Ditchingham Maltings – Suffolk

Various forums and websites mistakenly name this as “Wainford Maltings”, presumably because of a nearby roadsign. The real Wainford maltings is about a mile further down the road though. This one is Ditchingham maltings.

And sadly it’s one that’s always taken for granted. I’ve passed it many times and thought “I’ll have a look in there one day”. I even stopped once for a very quick look (October 2007) but didn’t have enough time to look round properly. One visit in May 2008 was depressing – the maltings were half demolished with guys picking away at it with huge machines. Uh. The picking didn’t last long – the recession put halt to any conversion plans. In August 2009, over half of the maltings still exist. Who knows what the future holds for them…

Continue reading

Posted in Industry, suffolk | Tagged | 5 Comments

Farleigh Down Tunnel – Wiltshire

Deep within the Wiltshire countryside lies some old quarries. During the war, many were taken over by the army to store ammunition. Due to their nature, these quarries were extremely secretive and bomb-proof.

You can find out more about Monkton Farleigh here and other nearby quarries on the same site.

Farleigh Down Sidings was one of the main railway loading depots for the underground storage.

Continue reading

Posted in Military, Underground, wiltshire | Tagged | Leave a comment

Fortalesa Isabel II – La Mola – Menorca

Whilst on holiday in Menorca, we visited “La Mola” – a huge fort on a small island defending the main port/city. It is now a tourist attraction, but I’m including it here as it may be of interest.

The Fortress of Isabel II was built between 1848 and 1875 after a lot of pressure by the British, who were threatening to return to the island in order to use it as a base in their defensive operations against the French. These two powers were disputing naval control of the Mediterranean.

Before the Fortress was even finished it became out-dated. In the 1860s there was an important evolution in artillery technology. Instead of the old-fashioned muzzle-loading cannons (front loaders), powerful breech loading cannons (rear loaders) were designed, which had rifle boring (a series of helical grooves in the interior of the barrel) which made the projectiles fire with more spin, improving their accuracy.

This meant that the island’s defence system had to be reconsidered. Instead of mounting all the cannon emplacements within the fortress, a second development phase was initiated (1896); a series of coastal batteries were set up away from the walled fortification. These batteries took care of the remote defence of Minorca’s coastline, with their powerful projectiles capable of detaining all types of enemy battleships.

More info can be found on the La Mola website.

Continue reading

Posted in Military, spain | Tagged | 1 Comment

RAF Box (Rudloe Manor site 1) – Wiltshire

I can’t begin to explain what this site was for. Wikipedia says the following…

The Rudloe Site was formerly RAF Rudloe Manor, which was established during the Second World War as a non-flying station for administrative and command & control purposes. It was home to HQ Number 10 Fighter Group, RAF Regional Command, Headquarters RAF Police & Security Services, No 1 Signals Unit, Controller Defence Communications Network and 1001 Signals Unit. By 1998 it had become mostly administrative, housing the RAF Provost and Security Services, which dealt with security and criminal investigation services, the Defence Communication Services Agency, while the detachment of 1001 Signals Unit of the RAF remained. It closed as an operational site in about 2000.

The base has two main buildings – a manor house and a purpose-built operations building. There are several smaller, newer buildings scattered around the site too.

Continue reading

Posted in Military, wiltshire | Tagged | 116 Comments

Fletcher Convalescent Home of the Norfolk & Norwich Hospital – Cromer

The Fletcher Convelescent Home opened on 25 April 1893 and closed 105 years later (in 1998). Since closure the buildings have been subject to numerous planning applications, none of which have been successful. While it’s fate is decided, the building continues to deteriorate.

The building is number 10 in the Victorian Society’s “Top Ten Endangered Buildings” list of 2008.

Continue reading

Posted in Asylums and Hospitals, norfolk | Tagged | 12 Comments

St Michaels Hospital / Aylsham Workhouse – Norfolk

Starting life as Aylsham Union Workhouse, the impressively imposing building was built in the 1840s. In 1930 it became a Public Assistance Institution and then St Michaels Hospital. The main building closed in 2005. Tiny bits have been demolished since, making way for a road for the new housing estate on the grounds.

This is definitely a case of “don’t judge a book by the cover” – outside looks awesome. I’ve seen photos of this hospital when it was empty in 2007. I wish I went then – it was full of bits like signs, lights, plaster on the walls (!), and even an XRay machine. The building is now totally stripped out.

Continue reading

Posted in Asylums and Hospitals, norfolk | Tagged , | 12 Comments

A Few Rewrites

I’ve been looking through a few old reports on the website and noticed that there were a lot of bad photgraphs and duplication. The website was also munching expensive bandwith so something needed to be done.

Several reports have been merged and have had additional photos added using photos from new visits to the locations.

Check them out…

* HMS Ganges

* Severalls Asylum

* RAF Shepherds Grove

* RAF West Raynham

More updated locations will probably follow…

Posted in Website News | Leave a comment