Report - Jameah Islameah School, East Sussex, December 2016

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28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Oct 15, 2016
In the 1920's this school originally opened as St Michael's Orphanage, it's purpose to home and care for orphans. However later, in the late 20's, became St Joseph's College which was a Roman Catholic Junior Seminary until 1970 at which point it was converted into a ballet school.

This school was called the Legat School of Ballet. It contained on the main floor, two large dance studios and an art studio whereas the second floor was used for student dormitories. A third dance studio was located in a wooden hut beside the rear driveway, alongside other facilities such as a swimming pool and tennis courts. There was also a small building to the rear of the site which housed staff and senior pupils aged over 16. The site also contained a church which in 1970 was converted into a theatre.

However in 1987 a severe storm damaged the buildings and the roof of the bell tower collapsed. Although, despite many attempts, the school could not afford the repair bill and closed in 1990 when they moved their site to merge with the Wadhurst College, not too far away.

This school later reopened as an Islamic School called the Jameah Islameah School which was inspected by the Office for Standards in Education which stated that the school 'does not provide a satisfactory education for its pupils'. During this inspection, the school had 9 students.

According to the BBC News, the school educated students to become Islamic leaders, training them to a high level to teach in local mosques.

There was many allegations that the school was used in the training and recruitment of terrorists, and according to the testimony of Al Qaeda suspects, the school hosted training camps including the training of AK47 rifles, handguns and even a mock rocket launcher.

On the 1st of September 2006, the site was searched by up to one hundred police officers. At this point no arrests were made however the local police cordoned off the site for 24 days whilst they underwent an operation that cost them around one million pounds.

Eventually, 14 arrests were made on the suspicion of the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism act, however 2 were released.

February 9th, 2007, the Department for Education closed the school down and is, or should be abandoned to this day. However activities still occur on the site.

The Visit
We visited the site during December 2016, where we met some unique occurrences. We began by walking up the no longer used, main driveway where we met a gate accompanied by a wall of tires, which we easily climbed over. We were immediately met by a large manor house, with curtains closed upon it's many windows.

Not too long later, we could hear the sound of children's laughter resonating from the inside of the manor house and after brushing it off as our imagination we quickly continued to photograph the buildings exterior. We could not gain entry, however through the windows we could see clean furniture, floors and books set out in the style of a classroom.

Due to the inability to enter the manor house, we moved on and continued our explore. We soon located a run down caravan that was mildly intact. The unusual thing was, the lights inside the caravan were still on. Next to the caravan, however, was an open door to the church. The church was magnificent, contain beautiful marble floors and pillars. Although we soon decided to leave when we heard running outside and a car pull into the driveway.

Whilst standing outside and consuming all of what had just happened, we noticed a car pull up in front of the main entrance, containing a mother and two children. Once inside the mother dropped off her children and left the premises. This was extremely odd as the place should be abandoned.

However without further ado, here are some of the photographs that I took:
I apologise for the quality of some of these images however I was not planning on sticking around.

This is the main building:

This here, is some of the grand windows on the main porch.

This is the church, which was converted into a theatre.


And this is a glimpse through one of the windows.

This is the caravan:

Thank you for reading my thread, I'd appreciate hearing some views on what is going on here.



28DL Member
28DL Member
Dec 8, 2015
Took two coach loads of Muslim men and boys from Leyton to this school in the early 2000s, A very strange place, Thought it was the wrong place at first as it looked derelict, While having a wonder round (as you do) we were stopped and told not to leave the coaches unless we were escorted, so we conned two cups of tea out of them and then went down the pub for lunch.
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big pimp

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Mar 14, 2011
Wow. I'm sure that was a freaky situation having people arrive whilst you were exploring an 'abandoned' location