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Report - Frith Park, Walton On The Hill Surrey (now demolished)

RustyG

The world's most awkward urbexer...
28DL Full Member
#1
First the preamble...

I'm a bit late writing this one up, there are two reasons for this; firstly the chap I was working for absolutely forbid me from posting anything up online about the place untill it was demolished. And secondly, when it comes to remembering to do things I'm absolutely fuckin useless, I seem to remember putting a few pics up on here after the demolition but then never got round to doin an actual report. Oh well, better late than never eh?

Here we go boys and girls

The history

The Frith Park estate, which lies to the south west of Walton-on-the-Hill and comprises of approximately 104 hectares of land nestled in the Surrey Hills. The site comprises Frith Park, a former 19th century locally listed manor house, together a number of post-war commercial buildings, four cottages, a former 16th century farmhouse and a group of agricultural buildings. The main house, together with the four cottages and the modern commercial buildings are grouped together in the western part of the site, whilst the former farmhouse and agricultural buildings are located in the eastern part of the site, closer to the motorway. There is a former walled garden which now lies in a state of disrepair.


The main house was previously occupied by the South Wales Chemical Company from the 1950s and has been used for manufacturing, storage and office accommodation. The south wales chemical company were involved in the printing industry. The firm constructed the modern buildings found on the site sometime in the 1970s. The farm buildings were historically used for agricultural purposes but this use has fallen into decline.
(Stolen from http://thetimechamber.co.uk/beta/sites/everything-else/acid-house-frith-park-surrey)

Edit: According to the demo boys one of the previous owners was an Israeli arms dealer, how true this is I do not know, but out the back there is a lare area that had been cleared of scrub many years ago with a large earth berm at one end that could easily have been a rifle range.

One of the firms I sub for had yard space on the farm next to the manor and the boys have seen it slowly decline over the years. Although SWCC were the occupiers they were not the owners and whoever owned it had a definite policy of no maintenance or repair, the roof started to leak so a tin hat was put on the place and the tiles removed. Eventually SWCC moved right out of the main building but we never went in there on fear of death from the angry angry farmer who runs the place. Disobeying the boss is one thing, disobeying the farmer in his own little Kingdom, now that's another....


The explore


We got to the boss's to pick up the job sheet, Clearance at Frith Park. Schweeeeeeeet! We would probably be the only ones on site and what with all the excitement of moving yards we knew the farmer would be otherwise engaged, far too occupied to keep tabs on us. As we went to jump in the truck the boss yelled "and no pokin about in the buildings you two"

"We won't" we replied in unison both with matching smirks on our faces....

To be fair we actually managed at least an hours work before curiosity got the better of us and the tools went down.

First we had our 'breakfast smoko' explore of the outbuildings, various old sheds and garages engulfed in bramble, stinkin of fox, filled with the usual detritus that humanity leaves behind, old tools, knackered lawnmowers, a nice collection of 80s and early 90s Haynes manuals, and a shed that had been converted into an aviary many moons ago.

Next was what was left of the walled gardens (some wall and some scrub) and then a small warehouse with its own couple of little outhouses that I would guess used to contain gas powered boilers from the remaining pipe work and pressure guages on the walls. The hoofin great gas tank round the back was also a bit of a clue. These bits were in use up untill SWCC pulled their kit out when they moved. There wasn't really anything of note other than loads of little bits of coloured plastic film left behind by SWCC.


Worried that the boss may pull his usual turn up just as the tools go off and we start pissin about trick we went back to the task at hand for at least another 45 mins before once again, like little boys with a river bank full of rocks and a hornet's nest just hanging there, nature took its course, curiosity got the better of us and we stopped for the 'mid morning smoko' this time my mate climbing up the scaffolding on the front of the building to get some pics with my phone. I don't like scaffolding at the best of times, especially not 10 year old stuff with rotten boards and well rusty clips so I bravely volunteered to stay on the ground as the, er, 'safety man'

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And here I am in my solumn capacity as safety man

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After his safe return to ground level we entered through the warehouse extention to the side of the main building, nothing of interest in there other than a couple of pallets of swag, some lovely (and huge) Belfast sinks amongst other cool bits salvaged from the house. Perks of the job for the farmer or demo boss no doubt.

From there we moved down into the basements, old boiler rooms, cold stores all with inch thick slate shelves, an extensive wine cellar full of rotted bottle racks and a room with old brick bread ovens built into the wall. Somewhere in the basement there was a bricked up entrance to a tunnel that went underground all the way to Walton manor, or at least it did untill they dug the footings for the m25 right through it. The Walton manor side had been explored by archiologists but this side of the m25 hadn't seen a single person since it was blocked up. I never got to go down there as on each visit the demo boys hadn't opened it up and then on my last visit all that was left was the front facade held up with scaff, the tunnel and basement dug out and back filled with crushed hardcore.

Come lunchtime we were in the main building like a rat up your trouser leg, through the basement up the staff stairs and onto the ground floors entrance hall. Masive high ceilings with all the plasterwork you would expect from a very old lavish stately home, lovely carved banisters and staircase all of it protected from the wet by the floors above. What at one point must have been the main sitting room or dining room had a huge fireplace with what can only be described as half a rainforests worth of tropical hardwood mantlepiece. Seriously the thing must of weighed near on half a ton! On the front wall a wooden hatch had been installed with an rsj attached to the beams above for hoisting things into the room from the driveway, a remnant of its repurposing to industry. There was nothing really amazing on this floor as it was obviously the last bastion of the SWCC before they finally gave up the old girl and pulled out into the newer buildings.

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Oh yeah sorry about the crapness of some of the pics, my phone screws up the focus some times. And as I say, a blury pic is always better than no pic. Just ask any ufo or bigfoot enthusiast

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The first floor was as uninspiring as the ground floor, all the rooms converted to office space with very little furniture left and no real character.
Up the stairs to the second floor and we were greeted with a room litterally strewn with old camera and photographic equipment. With less protection from above the damp was creeping into this floor to the point where the ceilings were going, the paint was peeling and the floors were bouncy, in some rooms the floor had well and truely gone, leaving gaping views down to the floor below.

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From the looks of it we wernt the first explorers to venture in, some things were just too artfully placed to not be set up, take exhibit A here as a prime example.

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Next was a room full of what used to be ceiling and some old chemical bottles and drums, pretty cool

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But no where near as cool as the next room, an old lab with all the old wooden cabinets and fittings still sort of in situ. The floor had a masive hole in it and everything was rotten beyond repair but the whole look with the light coming in through the window oh how I wished I was a proper photographer with a proper camera!

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The rest of that floor wasn't too bad, it was shagged but the floors had been boarded and it looked like it had been used as storage space untill fairly recently, at the end there was the main bathroom complete with green sink, his and hers glass holders, a roll top bath, the most dodgy water heater you've ever seen and some beautiful stained glass windows. I defo took photos of all that but for the life of me i can't find them to upload to photofuckit, fingers crossed they will turn up and I can do an update.

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From what I remember the other upper floors were pretty much unpassable and there wasn't anything all that interesting anyway so we went up the servants stairs to what would have been their attic quaters. Not a lot of that left at all

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I hope you all enjoy my belated report. Like I said I'm sure I took more pics than I've found, if I discover anymore decent ones buried on my hard drive I'll stick em up! I might even see if my mate still has any that he took so keep your fingers crossed boys n girls!

Rusty G
R-URBEX
 
Last edited:

RustyG

The world's most awkward urbexer...
28DL Full Member
#3
Yeah cheers for that mate! Your history of the place was by far the best one i could find to plagiarise :D
You got some wicked pics n all! Much better than the ones off my shakey old camera phone!
 

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