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.
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.
The history of Coalbrookdale foundry dates back all the way to 1572 when the land was passed to John Brooke who developed coal mining there on a substantial scale. A blast furnace was built at the site to produce iron, which blew up in 1703. It remained derelict until the arrival of Abraham Darby I in 1709. Abraham Darby I set about rebuilding the Coalbrookdale Furnace, using coke as the fuel. His business was that of an iron founder, making cast iron pots and other goods, an activity in which he was particularly successful because of his patented foundry method, which enabled him to produce cheaper pots than his rivals. The furnace was the first coke-fired blast furnace to operate successfully for a prolonged period of time.
The Coalbrookdale Foundry – this area has since been converted into a museum
Following the death of Abraham Darby II, Abraham Darby II was brought into the business as an assistant manager when old enough. The Company also became early suppliers of steam engine cylinders in this period. Experiments took place with the application of coke pig iron to the production of bar iron in charcoal finery forges. This proved to be a success, and led to the beginning of a great expansion in coke iron making.
In 1768, the company began to produce the first cast iron rails for railways. In 1778, Abraham Darby III undertook the building of the world’s first cast iron bridge, the iconic Iron Bridge, opened in 1780. The fame of this bridge leads many people today to associate the Industrial Revolution with the neighbouring village of Ironbridge, but in fact most of the work was done at Coalbrookdale, as there was no settlement at Ironbridge in the eighteenth century.
Workers boots hung on the front gate
The blast furnaces were closed down, perhaps as early as the 1820s, but the foundries remained in use. The Coalbrookdale Company became part of an alliance of iron founding companies who were absorbed by Allied Iron founders Limited in 1929. This was in turn taken over by Glynwed which has since become Aga Foodservice. Castings for Aga Rayburn cookers were produced at Coalbrookdale until its closure in November 2017.
Delivery yard, where the raw materials and scrap iron arrive
One of the two cupolas, seen from the melt shop delivery yard
Archive image of molten iron being taken from the cupola
Number 1 cupola. This mini blast furnace melted the iron ready to be cast.
Number 2 furnace
Above the furnaces
Compressors which blew air into the cupolas
Rear of the furnaces
Ladles hanging from an overhead rail system for transporting molten iron
One of the ladles
Moving into the casting area where we find racks of moulds
Patterns laid out on the floor
Patterns laid out on the floor
The main casting shop contains a fair bit of automated casting equipment
Beside the production line with wagons on rails for transporting castings
Casting production line
Casting production line
End of the casting line
Casting machine, where the molten iron is pored into
Archive image of molten iron being poured into cast
Automated production lines
Automated production lines
Tanks and conveyors
Towards the end of the factory we find more machinery
Extraction hoods in an old part of the site
The workshops shop contained a handful of machines
Dress in the machine shop
A pair of drills
Finally, some of their finished products – an Aga in the canteen along with a Rangemaster fridge
Visited with my second favourite ginger woman,toby and wakey
Brogyntyn Hall has stood abandoned for 15 years. was owned by the Lord Harlech until 2000. Settled in the 1600s the house and its estate once presided over the land as far as the eye can see. The family was one of the great English dynasties and owners of Harlech Castle in North Wales as well.
Unfortunately a string of tragedies including two Lords Harlech dying without wills, leaving massive death duties to be paid, saw the decline of the family fortunes and subsequent sale of the Hall. Interestingly it was also used during the war by British Telecom as headquarters for communications for the spy network operating in Europe.