North Weald Redoubt 2nd visit

This is the second time that I have visited North Weald Redoubt, for information about the site please see my previous post. This time there was the three of us, Reiss, Tom and myself and the weather was much better, however it is still heavily flooded as you will see from the photos. We managed to explore the whole site this time, minus the underground vaults, due to the flooding.


wood Wall







Grafitti Grafitti 2





Coalhouse Fort – Tilbury

Saturday 5th April

Reiss and I decided to take the dog for a family outing/photography trip to Coalhouse Fort situated in East Tilbury on The Thames’ Estuary.


Strategically placed on the Essex peninsular, Coalhouse Point, this unique site has been developed as a defensive position from 1402.  With a near 180 degree arc of fire across the bend in the River Thames at Stanford-le-Hope and back towards London this location was chosen as earthwork defences, Henrician blockhouse and the Victorian Coastal Defence fortress which stands today.”

There are many aspects to the area now, which include; a park area with a zip wire and picnic benches, marshland areas, the coastal area on the estuary including the watch tower, the Fort itself and some inlet water areas. Reiss and I didn’t venture into the Fort as it is only open on set days throughout the year, however the surrounding area is fascinating and offered fantastic photography opportunities.

Estuary Fort1 Skyward StepsIn the opposite direction, a power plant is in full view. A stark contrast to the natural beauty around you in the park area.


Powerstation Powerstation2

The lookout tower has fallen into disrepair and has had some railings removed to stop the public getting to it.


Lookout2 Handrail Brickwork Strut Strut2

Lastly their was the ‘beach’ area, it had so many wooden structures that have just been left to rot. They really were beautiful.

Waves Fingers in the sand Estury 1 Estuary 1 Estuary Reiss I don’t know if Reiss was aware that I was taking this picture, but he looked straight at me 🙂





North Weald Redoubt

Reiss and I finally had a weekend off where the weather was ok! We did some research and found a new site to explore. It isn’t too far from us and this visit was to scout it out and get a feel for the area.

It is called North Weald redoubt. Between 1889 and 1903 13 Mobilisation Centres were built as part of the London Defence Scheme. Their main function was as a store for guns, small arms ammunition, tools and other equipment required for the batteries and infantry. The North Weald Redoubt was the first of the mobilisation centres to be constructed and the only centre north of the Thames. It is situated on high ground to the south of North Weald Bassett.

It is abandoned and derelict now. It has been heavily vandalised and is flooded at the moment. However, we will be returning when the weather clears up further.




Metal 2

Metal b+w




A Lonely Walk

At the moment I am signed off work and cannot go to public places. Im starting to get a little cabin fever so I decided to go for a walk around my local nature reserve. I know the walks where your not likely to see anyone. For my birthday I got a new lens the 55mm – 250mm and some of my shots were experimental with this new lens.

Firstly I walked to The Plotlands, the museum is called Little Haven and is a house that was used originally as holiday homes for wealthy Londoners and then as shelters for children during the air raids. Although it was closed you can still go into the gardens. I found a wheel barrow full of glass bottles.


Bottles 2

Through the window I could see this medicine cabinet, I love the vintage advertising.

Medicine cabenet

soap copy

I walked from here through a pathway that is seldom used. I had forgotten why. It has the remains of other Plotland houses that have collapsed to the right of the path. There was a keep out sign, but I ignored that.

I only scratched the surface of this area as I didn’t have a respirator and the air quality was poor. I will be going back.

fallen house



Next I walked over to the lake. The usual stuff here but I did pluck up the courage to venture through the cow field on my own. Reiss you should be proud!

Mallard 2


Cows 2

From the top of the lake and up the hill, there is an amazing view of the landscape between Langdon Hills and London. As the crow flies, The City Of London is about 30  miles.

view copy

Crystal Palace Park

Saturday just gone, Reiss and I decided to make another attempt at a successful photography outing. I have a book bought for me by my mum called Secret London. It has lots of unusual places to visit. When browsing through we discovered a page dedicated to Crystal Palace Gardens. I thought that there was nothing left of The Crystal Palace and was intrigued straight away. The Crystal Palace was destroyed in a fire in 1936 and was a tragic loss to our cultural history. Find out more here.

Our day did not start as planned, I awoke with a headache and waiting for the tablets to kick in put us behind half hour. Then we had both forgotten our coats – it was FREEZING! Once in the station Reiss realised he was wearing the most inadequate shoes for a park. All that went out the window as soon as we went past on the train. From the window of the train we could see a lake surrounded in Dinosaurs. What a sight when we actually got to the park. On inspection of a map we also found that their were ruins of the steps, archways and sphinxes left as well as a maze, a small children’s farm and lots of open space to walk around.

The Dinosaurs

The dinosaurs and mammals were built by Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins in 1854, they were the first dinosaur sculptures in the world, pre-dating the publication of Charles Darwins – Origin of Species by six years. They are considered out of date and inaccurate by modern standards but I loved them just the same. Excitedly scurrying from one to the other trying to learn what they were and get closer for better photos.



Iguanodons and Pterodactyl


Dino Colour


Dino sepia


Water Dino



Sloth 2

The Sphinxes

As you walk to the back of the park you are greeted with a grand staircase to nothing. This is what is left of The Crystal Palace. There are two tiers, some broken columns which used to have plant urns on top, some broken statues and at the top and to the sides are the sphinxes. These got me so excited I climbed through some broken fencing to get a better view… couldn’t help myself 😛

Sphinx landscape

Sphinx b+w


Last but by no means least.

Kune Kune pig


This guy was the star attraction at the little farm, although the cockerel was something to behold also.

I had an amazing day out, very pleased with how it went and would definitely go again.

Failed Photography Weekend

This Saturday just gone, Reiss, Tom and I decided to check out a recently shut down power station for what we thought would be, epic photography! However, on closer inspection it didn’t seem as if the shut down process had been completed. Alongside this, the cameras were everywhere! There was a security van circling and barbed wire fences EVERYWHERE! So failed attempt number one. The image below is not mine, but one of the oil refinery we wanted to see.

Reiss had a back up destination called Martinhole Wood just past One Tree Hill in Basildon. Walking through this wood we come across what looks to us like a derelict Mausoleum. As we walked around this we also found that it had a very large bricked hole in the middle. Around the outskirts of the area it had foundations to another building and another hole/well/shaft. We thought this would be a nice spot of photography. Well, it was for the guys, even though my camera was fully charged it decided it did not want to turn on. Instead I went for a wander and then used my phone to find out more about the site.

I found out that it was originally a well and a bottling plant in the 1920’s. For more info click here.

The guys got a few shots between them but no one really seemed to get the ‘gem’ that they had hoped for. We wandered for another hour or so but the efforts were fruitless. I know that you cannot always get the shots that you want but you need at least for your camera to turn on! Sigh.

Next time folks!

Back Log Pre Blog Examples 2

During May 2011 Reiss, Tom and I visited an abandoned asylum called Severalls in Colchester. This was my first taste of urban exploring and it did not disappoint. By the end of the day a little chant of we can cheat an expensive fence had been commandeered and we all felt pretty pleased with ourselves. Only 1 mishap and that was when Tom looked straight at a guard but luckily he did not spot us!