I finally got back out exploring after a long hiatus because of the Covid-19 restrictions. I checked this place out last year, but I saw workmen loading vans in the compound so it was obviously still being used for something. Today I was glad to find it deserted, as well as much more run down looking.
Straight away I could see that I had several options for getting inside. I chose the one that seemed least likely to attract attention from passers by, and soon I was standing in a very dilapidated bathroom, getting my torch and cameras out ready for the explore, waiting for the adrenaline to subside slightly, and listening intently for any sign that there might be someone else in the building. Thankfully all was quiet apart from the distant roar of traffic from the motorway outside.
These barracks were constructed shortly before the First World War and consist of several one- and two-storey brick buildings, some of which are pretty big. I didn’t explore the whole lot, but from what I’ve seen online I think the others are pretty similar to the ones I did get inside, though possibly with a bit more vandalism.
My overwhelming impression was that this place was very big and empty. There was hardly anything left in the labyrinth of rooms at all, other than things like kitchen sinks and bathroom fixtures. The last occupants must have been very careful to remove everything when they left. As a result, it was impossible to tell what most of the rooms used to be – even the fire evacuation plan I found lying on the floor only referred to them by number. Although there were the usual signs of decay such as peeling paint and a few ceilings starting to collapse, the general structure of the buildings seemed quite sound, so I felt safe enough exploring the upper floor as well.
The buildings themselves reminded me a lot of East Fortune Hospital, not surprising really as it was converted from military buildings of a similar vintage. East Fortune is in much worse condition, but also contains many more relics of the past.
At first I was a little worried by the presence of an alarm box on the outer wall of the first building. I didn’t think it was likely that the alarm was active considering there were so many easy ways in, but I was still slightly concerned I was going to set something off and would have to make a quick exit before anyone came to investigate. That is, until I reached the entrance hall and saw the alarm control panel hanging open with wires straggling out all over the place and the sounder in pieces on the floor!
Probably because I hadn’t been exploring in so long, as well as being all on my own for this one, I felt a bit on edge most of the time and went round the buildings quite quickly. As a result, the photos aren’t my best ones as I wasn’t in the mood for hanging around, setting up tripods and so on. I might return at some point to get better pictures and explore more of the buildings. For now, though, it felt great to get back out there and discover a new place.