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Crookham Court (sometimes called Harlequin Manor) is a mansion in Berkshire built around 1850, when a previous manor house on the same grounds was destroyed by fire. The building was added to over the next 50 years in two further phases. Crookham Court served many purposes over the years. Originally built as a family home, but later became a junior school for the children of military personnel serving at nearby RAF Greenham Common. Once the air force had left the area the house sat unused until 1961 when it was purchased and redeveloped for use as a boarding school. The school was operational until 1990, after which time the rooms were used as bedsits until 1997. A well-publicised case of child abuse by several members of staff was revealed in 1988 when a new head teacher took over the school. Three men were convicted including the principal who was also the owner of the building. Over 20 years later another teacher was also convicted when another victim came forward. Our Visit Not a lot to say about this one, this was the first stop on a day of exploring with Kriegaffe9. It was a shame to see the library has gone downhill somewhat over the last year, but the rest of place was only suffering natural decay, no signs of other damage. 1. Main Hall 2. Main Hall 3. Main Hall Side View 4. Main Hall 5. Hall with the fisheye lens 6. On the staircase 7. View from the top 8. Doors and wall Details 9. Green corridor 10. Steps in green corridor 11. Stained Glass Windows 12. The library still full of books 13. Sofa in the library 14. Sports hall 15. Changing room 16. Sports shirts and equipment 17. Gymnasium 18. Equipment in the gym Boarding room Ornate mirror in a boarding room Dressing room Next, we move into the other buildings around the siteÃ¢â‚¬Â¦. The science lab School-work left on the benches Store cupboard in the science lab Music room with piano Chapel Organ in the chapel Organ keys detail Thanks for looking. I have many more reports on my website - bcd-urbex.com
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 isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢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 RantzenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s show ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢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! Thanks for looking
Dirty and depressing. That is how the standard of living at Crookham Court School was described in the years approaching its closure. Serious safety hazards, severe bullying and humiliation at the hands of unchecked pupils and unsatisfactory teaching standards, but there was worse to come. Far far worse. Despite demands for an inquiry, parliament was told by the Department of Education that it was 'powerless to act' in the face of mounting stories of over 30 years of sexual abuse experienced at the boys boarding school by teaching staff after Michael Gold, the then new headmaster, blew the whistle. He barely received recognition for his efforts in finally bring justice for the victims and never taught again. In the end it was increasing media scrutiny and public outcry lead by Esther Ransen, investigating child abuse as a presenter on the BBC's "That's Life" programme, that finally brought an end to the years of abuse and the school was closed in the late 80s. Several members of staff, including the principal and school owner, were all convicted of serious sexual offences against pupils from Crookham Court, with a fourth recently sentenced to four years imprisonment after being found guilty of four counts of assault while acting as a teacher at the school. The case had a strong influence on the Children Bill as it went through Parliament, resulting in a new regime of boarding and welfare inspections by social services. Recent developers plans to restore the school and convert outbuildings into an eight bedroom house and 12 small properties have been approved so while some semblance of Crookham Court will remain with any luck it's ghosts and the shadow it casts over the lives of the pupils who lives where irrevocably changed by their experiences at the school may finally be put to rest. - As sites go it was one of the best this year has offered so far, but as an explore it was a sobering one to put mildly. Visited with my good friend Pen15 and another explorer who isn't on the site. After stumbling about trying to find the place in what could only be best described as an urbex comedy sketch come to life, the trees finally parted and Crookham Court loomed over us. After a brief nose around the out buildings and a quick dip in the pool to photograph the remains of Fantastic Mr. Fox (the poor bugger's luck finally ran out it seems) we were soon inside and spent most of the day exploring every nook and cranny before our luck too also ran out and we were spotted, thus a quick exit was made, leaving Crookham Court forever behind us. Say cheese! The famous mobility scooter. Our time was cut short so a traditional group shot around it was abandoned. The Library. The absolute highlight of the site. Some arseholes have made a good very attempt at nicking the fireplace in here. This is why we can't have nice things. An infamous tomb revered by deranged fanatics and reviled by everyone else. And Dianetics by L. Ron Hubbard. (Joking aside, what the hell is scientologist materials doing in a school? Didn't they suffer enough?) The classic novel based on the classic sequel to the classic film based on the classic novel. Thanks for looking. And as a quick personal note, this is my first report on a site since the one on Severalls I made when I first ever joined a exploring community (28DL) nearly 5 years ago. Won't SK be proud! See you in 2018 folks!
2013: Slightly adapted title due to a hoo-ha on the radio a while back. It is said security measures were stepped up since my visit, more bulls maybe? Not sure, anyway, this was an awesome explore but sadly has prayed victim to the hands of dirty, filthy thieves. 2012: Many people have lived here since its 1400s build date, including poet John Milton in the mid 1600s, who lived here with his father. The house was rebuilt by Edward Tyrell, City of London Remembrancer in 1848. The last owner who died in 1987, aged 96 left this wonderful house, and although its owned by a family, nothing has been done to it. Imagine what the guy lived through! Victorian Times, the motor car becoming popular, electricity and phones becoming affordable, World War I, World War II, industry failings in the 70s and 80s, its endless! #1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6 #7 #8 Newish electrical Apparatus. This room did have live power supplying an external building. #9 #10 #11 #12