Virtual Tour
The Buildings
Urban Exploration
Pyestock Diaries

Pyestock Diaries

home | pyestock diaries

"I rushed back into the front office. The helicopter roared over, low, and then started a slow arcing turn over Battle House to face the Power Station. It was fitted with a huge search light. Black. No markings. "This doesnít look good." I bolted back into the corridor where we all stood motionless and listened to the growl of the helicopter as it arced around the Power Station and passed slowly overhead again." - Simon Cornwell

I've often been told how additive my urban exploration site is. From the red-eyed surfers slumped over their computers in the early hours promising themselves fifteen more minutes, to the secretive office workers wasting their bosses' time furtively reading snatches between dull office memos and e-mails, the early tours are compulsive reading.

As the site became more mature, and more knowledgeable, I put aside the whole nuts-and-bolts of urban exploration and simply concentrated on the subject at hand. Because the building, and the whole idea of documenting forgotten places was obviously far more interesting than my dubious exploits evading security, getting impaled on fences and falling through floors. Right? Wrong!

With that decision, I lost part of what made the original website fun.

I made this choice as I'm not one to boast of my exploits, or explain how hard it is to sneak past security, or how ingenious I am getting into a building that has defeated all others; I find such accounts tedious and detract from the buildings. But there was a lot of blood, sweat and tears putting this Pyestock site together, and I didnít just mooch around with a camera and take a few potted snaps over one sunny afternoon. Hence I wanted to return to the old style tours but I was left with a dilemma: how could I recount the fun and frustration of urban exploration, but not dilute the information about Pyestock itself?

The solution was simple: separate the building documentation and the urban exploration. Have two sections.

So here are The Pyestock Diaries: a recollection of trespassing around Pyestock and how I got the raw material to create the site. And for those who enjoyed the sheer excitement of running from The Flincher at the Canadian Red Cross Memorial Hospital, or being fenced into Hellingly Mental Hospital by the security guard, or being nailed into St. John's Mental Hospital at Lincolnshire (although Iím didn't write that one up, but rest assured it was a "unique" moment), then youíll love this section. It outlines how we actually discovered Pyestock, how we walked around with our jaws open, how we gradually deconstructed the site and how we ran away from things.

Exploring and discovering is fun and satisfying. I hope this section reflects those sentiments, and brings back something of the older tours, where readers simply couldnít stop hitting the "next" button.

(Note: The 'best' photographs have been used for the other sections of this website. Therefore the photographs used to illustrate our explorations are not necessarily the ones I would've chosen, but have been used to give a taste of what we found. Additionally some photographs were taken at different dates; this is because some shots were lacking and I returned to the site at later dates to fill in the gaps.)

Simon Cornwell.

Under Cell 3, moving eastwards.

The Recce (24th June 2006)

With Major Tom

Our first trip was fraught with the usual worries: Would we get caught? Would we get in? Would we be able to find the place?

Air House turbine hall.

Stasis (July 2006 - February 2007)

And after our first visit, I did nothing for months. Or did I?
Plant House control room.

Your Guess Is As Good As Mine (3rd March 2007)

With Major Tom

We headed back, determined to get further into the site and to see what everyone else was finding.

Elevated view of Cell 4 from the western doorway looking east.

Epiphany (24th March 2007)

With Marlon

If you tackle a subject a different way, then suddenly everything makes sense.


Something Old, Something New (31st March 2007)

With Major Tom and Marlon

It was a day of discovery and drama. Whilst we found the Power Station and plane, we also had encounters with other people and a mysterious black helicopter.


Down, Down, Down! Car! (21st April 2007)

With Major Tom, Marlon, Alex and Strangely Brown

With a large group of five, we were just begging to be caught.


Whatever You Just Pressed, Unpress It! (5th May 2007)

With Major Tom

It was a beautiful, hot, balmy, quiet day at Pyestock. We just happened to be in the part that suddenly fired up and burst into action.


Magpie Abuse (23rd May 2007)

With Major Tom

The skies turned blacker and blacker as I waited for Tom to arrive. The forecast was not good - would we beat the rain?


Can You Guess Where I Am? (2007 - 2008)

The situation at Pyestock gradually changed and the number of urban explorers exporing the site started to decline.


Luncheoning With Security (July 2010)

By Major Tom

Major Tom returned to Pyestock on a burning, hot day in July 2010. How had the site changed, and more importantly, were the tales of increased security true?


Pilgrimage (31st July 2017)

With Smorgy and Haydn

A newly borne fascination with the demolished site led to an impromptu journey. Would this lay the legend to rest? Or become the springboard for new visits?