War Memorial Hospital, Melton Mowbray May-2010

Posted by thirtyfootscrew On June - 23 - 2010

My first visit to to the Ankle Hill War Memorial Hospital in Melton was interesting but a little disappointing since the whole place was boarded up and we could see the interior through the windows but couldn’t get in.  Well, thanks to all of the excellent comments people left on the original post I found out that the place was now accessible and earmarked a weekend to travel up to Melton for an explore.  A few of the comments describe the place as eerie and they’re not wrong – there’s definitely a creepy atmosphere there, I visited the place with a fellow explorer in the middle of the day but it’d be an interesting place to visit at night!

Essentially there’s a few smaller outbuildings towards the road side including a courtyard/garage area but the site is dominated by the main building which stretches up the hill over two levels.  Navigating the main building can be a bit confusing at first as the upstairs part at the lower end of the complex becomes the ground floor of the higher end since the hospital was built on a hill, the corridor between the two sections is also curved so it’s easy to lose your bearings in both axes but if you proceed systematically you won’t get lost.

Since the place hasn’t been derelict for long and has only been recently opened the interior is still in reasonably good shape so the day’s photography focused on the artefacts left behind, mainly signs electrical bits and some more recent graffiti.  Some of the heating and electrical components still seemed operational (one red LED was still lit in the plant room), my favourite shots of the day came from the industrial artefacts..

Whilst walking through the darkened curved corridor I spotted a couple of large paintings on the wall, they looked dull to the eye but the flash of the camera brought them out brilliantly…

There was also an area I assume was the children’s ward since the walls were covered with stickers like this…

And finally, in one of the outbuildings that appeared to be the dentistry department I found a moment of Urbex Fluffy Time…

Urbex Community: derelicte.co.uk

Posted by sickbritain On March - 22 - 2009

If you want to read site reports, browse some good photos, find inspiration and get ideas for locations you need look no further than derelicte.co.uk.  The site is based loosely around East Anglia but some of the site reports come from diverse places ranging from the West Country to Tyne & Wear, the one thing all of the reports seem to have in common is good solid photography and there’s often some quality historical information to go with it.  I’ve personally been put onto a couple of great ideas by derelicte.co.uk and I’m sure that when I’m looking for a day out it’ll be one of my first places to turn for inspiration.

derelicte.co.uk

War Memorial Hospital, Melton Mowbray Feb-2009

Posted by thirtyfootscrew On March - 19 - 2009

Having decided to do some Urbex in Leicestershire I headed over to the Ankle Hill War Memorial Hospital in Melton Mowbray. Access was pretty straightforward but I did get a few scrapes from the brambles in the adjacent rough patch of land and managed to lose my torch in the rough, once on-site you can see the main hospital building which is a fairly old grand structure (the sort that could’ve been a stately home) and have complete access to the rest of the site. I encountered no security to speak of and only one security camera seemed evident though I expect that it was part of the original hospital and not erected to secure the ruins, it point directly across a doorway which would seem to support that theory as well.

The main problem I encountered here in terms of exploring was that the place is pretty well boarded up, padlocked and sealed and I’m not the type that would force entry or break anything but the exterior is well worth a wander around and you can see a bunch of interesting bits and bobs through the windows.

Despite the lack of access I think that it’s still a good site for a quick wander, the building itself is quite interesting an there’s an array of outbuildings, a fire escape, some archways and an overgrown area that are worth having a nose around. I think that because it’s well sealed the place appears to be in quite a good condition internally and whilst there was evidence of vandals having broken the odd window and having been in one of the courtyards the view through the windows is that of an abandoned but not really decayed building.

Around the site there’s quite a bit of graffiti, much of it seeming to mention “Drunk Irish” (presumably a local) and phrases such as “Prostitute Mutilation”, “Slaughter the Priest Corpse” and the pictured “Painful Stab Wounds Heal My Soul, I Beg For Mercy”. Lovely. I do generally appreciate artistic graffiti but Ankle Hill seemed to be much more ASBO than Turner Prize so I wouldn’t be looking for the next Banksy to come out of Melton Mowbray any time soon.

In summary: worth a visit, but don’t make it your main goal for the day.


Stewartby Brickworks Feb-2009

Posted by thirtyfootscrew On March - 14 - 2009

A few weeks ago I made it out to Stewartby Brickworks in Bedfordshire, from what I can gather it closed it’s doors in February 2008 but having read the post on derelicte.co.uk it sounds as though it had been running at a limited capacity for a good few years before that. I was looking forward to exploring an industrial unit but my heart sank a little as I drove up towards the village as I saw bulldozers around the perimeter, thankfully when I got around the back of the village they appeared quite far away and may not be part of the brickworks at all.

Once on the site I had a look around and started taking photos in one of the nearby sheds when I heard some noise, in the distance I saw a van moving and it eventually drove right past me on the other side of a wall. Other than that and the bulldozery in the distance I didn’t detect any other presence on the site but out of caution I didn’t explore some of the sheds in the direction the van came from.

Despite having not been abandoned for long the site is in a relatively good condition, there’s a lot of rubble around and dust in the air but not much evidence of mould, graffiti or vandalism – quite a refreshing change from most places! The structures seem to be intact and pretty sturdy (I wouldn’t try climbing though), there were some noticeboards that still had A4 paper pinned to it in fairly good condition (notes about the lay-offs) and dotted around the site were some interesting ‘motivational’ signs with slogans such as “QUALITY IS YOUR ONLY FUTURE” or “THINK QUALITY, IT TAKES JUST AS MUCH EFFORT TO MAKE A BAD BRICK”.

I’ve never worked in that sort of industrial assembly-line environment but I can’t imagine those signs really had much of an impact. Other paperwork and non-English language newspapers around the site seemed to point to a largely migrant workforce and there were even some photos taped on the walls showing what I assume were former employees stacking bricks.

Elsewhere around the site there was a good mix of giant sheds and nice close detail to photograph, overall a pretty cool site. If I hadn’t seen activity on the site I’d have been able to stay a little longer but as it happened I had other places to go but I imagine that I’ll return at some point.


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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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