Fails of the Urban Explorer: Dalton Grange

in hive-104387 •  last month  (edited)

We were never going to get inside Dalton Grange. It was not going to happen, not today, and probably not ever.


More acrobatic explorers have tried and failed quite recently. The last report of an infiltration was a few years ago, and that was likely a break-in. Nevertheless, I added this old manor house to our long list of explores

Dalton Grange previously home to the now-defunct Dalton Grange Social Club was a club for retired employees of what used to be ICI and Zeneca.

The building dates back to the 1870s and during World War I the ‘Dalton Grange Club’ was officially opened, after renovation work brought the building back from a state of disrepair.

Men were scarce in the town; young and presentable ones very rare. Ladies’ evenings were the highlight of the winter season.

The young ladies of the district looked forward to these events with very great pleasure. Lots of shagging took place…


OK I made the last part up, but when the history says, ‘great pleasure’, well one can only think of one thing!

It currently belongs to chemical firm Syngenta, a division of the pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca.

Some wankers tried to burn it down in 2018 but the fire was isolated to a small downstairs area and it was quickly contained.

The club, wound up in 2012 after a decline in membership.

On my insistence we parked over half a mile away from Dalton Grange. Maps had shown me the only place to park was right outside the front gate.

Hindsight tells me this was a good practical idea and after a 10-minute walk we spotted the grand entrance.


…’do you really think I can scale that gate? Not a chance, there are easier ways of getting past it’…

The driveway of Dalton Grange is long and leafy, but it was not so long before we caught sight of the stately manor house.


While the front entrance may be presentable the sides and back are not. The amount of greenery was abundant to say the least.



I had to scramble through all this stuff to get to the back part of the house.



Was this a way in, down through the depths of the house? No, there were some inner bars on the other side of the doors that looked more like a prison.



Any potential access points were firmly concreted up like this. Still someone had thrown a brick through an upper window.



The other side of the house was much more accessible. How that scooter got up there is anyone’s guess.


…’I wonder what the interior is like? Some older images show it to be in good condition. There will be a few bricks and broken glass to boot’…


The empty garages are the only place you can ‘get inside’. Well, not this one unless you want to be seriously stung.


Is there really a security system in place or is it one of those bullshit security services that are vapourware.



…' I'm not going up there, even for a look. Someone else tried in the last year and found lots of concrete'…

On the front of the house it looked like an all-seeing eye was installed. They are hard to dodge yet no alarms were ringing and nobody was appearing to kick us out.


Dalton Grange is in good shape with just a few broken windows. Even circling the building I could smell the musty air from within, seeping out like some kind of invisible mist.


…’barfing through the letterbox is a bit much, can’t people spew somewhere else?’…

We headed back up the long driveway after around 20 minutes quite content. We were never going to get into Dalton Grange.

Exiting the grounds and crossing the road, a non-descript plain grey car pulled up beside us.

'Hoyyyy.. have you two just been in Dalton Grange?', said an Asian looking bloke using an accusatory tone.

DizzyDiscovery responded with a, 'Yes mate, taking some photographs, that's all'

'I know, I have been watching you for some time', responded Seccadude with a knowing smirk.

Now the smart-arse response is, 'So, you know we have been in there, so why are you asking us you twat. Is this some kind of fucking morality test?'


DizzyDiscovery who was closer to Seccadude than me just shrugged and we continued walking down the hill.

Seccadude pulled up in front of the gates for a few minutes and then left sailing past us. If we had parked there we would have been able to block us in. I had the feeling this was his little 'power-trick' for the unwary explorer.

We resisted using any profane hand signals as the car disappeared into the distance.


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What a magnificent old building. I know these are normal in the UK, but man something like that would be great to fix up and live in. Such a waste.

It's rare to see one in this condition, they are generally more wrecked. Seccadude was in our faces as soon as we left. The good quality security has saved it from a lot of the usual damage and vandalism.

It totally looks like a gentleman's club!! Of yes indeed, I bet there was much pleasure had!!

I think those walls could tell us lots of sordid tales. Chastity belts had gone out of fashion by 1917.


My god man, look at the weird pokey up but!! Yeek!

I guess that bit fits in the rectum? :)

My god man, look at the weird pokey up bit!! Yeek!

Have you ever got in a scuffle with someone you met on the explorations?

Never, I rarely meet anyone and try my best to keep covert. If security is called via an alarm or by any other reason I have generally left before they arrive. They don't tend to be very quick and that gives me time to do my stuff and leave.

Wish the young ladies were like that today!!!
They really want to keep people out of there, where is that dynamite!!

it looks like you could just walk right around to the side of the driveway gate. Nice find!

Hmm, well I wouldn't want to give away how to get in the grounds on a public forum but I will say that it didn't require much creativity!

Succadude was probably delighted to have something to do that day.

Yeah! no doubt.

That looks like it would have been a really cool place to explore. It is too bad that you weren't able to get into it. It almost looks like the are preparing to renovate it in some spots. Maybe not...

Its been empty for years, who knows what Sygenta have planned for it.

What a great castle building with so many architectural wonders. Pretty bad it is closed up and not restored, it is quite a beauty.

Your Urban Explorations are some of my favorite posts @slobberchops! Thank you for posting, and with such beautiful pictures. Loved this post, and congrats on resisting the impulse to anger at a nosy neighbor! :)

I try to keep them entertaining, many just show the photography but I prefer the full tale of what happened. It's always quite edgy getting access to premises and that's what does it for me. Thanks for the comment!

:) Well it is always a lot of fun to virtually join you.

what a waste of a beautiful building! guess property isn't a big thing in your part of the world

It is a waste and owned by a corporate giant. They should do something with it.

That's looks like so much fun. Such cool building. It's like a treasure hunt. Looking to see what you discover. I could feel myself as a kid exploring.. Thanks for sharing.. :)

That's one of the reasons I do this. It is like being a kid again.

What a great spot! Would have loved to take a peek inside, but as usual, when there is an easy way in, it's already destroyed.

It makes a change from the shells we generally do. I knew we wouldn't get in but still wanted a peek at this piece of history.

I'm a relatively new reader of urbex and your blogs. Have you ever stumbled upon alarms and what kind - silent or loud?

I have, an old rotting mansion in Sheffield that had sensors and detected me. It yelled out, 'You have been detected and are now being recorded, leave now. Charges will be made against you and you will be prosecuted' . I fled like a girl!

Oh shit, I imagine you got back over the fence in one leap :D

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