So on the same day that I first went to the Cop Shop in Brentwood, Essex, we decided to drive 20 miles to the disused Police Station in Witham. It was OK, but probably not worth the extra driving. It was more of a cottage design inside. Quite a nice relaxed explore though and had water and heating.
I think this was closed as part of the massive cost cutting operation in Essex, but there isn't a huge amount of history. Witham was closed before Brentwood, and the Police Department vacated in April 2016. closed in April 2016
In December 2017; the former Police Station was put up for sale with a guide price of £875.000 but was eventually sold early 2018 for £1.6million
planning permission has been submitted to convert the site into a nursery school keeping all the outside features in place and nothing to be demolished.
I visited this site on two separate occasions; once in early April with a non-explorer friend; and again a week later with Mookster and our American Explorer friend who is over on a uni placement.
The site is in the middle of a busy town, right on the main road and is in pretty good condition; not surprising as it only closed in December 2017. Inside its very very bare and only a few features redeem it. It's nice and relaxed and all the power is still on, meaning that the cell panic alarms work and can be silenced from the central panel.
Brentwood is one of several Police Stations in Essex to close recently; Tim and I explored Witham Station on the first visit.
The Police Station was built in 1937 and In December 2015 it was announced by Police and Crime Commissioner Nick Alston, that 15 police stations were to be closed to the public in Essex as part of a £63million spending cut. Brentwood Police Station was one of the 9 Police Stations closing completely. He stated that the buildings were buildings were no longer fit for purpose.
"Police officers, not buildings, fight crime," Chief Constable Stephen Kavanagh said.
"We spend too much on too many police buildings, many of which are either no longer fit for policing or are hardly used by the public to report crime.
Bentwood Police station was eventually closed to the public in April 2016, and was finally fully vacated by the Police in December 2017.
Police Operations have now moved to the local Town Hall. The building was closed as it cost £10million per year in running costs, and would have cost a further £30million in maintenance to bring it to modern standards.
Kemsley LLP have recently announced the earmarking of Brentwood Police Station for proposed residential development. The former Police Station extends to approximately 2.75 acres and a planning application is to be submitted for 70-100 dwellings as part new builds,and part conversion of existing buildings.
I wont bore you with too much history, this place has been done before, and has been done better than my attempt. I just want to share some of my stuff, and hopefully get to know some people on the forum as I am pretty new to urbex.
St Joseph's College, Upholland is a former Roman Catholic seminary in Upholland, Lancashire, England. The foundation of the large building was laid in April 1880 and college was opened in 1883. The buildings have recently been deconsecrated.
In 1986 the total number of students was down to 82, of whom only 54 were Church students, and it was no longer viable to educate them on the premises. From 1987 the remaining students attended St John Rigby College in nearby Orrell for their schooling, an arrangement that continued until the very last of these students left Upholland in 1992.
My Version =
I was planning on visiting Crank Caverns with a few friends to start our exploring adventures with an easy location, but on route, I found the College. We parked quite a bit away from the main road into the spot, so I dont even know what that side looks like, but I will be returning. We approached through the woods, down a public footpath and arrived at the amazing building. We spent around 15 minutes taking a few snaps, looking at possible entrance points, but by the time we made it around to the cemetary, a friendly security guard came around and informed us that we were trespassing and had to leave. We had a bit of a chat with the friendly bloke before heading off on our way with a bit more information.
My friends and I also run a facebook page where we post all of our outdoorsy stuff, bikes, urbex, 4x4ing, anything really. https://www.facebook.com/0151outdoors/
Anyway, heres some pictures, if anyone here can shed some light on approaching this place with more chance of success, give me a message please.
Bishopgarth was first built in 1891 for the Bishop to live in. In 1946 the site became the West Yorkshire Metropolitan Police Training School. The classrooms were built in 1952 and the new block added in 1969 (the accommodation). There were 14 course's for training police men/women these course's included fingerprints, computer training, firearms, public speaking and traffic management. Bishopgarth could take a maximum of 250 students at any one time and usually there were 200 students staying at the on-site accommodation.
To be a policeman you must be 5'9\" tall and for a policewoman 5'6" tall. This is the same as 166cm tall for policemen and 154cm tall for policewomen. The police moved to a new facility in Carr Gate in 2014. The Carr Gate complex houses Firearms, Driver, Public Order, Crime, IT, Foundation and Leadership and Development training. But the question is what will happen to the the now old and abandoned Bishopgarth police training well the first option proposed by the planners would see the entire site used for new homes, believed to be between 120 and 150. The second option would see the number of suggested homes reduced to include space for a residential care home. There is some more info on the matter here https://www.wakefieldexpress.co.uk/news/plans-for-150-homes-and-care-home-at-bishopgarth-1-6890284
Upon arriving we noticed a massive metal fence around the perimeter, but we also noticed a lot of gaps in the fence as soon as we got walking down the drive way we got rustled by the security. We Looped around to the back where the alleged bishops palace is and snuck in through there...
From getting into the bishopgarth area we headed straight to the accommodation building... we did this because we only really came for that building. When we got there we heard rustling, peeking around the corner and seeing a hi-viz vest it was security so quickly we had to run across the courtyard... thankful we missed the security, walking up the stairs to the main entrance of the accommodation building it was boarded so we looked around the whole permitter and found some boards ripped off at the side... looking around the building was like walking around a maze thankfully not a pitch black one thanks to our exploring light. Once we got past the first few floors what contained the dinning room and the main entrance it was just copy paste bedrooms and corridors. After we explored a floor of the bedrooms we got our assess up to the top floor AKA the roof access, we spent a while looking at the landmarks of wakefield and taking pics of the roof but it was hard because at this point we did not want to get spotted... running down the stairs to get out, had a lot more to explore!!!
After the buzz of the accommodation building, we thought it would be hard to beat... ow god was we mistaken. After sneaking across the path we ran into the office/ classrooms... not much going on the outside of the building but once we entered (by opening the door) it was of its rocker! Walking in we had access to the bottom floor, very dark there were a couple classrooms and some office type looking buildings but the real deal was the top floor. We found the stairs after about 15mins of looking around... up the stairs were the IT classrooms and some offices with everything still inside. After we took pics of the upstairs, we wanted to get out but knowing there was the main entrance (with the automatic doors) we had a deeper look... finally we found it, did not expect wooden cladding, a safe, some nice stairs and some trash we was more than happy. But there was still some stairs to climb up... a whole new world (another corridor with some classrooms) the only bit worth looking at up there is the graffiti where the homeless slept.
To end of on a positive note we thought we would have a look around the many 'houses' on the site... only getting in one which was a little outhouse at the back of the accommodation building... i say a little outhouse but if we bumped into that when we stared off we would have lost our minds. After that we got some more externals but we just wanted to get off really...
Narrowly avoiding security
The admin office.