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  1. The first attempt to visit it was exactly three years ago. However, I didn't feel very well at this time, so I went back to the car after half the way. Not a bad decision, because The_Raw and the others failed then. Now the second attempt, this time with more luck. A really great and impressive building! Visited with @The_Raw & @Miss.Anthrope. History (taken from The_Raw) The present chateau style house, the third on the site, was built for the Hughes copper mining family. The house, designed in the 1870s, was called a 'calendar house' as it had 365 rooms. It is set in walled gardens of around 18 acres, which are themselves set in grounds of around 5,000 acres, encompassing open fields, parkland and forests. The 1870s structure is an example of the myriad of new types of buildings that were arising during the Victorian era to fulfil increasingly specialised functions. For example, there was a room in the mansion that was only to be used for the ironing of newspapers, so that the ink would not come off on the reader's hands. The property was last used as a private home in 1929, after which it was converted to a 'rheuma spa', a health centre for the treatment of people with rheumatism. The spa remained until the outbreak of World War II, when the hall was taken over as a hospital. Post-war the hall became Clarendon Girls' School, but after extensive fire damage in 1975, the school was forced to close. Restored by businessman Eddie Vince as a Christian conference centre, it was sold at auction in 2001, but a proposed redevelopment by Derbyshire Investments failed to materialise. The property was to be offered for sale by auction on 12 October 2011 with a reserve price of £1.5million which did not include the 5,000 acres of surrounding land. However it was bought shortly before auction by a businessman who bid closest to the £1.5m guide price. He intended to develop the property into a hotel, but these plans never materialised, and the property lies derelict. In 2015 Kinmel Hall was identified by the Victorian Society as one of the top ten at-risk Victorian and Edwardian buildings. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33
  2. Scrappy and I visited this place with some new friends - Mars Lander, Shush, Lowri to name but a few! Big thanks to them for inviting us to join them on what was a very fun explore This place was MASSIVE, you could get lost in it. We had some close calls with people on the grounds, visitors to this site are not welcome and that's putting it mildly! Luck was on our side that day and we got to see the majority of the site before a leisurely walk back to the car. In my opinion, this place is worth seeing for the rooftop views alone, they were spectacular A little bit of history on the place: The Grade 2 listed house is set in walled Venetian gardens of around 18 acres. the mansion, constructed in Wales in the 1870s. The stables are Grade 1 listed. There are 122 rooms with 52 main bedrooms and quarters for 60 live-in servants. The prodigious estate passed through various generations and still bares its coat of arms on the huge wrought iron gates. During World War II it was used as a military hospital and it later became private Clarendon Girls' School. In 1975 the hall was extensively damaged in a fire, forcing the school to close. It was then restored and used as a conference centre. It was sold at auction in 2001 but a proposed redevelopment failed to materialise. The steps up to the stables Exterior shot of the mansion Rooftop shot. You may spy a few familiar faces up there Thanks for looking
  3. Lotus Hall aka Cuckoo Hall Visited with: Venustas, Shane & Miz Firestorm Visit date: January 2015 Please Note: Entry is always through an open access point and not by forcing our way in….. We are explorers, not vandals. My Visit My first Urbex trip of 2015 and it started out like many more from 2014 with my phone alarm waking me up at 03:30 AM! 10 minutes later after making a flask of coffee I was in the car and on my way to meet Shane and then to pick up Alex. Before making our way to Lotus Hall we was to meet up with Klare at a set point and then head to the location. At around 07:15 we parked up the car and started the walk to the manor house. With the combination of the bad weather and the dark mornings at this time year it was fairly straight forward. We never spotted a soul but made sure we kept hidden using the tree lines and darkness to our advantage. After around 30 minutes Lotus Hall started to show itself though the trees and murky light. After standing at the edge of the grounds for a few minutes taking in the sight of this beautiful Manor we headed to the entry point, 5 minutes later we was in. Now this place is huge and once you get inside it turns into a maze of rooms and corridors. A good chunk of this place however is made up on small bedrooms which I am guessing is from its time as a boarding school for girls. We knew this was the case and started to look for the area of the Manor that we had got up at silly O'Clock to photograph. After what seemed a good while and a few head scratching moments later were it felt like we was going around in circles we finally spotted the main stairs through a door window, brilliant we have found it. As we pulled the door handle however, it was locked! A little disheartened but far from beaten we kept looking for another way in, minutes later we found it. I always make sure to get the main areas photographed first just in case we get rumbled and walked off the site and for me it was the staircase. Alex was already at the top of the stairs so I waited for him to get the shots he wanted and followed him down taking my shots whilst trying not to get in each others way. I have explored with Alex a good amount of times now so we know how each other works and we managed to get what we needed without any problems. Beautiful right? I think so.... With the photos taken that I really wanted in the collection I headed off to look around at what else Lotus Hall had to show me. This to me looked like the main foyer and from other images I have seen there was some very fine tables and chairs in here at some point. Now this next room I call the Ballroom as it just gave me the feeling that many extravagant parties would have been held in here, whether it is a ballroom or not I am unsure. Here is a closer look at the ceiling taken from the balcony. Next up was the library, stripped clean apart from a few units and the fireplace. If you look above the fireplace you will see two green squares. At one time there was two ornate wooden carved panels in those squares given to the owners by Queen Victoria, however they have been stolen. Next up had to be the most colourful room in the manor. Dubbed accordingly as the 'Red Room', How original I hear you say... Well I am a simple kind of guy! My final image for this report is a room that looks like at some point renovation had been started but seems to have stopped. 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]/ Final thoughts So was Lotus Hall aka Cuckoo Hall worth the early start? Was it worth the muddy, dark and wet walk to get to the Manor? Was it worth wandering around a maze of corridors scratching our heads in frustration trying to find the main area? The simple answer is YES and I would do it all again as I feel that Lotus Hall has much more to show me. All in a brilliant location and a fantastic morning spent exploring with a great group of people. What a start for my exploring in 2015! Thanks for reading, Dugie
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