Posts Tagged ‘Abandoned’


In all the excitement of Wedding Photos, Parties and more I completely forgot to blog about Imber. We rather randomly decided on a road trip not too far away to explore an uninhabited village on Salisbury Plain. For those that don’t know, Salisbury Plain is ‘owned’ by the Ministry of Defence and is where a lot of training, excercises and other secret things happen for the Army.



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Imber had a settlement since 967AD and was evacuated in 1943 with the promise that one day, the villagers would be able to return. Some of them had been living on the settlement for generations of their families lives. None of them were ever allowed back.



Imber is now used as a training site for the Ministry of Defence and is dubbed the village that was evacuated for the ‘Greater Good.’ Villagers were given just forty seven days notice on November 1st 1943 in which they had to pack up their things, relocate their animals and move on. The area was needed as an excercise area for troops preparing for the D-Day landings.

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Today, the Church is still in full working order and the MOD allow the public to regain access to the village only a handful of days each year. Many families of those who are buried in the graveyard are allowed to visit on these occasions only, to pay their respects to their deceased relatives.

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The drive into Imber is a curious one, for a derelict village the roads are in fantastic condition, the Army maintaining them regularly. Signs greet you every few hundred yards, ‘Danger, do not leave the carriageway, unexploded military debris..’ warning you to stay on the narrow road into the village. I have to say though, the most strange thing I found about the whole thing was the barbed wire fence surrounding the church. Odd. You don’t see that very often!

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“Take Only Pictures – Leave only Footprints”

My more adventurous Photography side delves into the world of Urban Exploration, and whilst I can by no means call myself a ‘proper’ Urban Explorer, I have acquired a nice portfolio of shots over the past year or so of various dead and decaying places. Why? Somebody, somewhere, needs to document the fall of what could have been a hub of society and that, in a nutshell, is why I occasionally flit into the area.

Sometime last year I got the chance to explore a derelict hospital within the local area. It was a small hospital which focused mainly on rehab for elderly patients but had some other outpatient departments too. It’s a beautiful place, whilst it houses your typical ‘hut’ type buildings that are quick to fall down and decay – in the middle of the grounds is the most amazing Victorian Mansion with a beautiful tower. There’s no online documentation of when it actually closed – but it wasn’t that long ago. Despite this however, it fell rapidly into a state of decay and was soon trashed by local youths.

The only reason I found out it existed was because during my first week at a new job last August I was sent right to it for an important meeting. It was pouring with rain, windy, stormy and the roads were narrow and completely covered in mud. It was a joyful journey. My Satnav took me right down to the entrance for the hospital and I mentally swore at it for being so wrong. However it was quite correct. Tucked away behind the derelict building was the place that housed my meeting. I was itching to come back with the camera.

So on a bright but chilly Autumny day last year I did. There were Deer, noises, funny slogans and sayings such as a phrase written across a cupboard door saying I couldn’t sleep last night and various other exciting bits. There were also security guards. All the shots you see so far in the blog aside from the first one – were taken in Autumn last year. I wanted to give a sense of the place, something I only captured slightly today. Everything else now is from today!

Today I had another meeting in the same place and I arrived with eager glances at the derelict hospital to see how it was faring. Fences bordered it, blocking all form of entry onto the grounds and inside, contractors were hastily pulling down everything. When I walked into the meeting staff were complaining about the loss of their phone lines due to something being hit on the hospital site and last week they were without electricity for the same reason. Looking at the building we were in it was quite clear that it would one day be the next to go.

Nevertheless I got some shots today, the last shots of the grounds of the Hospital intact, I would imagine. Unless anyone sneaks their way in after hours, which, given the heightened security, is unlikely. Soon, the whole site will be a modern housing estate with absolutely no trace of what lay there before.

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