Archive for August, 2009

Harperbury Hospital, Aug-2009

Posted by thirtyfootscrew On August - 26 - 2009

Corridor in New BuildingI’ve been hankering after a proper wide-angle lens for a while and after ages of trying to decide between the Sigma 10mm and the Sigma 10-20mm, I’d kind-of settled on the zoom because you get a little more flexibility and it’s cheaper but I’d read that the 10-20 had quite poor build quality.  On a pay-day whim I ended up buying the Tamron 10-24mm (which had favourable comparisons to the Sigma 10-20) and tonight I popped out to give it a quick test – the weather was turning out rubbish so I needed somewhere indoors and Harperbury seemed ideal.

The place was in an even worse state than the last time which one would expect to be the case in a derelict building but the bulk of the new damage is human and one of the previously sealed buildings was open on three sides, I even saw the remnants of what would’ve been a padded cell but only the floor was intact as the walls had been stripped bare.

It was interesting to explore a couple of new rooms but they all looked essentially the same as the others anyway – pretty mashed up…

Needs Redecorating

It’s often difficult to find inspiration in a site you’ve visited before and I really struggled to find anything to do that I’d not done before, despite the new lens – it didn’t help much that I was knackered after a long day at work either.  

37I guess this is a lesson really, that the fun and interesting part of Urban Exploration really is the ‘exploration’ component – finding something new and interesting as opposed to covering the same ground over and over again. Just because it’s probably the most diverse building on the site, I spent the longest amount of time in the swimming pool block doing a couple of long exposures but I really didn’t get anything I hadn’t done before and I didn’t have the patience to do time consuming work such as light painting, which is a pity as it’s quite a cool spot to do it.

I achieved the lighting in these shots through a combination of the light from my head torch and the external flash unit being handheld off-camera…

Oxford Dipper

Swimming Pool

Top 10 Abandoned Asylums

Posted by sickbritain On August - 19 - 2009

All over the UK dotted throughout countryside and city alike lie abandoned asylums, relics of a bygone era of mental health where the aim was to isolate patients in a secure facility rather than integrating them with the community. Here I have selected a top ten list based on the number of Flickr photos I found for each asylum in a single search, doubtlessly I will have missed important sites and got the ranking wrong but please feel free to point them out by leaving a comment. All of the photos used below were taken by other photographers and are used under a Creative Commons license (click through to Flickr for attribution), if you think you’ve got a better photo and it’s not CC – get your licensing sorted!


1. Hellingly
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2. Cane Hill

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3. West Park

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4. Whittingham

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5. Severalls

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6. Denbigh

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7. Deva

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8. St Mary’s

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9. Talgarth

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10. St John’s

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Practical Photography Magazine Dereliction Special

Posted by thirtyfootscrew On August - 14 - 2009

For those of you that haven’t seen it yet the September issue of Practical Photography Magazine has a massive dereliction special spanning 30-odd pages in the issue, it’s packed full of tips for people new to urban exploration and for those of us that are experienced already it’s still an interesting read.  A handful of explorers from the urbex community have contributed articles including Paul Osborne (aka Compound Eye) and Elle Dunn.

The articles include quick tips, safety and legal advice, lighting, working with a model, light painting, photoshop tips and even a competition to win an Epson Stylus Photo 1400 A3+ printer by submitting ‘dereliction themed’ photos which should be quite easy for most of us!

Pick up the magazine now at all good stockists (I’ve always wanted to say that).

Urbex Community: Talk|Urbex reports new asylum found

Posted by thirtyfootscrew On August - 13 - 2009

Talk|Urbex is reporting that a ‘new’ asylum has been found, one that has not been shot before – details of the first visit can be found here.  They plan to reveal the location but you have to solve the riddle to get the info – try cracking the first code, I solved it straight away even without the clue but I use this often to encode and decode information (’nuff said) so I was likely to recognise it.

Good luck to you with the code,if everyone gets the answer all at once we might all end up having a mob to storm the place with or if nothing else we might have enough people for an impromtu rave, I’ll bring the glow-sticks!

American Adventure Theme Park, July-2009

Posted by thirtyfootscrew On August - 11 - 2009

I spent many happy days of my childhood at the American Adventure theme park and when I read recently (on an urbex forum) that it had shut down I decided that I must visit.  The park opened in 1987 and was open for almost 20 years, closing in January 2007.  My personal favourites were the Rocky Mountain Rapids and The Missile which, in its day, had been the voted the #1 rollercoaster in the UK.  You can read about the sad decline in the Wikipedia article as well as getting some nostalgic kicks from the American Adventure fan site and browsing the original American Adventure website on the Internet Archive.

This was one of my quick visits in between places so I stowed the car in the first possible place I could find by Googling “american adventure theme park postcode” and slinging the result (DE7 5SX) into my sat-nav, and went for a walk into the site. Despite the fact that it was a miserable day there were plenty of people walking dogs and riding bikes around the perimeter of the place which is a little disconcerting when you’re trying to work out how to subvert a fence! In the end I spotted a clear and easy hole in a metal gate and slipped through unnoticed, there were several spots though so access isn’t an issue.

I didn’t make it around the entire site but what I could see was fairly barren, there are some admin buildings left and there was clear evidence of fire in certain places…

American Adventure: Fire Damage 1 American Adventure: Fire Damage 2

… and some other commercial detritus…

American Adventure: BT Meridan

Occasionally you’d spot some clear and definitive evidence that the site had been a theme park, such as bits of rides…

American Adventure: Old Ride

Points where rides had been anchored…

American Adventure: Anchor Point

You could also see where the old railway line had been, carting people around on a little model steam train…

American Adventure: Railway Sign

I know that there’s a lot more see but the rain and time constraints really stopped me from going much further, it didn’t help that I’d neglected to put on my wellies (see this post) so my feet were beginning to get a bit squelchy and I couldn’t venture into the muddier bits, next time I’m buzzing up the M1 I’ll try and make sure I’ve got some more spare time on my hands and go back for a more thorough explore.

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About Me

If youre into Urbex or youre trying to find out what its all about you may find yourself needing some help finding out about the art of Urban Exploration.  Here at Sick Britain Im planning to put up original content like my What is Urbex? and Urbex Safety articles as well as posting links to other community sites such as 28 Days Later or Derelicte.

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    shadowplay...overhead steelwork...Young smokera view to a better world...Pripyat Swimming Pool14...just another workbench....geometrySummer Camproom for storage...Machevo Village Cinemaas above...Machevo Village Schoollooking worse for wear...Machevo Village Schoolmorning sunstar..