Documentary Photography: Abandonment, assignment (Five,A) OCA, Photography Two: Documentary barry511915 Personal Project.


Buckton quarry although not abandoned at the moment it has been in the past for several years and will be again as there is very little stone left to quarry. The village of Carbrook has had a lot to do with the quarry being closed on several occasions, the villagers have campaigned to make the quarry companies put restrictions on times that the trucks can drive through the village, imposing a financial burden on the quarry companies as they need to make their money in a shorter working day. At the moment the quarry is being used as a stone storage yard, this has led to increased traffic through the village and once again the villagers are campaigning to get it stopped.


Buckton Castle

Buckton Castle is situated in the town of Stalybridge in an aria Called Carbrook It was thought to be a small hill fort of little importance and Abandoned for almost 900 years. “Excavating the site, a team from the University of Manchester Field Archaeology Centre expected to find an earthwork of little importance.

But what they found left the archaeologists stunned: a ‘massive’ stone outer wall, 2.8 metres wide, indicating that Buckton was a castle on the scale of Beeston Castle near Chester.

“The discovery of a high ranking castle in England is a tremendously rare event – and was definitely not what we were expecting,” said Director Mike Nevell.” (( Accessed 23/04/19)

The castle is not visible to the untrained eye and is completely covered by peat and grass the defences on the north side are still recognizable, see below.

The castle defences

Oakwood mill Stavely lane Millbrook Stalybridge

Oakwood, mill partly collapsed, the mill had been neglected as it was a listed building and the cost of repairs was very high. The mill had been robbed of some stone and the roof was also partly gone the rain got in and filled the floors with water and if February 2018 the freezing weather caused a build-up of ice and causing the floors to collapse.

” Built as a specialised spinning mill, it is no longer is use and is derelict. It is in millstone grit, and had Welsh slate roofs. There are two ranges at right angles, forming a U-shaped plan. The south range, a warehouse, had three storeys, and sides of 19 and four bays, and the north range, the mill, had four storeys and sides of 28 and six bays. There is an embattled clock tower and a chimney.[53][54] ”  (( )accessed 01/05/19

A corridor inside the mill.

Part of the mill on the side

Inside Oakwood mill


This is an old warehouse that is positioned near the old railway that used to supply the power station the warehouse was built approximately 1800 and is a listed building and as a consequence has fallen to a state of dilapidation (


The Buts is part of a rifle range last used in 1945 The Cheshire Regiment had a Barracks in the Town of Ashton Under Line, the barracks was mainly clerical staff sorting out the soldiers’ wages and things of that nature, but as we were at war at the time every able-bodied man had to learn how to shoot.

(Information obtained from Trevor Thornycroft age 85, Range House Stalybridge)

Nature is slowly taking over. The building at the side was where they kept the targets.

Below is the entrance to Stalybridge police station built in 1968. The station was closed in 2005 and has not been used since it is now falling into a state of disrepair. Planning has been put forward to turn the station into apartments but the request was rejected as the application contained very little information on various matters. the information was needed as the building is in a conservation area, even information for refuge disposal and collection and any information on carbon emissions were missing from the report.

The entrance to the old police station.

From the rear looking up from the river Tame

Old Power Station buildings the power station at Stalybridge was opened in 1926 by the Stalybridge, Hyde, Mossley and Dukinfield Transport and Electricity board. The station was closed on the 29 of October 1979. most of the power station was demolished in the 1980s but some building still remains. (

Old power station buildings below

The old cole conveyor  below

The conveyor delivered cole to the power station from the railway siding, the sidings could hold130 12-ton wagons. The conveyor has been left partly un demolished since the 80s. Pieces of the conveyor do fall off occasionally on to or very near the footpath below.

Below a view from where the power station uses to be.



Entering Abandoned buildings is likely to be illegal because in the UK there are trespass laws that prevent you from entering land or property, but if you take the view the law is not going to be followed up just for someone having a look and maybe taking a few pictures, then that is up to you to assess and decide if you should take the risk. What I would say is if the building is not secured and is open to the elements fairly easy to excess is of some interest to the local area and would benefit from some pictures being taken, then I personally would take the risk.   You could find the owner and get permission to enter this would be the legal way to go about it, and is the only way you should gain entry if the property is all locked otherwise you would be committing the crime of breaking an entry, much more serious offence than simple trespass.

Exploring abandoned building is exciting and has a certain appeal, most people will know that its probably not legal, but that is part of the appeal even more so if the building has some sort of intriguing history. Most people that go urban exploring are in it for the excitement and the striking Images they make. The interest generated by the Images, some would say out weights the risk of a fine for trespassing or injury, they don’t consider death as a possibility, but it is a real concern as people have died.    On the other hand, why do people climb mountains?

Having done some research online I came across James Kerwin, Photography  (

In the interview, he explained that unfortunately most of the abandoned buildings once discovered and put online are soon ransacked by the disrespectful people that go, so for this reason he never discloses any of the places he finds during his research. In the UK at least urban exploring having reached its peak over the last few years will no dought be in decline, the hidden gems having all been discovered and ransacked, but hopefully, there will be some still to be discovered, but for the sake of aesthetic appeal lets keep them secret.

Why they become abandoned

Buildings and Homes become abandoned for various reasons, one reason could be that the town was once occupied by a large company that employed lots of the people living in the town when these companies close it can have a devastating effect on the town. Houses become empty shops close and all become run down and eventually derelict

Thank God I have never experienced war but this is when buildings become abandoned and in some cases completely destroyed. Depending on the severity of the conflict and whether the people have survived will depend on whether the building remains abandoned.

One of the reasons for abandonment is the change in economic resource. In Italy, villages that used to rely on people going into farming and therefore staying local the community are finding that the houses are no longer occupied and villages all over the Mediterranean are vastly underpopulated. In parts of Italy and Sicily you can buy a house for a £1 you have to commit to some upgrading of the property but it has only cost you a pound. I have knowledge of a town called Zungoli in Italy about 60 k from Naples where they are giving the houses away to try to maintain the village population. See Images below.

       Zungoli the region of Campania Italy

(( 09/07/19)


The practice of finding and entering unused and abandoned buildings have been the subject of choice for thousands of photographers and organisations have been set up to support these photographers in there quest. One such organisation is (infiltrate .org )  There motto, take only photos, leave only footprints, There web site no longer takes new stories but is still up and running the only downside is it is a US site. ( This site is interesting reading with lots of snippets of information. This subject has evolved so much that it has reached the academics of criminology and has become one of the subjects of discussion and debate. (( ) Accessed 09/07/19)


assignment 5 not completed substituted with this assignment 5A 

feedback for assignment 5 not 5A5.Barry-Senior

I found my first choice for this assignment People of Stalybridge that lived in the area called Castle Hall, difficult to get to grips with it was difficult to get enough information from the people in the street, and although very nice they found it difficult talking to a stranger about there past relatives.  I also found it difficult to find the right way to ask the questions I needed to get the information I wanted for this assignment, I had to first convince them to let me take their picture to ask questions and at the same time try and write down there answers, by this time they just wanted to leave and get on with whatever.

My next choice of assignment Abandonment of Property.

I decided a change of subject was necessary not just for the convenience of not having to approach people, but my work was also calling more on my time. I went for a complete change and although I failed to discuss it with my tutor I hope he will understand. The subject was the abandonment of property touching on urban photography and some of the aspects and dangers surrounding the Urban explore. This was more up my street as I like getting up to mischief even though I am now getting on a bit I still feel I can and want to if needed. My first pictures were Bukton castle and the quarry, this is a feat in its self as it is a steep climb, a very large steep hill but a good feeling when you reach the top it takes about an hour to climb. I was hoping to find an awesome view of the quarry, but it was smaller than I remembered, It’s still big though. This part of the assignment was pretty straight forward but the next part getting into the mill was a little more challenging and a little bit dangerous, the only thing I left was footprints. Getting into these buildings is fun and I can see why some people do more of it. Going in the dark as some do would be very dangerous and not recommended. The building I entered was reasonably accessible only an odd broken fence to get through. the assignment was challenging for me, not because of any technical aspect, I think it is the lack of inspiration from other students that one would get if attending a day university or college bouncing ideas off one another, I find that when I meet anyone that as an interest in art or photography that is willing to talk, I find that I am hungry for there inspiration even if it is of no relevance to what I am doing at the time. I think my original idea was good but the approach would need to be different from just approaching people in the street and trying to get information from them relating to there family and asking them for a picture, getting the picture was ok getting the information was the difficult part. Getting out and about with the camera and entering the buildings was fun and in all, I found the assignment enjoyable. In my images, I have tried to convey a sense of loss for some of the buildings and disappointment in that some of the buildings are deemed to be of importance and therefore have been listed as a historical value but at the same time have been left to dilapidate into a state of no return.

What I have learned from my first attempt at the assignment is when you take on a project that seems relatively straight forward, that is not always the case it can grow into something big and get out of control if I had continued on my original path the assignment would have become a monster that I know I couldn’t control, to give it justice I would have needed a considerable amount of time patients and research that I just don’t have at this point in my life.

My abandonment assignment is small but informative something that could be of interest to some. I enjoyed doing it and would do some urban exploring in the future if an exciting place came to my attention that would have the prospect of getting some good images.

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