Report - - Bridon Wire & Various Cottages, Ambergate, Derbyshire - May 2019 | Industrial Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Bridon Wire & Various Cottages, Ambergate, Derbyshire - May 2019


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The History, as written by @HughieD
Originally the wire manufacturing facilities were set up by Richard Johnson & Nephew in 1876 and at its peak the factory employed over 500 people. They specialised in telegraph wires, fencing and suspension cables and famously put in a tender for the suspension wires for the Brooklyn Bridge. J&N produced the telegraph cables laid underneath the English Channel during World War II. Typically, suspension wires were made from steel, due to its tensile strength, and for telegraphy wires copper was used due to its higher conductivity.

It was acquired in 1990 by Bridon and became "Bridon Ropes, Johnson & Nephew Wire Works Ltd" until wire-making ended in 1996. Bridon continued to use its Ambergate site as a storage and distribution centre until it was fully closed down around 1990.

The site is split by the River Derwent, and parts of it are still in use, for example the eastern part. It was bought from Bridon by the Lichfield Group in 2001, which then set up a plastic extrusion factory. The western part is mostly derelict, and the factories are very extensive and cover a large area.

The Explore
A bit of a soft spot for this place as it was the scene of my first 'proper explore' about five years back. Since then the Wire Works have been very well secured after the death of a young lad from falling through part of the roof, followed by the thorough re-sealing of the workers' houses after a quite large fire. But on a nice sunny evening after work I paid a visit to see what I could get in to.

The first thing you come across are the terraced workers' houses. Out of the 4 (I think) houses, 3 are sealed including 2 completely burned out, leaving only 1 currently to see.


After slithering my way through a tiny gap I was disappointed to see the floors and stairs have collapsed due to dry rot


What was once the living room


The remains of the kitchen


Hard to imagine someone having a good old soak in here nearly 30 years ago


The next cottage was in much better nick. I managed to spy this on Google Earth after seeing it on a recent report by @HughieD


Going off an old Yellow Pages the place looks to have been vacant since 2001 and has held up well


I usually like a nice skull souvenir, but gave Mr Rabbit a miss on this occasion


Fireplace and exposed beams in the living room


And a (nearly) unsmashed bathroom


While looking through the outhouses I could here the sound of running water which I found was bollocking its way out of an outside toilet cistern and was creating a river running down the hillside


With the houses out of the way it was time to see what parts of the works were doable. I started at the far end and what appeared to have been some kind of workshop, which had some delightful peel going on.

Ambergate Wire Works - 21st January (5)~2.jpg

Ambergate Wire Works - 21st January (1).jpg

Ambergate Wire Works - 21st January (3)~2.jpg

With the light rapidly fading I was determined to get into one of the larger warehouses which appeared sealed tight from the outside. After a bit of graft I was in.



Bit of graff by Tekonta Secta and My Man Kay


Not sure who the 'corpse' stuff is by




Down the bottom end of the warehouse were several uniform holes in the floor, not sure what the purpose was but they were making very effective natural plant pots.


The rustiest locker room I've seen


And with the fading light and the promise of free drugs I made my way out...


Still plenty to see here, just a shame the sub station type building and the labs are all completely bricked up!