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Houghton Grange (Animal Testing Facility)

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Rubex

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My friend and I decided to take a visit to a local spot – Houghton Grange. I’ve seen a lot of posts here about the Grange so I won’t go into too much detail about the history of the place but from what I’ve read around there isn’t much to be found out anyway – other than it used to be used for animal disease research back in the 1970s.

I took the back route in, along which a Squirrel thought it would be appropriate to wee on me, and then sit in the tree looking down on me all smug!

As I drew closer I was greeted with this sign in a cow field:


Although this was my first urban exploration, I proceeded. But took due care.

The first building I saw from this way in was the old Administration Building and (presumably) ajoining seminar rooms – indicated by the infamous sign further up the path:


The building is covered in Ivy and is inaccessible due to it being freshly boarded up:


I continued up the path and found myself amidst the CCTV and sensors – I didn’t realise the house was this close! I peeked in some of the labs but made my way away from this area.





I turned to the left and found the small “street” of labs. All of these were inaccessible due to fresh boards. Vandals had clearly been around somewhat recently:


There wasn't much to be seen here due to all of the buildings being recently boarded up - presumably because of the asbestos.





Nice heavy duty on/off switches:


I turned to the bushes to the side and saw what looked like more labs and more accessible buildings across the field:


I ran over (not sure why). And first found a set of metal stairs leading up to a two-story lab. I got in through the window of the fire door which had been smashed – finally I was inside!


There were a lot of signs of fairly recent activity here (in the forms of graffiti) and loads of footsteps in the dirt! These rooms were just small labs with cupboards along the walls. I spotted some gas taps for Bunsen burners and a fumigation cabinet:






A small panorama of the upstairs landing, just after walking past the stairs:


I followed these extremely sturdy stairs down to the ground floor, which was very dark and eerie – not due to a lack of windows, but rather due to the extensive boarding around the building:


The stairs followed down to a below ground toilet. However, I couldn’t explore down there because this particular floor was flooded:


There wasn’t much to find in the downstairs rooms, other than an overturned sink, and a breaker room, which must have housed breakers for each individual room or for the entire site:






Pressing on outside, I found what was the “Directors Dept” which had loads of old lockers stacked up in the doorway. Following this small courtyard round I found another incinerator. This initially had fencing around it, which somehow got knocked down:






Finally, after a brief explore of this area, I found the more interesting labs. Each small courtyard of labs was covered by a metal mesh (although most of it had fallen down). Each small room had a white wooden door above it, which housed the extraction from the filtration systems inside the rooms. As I entered each lab, an inches water gauge was bolted to the wall with two pipes coming from the top to measure the paraffin – does anyone have any idea what the need for this would be? I could see where there used to be table tops in the room from looking at the table legs bolted to the ground. The plug sockets, for whatever reason, all had a waterproof (or dust proof) cap screwed onto them:


The extraction system (from within the rooms):








I also found that the end room (and seemingly the entrance) had a small shower in it, and to the right (looking in) was a window to an inaccessible room (due to the door being boarded up) which will have to be an explore for when I'm feeling more nimble!




The doors into the labs:


The block next to this one was much the same. The next block after that did differ, though. The entrance was to the side, and again opened up into a courtyard. The doors to these labs were very thick:


There were damper control units around the wall - seemingly to control the individual room temperature or extraction:


Walking into the rooms, I found they had no windows, and were completely pitch black! The walls were also spotless - it really did almost look like this room had been newly painted. Even the plug sockets were almost brand new (excuse the blurry photo):


Each room around this courtyard also had an electric timer box:




Incase you needed to know how to work one:


Above all these rooms was a maze of air ducts:




Next to this building was a (sadly) inaccessible one:


All I could capture from this building was these two shots by leaning my hand in a broken panel - it felt so much colder in there than outside - possibly a result of insulation and lack of windows:






From here I made my way back to the Grange - feeling a little bolder I may have crossed past a few cameras.. Under the guise of being lost and looking for my dog - "Pedro".

I found the swimming pool (possibly a slight mimic of someone else's [ame="http://www.derelictplaces.co.uk/main/showthread.php?t=14861"]photograph[/ame]) 5 years, though, and this shot hasn't changed much!


There was a small kitchen this way:




Aaaand plenty of cameras:


The labs around here seemed a lot more modern than the ones I'd seen earlier:


Blimey:






It looks like there's quite a bit of work going on inside the Grange at the moment:




The view up the main entrance:


I did find an open window to the left of the Grange going into the main labs, but with the amount of CCTV I didn't think it wise to crawl in. Maybe I'd go if I were accompanied by more experienced explorers!

Thank you for reading my (potentially) rather too long first post, but I was so excited by this place I wanted to share as much as I could about it!

Rubex
(Pronounced Roo-Bex - I was getting worried I would get called rub-ex!!)
 
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UrbanX

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Welcome to the forum, fantastic first report!
You've done the site thoroughly, and got some lovely shots.
Thanks for sharing, looking forward to many more reports from you! :)
 

rockfordstone

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that is an incredibly thorough look at the place, it's fine that it's long, i live locally and the place has always intrigued me.
 

Rubex

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Welcome to the forum, fantastic first report!
You've done the site thoroughly, and got some lovely shots.
Thanks for sharing, looking forward to many more reports from you! :)

Thank you! I was inspired to visit here after doing some research into the place and seeing your photos on this forum!

I hope you don't mind me copying the pool shot! :)
 
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frizman

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Welcome to the site Rubex. Went a few weeks ago and had a great time. There is a stupid amount of Cameras mind. PM me as there as some great explore near you.
 

Rubex

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Welcome to the site Rubex. Went a few weeks ago and had a great time. There is a stupid amount of Cameras mind. PM me as there as some great explore near you.

I saw your posts with The Wombat. Did you guys manage to get into the labs at the side of the Grange?

I can't PM you at the moment because I'm still a new member, but I will as soon as I am able
 

Rubex

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Wow, you've really done this place justice
seen more than we did.
excellent report

I read your report before visiting actually! I couldn't find some of the areas that you had photos of :(

Where was the Police tape? I'm thinking of going back soon too actually :)
 

The Wombat

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I read your report before visiting actually! I couldn't find some of the areas that you had photos of :(

Where was the Police tape? I'm thinking of going back soon too actually :)

You found area's we didn't get to either, lol
Its a bit site isn't it :)

The police tape was in a house at the eastern end of the site
 

Rubex

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You found area's we didn't get to either, lol
Its a bit site isn't it :)

The police tape was in a house at the eastern end of the site

There's a lot there yes lol! I'm looking through your photos again wanting to go back and find those areas!

It's not the house in the top corner of the field is it?
 

KM Punk

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I saw your posts with The Wombat. Did you guys manage to get into the labs at the side of the Grange?

I can't PM you at the moment because I'm still a new member, but I will as soon as I am able

Am I right in assuming those cameras are ineffective seeing you got beneath one?
 

Rubex

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Am I right in assuming those cameras are ineffective seeing you got beneath one?

That remains to be seen. There was definitely an electrical hum when I was around the cameras, but as other people have found out no one came running to stop me or anything.

They have PIR sensors below them so I assume they only activate on motion and record when that happens.
 
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