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Luke

Crookham Court Manor, Berkshire - June 2013

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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.

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Say cheese!

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The famous mobility scooter. Our time was cut short so a traditional group shot around it was abandoned.

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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.

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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?)

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The classic novel based on the classic sequel to the classic film based on the classic novel.

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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!

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Nice shots of that place. With the history I too found the place depressing as well when we went.

But a nice write up there, good stuffs :jump

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Cool set Luke and so agree the place is enough to make any perceptive person feel ill via its past.

Seams back in the day child abuse was better ignored than recognized for the filth that it is.

Also find it ironic that it was a Tv broadcast amongst others that so assisted in bringing to an end the abuse at a time when we now know so many Tv Celeb’s of the day were nonce’s.

Thanks for the share and yep defo good to see you posting on the forum and thank you for the share

:thumb

:comp:

Edited by skeleton key

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Guest Scattergun

Qulity shots mate, some nice close ups there. I second SK, ironic indeed!

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Oh I see, so the library was just locked for the day we visited then???

Bastards!!!

Excellent photos mate, glad you and Penis made it in there

:thumb

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Thanks for all the good words guys. It was a bit of a sombre one to make my debut on OS with, I was actually planning a rather more jolly Severalls retrospective instead, but it was a site that stuck with me for a few days after making our getaway and after some research thought it deserved some recognition. I don't think I've been on an explore that's been weighed down with so much terrible history. Having spent an unfortunately large chunk of my childhood in a boarding school, one thankfully free of the truly evil shit that went on here though you still had to sleep with one eye open, it brought back a lot of memories.

Oh I see, so the library was just locked for the day we visited then???

Bastards!!!

Excellent photos mate, glad you and Penis made it in there

:thumb

Yes, I couldn't quite believe it when I turned the corner and saw the library door propped open, I'd given up hope of ever seeing that one in person and it really made the day. Clearly the work of someone with far nimbler fingers than I.

I felt a bit bad for whoever is the caretaker of this site, clearly he is fighting a losing battle to keep people out of the building. You can see a good number of windows where an almost comedic amount of wood and nails have been used to close them up. The building is starting to weather a bit though, a lot of water damage in certain parts from what I can only assume is lead being nicked off the roof and what has happened in the library with the fireplace is inexcusable, the bastards.

:whyu:

Top Notch Luke!!

Love the write up and pics arn't that bad either.

Thanks for being part of the day ;)

It was a pleasure as always Pen15. Here is to many more. :beer:

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Guest Dubbednavigator

Cool set Luke and so agree the place is enough to make any perceptive person feel ill via its past.

Seams back in the day child abuse was better ignored than recognized for the filth that it is.

Also find it ironic that it was a Tv broadcast amongst others that so assisted in bringing to an end the abuse at a time when we now know so many Tv Celeb’s of the day were nonce’s.

Thanks for the share and yep defo good to see you posting on the forum and thank you for the share

:thumb

:comp:

Well put S.K - its unbelievable some of the sexual abuse charges that have come to light in the last 24 months. Horrifying, yet moving that justice is finally being served to those sick bastards that find it acceptable to stick their dick in someone who barely knows what one is.

Great report Luke, good to see you on here :thumb

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