This week has been filled with some wanderings. Due to some recent interest in an article I’m in the process of writing, I, as well as my copilot (now resumed pilot), have been delving into the world or Urban Exploring.
I’d heard of this before, but I didn’t really realize what it entailed until the other day. There’s something quite mystifying about going through abandoned buildings and seeing the world that was left behind. There were people there once who lived there, were held there, who worked there, who visited there, and in many of the places I’ve been to this week, died there.
Our first stop was actually on the way to check out the Denbigh Castle, though we never made it that far. We happened to see an abandoned house in the moors–the same moors the the mist monster came and flipped my pilot’s car on–and made a pit-stop there to check it out. It was just a house in the middle of nowhere. There was nothing but yellow hills all around. To tell the truth, it looked like driving through Eastern Washington rather than the outback of North Wales. However, my pilot was in control of the car, and so we stopped to have a look around.
The roof was, for the most part, gone aside from some wiring, and the ground was just about hallow, squishy, and I did in fact soak my socks through. However, other than some interesting graffiti, there wasn’t anything that was worth sticking around for, other than to snap some photos.
According to some of the signs, it was owned by Gwynedd Water, for all that the place completely left on its own. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get in to do too terribly much in regards to exploring.
Continuing on the way, we found an Organic Farm Store, which hosted local and organic meats and produces. It was such a neat find because it was so big! It hosted a fine-dining restaurant, an outside cafe, and a store with locally crafted goods such as chocolates, Welsh wooden love spoons, cakes, etc. And it was in a beautiful little area as well. So naturally, we stopped and had a quick bite for lunch.
We got to Denbigh, and happened up on the Denbigh Asylum, which was abandoned in 1995. The grounds were massive, but since we were in the exploring of run-down places, we went on to take a closer look .
Apparently, you have to be a little bit crafty getting into these sorts of places. Especially since this time last month some kids tried to set fire to it, so there was extra police patrolling the way. Not to say that this was illegal, mind. Well, all they can do is just tell us to move along. However, we didn’t want any negative run-ins, so we tried to be a little stealthy.
The first place we came to was the churchyard. While most churchyards
that we explore have graves to get distracted by, this one didn’t. It was a beautiful building, and was easy enough to get into. Someone had very kindly left a cylinder block outside an open window, and chair just on the inside to help with getting down. It had been completely emptied on the inside, the only thing remaining was graffiti and the beams along the ceiling.
We got into the next building fairly easily, that was just outside the church yard. There were signs warning of asbestos as we got to the walkway. The doors had long been gone, and all the windows were broken out. We quickly discovered and realized that we had walked into the morgue. The walls were tiled, and there were drains the the floor for washing up.
We didn’t spend too much time in there, but went on to the next building. We’re still not quite sure what the purpose of that building was, but it wasn’t the main asylum.
Unfortunately, soon after my phone battery died. While I’m only featuring a few photos here, I think I took well over 200 photos, and was recording everything on my voice recorder. I didn’t want to continue without my phone. We decided to head back and do some charging of my phone. To even out the level of creepy, we stopped in at a cafe and treated ourselves to coffee with cream and scones with jam with clotted cream.
I only include the photos so that there’s a lesser level of creepiness before I go on.
We didn’t end up going back to the asylum. Where we were parking was going to gate us in within an hour, and the asylum was large enough that we would need several hours to do it justice in exploring. Just getting through the empty church and the morgue took an hour. So we drove onward, closer to the coast, to the mouth of the River Dee, to the TSS Duke of Lancaster. This is a ship that was beached and remained beached, becoming a destination for tourists. It was a night club at one point, and a general entertainment venue up until 2004. However, it is completely sealed up and impossible to get into. There was even a man who saw us walking toward it, got in a van, drove up past us, and began “patrolling” it with a dog, keeping a very close watch on us as we took the marked footpath toward it. Granted, we were trying to figure out a way in, but for all he knew we were just going for a stroll.
Thus has been my recent explorations. There are certainly more to come–after all, I have to return to that asylum, if nothing else.