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Thread: Stacklands Retreat - West Kingsdown, Kent - October 2016

  1. #1
    Join Date
    December 2014

    Default Stacklands Retreat - West Kingsdown, Kent - October 2016

    Visited here with Brewtal, a really nice explore but very trashed.


    Stacklands Retreat is a religious retreat situated in quite a secluded location. History is actually a wide and varied with stories claiming that the site is haunted to claims that the founder turned to satanism and sacrificed the priests.

    According "the Society of Retreat Conductors"

    'The members had from the start very ambitious ideas about what the best retreat house would be like. The Vision article of 1924 had described a house with three wings, one for men, one for women and another for children, grouped around a cruciform church with a fourth wing for the resident community with their own library and common room. In 1927, an estate near West Kingsdown Kent, some 20 miles from London and close to Wrotham, was purchased by Bowker and presented by him to the Society. It consisted of some 100 acres, with woodland and two cottages, and became known as Stacklands. One cottage was used to house a forester to work on the estate, and the other was available to members as a country retreat. The architect Mr H Gibbons of Abbey House Westminster was appointed to draw up plans, and his architectural model of the great project, (the children’s wing had disappeared by this stage), was displayed at the Anglo-Catholic Congress meeting in 1930, attracting much interest. The two wings would each have accommodation for some thirty retreatants. At about the same time, a pamphlet, written by Fr Frank de Jonge during his year in residence as a priest associate, was published to share the dream of this complex with a wider public. He described a house cut off from the surrounding world by its wood and looking over the beautiful Knatt valley to Water Wood on the other side, an area which had already been acquired for the Society by Major Bowker. Individual rooms for the retreatants were to be spacious and private, furnished in such a way as to encourage devotion (L 3)'

    More recently the place got some news (When I say news, I mean the awful newspapers like the Daily star, express, The Sun etc) coverage when some 'Ghostbusters' visited to give the building an Exorcism (Lol).

    The Explore

    So I visited here with Brewtal. It was a pretty chilled, especially as the place is completely open and just off a bridleway with us having to hid from the occasional dog walker.

    There are 3 building at Stacklands. Two almost identical long buildings which were used and housing for Men and Women. The middle is what I am guessing was the main house and kitchens.

    The place is completely trashed with the middle building very fire damaged. The two long housing buildings were surprisingly structurally intact, although the asbestos roof tiles have fallen down and are scattered about.

    I've started experimenting with HDR, although I'm trying to avoid those horrible pukefests of colour that you see all to often, so hopefully its subtle!

    Didn't get any time to get any drone shots this time however :(

    Anyway, Enjoy!

  2. Thanks given by: Hugh Jorgan, HughieD, jsp77, krela, Mearing, old git, oldscrote, Rubex, stu8fish, The Archivist, The_Derp_Lane, thorfrun, tony willett, trainman
  4. #2
    Join Date
    October 2014
    Source of the River Waveney


    I remember this place, I spotted a group of lads filming there. Nicely done.
    Formerly dauntless - ue, now back travelling down the derpy lane

  5. #3
    Join Date
    February 2015
    Aberdeen, Scotland


    That's very good. I like your angles. There have been paranormal investigations on this place in the past about a rogue monk who still prowls the area but they never found anything.
    When the going gets tough - the tough get going.

  6. #4
    Join Date
    September 2015


    Your pics came out so good mate! Thanks for another great day out, always good to catch up with you. Will get my pics up at the weekend when I have time. Will be in touch soon to plan another explore! ; )

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