After memories of passing this place and being dropped off in the carpark back in the college days, seeing the pub boarded up meant it’s been on the list to explore for quite some time.
At the first opportunity, teaming up with Tiny Urban Exploration, we were there!
The pub is now unfortunately stripped of most interesting features and nearly everything you can imagine smashed to pieces by the local youths. Kindly resulting in another injury for UrbexDevil for the second time in a row… cheers kids! Make shift wrapping up the cut to stop blood dripping everywhere we pressed on.
Rather amusingly as we exited the building and proceeded to take external photos, the local police spotted us. After a rather amusing conversation on how they thought they were going mad seeing flashes and a long minor issue of a stop and search, we were told that kids were arrested only a few hours before us for smashing the place to pieces.
Onto the history side now!
The John Gilpin pub has been trading since 1878, owned by McMullens closed in 2014 after more than 125 years of trading. Despite a large investment years before, the land has been sold to developers and its demolition is imminent.
The pub was named after a poem made famous by William Cowper in 1782.
This is my first post on Oblivisionstate even though I have been a member on the Fb page for a while, I thought it was about time I uploaded my photographs on here! You will see that alot of my uploads will be in black and white as this is my preferred medium, with some editing. I thought I would begin with my visit to The Grove Air Raid Shelter back in november 2014. I have only included 3 images, as all to see were a series of tunnels. There were 6 entrances in total, which can be found via the grounds of a prestigious hotel, by this point alot of the entrances to the tunnels had been blocked up as you can see by the 3rd image, so there was abit of hunting to find one which hadn't been bricked up. The tunnels were relatively easy to find, I visited during night in the hope to catch some bats in these tunnels, unfortunately I didn't encounter any. All that was left in the tunnels were some broken benches and rubbish!
I hope you enjoy my post and expect more from me coming soon!
The London, Midland and Scottish (LMS) Railway, with some foresight one presumes, bought a large area of land near Watford along with it's now disused Manor House for use as their HQ in the event of a war, away from their current HQ in Euston Station. As events transpired, by Easter 1939 with the on going approach of WW2, the move had started in earnest, being known as Project X. The full report/history of this place can be found here: http://rastall.com/grove/projectx.html
Got a tip off from a fellow 28DL forum member Northern Ninja, (unsure if they are on OS) and a lot of information regarding this little local explore right on my doorstep from him, so big thanks to him for that.
Off I went to order some waders as at the end it was indeed waist deep as it flows in to a local fishing lake, They arrived and must say I was a bit dubious at first as to whether they would really keep water out but they actually really worked well, need to use them some more!
Off I plodded down to the culvert, all kitted up in my waders, access is a doddle, I was in, pitch black inside for about 4 miles, so I had plenty of battery power for the torch, my Â£10 cree effort did "ok" but now I realise its time to grab a P7.2 and I used to laugh at the torch geeks Paul and Steve, never again!
I was taking my time this first visit, I hadn't a clue what I was stepping into and really first venture into underground and culverts, would have been nice to see a bit more history, but the town is a relatively new town so a lot of concrete, but was still a blooming good explore, there was a few side tunnels that definitely need exploring and there was one part where there was a vertical pipe pouring out water and a very powerful side pipe, never realised just how powerful water could be gushing out at an pretty decent rate out some of these outlets.
I was trying to get to the end the first time I visited, but I had been in there for a good few hours, mucking around trying to get half decent shots in complete darkness and with a pretty inadequate torch really for the job in hand, I decided to turn back because I didn't really want to pop up any drain covers to get out, wasn't sure where I was going to end up, so I walked back against the flow of the water, bloody good exercise I tell you that!
I visited a second time and as had some half decent shots of most of the culvert, decided to power on walk straight to the end, and that's what I did, some more nice bits, and tunnels shapes, certainly more interesting than the square concrete culvert, saw light, the end was in sight, carried on walking there was a lot of silt or sand or whatever it might be under my feet, certainly got a sinking feeling, used my tripod to see just how deep things really were, as I was a bit concerned about the camera bag going under, luckily moving along at the end I felt concrete bottom, was waist deep and I am six foot, so I wouldn't recommend this for short arses at the end, the first half is fine in wellies (just about dependant on rainfall)
Got to the end, as was greeted by the quacking of some ducks in the fishing lake peering at me through the locked gate, and must have wondered what the hell I was doing there
Have to say where the water joined that lake I was standing still for a bit taking some photographs, and my word the water was cold, had to get moving again, wasit high in cold water, I thought that wasn't such a good idea, turned around and walked back, once back fully inside the culvert was a nice feeling, when hitting that relatively warm water again, but boy its not a short culvert and it certainly builds the muscles up on the legs.
It was a cracking explore, great it was on my local doorstep, and a bit shout out to Northern Ninja for the heads up! Much appreciated mate and this now I think will be more new playground, might have to check out some of the side tunnels I think.
Enough waffling and hope you enjoy the photographs, best I could do with a 8 year old camera and a Â£10 torch, but considering it was pitch black I don't think they are a bad effort
Thanks for looking and I think I really have the underground bug now!
Cannot find any history about this place, I will keep digging and get back to you
While on the way to another explore, this place caught the corner of my eye, it didn't look doable and under 24hr CCTV , I risked it, a bit of investigative work and I was in, nothing amazing, but a worthwhile explore, I expect back in the day this country house was very nice, looking a bit sad for itself now, anyway hope you enjoy, a nice little bonus explore enjoyed it
Apologies about some of the photographs, I had no decent torch and it was pitch black in quite a few places
Thanks for looking