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Thread: Ambergate Wire Works and Oakhurst House

  1. #1
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    Arrow Ambergate Wire Works and Oakhurst House


    I passed by this place many years ago before I really got into exploration, in fact I stumbled upon it when out on a walk. I had a free day today, so some 16 years later I paid a return visit. To be honest it is very much boarded up now, so not many internals, but I got a good view of the abandoned house affiliated with the works, and it was a good little mooch.

    Some history:

    In 1867 Richard Johnson and his nephew opened a wireworks spanning the river Derwent near to Ambergate, (it seems they also had a factory in Manchester). Products from the Johnson factory were once household names, and their company lorries carried the slogan “A wise buyer buys Johnsons wire” catchy eh! During its heyday it employed over 500 people and the business specialised in telegraph wire and suspension cables. The company produced the telegraph wires used under the English channel during WW2. In 1990 the Bridon company took over production which lasted until 1996 when all wire production ceased, it was latterly used as a storage and distrubution centre and some parts are still live.

    The house, 'Oakhurst' nearby was originally built by the Hurt family in 1846, however when the Johnson family bought it they enlarged the property. It changed purpose a number of times, (one reference seems to be that it was used by the army during WW2, but I might be wrong on this), it was also a retreat for the local diocese and finally became flats during the 1970's, which ultimately led to its demise when the owning company folded in the 80's.

    On with the piccies:

    Company logo which shows they started long before the operation at Ambergate:



    A lorry photo I found on the net, it seems to be in front of part of the mill I have photographed later on in the set. Which is nice:



    The works as it is now:





    I think the old lorry photo was taken at this building:











    Its amazing the photos you can get on 'auto focus' under a hole in a door!





    Oakhurst House:
    (Yes there is a cellar, no I didn't go in mainly because the house is fooked, and I have an allergic reaction to death and small spaces)

    Decay at its finest:







    It would be nice to think this rose was originally planted by the family in their garden:





    Totally fooked:











    So there you have it. Don't go out of your way as the mill is pretty shored up, but having said that a nice walk through Shining Cliff woods on a sunny day is a good way to pass the time.

    Cheers
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/45100355@N04/

    The revery alone will do, if bees are few.

  2. Thanks given by: Grockle, hydealfred, JEP27, johno23, Kaputnik, RichardH, sqwasher
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  4. #2
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    It may be all boarded up but you did it justice with the history and your pics.
    Its very much one of those"life after people"kind of places.
    Nice work:)
    How come I always find the deep water, pigeon crap and rotten floor boardslol

  5. Thanks given by: duratec, TK421
  6. #3
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    Lovely to see the place again and how it's fared. Wonderfully photogenic. Fab pics, TK...love that 'under the door' one. I'll have to remember that trick. :)
    "...If we lose our spiritual bond with the land they'll be nothing left of us as a nation..." Phil Rickman.

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  7. Thanks given by: TK421
  8. #4
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    Thanks both, glad you liked the report. For once there is a suprising amount of history on the internet for the original family which always adds to the interest for me.

    Cheers
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/45100355@N04/

    The revery alone will do, if bees are few.

  9. #5
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    Just love that mock Tudorbethan house; difficult to believe that it's unwanted when there's so much modern tat that folks seem happy to live in!

  10. Thanks given by: TK421
  11. #6
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    Thumbs down oakhurst


    hi been down to the old briddon wire works today and to see oakhurst house every wheres been boarded up and securty guard stopping accsess to house :( all the factory shutterd up to booooooo

  12. #7
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    I have been to this house today. It isnt boarded up and there wasnt any security there, maybe we just hit lucky tho! Such a shame the house has been left as it has. Really wanted to go inside but it just looked quite unsteady with all the rubble and crap. It would have been a stunner of a house back in its day....:)

  13. #8
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    Smile


    Really good seeing the old photos etc from here TK. I've worked on/off at this site for the past 8/9years & know it pretty well (inside & out!). I think the lorry pic isn't taken at that building at the back of the site, I think it's taken nearer the main road-here's a pic for comparison?
    http://flickr.com/gp/sqwasher/HYWt18
    This building has windows along the rear wall, like your old photo, but unlike the building over the river? Thanks again for your report TK-very interesting.
    Mr freebird
    My Flickr
    & feel free to add stuff to this..... ;)
    Flickr Urbex UK

  14. #9
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    Thanks Squasher, I agree, the building in your photo looks much more likely. I am just pleased that they had a large fleet of Fodens, wonderful stuff! Cheers mate for the kind words
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/45100355@N04/

    The revery alone will do, if bees are few.


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DerelictPlaces is a forum for people with an interest in the history and documentation of disused, derelict and abandoned buildings to come together and share their experiences, photography and historical findings. Our military, industrial and historical heritage is fast disappearing under the pressure of regeneration, the need for new housing, and often through simple neglect; Our aim is to document these places before they disappear entirely.
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