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Previously exploring dwellings that are lived in,  I then had a desire to explore buildings that had deteriorated or outlived their original purpose, being abandoned by their inhabitants.  In a sense I was photographing what has been overlooked visually and historically.

My travels took me to an abandoned Mobilisation centre.  Source:

“In the late Victorian period (1889-1903) mobilisation centres were constructed around the London area in order to provide ready ammunition in order to defend the city. These centres were not designed as forts themselves, although they could have been armed if the need arose. Being a mobilisation centre, if the need for armament did become apparent, the North Weald Redoubt would have been armed with whatever guns were seen as appropriate at the time.

North Weald Redoubt is one of these mobilisation centres and it’s structure clearly shows it’s purpose as an ammo store. Viewed from above, the redoubt forms a rough D shape. The arc at the rear of the redoubt is comprised of the magazines. The second building consists of a caponier giving covering fire into the ditch and further casemates known as the gorge casemates that could have been used to either barrack troops or as further storage space for shells. Under normal conditions this would have been utilised for the storage of other equipment.

Within the magazine arc, each room is clearly defined as either a cartridge or shell store and has excellent lighting provided from multiple lamp recesses in each store. As in other similar magazines, the cartridge stores were accessed via a shift lobby.

The redoubt underwent many changes during it’s use and during the Second World War it was fitted with two Allen Williams turrets. These would have been used to protect the nearby Ongar radio station.”

Again I felt like a detective, looking for clues from the traces that were left by previous human activity.  I felt uneasy as I approached the site but once inside I felt sadness at the complete disregard for a part of our history, where the area had been abused by fire, graffiti and theft of lead from the roof.  However, I was satisfied that I was able to record part of that history on my camera as I knew that I would never go back again.

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