Last week Mr Lester and I visited an abandoned Victorian youth correctional facility, called Eastmoor Reformatory, nestled away in the back of Adel.  It’s a massive complex dating back to the 1880’s, for naughty workhouse kids who’d turned to a life of crime.  We only saw a bit of the massive grounds, housing a full on church, pool, dentists, workshops and loads of accommodation outbuildings, all begging for a bit of Urban Exploration…

Urban Exploration in Leeds by Barnaby Aldrick photography © 2009 [Not to be reproduced without permission]

Such institutions were once more commonly called ‘borstals’; facilities where young offenders and children who were failing to integrate with society were sent to a secure environment to be taught practical skills so they could find a vocation or gainful employment. Eastmoor Reformatory housed 160 naughty kids in it’s operational hayday, and finally closed it’s doors in 1972. Hence the kitchen below looking a little worse for wear…

 

Urban Exploration in Leeds by Barnaby Aldrick photography © 2009 [Not to be reproduced without permission]

Gallant explorer inspects fire damage like he thinks he’s in CSI.

 

Urban Exploration in Leeds by Barnaby Aldrick photography © 2009 [Not to be reproduced without permission]

Experiments with torchlight through a red gel filter.

 

Urban Exploration in Leeds by Barnaby Aldrick photography © 2009 [Not to be reproduced without permission]

Painting light into dark.  I’m loving the light switch hanging from a bit of suspended roof

 

Urban Exploration in Leeds by Barnaby Aldrick photography © 2009 [Not to be reproduced without permission]

A fixer upper

 

Urban Exploration in Leeds by Barnaby Aldrick photography © 2009 [Not to be reproduced without permission]

The gents, again painted in by torchlight, hence the reflection from the mirror behind the door.

 

Urban Exploration in Leeds by Barnaby Aldrick photography © 2009 [Not to be reproduced without permission]

UrbtExtures!  Hmmm, that sounded better in my head.

 

Urban Exploration in Leeds by Barnaby Aldrick photography © 2009 [Not to be reproduced without permission]

Peeling paint lit by low torchlight

 

Urban Exploration in Leeds by Barnaby Aldrick photography © 2009 [Not to be reproduced without permission]

Access!

Disclaimer: We never actually ‘break’ into anywhere during our explorations, but if someone’s done the dirty work we may have a nosey inside…

 

Urban Exploration in Leeds by Barnaby Aldrick photography © 2009 [Not to be reproduced without permission]

From inside the courtyard of the old Victorian part.  There are so many rooms to explore in here.

 

Urban Exploration in Leeds by Barnaby Aldrick photography © 2009 [Not to be reproduced without permission]

I’m liking the chair placement.  People are funny.  Why would someone do this?

 

Urban Exploration in Leeds by Barnaby Aldrick photography © 2009 [Not to be reproduced without permission]

Lou Dogg’s been in da house.

 

Urban Exploration in Leeds by Barnaby Aldrick photography © 2009 [Not to be reproduced without permission]

In this room we first noticed all the floor tiles had peeled up, then spotted a solitary chair featuring a large, and well balanced chod of bird turd!

Pitch black – lit by 2 torches (hence double chair shadow)

 

Urban Exploration in Leeds by Barnaby Aldrick photography © 2009 [Not to be reproduced without permission]

Zoonotic disease! One of the better named diseases.

 

Urban Exploration in Leeds by Barnaby Aldrick photography © 2009 [Not to be reproduced without permission]

I loved the light falling from the roof of this end of the room.

 

Urban Exploration in Leeds by Barnaby Aldrick photography © 2009 [Not to be reproduced without permission]

Bit of f1.4 action on the door

 

Urban Exploration in Leeds by Barnaby Aldrick photography © 2009 [Not to be reproduced without permission]

29 days later… zombies dead, place still a mess.

 

Urban Exploration in Leeds by Barnaby Aldrick photography © 2009 [Not to be reproduced without permission]

There was an old pool was built in 1887, roofed in 1896 and heated in 1899. That must’ve been a chilly decade for swimming!  I read that one of the options for the ‘reformed’ boys was to be employed by fishing vessels at Grimsby on the east coast, so the pool was seen to potentially aid training for such a vocation in addition to the health and social benefits it brought to the young offenders. Today the pool can still be used for a paddle.

 

Urban Exploration in Leeds by Barnaby Aldrick photography © 2009 [Not to be reproduced without permission]

Josh had the personal survival SKILLS, but is still aspiring towards his honours award.

 

Urban Exploration in Leeds by Barnaby Aldrick photography © 2009 [Not to be reproduced without permission]

I like the way it looks like someone’s tried to fill the pool with the firehose.

 

Urban Exploration in Leeds by Barnaby Aldrick photography © 2009 [Not to be reproduced without permission]

In a room adjacent to the pool was a formidably large water pump and crumbling tank.

It was pitch black in here too, and I’m rather pleased with the way it’s lit by torchlight alone, through a 30 second exposure

 

Urban Exploration in Leeds by Barnaby Aldrick photography © 2009 [Not to be reproduced without permission]

Mr Lester (in the room behind) & I created a light vortex in the fisheye.

 

Urban Exploration in Leeds by Barnaby Aldrick photography © 2009 [Not to be reproduced without permission]

This place seriously merits further exploration! Watch this space…

 

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