and pulley system
10. Service history for the lift
11. A letter (with buildings address) for evaluation of the one lift
12. Typical office corridors, minus the health and safety hazard
13. Vintage mounted desk with plug sockets built in
14. Huge computer room
15. Keys still left as they were since closure
16. Media storage units
16. Hand drawn schematics for lift dated 89
17. Lift room
18. Temperature gauges
19. Wiring for the lift
20. Very rusty keys
21. The motor for the lift
22. Lift schematics
23. The original blueprint before the construction of oak house
24. This still works!
25. Flooring lifted for strip down before being abandoned
26. Old school floppy disk dated 91
27. Media room and units
28. Stannah lift lever
29. Inside the vast atrium
30. Another angle
31. Vintage clock and safe
following the decline of industries Sheffield offers plenty interns of urban exploring... from abandoned breweries, redundant steel works and leisure sites. It's difficult to experience all this in a single outing therefore I have compiled this into three years of exploring the city. Having started out at relatively low level explores and advancing this further to more harder to reach buildings here are some of the most important abandoned buildings Sheffield offers. If not for the buildings themselves Sheffield's street art is an important part of the explore. Often explorers take to photography for the art which is of a high standard coming from a far to experience this. Historically the buildings offer more than the art its self... the buildings often dating back to the victorian era give great scope to capture real history of the city. Often buildings have either been destroyed or are in the process of this. Been able to capture the buildings in their original state albeit a derelict one captures the cities past... and more importantly the history of British industry.
By Kev C
Hi, this is my first report, I don't really know what to write but here goes.......
Unless you have been on Mars or in a coma for the past couple of weeks you would most probably have heard about this Manor House. Some pictures were posted & the guys who posted them had pretty much made it crystal that they were not going to be sharing its location. The post stated that they hoped that people would forget about it & that it would be saved. Or to put it another way - they threw the gauntlet down big time and by doing that it had made it the UK’s most hunted derp within the UE community, and surprise surprise within a day it had been found by more than one person. The actual post & chats that I had with them gave me a couple of very good clues & to be fair to the guys when I told them that I had it they did clue me up with everything I needed to know.
Anyway, It just so happened that I was in the area with some free time on the Wednesday so I popped along. I got there before sun up & had the house to myself for a couple of hours, it was a pretty much ad hoc visit & quickly realised that I needed a wider lens, I knew some guys were planning to hit it on the Saturday & decided a revisit was in order.
Messages were sent & arrangements were made for the pre-Sun up meet, I’d gotten wind that there may be a few people there so I was not surprised to see a few other faces when I opened the door at around 7am. The pre-dawn light, or rather lack of it meant that we all sat around having a chat & a schmoke as more & more people turned up out of the darkness. I didn’t count but I’m told that at 08:30 there were 21 of us in the house and that the snack bar had ran out of breakfast rolls & that pin badges & t shirt sales were through the roof.
The 19th century house itself is on a massive estate and parts of the estate are live & lived in. There are 2 floors & a basement, the house has some lovely features, the stairs, the swimming pool & indoor courtyard & there’s plenty to spend a couple of hours there photographing. The basement is quite big & has a drive in access point & (GoonTube Click bait warning time) has a FERKIN PANZER TANK in one of the rooms, that’s the headlines and that’s what the Goons will be selling it as but the reality is that it is a home made & nowhere near finished & is made of wood. A bit meh for me tbh. Just outside the house there is a BMW parked half in a bush. The house is ok, the features are great but there’s more to be offered from this site. There’s numerous buildings to visit & as soon as I had shoot the last bits I wanted to shoot myself, Paul & Curt went off to see what we could find, there were some ruins , out buildings & a pyramid near the house that looked cool & as we were walking through the woods we could hear the familiar sound of guns being shot in the not too far distance. We had a bit of a scout around & found the ‘hunters’ in an adjacent field. Now if this was a GoonTube video we’d have become the ‘hunted’ but as this is real life we just ignored them & went the other way. One of our goals was the indoor Tennis courts, this was pretty hard to miss once you got near it. We opened the door & were amazed, yeah it was a tennis court, but it’s last use had been as a venue to watch the Football World Cup on a projector screen, there was a bar set up & every nations flag was hanging up & bunting all over the place, we found a large number of pint glasses depicting the “World Cup 1996” so it appears that it was the last time the courts had been used other than for a bit of storage. TBH it was quite trashy but among the trash we found (click bait warning) a HUMAN SKELETON!! And what you going to do with a skull on a explore? Yep, put glasses on it & a fag in its mouth, named him Dr McCoy and take some pictures. What... you wouldn’t... yeah I know, Exploring is a serious business but I like to have a laugh too while I’m out visiting. We were in the tennis courts for quite some time before going to the wood sheds & then the boat house. The boat house was the main thing on my hit list & it was ok, I was setting up to shoot & among the sounds of gun shots ringing out we heard someone shouting “YOU IN THE WOODS!! STAY STILL!!” so we done what any self respecting Umbexer would do & we bailed back through the wood to the soundtrack of “STAY THERE!” & gunshots. As we were running I got my foot caught and I went down like I’d been shot, Paul & Curt were worried & frantic, and by worried & frantic I mean pissing themselves laughing, I don’t know if it was a dream or not but I’m sure I heard Paul say “what the fuck are you doing on the floor, get up!” and as I got up I could see that we’d run into the guy who was shouting at us. “What you doing on my land?” the ruddy faced man shouted, “We’re photographing the Red Kites” I replied & he told us to go over the fence & “gerroff moi land” & we left.
Well, that was my first report, probably my last too :-
In 1847, Joseph Watts of Dewsbury and William Stones (1827 -1894) of Sheffield began brewing together at the Cannon Brewery in Sheffield's Shalesmoor district near Kelham Island. ... He renamed it the Cannon Brewery after his original premises.
Stones soon became one of the richest men in Sheffield and worked up until his death in 1894. A light coloured beer, named Stones Bitter, was produced in the early 1940’s and this soon became a popular choice amongst steel workers across Sheffield.
Cannon Brewery grew significantly as its reputation increased and sales prospered, to the extent that new offices, stores, workshops and cellars were all improved and developed. At its peak, the brewery produced 50,000 hectolitres of cask conditioned Stones each year and many of Sheffield’s public houses developed close ties to the brewery and Stones Bitter. An on-site public house was also opened within Cannon Brewery in 1964, “ originally named ‘The Underground’, but renamed as ‘The Pig and Whistle’ to service both visitors and workers, and this can still be found today. Cannon Brewery was closed in 1999 following reports that were indicative of a substantial decline in the sale of cask ales.
The owner of the site is a demolition contractor and has submitted an application seeking permission for his business, Hague Plant, to bulldoze the buildings on the 0.7 hectare plot which, in documents drawn up by R Bryan Planning, are described as being of utilitarian design and of no historic or architectural significance. The owner is keen to redevelop the former brewery but has said that it is not effectively marketable in its current state, especially as the high cost of demolition and potential decontamination, particularly from asbestos, are a deterrent to developers.
Been looking at this as a potential explore for sometime... The buildings and architecture are something else and anyone who's anyone on the Sheffield graffiti scene have decorated the building with some great pieces.. The former brewery is in poor condition but offers explorers a great opportunity to appreciate the history and architecture of the former brewery. A real shame when they decided to pull the building as this is a real part of Sheffields brewing past.. explore whilst you still have chance.. as this building offers plenty for all.
15. and 16.
Graffiti on site
22. My favourite pic I took of this place
"Times have changed, the place in its current condition is trashed and flooded... (2018)"