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UK Crookham Court School - Thatcham, Berkshire - May 2014

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Crookham Court stands on the former site of Crookham manor house, built around the start of 14th century and destroyed in 1543, and subsequently Crookham House which was demolished around 1850. The construction of the current building started around this time and continued in two more phases over the next fifty years. It served several purposes over the years such as a manor house, a junior school and a school for children of people serving at Greenham Common. It was abandoned for some time after the US Air Force left the area and purchased in 1961 when it was used as a boarding school until 1990, after which point it was apparently used as apartments (although this isn’t too obvious from looking at the place) and has been abandoned since 2007.

In 1988 there was a well-publicised case of child abuse by several members of staff which was covered on Esther Rantzen’s show That’s Life. This had apparently been going on for thirty years but it was only when the headmaster Mr. Gold joined the school in 1987 that it was discovered and reported. Three were convicted, including the principal who was the owner of the building. Over twenty years later the teacher who had been set free was also convicted when another victim came forward; he has tried appealing but been denied. Currently another of the old teachers is facing 57 charges relating to sex abuse, 20 of those charges are from his time at Crookham Court.

It's a shame that this beautiful building has such a sordid history from recent years, it makes you feel a little uneasy knowing what went on in there. At least some justice has been carried out though and hopefully there will be more convictions to come. I visited with bassboyjoe who suggested the trip in the first place and did all the driving, top man. We turned up expecting to only have access to the outer buildings so we were well chuffed to find a way into the main bit, everything was accessible apart from the library room. That hall is just stunning, you could take pics in there all day long, there's a lot of other cool stuff to see all over the building too. Thanks to Joe for making this trip happen, I'd say a bit more if a didn't have a hangover the size of China, hope you enjoy my piccies!

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Thanks for looking :thumb

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Thanks guys, yeah the place has those childish tags all over the place now which is a shame, absolute morons....

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Cheers, it's been off the map for a while so good to put it back on there for anyone who has't seen it before :thumb

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Bath gone, tv's gone, granny mobile gone, organ pipes gone !, in the space of about 3 months, such a shame !!. nice report though man

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