Tales of the Urban Explorer: Allen Brickworks

in hive-104387 •  4 months ago  (edited)

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Allen Brickworks has been a target of mine for some time now. Both being a very isolated area and the length of time the former industry has been empty, told me that this was probably not going to be a ‘fail'.


There is little information about the history and what I did find seems to be replicated by fellow explorers. This one is very popular and many have visited it

Glazed brick manufacturers established by Henry Victor Allen (1887-1960), when he took over the Halifax Glazed Brickworks in the Walterclough Valley.

He converted the works to manufacture refractory bricks (glazed bricks able to withstand high temperatures, generally used to line kilns, furnaces, and fireplaces, etc). Their Selfrac bricks were world-famous.

The works were later taken over by G R Stein, who also took over other brickworks in the area, and eventually closed in the 1960s.

Closed since the 1960s is a long time, I mean what could possibly be left? It was time to go and find out.

Locating the Brickworks was quite simple as it is located by name on GoogleMaps.


After a walk of about a mile down a beaten dirt track used by the odd runner, we came across this skip that told us we were heading in the right direction.


There were no private signs, no need to creep about, just continue walking the road and the Brickworks will start materializing before you.


…’to call Allen Brickworks a tourist Urbex attraction would be going too far but this is as easy as it gets’…

Dizzy Discovery once again accompanied me on this one and vanished quite fast as soon as we arrived up some dodgy steps. He likes to do his own thing.


I knew from looking at other reports that Allen Brickworks was the ultimate mini graffiti city, but was astounded to see how much artistry has been left.


Every piece of wall, every doorway it seemed was covered by varying pieces of graffiti. Some was of the terrible quality kind and some quite fabulous.


What I would call the 'main street' (cover image) reminds me of a mini-village. Call it the Chernobyl of Yorkshire, as there are many buildings to go and explore but without fear of death and radiation poisoning.



Allen Brickworks is a big place and took us maybe an hour to get around all of it. It's all accessible and as safe as you can get when it comes to this dangerous hobby of mine.





At one point we spotted a family mooching around the outskirts, though they were not venturing inside any of the buildings.


It's quite rare to meet anyone during an Urbex and the feeling was strange. I still would not recommend you bring the family and kids here, with a picnic basket and the family dog.




There is still plenty of places you can injure yourself, fall down a big hole, or slip on the steams of water cascading through the brickworks.


I tried in vain to find anything with the name, ‘Allen Brickworks' but failed miserably. There were several instances of 'Alien' however, does that count?





Bricks were in abundance in several areas but getting a nice clean cut one was challenging.


This one says ‘Rushforth’ and is typical of a general house brick.


…’this was about as creepy as it gets in Allen Brickworks, I mean, it’s just not creepy at all’…





Besides a few old pieces of machinery, there was little to look at besides the amazing graffiti. I wouldn't expect paperwork, clock machines, and old copies of 'The Sun' to be around after 60 years.




This was to be our first success of the day and done in the last weekend before the UK Lockdown came into force.





We had a few more good ones during the same day. I will be posting those over the next few weeks.



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The bright sun almost made the location seems like somewhere in the Latin Americas.

It was an exceptionally sunny day, so much that it interfered with some of my shots that I haven't published yet.

Sunny day in U.K.? Never heard of it.

You write so well about this place that I would so much like to go there!

Kind of like an art gallery - urbex style!

Yeah, fun place to visit. Nice and quiet, and nobody to give you any shit!

Glad the photos are back for this! The graffiti really makes it doesn't it!

Never seen such an infestation of the colorful stuff, 50 years of it.., and still left to rot away.

I wonder how much of it was different folk and how much was the same people just adding and adding

None of it looked really fresh. It's really off the beaten track this one so anyone could come down and spend time perfecting their craft I suppose without interference.

What a cool place, love the graffiti I would love to visit a place like that

Nothing in NYC like this, or would you get murdered or knifed just for standing outside the entrance?

Ohh no nothing like it in NYC , there was the 5 Points in Queens for years, which had lots of graffiti but was not so run down,

there was a building here like that an old paint factory, but they closed that off and are apparently rebuilding it

That is ace, loving the graffiti

Yes, talk about an overload!

Gosh these photos look like paintings, really stunning @slobberchops, it looks quite surreal, almost like it belongs in a scary movie set!
You are a brave man!

You could have come along to this one and been quite safe, it's not as scary as it looks!

We have a place like this in one of the towns near where I live. It is an old battery factory and the kids always venture out there and take pictures and stuff. I am guessing there is probably going to be a ton of drug use out there, but I have never been there myself.


Do you not have any curiosity to go and have a look? The photography in the link is quite lame, someone else could do better than that.

I think if you looked that particular area up you would probably find quite a few better posts. That was just the first one I found. I think there are other places that have been less explored. I'd just need to find them.

One day @bozz will surprise me and post something 'Urbex' :)

This is funky, and smashes all of my preconceptions of what England looks like.

We had planned to be there right now! Thanks to Covid19, we are not on vacation.

Someday we'll get out there...

This is funky, and smashes all of my preconceptions of what England looks like.

What are you expecting? Castles and Fortresses? :)

No, I expect quaint, sleepy villages like I see in the Hercule Poirot series.

Oh, there's plenty of those. Much of Middle England is quite rural., but don't just stay in London. That is not typical of the rest of the country.

What an incredible place. I can imagine a lot of photographers love to go there. I'm surprised there weren't more Instagram types hanging about.

"There is still plenty of places you can injure yourself, fall down a big hole, or slip on the steams of water cascading through the brickworks."

Yikes. No thanks :)

You would be fine, and you would love it. It's a photographer's dream that place!

It does look really nice. Graffiti, but probably without the usual smell of urine.

Looks like a fantastic place to photograph and the colours are great.

Yeah, the colours made up for the lack of danger and personal possessions. No anxiety issues about being 'caught' at this one.

No anxiety issues about being 'caught' at this one.

Do you normally get worried? I have occasionally as I am a foreigner :D

Only if I am doing solo ones. Just before lockdown, I did a massive industrial unit that had security detection cameras (which I avoided after a tipoff). It was creepy, and I mean really creepy. I spent an hour there and did half of it.

Part of it is the tenseness, it's an experience that can get addictive.

I haven't done anything like that, it sounds like fun :)

I cant always get a buddy to come along. It's not really a great idea to solo some places but I still do anyway. That is one I have in the pipeline and not one of my usual 'shell' style explores. There was stuff inside, besides dust, crap, and rotting timbers!

One of the places I have frequented (now being renovated) had a kid fall through the roof whilst alone - not a pretty tale.

Ah, I generally keep away from the rooves as I have vertigo issues. It's probably that fear that has saved my arse. The roof is frequently accessible being rained on all the time and usually rotting.

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