Abandoned Paper Mill, UK
Visited with: Alex
Visit Date: April 2015
Please Note: Entry is always through an open access point and not by forcing our way in….. We are explorers, not vandals.
I had been wanting to visit the mill for some time, however, I kept pushing this one aside for a rainy day. Eventually myself & Alex decided it was time.... This would be my first visit and Alex's second. So, early on a soggy, wet, rainy and very windy April morning we set off to what would turn out to be one of the best & most enjoyable explores I have been on.
The entry to the mill I knew was going to be tricky because Alex had told me the way in when planning the visit. Lots of climbing was needed and the main thing I was thinking was do not rush and avoid any areas that look a little sketchy. It worked and we both made it in without any issues.
Now, I knew the mill was a large site after seeing many other photos from people who had been here and within a few minutes of dropping in the scale of this place became a reality!
I am no expert in the process of making paper so I will only state what I have read as to what the machinery was used for.
I think the yellow machines in this photo fed the pipes in the following photos.
I spent a good amount of time in this room due to all the pipework shooting off in different directions. I love lines and angles and this area had plenty to go at. From what I have read the pipes were for feeding pulp into machines on a lower floor. It makes sense as you can see the pipes attached to the ceiling feeding the pipes on the other side of the room that dissapear into the floor.
The mill has plenty of large rooms that could have been used for many things such as storage & packaging. Here are a few photos of these spaces.
It is always good to get a feel for the people who worked in these places and when you find the brew / changing rooms it kind of brings you back to reality. People once worked here, this was their income for paying the bills, but sadly no more. The different characters that would have been in these rooms over the years and the stories they have told. Does anyone think that this was the male changing room! And no, not because it is messy....
Situated in the middle of the main working areas we found the brew room which consisted of two floors for people to sit and relax whilst on their breaks. A shower room and another changing room are situated off to the side but I never took a photo, why I hear you ask... because my brain gave out on me and I forgot. I remember thinking that it must have been very noisy in here due to the fact that it is surrounded on all sides by large machinery.
All I know about these machines is that they were used for rolling the paper. The room is crammed from wall to wall with machinery with only a central isle to walk down.
Do you remember earlier in the report that I said the pulp was fed through the pipes and down to machines on a lower floor? Well these are the machines that was fed the pulp. What happened to the pulp at this stage I have absolutely no idea.
The room was very dark (and hard to photograph) and I remember when entering feeling like I had been taken back in time to the industrial revolution. Lots of metal on show, dirt, pipes & strange looking machines it was very surreal. I can imagine this area being very hot and noisy with lots of sweaty dirty workers going about their tasks.
As well as all the machines there was also a good amount of office space here. Most was very badly decayed or trashed but I did find this room rather interesting.
Ok so back to the working areas... This is the largest area we came across on the visit, lots of different areas within one floor all working together in what you could call a production line.
Again I got a surreal feeling here due to the fact that at one time this place would have been bustling with people and noise. Now though, nothing, nothing other than the sounds of our footsteps and the rain hitting the roof.
Tucked away in the corner of this area we found three forklifts parked up. They look in very good working order and I am sure if you had the keys they would start up.
The final photo is of an area where one of the end results is stacked up on pallets and either moved to storage or loaded onto wagons. There is still some paper stacked on pallets that will have come down the conveyors as you can see in the photo. Behind me is two very large shutter doors that open to a loading area.
More images available on flickr
The images above are just a small selection of the images I have edited. I will be adding lots more photos of Lotus Hall aka Cuckoo Hall on my Flickr page which can be found here, https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]
To me having a fantastic location to see is only 50% of what makes a good trip the other is great company and this day had both, I loved every minute we spent here.
There was so much to see and with every room being different it allowed your mind to try and figure out and imagine what the area was used for and the communal areas made you think of the people who worked here..... To me that is what exploring is all about!
With the size of this place I am sure myself & Alex will have missed some areas and I would love to revisit here at some point. The mill instantly became one of my favorite locations that I have been lucky enough to see and rightly so.
Finally, thanks to my good Friend Alex for the company as always.
Thanks for reading,