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Report - Bargate Shopping Centre - Southampton - March 2016

Discussion in 'Leisure Sites' started by UrbexCamo, Mar 25, 2016.

  1. UrbexCamo

    UrbexCamo "Just having a look officer"
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    History

    Bargate was one of the main shopping centres in Southampton for years along with The Marlands, until West Quay took over and inevitably the smaller shopping centres suffered. The shops in Bargate were actually pretty good and seemed to all be aimed at a younger market, you could buy such ridiculous stuff in there you wouldn't believe, mainly from the bondage shop on the ground floor and the legal high shop/tattoo shop next to it haha. It has been closed down for about the last three years with rumours of developers making a start on a multi million pound re-vamp next year in 2017 and fill it with shops again (can't see it happening). It was originally built in1989 and was unique at the time for having a Sega park on the ground floor, internet cafe, fish therapy salons and bowling alleys! Living here all my life I remember going there loads as a kid, and have loads of memories of the place when it was fully open and busy with shoppers, trouble making kids and the odd drunk stumbling out of the comedy club!


    The Explore


    I have been looking at this place since it closed and never really made a great effort to gain access until recently. I had a look at the access areas about two weeks prior to the explore and was met by a grizzly looking security guard and his faithful hound, I wasn't going to argue so left pretty sharpish. After leaving it a couple of weeks for the recent media attention to die down from a recent video in the Southampton news of a local lad going inside, myself and another 28DL member @LooksLikeY0da tried again one early morning. To our surprise and delight there was no sign of any scary man with a dog and no attention from any official looking people, just a homeless guy asleep on the stairs. We struggled to get in for a while and we were about to give up, both a bit disappointed we were so close to getting in but couldn't make the awkward climb to get in.

    Just as we thought about giving up with trying to get in we saw our access, it was staring us in the face right from the start. Once in we then found ourselves in the staff quarters with an alarm beeping and empty rifle cartridges, shotgun shells and grenade and tear gas canisters scattered around! Many of the doors throughout the place had been blown open with door explosives, which made exploring the place considerably easier. Apparently the military had used the place as some sort of urban warfare training ground at one point. Excited and a bit freaked out we then worked our way down through the massive creepy complex. I was absolutely amazed at the amount of stuff left in the staff areas with items such as old school Mac PCs, paperwork and cheque books everywhere as well as safes smashed to pieces and thousands of keys for just about every door in the whole place, all conveniently labelled. It was like the staff couldn't have got out of the place quick enough and didn't even bother taking much at all, there was personal stuff everywhere and was one of the oddest things I have ever experienced.

    A week later myself, another 28DL member and a non member returned to explore what we thought was the last few remaining shops only to find a massive system of basement tunnels and more levels in the staff quarters containing the security centre, which was incredible. Unfortunately there are no pictures of this due to not having the camera on me on the second visit.

    I apologise for some of the poor quality pictures, I'm pretty new to photography and I have no idea what I am doing with my new DSLR! :s

    (Picture heavy)


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    Thanks for having a look :)
     
    urblex, girtrood, Saviour2016 and 7 others like this.

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  2. LooksLikeY0da

    LooksLikeY0da 28DL Full Member
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    Great report bro, was fun going back a second time! Those basement levels were creepy as hell though haha.
     
  3. UrbexCamo

    UrbexCamo "Just having a look officer"
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    cheers buddy! yeah man was mad down there! its an amazing explore!!
     
    LooksLikeY0da likes this.
  4. Clutch

    Clutch 'Its only weird if it doesn't work'
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    Great report! Have you done anywhere else locally?
     
  5. UrbexCamo

    UrbexCamo "Just having a look officer"
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    Cheers bud!! I have done a few other local places yeah, no reports up yet though really. Are you local yourself? Would love to know of a few more spots if you have any in mind?
     
  6. Clutch

    Clutch 'Its only weird if it doesn't work'
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    Yeah me and another member have done a couple of spots, we did haslar hospital and the Lyndhurst Park hotel. Could do a mooch soon if you are local?
     
  7. BrainL

    BrainL 28DL Full Member
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    This place is being used for military training now I heard... there was an article in the local paper advising locals not to be alarmed at the sound of gun fire or military personnel being in the area...
     
  8. UrbexCamo

    UrbexCamo "Just having a look officer"
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    Think that's already happened by the amount of practice ammo and that left around. All the doors in the offices have had their locks blown off with explosives. There's still some that haven't gone off :s
     
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  9. GB619

    GB619 28DL Full Member
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    Great report and nothing wrong with the pictures you have taken they are great,a place me and some Urbex friends will have to visit
     
  10. UrbexCamo

    UrbexCamo "Just having a look officer"
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    Thanks :) yeah its definatly one to have a mooch around, could spend hours in that place
     
  11. Blackeagle

    Blackeagle 28DL Full Member
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    Cool Stuff Dude :) Im Tempted To Have A Mooch Myself :p :p
     
  12. scrappy

    scrappy 28DL Regular User
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    Nice, like the idea of an abandoned shopping centre.
     
  13. UrbexCamo

    UrbexCamo "Just having a look officer"
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    Cheers guys :) yeah it's creepy in there, but such a cool place to have a gander!
     
  14. xexxa

    xexxa Lay an egg in me.
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    I've been aware of this place for ages, and always hoped to be the first to report it, but after seeing that guy get in through the roof I gave it all of my nope!
     
    UrbexCamo likes this.
  15. Brandon Taylor

    Brandon Taylor 28DL Full Member
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    Madness.
    I went in there and did a vlog about it for YouTube. I'd always wanted to go in even before seeing the infamous exploration video.
    I went back yesterday to show friends and it's very high security now.
    I'm not even really an urban explorer, although I love watching videos, I'm just very attached to this shopping centre haha.
    Spent so much of my childhood in their and I'm constantly trying to find out what's happening with the redevelopment process.
    I guess I'm just passionate about Southampton.

    Would love to contact some local guys somehow. There's a few more abandoned places around here
     
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