There are tons of old empty buildings where I live. Some of them haven't been empty for long, and still have the roofs on. Some have been empty for hundreds of years and have mostly fallen down. I've been exploring old buildings for as long as I have been collecting bones.
In March, Dad and I spotted an old building in a wood that we hadn't explored before. We looked at satellite photographs and it looked as if it was derelict. One afternoon, in the middle of a snowstorm, we went up to explore. We found a massive deserted mansion that had fallen down. This is what it looked like:
↑ The building was huge ! The yellow arrow points to me so you can see how big it is. There is a steep muddy track which leads into the wood. As you go up, you pass another smaller building on the way in. Then you go through pine trees into a clearing. To the west of the house is a very steep and high bank which leads down to a stream.
Dad thought it was too dangerous to explore in the snow, so we came back another time to explore properly. When we came back it was early summer.
↑ All of the outer walls were still there, but the roof and the inner walls had fallen down. The middle bit was covered in rocks and grass and was a bit dangerous to walk on.
By now Dad and I had done some research on the building. It was built by at least 1860, maybe long before, and it used to be a farm. New bits had been added onto it. But by 1978 it was derelict.
↑ This is the north-west corner, near the main entrance. The walls are still about 25ft tall. There was a fireplace inside this room, and you could see where the floor above was.
↑ This picture is inside that corner. You can see the fireplace on the first floor above the window.
↑ This looked like the main entrance with big iron railings over the front step.
↑ On the east side of the house it looked like there had been an extension built because it was built with bricks, not stones. On the north-east wall, a huge hole in the wall had been knocked through that you can see. But best of all we found a way into the cellars !
↑ When Dad and I go walking, we always carry a rope, headtorches and a proper torch, even if we are going out in daylight. We tied the rope around an iron railing around the hole.
↑ Climbing down was fun but also scary. It was scary because the wall that was above us was very very weak and it looked as if it could collapse at any moment. I climbed down and used my camera to take pictures.
↑ Inside you could see iron girders that held up the floor above. They had completely rusted away ! That meant nothing was holding the ceiling up apart from the walls. In the background on the left you could see a coal slide which would have been used to drop coal into the cellar.
↑ Around the corner was where the cellars used to go into the main building, but the entrance had been bricked up. There were lots of rubble and old pipework from the house. I was a bit disappointed because it was quite small and I wanted to find something cool like old money or a human skeleton.
A lot of the old houses were built near streams, because there would have been no mains water. It is in a very isolated place, miles away from the nearest village or town. Even now hardly anyone knows it is there.
It was nice to explore it, especially as it might have completely fallen down in a few years time.
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