Exploring the Abandoned Places of United Kingdom


Derelict Robin Hood Gardens

Exploring abandoned places in the United Kingdom offers a unique journey through the country’s rich history and cultural legacy. The UK is dotted with a wide array of derelict sites, from industrial relics and disused military installations to grand mansions and even entire ghost villages. These sites attract urban explorers, photographers, and history enthusiasts, drawn by the allure of decay and the stories behind these forsaken places. Here’s an overview of exploring abandoned places in the UK:

Types of Abandoned Places

  1. Industrial Sites: The UK’s industrial past has left behind many abandoned factories, mills, and warehouses, particularly in regions that were hubs of the Industrial Revolution.
  2. Military Installations: Disused bunkers, airfields, and naval bases reflect the UK’s extensive military history, especially from World War II.
  3. Mansions and Estates: Numerous grand estates and country houses have fallen into disrepair, often due to financial challenges and changing social dynamics.
  4. Hospitals and Asylums: The UK has several abandoned medical facilities, many of which date back to the Victorian era, each with a story to tell.
  5. Entertainment Venues: Old theaters, cinemas, and amusement parks that have closed down can also be found, relics of changing entertainment trends.

Notable Abandoned Places

  • The Maunsell Sea Forts: Located off the coast of Kent, these armed towers were erected during World War II and now stand abandoned, looming over the North Sea.
  • Bodmin Jail, Cornwall: Once a notorious prison, it’s now an eerie ruin with a fascinating, if grim, history.
  • St. Peter’s Seminary, Cardross: An example of modernist architecture, this seminary is both a relic and a work of art, though it now stands in a state of advanced decay.
  • Imber Village, Wiltshire: An entire village requisitioned by the army during World War II and never returned to its residents. It’s a ghost village, only accessible on certain days of the year.
  • Camelot Theme Park, Lancashire: A closed amusement park that once featured medieval-themed rides and attractions, now a hauntingly quiet space.

Legal and Safety Considerations

  • Trespassing Laws: It’s important to be aware of trespassing laws in the UK. Many abandoned sites are on private property, and accessing them without permission can be illegal.
  • Safety Risks: Abandoned buildings can be hazardous, with risks of unstable structures, hazardous materials, and other dangers. Safety should always be a priority.

Ethical Exploration

  • Leave No Trace: Ethical explorers advocate a “leave no trace” policy, meaning they take nothing but photographs and leave nothing but footprints.
  • Respect for History: These sites are often rich in history; respecting their story and significance is crucial for explorers.

Whittingham Psychiatric Hospital

Abandoned Whittingham Hospital – Whittingham, Lancashire, UK

The construction of Whittingham Asylum began in 1869, when the three neighbouring asylums in Lancaster, Prestwich, and Rainhill were deemed to be full. While the hospital officially opened its doors on 1st April 1873, building work continued, expanding the site to include a ballroom, a brewery, a Roman Catholic chapel and an Anglican church, several farms, a sports club, and it’s very own Post Office and railway. In 1923, the asylum was renamed Whittingham Mental Hospital, and by the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939, housed more than 3,500 patients with a staff of over 500, making it the largest facility of its kind in the country and the second largest in Europe.

It was here at Whittingham Hospital that the very first Electroencephalogram (EEG) was developed, paving the way for better diagnosis and treatment for patients with epilepsy. But sadly, this is not how most will remember the hospital. Following allegations of abuse and neglect during the 1960s, the NHS reviewed its healthcare policy with respect to psychiatric patients and, with the introduction of new drugs and therapies during the 1970s and 1980s, many long-stay patients were either returned successfully to the community or admitted to smaller units in the surrounding area. It was this progressive decline in the number of patients that led to Whittingham Hospital’s closure in 1995.

Abandoned Pineheath Mansion – The 40 Room house in the UK

The 40-room British mansion that was left abandoned for 27 years has been purchased by a local businessman who plans to restore it to a luxury family home once again.

For more than a quarter of a century Pineheath House, which also boasts 12 bathrooms and extensive grounds, was left almost entirely untouched following the death of its owners Sir Dhunjibhoy and Lady Bomanji – a well-known Indian-born couple who were prominent in aristocratic circles at the start of the 20th Century.

Pineheath was the couple’s autumnal residence – they would spend summers at their house in Windsor and winter and spring at a third home in India – but it became a relic of the past when Lady Bomanji died in 1986 – almost 50 years after her husband.

The property, near Harrogate in North Yorkshire, has been left virtually untouched ever since, making it a kind of time-capsule full of the aristocratic trappings of a different era.

Many of the rooms are still decorated in a 1920s style, and come complete with newspaper cuttings and invitations to society events from the 1970s.

While the house still contains many of its valuable antiques and ornaments, it is the mundane, everyday objects that now capture the imagination.

After the death of Lady Bomanji, Pineheath passed into the ownership of her daughter Mehroo Jehangir, who died in 2012.

Sir Dhunjibhoy Bomanji was knighted in 1922 after using his enormous wealth to support Britain’s fight against Germany during the First World War. This shipping tycoon is well renowned for having a tight friendship with nobles.

Facts About the Pineheath Mansion and its Owners

  • There are 40 bedrooms in the mansion.
  • The mansion has twelve restrooms.
  • The Pineheath Mansion is worth a fortune.
  • A vintage phone is still present in the mansion.
  • The mansion utilizes an electric bell to notify the servants.
  • The wife of Sir Dhunjibhoy does not share a bed with him. The discovered telephone bearing the names of rooms in the home serves as proof. The couple’s private quarters are in two of these spaces. So, it is evident that they do not share the same rooms.
  • Lady Bomanji passed away in 1986, while Sir Bomani died in 1937. Since the wife’s passing, the mansion has not been touched.
  • There is a lift at the mansion.
  • The Pineheath house’s front entrance is monogrammed with the initials of wealthy Sir Dhunjibhoy Bomanji.
  • He is claimed to have ordered a custom-built Rolls Royce with a high canopy in his last years before his death in 1937 so he could get inside without bending due to back issues.
  • He won the donation during an auction for a charity event in the UK and kissed Hollywood icon Greta Garbo on the forehead.
  • In the luggage room, there are a few pieces of wood-made personalized luggage.
  • Yellow pages, newspapers, and cuttings from nearly a century ago can be found in drawers and on side tables, along with invitations to some of the best society events up until the 1970s.
  • The bedrooms and other rooms still have all of their furniture.
  • The kitchen hasn’t changed at all over the years; there’s a gas heater sitting above the sink, a vintage coffee grinder on one wall, and cake pans, frosting sets, and weights.
  • One drawer contains a multitude of keys, each one meticulously labeled
  • For years, the bedcovers had remained in the beds.
  • A box of gold leaf for monogram and wall decorating was found.
  • The Friends of Harrogate International Festivals was established by Lady Frainy Bomanji, who also served as its president from 1971 to 1973.
  • No children were born to the Bomanji couple. They took in Mehroo, the niece of Lady Bomanji.
  • Regular religious and social events are held by the Pundol Group to honor Sir Dhunjibhoy Bomanji.
  • On Montpellier Hill in Harrogate, a statue made of French marble honoring Mehroo Jehangir and Lady Frainy Bomanji was constructed.

The creepy Nocton Hall Hospital – Lincolnshire, England

Nocton Hall was used by the Royal Air Force, and later the US Air Force before closing down for good in the 1990’s, and is believed to be haunted by the spirits of the men who died there. one of the UK’s most haunted locations.

Derelict London – Robin Hood Gardens

Designed in the late 1960s by architects Alison and Peter Smithson and the council estate was completed in 1972. 213 flats are comprised of two long curved blocks,built from precast concrete slabs, facing each other across a central green space. In the central green area is a small man-made hill.Last year joyriders managed to drive a car up the hill before torching it.There are also some terraced houses and low level flats on the site making the whole site 252 homes.

The landlord is Tower Hamlets Council who has decided the estate is past its sell-by date and they will be handing it over to Swan Housing Group to replace it with 1,575 new ones. Some locals accuse the council of letting Robin Hood just go to rot. 45 per cent of the new builds will be “affordable” which includes “intermediate” rents being set at up to 80 per cent market rates.

The low level properties are empty and boarded up and one of the two large blocks is empty apart from a couple of leaseholders.

Derelict London – Millennium Mills

Built in the 1930s to replace earlier granaries and mills, the Millennium Mills were one of the largest (flour) mill complexes ever to be built in London. Industry in the docklands area of London began to decline in the 1980s, however, and this complex of reinforced concrete granaries finally succumbed in 1992 when Spillers Milling Limited moved out, transferring staff and production to their mill at Tilbury Docks.

Since then the building has made frequent appearances on television, recent examples being in a trailer for the drama series Life on Mars, and as a backdrop for a Derren Brown programme featuring Robbie Williams.This building was also used in the opening series of Ashes to Ashes. Plus providing the backdrop for music videos by The Smiths, Orbital, Coldplay, Lamb, Arctic Monkeys to name but a few.

Offering 500,000 sq ft of space, the Mills are being restored to retain its art deco frontage & high ceilings and plans to offer space for businesses, start ups, restaurants and bars.The land around the Mills will provide for 3,000 new homes, new squares and gardens and a new pedestrian bridge across the dock. They may also enjoy the more dubious benefit of aircraft noise from the adjacent London City Airport.

Abandoned London – The very haunted CLINTON HOUSE

In 1914 the Wheatley family moved into Clinton House. Their son, Dennis, was 17 at the time. Dennis went on to write more than 70 books (selling over 50 million copies) before his death in 1977. Most of these were thrillers and occult novels. In the 1960s, two of his most popular titles, ‘The Devil Rides Out’ and ‘Uncharted Seas’ (renamed ‘The Lost Continent’) were filmed by Hammer.

Before the Wheatleys moved to Clinton House, it had been the home of Benjamin Pierce Lucas, Managing Director of the Camden Town Palace of Varieties. He appears to have moved to the property around 1898. The house was probably built in 1884, when it first appears in local directories.

The building lay derelict for many years leaving it with an uncertain future uncertain. Grade II listed status was turned down by English Heritage, because of the damage it had suffered through vandalism and decay though planning applications for demolition and redevelopment were refused. The property was not very well secured and in 2013 a fire destroyed the roof and its days look numbered now. The place was often squatted at night by drinkers but nobody appeared to be around when the fire brigade arrived on a Tuesday afternoon causing closure of the A205 South Circular during rush hour causing chaos around Tulse Hill, Brixton and Streatham.


Exploring the abandoned places of the UK offers a unique window into the past, blending the thrill of exploration with a deep appreciation for history and architecture. Each site tells a story, from days of glory to eventual decline, providing a tangible connection to different eras and aspects of British history. However, it’s important to approach such explorations with respect, caution, and awareness of legal boundaries.

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