Tales of the Urban Explorer: Daresbury Hall
“Look at all those Karens, not a chance of getting in that way"
We drove past the entrance of “Daresbury Hall”, an 18th-century Georgian properly in the middle of nowhere, that is beside an annoying row of houses, each holding its very own Karen with a straining neck and bulging eyes.
Daresbury Hall is a former Georgian country house in the village of Daresbury, Cheshire, England. It was built in 1759 for George Heron.
The house is recorded in the National Heritage List for England as a designated Grade II listed building. The mansion was badly damaged by fire in 2016.
The elegant ‘Daresbury Hall’, before the damaging fire of 2016.
Before the fire, ‘Zombie Manor House’ events were hosted within the grounds of Daresbury Hall. These have now ceased.
We ambled down a country lane weighing up how to access the grounds. It looked simple but finding somewhere to park was less so.
"These people are so fucking suspicious", I remarked to @anidiotexplores. A local 'Farmer Giles' had stopped his tractor and craned his neck backward as we parked up in a wide side road entrance.
"Fuck him, bloody country bumkins", I thought ignoring the whirring diesel smoke-belching monster that is the bane of regular motorists.
Now walking, we back-tracked for a quarter of a mile, vaulted a gate, a crumbing wall, and found ourselves in one corner of the "Daresbury Hall" estate.
Talk about tension, it was one of those explores that had me going and started the adrenaline. We meandered semi-silently through dense gorse, bushes trying not to get tripped up, and eventually came upon a sorry-looking building.
@anidiotexplores had gone on ahead like a feverish jackal and left me behind.
…where the fuck is he?…
I didn't want to start yelling, the local security situation had not yet been assessed and there could have been on-site blokes walking around ready to frog-march us out of the front gates.
I could imagine those Karens, all sat smugly outside in their terraced cottages, arms folded spitting at us like scum.
'They came to burn it, they came to vandalise it, search them, chase them...', - the preconceptions we poor innocent explorers have to deal with.
However, it was quiet and mildly disconcerting. I snuck around to the front and spotted an open window.
Being tall can occasionally be a benefit, and I remember my balls being squashed while straddling this window. Owww...., hopefully not another pair of ripped jeans.
Inside was boring. It looked like a long row of basic houses, perhaps for the lowly peasants to live in while the lord of the manor lived in luxury.
Someone had concreted the insides making passage impossible; one room and a mysterious note.
The Grey Squad? Was it one of the zombie groups?.., perhaps or a bunch of English-literate aliens was leaving notes about.
I exited and backtracked to the safety of the back. It felt very open and exposed on the window side. I spotted @anidiotexplores who was ushering me through a damaged door.
Someone had been having a good time getting pissed in here, a nice collection of beer cans.
What’s with all the numbers?
This was the same block of houses, what I call 'peasant row', and was similarly filled with concrete.
The middle section was inaccessible and could have housed a stack of burnt corpses for all we know.
We moved on, straddling anti-climbing fencing that was laughably ineffective, and headed deeper into the "Daresbury Hall" estate.
"Dog Patrols" – We had heard not a bark, a yap, or a snarl. The threat was hardly working.
They looked like decaying garages with nothing inside.
My first impression of the grand “Daresbury Hall” was far from impressive. I could barely see it due to the mass of scaffolding encompassing its breadth.
Surrounding the main course was a plethora of 'other buildings'. This rectangular chunk of concrete looked quite sealed.
We peeked around the back, only to be met with a forest of spiky brambles. It seemed not worth the bother as another set of building contained a ‘way in’.
Not noticing the armadillo security system, we jumped suddenly startled when it began talking to us…
"...You are trespassing, leave now; the police have been altered and are on their way, leave now this is your last warning..."
What did we do? We didn’t leave.., bollocks to that, but it did speed up our movement.
Climbing in through the window, things were looking more familiar. That is in the sense that some graffiti was to be seen.
If there is any ‘Residential Development’ going on, then it’s a tough call to see where.
In the Zombie zone, we would need to take care, one bite, and it's over.
The further in we got, the more ways to exit we found. Very useful if those ‘police on the way’ were going to start using their megaphones to coax us out.
It looked like the main zombie hideout, we had to go investigate.
One could be safe, rest, and lie down on... a large penis, lovely.
The local décor was improving by the minute.
A comfy sofa and state-of-the-art desks manned with computers to control the hoards of zombies patrolling the woods.
… but the computers were long gone and apart from a single smashed monitor we saw nothing.
ZED looked like it could be fun. Being a zombie would likely be preferable to being a human.
Why Mr. Metcalfe's personal literature is hanging around was a puzzle.
Avoiding zombies takes solid equipment, that is empty cans of beer, fetid clothing, decaying boots and maybe there is a smidge of IT gear still hanging around.
Hiding in the old swimming pool won’t save your arse, the water is long gone.
Can you imagine the Lord and Lady Daresbury taking a dip? It would be great in summer with the free heat radiating via those roof panels.
We viewed the route to the main hall from the rear. Full of brambles again, and what would there be to see inside?
Time was getting short, a convoy of cops would soon arrive, complete with tanks, and choppers. We were trespassing, a truly hideous crime.
Passing by the old security hut we saw nobody. It was cheaper to install those talking deterrents than 'rent' people to keep explorers away.
What a fucking mess. Those arsonists had done a full job in wrecking yet another one of the UK’s historic stately homes.
We didn’t have any inclination to jump the fence, manoeuvre around all that scaffolding to see… NOTHING?
Taking a parting shot of ‘peasants’ row’ from the front, we backtracked our way out to the very corner we started from. No sirens, no choppers, no jets; what an anti-climax.
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