County Pauper Lunatic Asylum, Clipstone Colliery & RAF Stenigot

First off was Clipstone Colliery and her two headstocks, something that I’d wanted to visit but had always put on the back burner.

‘The village of Clipstone, was built on the site of Clipstone army camp in 1926 by the Bolsover mining company.

In 1922 the shafts of Clipstone Colliery were sunk to exploit the Top Hard seam. In the 1950s the shafts were deepened to their current 920m depth to provide access to other seams.

After being closed by British Coal in 1993, the colliery was reopened under the control of RJB Mining in April 1994 but finally closed in April 2003.

The 1950s headgear and winder house were listed in 2000 as an early example of the ‘Koepe’ system. Whilst they are not the first built, it seems that they are the earliest in situ example left in the UK. The headstocks of the colliery are the tallest in Europe and the third tallest in the world’.

Next up was the Mansfield general hospital however this didn’t go according to plan, after getting into the site as discretely as possible we bumped into the security bloke. He was a nice enough fella and understood what we had come to do but we were ushered off site. Lives at number 63 if anyone wants a chat.

With not so much as a worry of what to do next we headed past the old Box factory in hope of reaching the top of the last remaining building – the tower, the little bitch was sealed at the top.

A quick zip over to Lincoln brought us to St John’s Hospital/County Pauper Lunatic Asylum. After getting in we had a cheeky climb up the water tower before entering the main hall and checking out some of the cells and walkways. It’s a bit of a shame that the place is destroyed inside, much like the others hiding away across the country.

As we headed out we noticed that someone had sealed our access, nice one, A+.

Lincolnshire County Asylum, Bracebridge Heath, was opened back in the mid 1800’s. It had 300 patients in 1858 and was enlarged in 1859, 1866, 1881, 1902, 1917 and 1928, the architects behind the project Hamilton and Thomas Percy.

The asylum was closed down in 1990 and was sold a few years later to a property developer who has constructed nearly 1,000 new houses in the village. The original hospital buildings themselves are classified as Grade III listed buildings and are protected from demolition. During the redevelopment of the hospital site, a number of these protected buildings were refurbished and converted into flats and offices.

After getting back to the car we were slightly lost for what to do next, either sit on the motorway for the drive home or check some other stuff out. Luckily Nick had his longboard tucked away in the boot of his car so it was off to RAF Stenigot for a skate.

Built for use in WW2 the radar station based not too far from Donington on Bain was intended for use as a warning system against raids from the Luftflotte V. After the war and in the 60’s the site was used as a communications relay with the site being decommisionned in the late 80’s and the majority demolished in the late 90’s.

After returning to the car which we had managed to drive to about 50m away from the dishes we jumped on that weird motorway the M18. A service station was needed as all of the sugary drinks/food in the car had ran out, over in the distance rose Thorpe Marsh cooling towers.

Construction of the station began in 1959, it being built as a prototype for all the large modern power stations in the UK. It was commissioned between 1963 and 1965. It contained 2 generating sets powered by coal, and had a gas turbine set using an industrial static version of a Rolls-Royce Avon aero engine with a capacity of 14.9 MW

Initially being operated by the Central Electricity Generating Board, the station was operated by National Power following privatisation in 1990. The station closed a few years later in 1994. The 45 acres (18 ha) site was acquired by Able UK in 1995. Much of the station has been demolished and now only its six cooling towers (each 340 ft (100 m) high and 260 ft (79 m) in diameter remain.



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