By Jake Alan Crag
Hey everyone, so I'm pretty sure everyone's heard of this place so i dont really need to explain much about it, but if you haven't, below is a brief history of Denbigh Mental Asylum.
Grade 2 Listed building.
Built work started in 1844
Building work completed in 1848
Built to house up to 200 patients with psychiatric illnesses. In the early 1900's it housed 1537 patients (Approx).
The hospital had its own farm and gas works.
Planned for closure by Enoch Powellin the 1960's, however it only began closing in sections between 1991-1995.
This is genuinely one of the best condition buildings that i have ever explored.
Most of the lower floor windows were covered in either ivy or thick vines, so it got quite dark in some sections of the building.
Now for the hospital itself, my personal favorite photos:
Thanks for reading,
Make sure to check out my youtube channel Jake Alan Craig for the video and my instagram @exploring_with_jake for regular abandoned photos.
We went and visited a WW2 Shelter last night on the outskirts of London. The place was absolutely incredible and even had left behind remnants. We found it that it had been unsealed again so we decided to set off straight away as we did not want to miss this chance. I hope you enjoy the video!
I couldn't find to much however the shelter was built on the grounds of Cane Hill Asylum around the time of WW2. There were also another 3 tunnels built at the same time. Sometime after the war the tunnels were bought by a specialist manufacture of optical devices which included mainly lenses for large telescopes. The Company left the site in the early 70s to then go on and finish trade in 1978. It basically then turned into a tipping site for old car parts until they were sealed up by the local council.
this second part nearly didnt happen as when i arrived i found the yard had changed hands and was all set to write it off as a waste of time and head home untill i spotted something in the far corner of the yard and sought permission to take some photographs which was given by way of intercom so off i trotted across the yard camera in hand to find my subject.
mass transit was founded in May 1998 by Michael Strafford an engineering business, performing contract maintenance for other operators. It also specialised in the conversion of buses for non-passenger use. It then diversified into the operation of school bus services At the time operations ceased it operated 86 routes serving 32 schools and at its peak carried some 15,000 children a day to and from schools across south yorkshire and lincolnshire
Between 2001 and 2005, Brightbus, then known as Mass Transit, had a substantial presence in lincolnshire following the acquisition of the bus operations of Applebys Coaches, Reliance Travel of great gonnerby and the grantham depot of lincolnshire roadcar.
The Grantham operation failed under Mass ownership and was sold to centrebus and the Lincoln area operations to dunn line in 2005
In 2004, BrightBus purchased the long established Leon Motors of finningley that was formed in 1922 and operated buses in doncaster by 2008 the company's stage-carriage work had passed to first south yorkshire and concentrated on school contracts which were based at the main BrightBus depot at north anston
mass/transit now brightbus disposed of the elderly leon and northern bus fleets which had kept the stage carriage and school services going and ran
a fleet of 73 buses, including many English built three-axle dennis dragons and leyland olympians the dragons repatriated from Hong Kong.
painted in what i thought was a very sickly green michael strafford retired at 55 stating ill health but didnt want to sell the business although he has disposed of the vast majority of the bright bus fleet possibly to other school or service bus operators .
today the yard is in the hands of hallam express a logistics company full of lorries and fork lift trucks but a few of michaels buses are stored in the far corner of the yard
all be it in a scrap state i think he is trying to sell these vehicles on for preservation rather than send them to booth roe or carlton PSV at barnsley he also still owns the former depot at leon wether these are to pass on to his family or he his hanging on for a better price i wouldnt know what i do know is like leon this marks the passing of another operator from the bus world.
i acknowlage the author of the brightbus photos
a rather scruffy mass transit bus possibly filling in between school runs heads for hexthorpe near doncaster
a mixed group of bright buses mostly repatriated hong kong tri axles wait for the school run
a wider view of the hong kong tri axles sandwich in a leyland olympian
a hong kong tri axle MIL 55774 stands under the bus wash
hong kong BIG 9823 which moved to leon finningley for a short time and C887 RFE parked at the rear of the yard near the inspection ramps
viewed through the fence american schoolbus GHL 212 V in the yard
as stated bright buses yard is now home to hallam express logistics lorries now park where buses once used to
the former bus repair sheds now used for storage
this is all that remains of brightbus a hong kong tri axle and a few scrap buses stored in one corner of the yard
a side view of tri axle E537AKU and olympian W141 EON which spells leon the company brightbus aquired in 2004
the hong kong still retains its brightbus fittings
and that of its previous company
an interior view of the downstairs of hong kong
looking down the bus it smelt like one of the museum type buses a unused shut in smell not unpleasant
looking up the bus to be honest its in good condition and would make a runner again
where as leon was in a deploreable state
had to squeeze past rammels corner to get the interior shot
SN53 KKH stands in pieces far from its london home
although inside it could have just finished the days service
came across this dennis dominator a long way from home formally with greys from ely
complete with its cambridgeshire county council notice
with junk dumped in its interior
but wait all is not what it seems ...its colour and the sticker insider gives it away it was formally a magic bus based near piccadilly manchester
the american schoolbus GHL 212 V is still parked up in the yard
the interior and drivers seat tastefully redone ..... in moquet...yuck!!
and as i take my leave the bus wash still exists but out of use
mass brightbus still need fitters
and the spirit of mass /brightbus continues to haunt the north anston industrial estate
mass/brightbus was the parent company of leon purchased in 2004 and stated in my leon post one of my other to do yards
as this would be a very lengthy report and so as not to spoil the present report i have decided to split this in to 2 parts
the mass/brightbus depot was located on houghton road of the north anston industrial estate some 12 miles from sheffield and were operators of local school bus contacts and a few stage carriage services.
but this yard has a history that goes back even further than mass/ brightbus as it was originally the yard of a former employer of mine northern bus or the northern bus company as it was offically known.
northern bus was formed during the 1986 deregulation era by duncan roberts northern bus challenged south yorkshire transport on the dinnington to sheffield bus corridor
resulting in syt handing all services over to the independent northern bus who ran all sheffield services from dinnington interchange to sheffield interchange and meadowhall along with school contracts for the local authority.
northern bus also ran cross border services between sheffield and worksop in nottinghamshire on the service x85 sheffield to halifax x38 and also challenged a yorkshire traction /west riding alliance on service x32 to leeds with a variation of bristol VR,s bristol RE,s and service coaches for the x32 service everything bought second hand mostly from crosville
in around 2001 northern bus was sold to a bus engineering company called mass transit later to become brightbus who took over the school contracts and stage carriage work for a short while longer.
as i said so as not to spoil the next part of the report i will leave the story there and continue it under mass/brightbus but leave you with some delightfull pictures of northern buses in service.
former crosville bristol RE HRN 108 N stands VOR at north anston depot awaiting repairs or being stripped for parts note the roof from the open top bus alongside.
another former crosville coach 222 WFM stands at north anston with 85 sheffield on the blind this was the cross border south yorkshire/nottinghamshire service to worksop in company with a RE which had been to rotherham.
looking like it has had bodyshop attention elderly ex crosville bristol RE EFM 178 H parked at the depot alongside interloper bristol VR HTU 159 N itself from crosvile liverpool formerly DVG 270 N bought by another school contractor and coach operator jhonson brothers from hodthorpe derbyshire possibly in for repair during the mass era.
W. T. Henley was a cable/wire company that was founded in a small London-based workshop in 1837. William Thomas Henley is famous for having converted his old lathe into a wiring covering machine which was used to cover wire with silk and cotton as this was in high demand at the time for electromagnetic apparatus. It is reported that Henley’s company progressed at an impressive rate and that he pioneered the submarine cable field (laying cables on the sea bed between land-based stations to carry telecommunication signals across stretches of ocean).It was Henley’s dream that all of civilisation would eventually be linked together telegraphically.
As WT Henley’s Telegraph Works continued to prosper, Henley decided to purchase a factory at North Woolwich beside the Thames in 1859 for £8,000. It is said that this development led to the laying of the Persian Gulf telegraph cable which is 1615 miles long, for the Indian Government. As a result, by the end of 1873 Henley’s Woolwich site had spread to cover some sixteen acres and his company also included three cable laying ships and a four-hundred-foot wharf to allow five-hundred-ton ships to load and unload their cargo. Sadly, Henley died in 1882; however, his company continued to grow in his absence and went on to form branches across the country.
By 1906 work on a new factory in Gravesend was completed. The new factory is said to have been an impressive development and it included extensive, purpose-built, laboratories and a modern reinforced concrete air-raid shelter under London Road that could hold approximately two-thousand people. The tunnels were built into old caves within the Rosherville Gardens – an area of land located between the cable works and the cliff face. It is likely that the air-raid shelter was factory-owned but also open to the public as Henley’s company did not actually own Rosherville Gardens at the time and it featured a number of amenities and six entrances. Henley’s company continued to thrive as the Victorian era ended; however, its success can be linked directly to the Great War as it was a catalyst for technological and industrial development and change. By the Second World War, Henley’s company was publicly praised for its contribution towards King and Country – particularly its contribution to ‘Operation Pluto’ (the construction of petrol pipelines across the English Channel). Despite this success, a decision was made to close the main Henley factory at Woolwich due to the repeated damaged it suffered during the war years. A new factory was subsequently built at Birtley in the North East due to its reputation for being a ‘misty valley’ that made it difficult for the Luftwaffe to target factories, and this was completed in 1950.
Sadly, a change of events occurred in 1958 when AEI acquired Henley’s company, having already taken over Siemens Bros in 1953. However, AEI is now the world’s oldest cable company and recently celebrated its one-hundred and seventy-fifth anniversary. Unfortunately, Henley’s Gravesend site was closed in 2008, though, due to it being ‘no longer viable to operate because of strong European competition’.
Our Version of Events
Not much by way of events for this one. It’s been a very busy few months and we ended up here to take a break after doing a spot of house viewing. Since we’d spent all day and most of the evening looking at damp, shitty rental properties that all looked as though they ought to be photographed and placed as reports on here, we arrived outside AEI in the early hours of the morning. Armed only with the essentials, our tripods, cameras and cans of Stella Artois, we made our way over the epic bog that you have to cross to find the entrance to the old shelter. We really underestimated how muddy this bit of wasteland was going to be to be honest and very nearly ended up taking a cold midnight mud bath several times. Nevertheless, we eventually made it across, with all our beers intact you’ll be happy to know. From this point onwards, getting into the old shelter was pretty straightforward.
Once inside, we immediately set about taking our snaps. There was a shared feeling among us that the heavy feeling of tiredness was impending so we wanted to get the hard bit of the explore out of the way quickly. It didn’t really take long to photograph the place in the end though, once we’d worked out the general layout of the structure which is a grid-like setup. This left us with plenty of time to each pull up a chemical toilet and enjoy a few bevvies. And that’s how it ended. The tins were cracked and we sat wondering what it would have felt like to hear explosions outside and the thunder of guns shaking the paint and dirt from the ceiling. In reality, all we could really hear was a superb silence and the odd drip coming from a room to our left. What better way to finish an explore, with beers in hand and an abundance of chemical toilets at the ready.
Explored with Ford Mayhem.