I don’t know what’s so fascinating about things that are old and abandoned but there certainly is something!
It’s a complete adrenaline rush and a wave of different emotions, from the planning all the way to the ride home in the car. Urban Exploring has definitely become one of my favourite things to do!
This amazing find is an old abandoned brickworks called Allen Brickworks in Hipperholme.
Google maps however turned this into a complete adventure! Basically it took us the wrong long way around down some epic dirt paths resulting in us having to make friends with a random stone yard owner to be able to abandon the adventure wagon and commence foot patrol to our destination!
As long as you don’t mind hills this is a beautiful walk down into the bottom of the valley. It is possible to drive down closer but I wouldn’t advise it in anything other than a purpose built monster truck or a vehicle of that description!
We didn’t really know what to expect to be honest, but we certainly didn’t account for what we found, the place is massive! We were there for a couple of hours at least. There’s so many out buildings and building blocks to go in.
If you like street art this is the place of all places to see it! It’s literally the paradise of street art and design, Nearly every wall every floor, roof and brick is covered. The contrast is amazing the old bricks and buildings with their run down appearance are given a vibrant new look. The floors are littered with empty spray cans of all ages.
It’s always quite nerve-wracking exploring around derelict sites you just don’t know what to expect or who! We bumped into “people” for the first time ever and believe you and me it’s a bit scary at first. You don’t know why their here you hope there equally as adventurous as you are but due to the nature of the places there’s a chance some of the people might be up to “no good” luckily everyone we met were cool! A group of street artists looked as frightened to see us as we did them at first. There was also a couple the same as us exploring around taking pictures and then finally a group of younger people out with their pet dog.
There was so much to see but some of the buildings are just empty rooms due to a lot of the fixtures and original fittings being destroyed over time.
This place was brilliant but due to the sheer size of it, it would be impossible to upload and share everything with you all at once so stay tuned for part too with loads more photos as we adventure around as well as the people we met and the history behind the place.
Well that’s enough jabbering now for this one the pictures say it all! This is literally an adult adventure playground!
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People are fascinating creatures. Each one completely different from another. There’s never a better opportunity to see going about their business than in a busy setting. So with that said and armed with the camera a trip to the beautiful and historic Salts Mill in Saltaire.
Salts mill used to be a textiles mill but is now used as an art gallery, with places to eat and shop. It was built way back in 1853 by Sir Titus Salt. (side note, if you have never heard of this guy look him up!) When the mill was built it was the largest industrial building in the world! This was calculated by the total floor area, and quite rightly because its massive. The mill its self is situated in the heart of Saltaire and closed its doors as a textile mill in 1986.
Saltaire is a world heritage site, its beautiful, walking around is picturesque and perfectly reserved in its Victorian glory. All the houses and buildings are bursting with character from the Victorian period, hence why the site is so heavily protected. All the houses were built by Sir Titus Salt for his mill workers and staff. The houses are still being lived in today.
The day we decided to adventure here was the weekend that Roberts Park were hosting the Dragon Boat Racing event, so it was heaving around the area, as well as the blistering sunshine that had spontaneously come out to play.
Salts Mills art gallery houses several large rooms to display the very talented Bradford born artist David Hockney.
On the ground floor is my personal favourite part of the mill, the art shop. A beautiful period room renovated beautifully displaying art work, statues and ornaments as well as art and craft supplies and books all devoted to creative minds. The atmosphere is so calm and quiet, and it smells beautiful, floral and fresh.
Around the room colours are everywhere, they stand out beautifully against the dark surroundings. The solid table benches used to display all of the shops items dominate the room. This creates a very old meets modern contrast which works perfectly. I could stay in here for hours.
Out of all the pieces around the room my favourite had to be this elderly lady her face really tells a picture, their life in her eyes, history in her face. The way the artist has captured how she olds the saucer reminds me of how my own Nan used to. The longer I looked at it I couldn’t help thinking that’s someone’s grandmas.
Looking around the mill other parts of the structure and decor caught my eye.
After a look round at the separate parts of the mill it was time to leave but before I did I managed to get a cheeky snap of the Man Himself!
Sir Titus Salt
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Ive always been intrigued when it comes to deserted places, abandoned buildings and derelict dwellings. So urban exploring is right up my alley! Armed with a new DSLR camera and an urge to get snapping it was time to find some locations, google is literally our best friend!
Destination Found – Old Lane Mill – Halifax (also known as Rawsons Mill)
A little bit of history for you, this was the first mill in Britain to be steel framed. It was a steam powered mill built by a guy names James Ackroyd in 1825. I mean come on 1825 and its still stood here now in 2016, I can’t even get my apple charger to last more than 3 months! The floors of the mill were made from solid stone and the mill was documented as being “fire proof”. The first Jacquard Looms were also built and housed in the mill, and according to the history books every evening when the night watchman was starting his shift he would fire a blunderbuss to signal that he was on duty!
The mill its self is now a Grade 2 listed property, given its listing in 1994, this is due to the mill being the oldest and largest surviving example of a steam powered, iron framed, multi storey textile mill.
On approach to the mill the sheer size of the place is over whelming, the nerves begin to kick in a little bit at the thought of having to enter the ground floor. All of the ground floor windows have been bricked up except one. This makes its extremely dark with no visibility once inside other than the small cracks of light coming through from the holes in the ceiling above. Torches are a must!
Once over the initial nerves and moving across the ground floor to the far back left a stair case is accessible to all floors of the mill. Luckily we were alone whilst exploring, but it became aparent that the mill is used by others, heavily tagged with graffitti and littered with drinks cans and bottles it defintly adds to the “get in and straight out feeling”
The atmosphere is slightly eerie, I suppose part of this comes with the territory of exploring anything old and abandoned, but walking around advancing up the floors you cant help but hear the silence, theres an air of uncertainty, as well as a sadening feeling that what once was a busy busseling building, housing hundreds of workers and so much life is now left empty and forgotten.
Going up from the ground floor to the first via the staircase in the far left at the back of the mill opens up into a massive open light space a welcomed sight from the pitch black darkness downstairs.
The flooring is a little dicey on this level but seems safe enough to walk on and explore, looking around the heavily tagged walls give a great contrast against the green structural posts and the aged surroundings. The emptiness of the mill hits you as you arrive up here, it’s surreal and quite saddening to think of all the hustle and bustle that would have once been here, the hundreds of people, who have worked here, the noise and atmosphere which would have been here when the mill was alive.
From this walking across to the other side of the mill the main hall way is accessible half of the stair case has been destroyed so access from here is not possible but it does allow great views of what once was a beautifully decorated ceilings.
Theres some beautiful exposed examples of the steel and iron work, and the archetecture is amazing. On some of the levels 3 and 4 if i remember rightly the ground is worse than the others so extra care is needed when walking across, several holes and decaying brickwork means you have to be aware constantly of where your standing.
Climbing all the way to the top floor and looking out over the view was an awesome feeling of achievement, but also made you feel a little uneasy about how exposed you really are to passersby once your in the mill itself. With only one way in and out and a very dark ground floor to have to go through to exit, once your in there and climbing up the floors you really arent aware if anyone else has entered behind you. I certainly wouldnt recommend being there after dark!
Arriving up to the second floor the first thing that stands out is the red structural posts lined all the way down the floor. Following the line of sight to the far back of the room more graffiti tags take centre place. The flooring on this level is a little sketchy there are holes in the floor and loose gravel underfoot, extra care is needed.
There’s numerous side rooms, lift shafts and hallways to explore through which aren’t in the best conditions, but I couldn’t resist a little bit of a risk or a quick cheeky lean over the sides to take some photos.
After climbing and clambering through the floors making our way all the way to the top, was all worth it because the top floor, wow, brilliant what a sight!
A massive open space with giant framework all exposed, the colour is a gorgeous reddish orange colour, created from the years of weather and abandonment. Curved arches made from steel beams create a perfect shell which was once covered by the roof. The amount of grass growing on the top floor was an unexpected sight. There was also a surprise resident you will see him later on!
The entrance to the top floor off from the stair case for me was the space with the most character, a large open circle window looks out over the loop system and buildings of Halifax. The way the scene is framed through the circle perfectly captures some of the highest buildings, it’s almost like looking through a spyglass.
Around the entire building the walls are all heavily tagged with artwork sprayed by previous explorers marking their territory. It certainly gives the derelict site that “urban” look. Here’s some photos from around the site. Some of the artwork was displayed in rooms that are completely in the dark.
This was our first experience at urban exploring and I loved it! The adrenaline, the excitement as well as the unnerving feeling and eeriness all add to the excitement but the overall sense of achievement overcoming all of that defiantly makes it an unforgettable experience, even when the places themselves are sadly now forgotten, luckily for this building it isn’t completely abandoned there’s one resident still enjoying the building this little guy really wasn’t frightened he just sat unmoved by our appearance just still and staring!
Don’t forget to head on over to Instagram @geojoukblog for more exploring pictures!