A Forgotten V-1 Flying Bomb Launch Site in Rhineland-Palatinate

Abandoned V-1 launch site in Germany's Rhineland-Palatinate(Image: Spielvogel. Abandoned V-1 launch site in Germany’s Rhineland-Palatinate)

They may look like any other peaceful woodland ruins of days gone by. But these seemingly-anonymous concrete foundations reflect a vengeance unleashed on Britain and Belgium by Nazi Germany during World War Two. For it was from here that countless V-1 flying bombs were launched into England, with the goal of striking fear into the hearts of the civilian population.

Just after 4 am on June 13, 1944, residents in northeast London reported a strange droning sound that eerily cut out before the craft that it belonged to fell to earth. Six residents were killed in the borough of Hackney, and the ‘doodlebug’ menace had begun. In the days that followed, dozens of V-1s, or ‘buzz bombs’, as they were also dubbed, reigned down on London, killing and wounding hundreds.

(Image: German Federal Archives)

The era of the cruise missile had dawned, and the nature of warfare would never be the same again. As Londoners became ever more familiar with this new and deadly threat, it became apparent that the sound that frightened them the most was the sound of silence. When the simple jet engine cut out, the brief quiet was soon shattered by a hideous explosion, as the V-1 flying bomb’s 1,870 lb warhead detonated.

Developed at the Peenemünde Army Research Center under the codename “Cherry Stone”, more than 100 of the so-called “vengeance weapons” were launched daily in the direction of Southeast England, culminating in 9,521 in total. To counter the V-1 menace, Allied forces initiated Operation Crossbow, which targeted all phases of Nazi Germany’s long-range weapons programme. This included the bombing of launch sites as well as factories, research and development facilities and transport links.

(Image: Spielvogel)

By October 1944 the last V-1 rocket launch site within range of England had been overcome by Allied forces. The doodlebug menace had been short-lived, but psychologically devastating. The abandoned launch pad pictured in this article, situated in the peaceful forests of Rheinbreitbach municipality, in the north of Rhineland-Palatinate, is one of many such ruins forgotten amid the landscape of Western and Central Europe.

As Morris M wrote on Urban Ghosts earlier this year: “In an anonymous stretch of German woodland lie these unassuming relics of the Third Reich’s military machine. Although the pictures may look like nothing more than a few overgrown lumps of concrete, these ruins were once at the forefront of Hitler’s psychological terror tactics. It was from here that multiple V-1 flying bombs were launched at Britain. Known as Doodlebugs, these early-vengeance rockets would emit a loud drone as they sailed over London, before finally silencing as their engines cut out and they plummeted to earth.”

Read Next: 10 Historic Border Fortifications & Military Defences of Wartime Europe

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The Strange, Organic Architecture of Hundertwasser

The Waldspirale Darmstadt by Hundertwasser(Image: Heidas, CC-BY-SA-3.0. The Waldspirale Darmstadt by Hundertwasser)

In 1975, the architect and artist who called himself Hundertwasser said, “Only those who think and live creatively will survive in this life and beyond.” Deep thoughts, but he also delivered more cryptic gems like “progression is retrogression and retrogression becomes progression.”

Architect Friedrich Stowasser, aka Tausendsassa Friedensreich Regentag Dunkelbunt Hundertwasser(Image: Hannes Grobe, CC-BY-SA-2.5. The architect and applied artist in 1998)

Perhaps that’s not surprising, given that the Austrian-born New Zealander changed his named from Friedrich Stowasser to Tausendsassa Friedensreich Regentag Dunkelbunt Hundertwasser – a moniker Slate says translates to Multitalented Peace-Filled Rainy Day Dark-Coloured Hundred Waters. It’s also not surprising that he hated straight lines and, as an architect, was responsible for designing some of the most unusual buildings in Europe.

Ronald Macdonald-kindervallei in Houthem(Image: Els Diederen, CC-BY-SA-3.0. Ronald Macdonald-kindervallei in Houthem)

Hundertwasser also believed in radical human expression – and giving speeches while completely naked – and was a fan of incorporating organic elements into his designs. He despised straight lines. Hundertwasser’s buildings, which look like something plucked a child’s drawing and brought to life, are made even more surreal by their location. Some – like the Green Citadel in Magdeburg, Germany – are surrounded by stark, Soviet-style block architecture.

The Green Citadel of Magdeburg by Hundertwasser.(Image: Doris Antony, CC-BY-SA-2.5. The Green Citadel of Magdeburg)

The Grüne Zitadelle von Magdeburg (or Green Citadel) in Magdeburg, Germany? It’s pink. And then there are his other intriguing works. Slate writes that Hundertwasser’s “Moldiness Manifesto” advocates the celebration of random vegetation in one’s home. His “Fensterrecht” (or “right of window”) tenet, meanwhile, encouraged residents to lean out their windows to decorate the outer walls of their homes – as far as their arms could reach.

The Waldspirale in Darmstadt.(Image: Carlos Delgado, CC-BY-SA-3.0. The Waldspirale in Darmstadt)

Everything about Hundertwasser’s life and work is captivating. Born in 1928 to a Catholic father and a Jewish mother, he posed as a Christian to avoid persecution and even joined the Hitler Youth in a bid to survive the horrors of World War Two. In 1935 he was baptised into the Catholic Church.

(Image: Karl Gruber, CC-BY-SA-3.0. Bärnbach, Steiermark)

Studying at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna after the war, Hundertwasser went on to design everything from buildings to stamps and flags. He lived for a period on the outskirts of Normandy, where he pioneered a sustainable, eco-friendly lifestyle. He later moved to the Bay of Islands in New Zealand.

(Image: Heidas, CC-BY-SA-3.0)

Politically active, and hoping to reinvent the way people saw architecture, Hundertwasser began work on his final project – Grüne Zitadelle von Magdeburg – in 1999. The following year, the unconventional artist and architect died at sea aboard the QE2, having never seen the completion of his Green Citadel. The striking building was completed in 2005.

The Hundertwasser house in Plochingen, Baden-Württemberg, Germany(Image: Kamahele, CC-BY-SA-3.0. The Hundertwasser house in Plochingen)

Hundertwasser is buried in New Zealand, though his legacy lives on in his unmistakable contributions to architecture and the applied arts.

Read Next: 10 Unfinished Structures Around the World

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The Ghost Town of Sprucemont, Nevada

The ghost town of Sprucemont, Nevada.(Image: Famartin. Abandoned timber structure in the ghost town of Sprucemont, Nevada)

According to Forgotten Nevada, the Spruce Mountain ghost towns have a long, complicated, and often torrid history. Sprucemont, Nevada is one of those settlements, the first of many established on the mountain after 1869 when lead and silver was discovered there.

(Image: Famartin)

Buildings started going up in Sprucemont in 1871, after the opening of several mines and their consolidation into the Spruce Mountain Mining District. As more and more miners headed to the mountainside, other small industrial communities began to spring up around Sprucemont. Among them were Jasper, Black Forest, and Hickneyville. These American company towns not only had all the basic amenities that miners needed to make a go of life out on the wild frontier, but they often charged a premium for their services.

(Image: Famartin)

Great optimism swirled around Sprucemont in its early days. Just a year after its founding, the Ingot Mining Company invested in a 25-ton Philadelphia-type smelter. Some 200 people are estimated to have been living there at the time, although some reports claim a far higher number, which Forgotten Nevada believes believes was likely for “promotional purposes”. The now-ghost town’s corporate owners wanted to entice more people in, after all, though by 1873 the Ingot Mining Co. had gone bust.

Ruins alongside the abandoned Monarch Mine on Spruce Mountain, Nevada.(Image: Famartin. Ruins alongside the abandoned Monarch Mine on Spruce Mountain, Nevada)

Forgotten Nevada references the September 9, 1872 edition of the Sacramento Daily Union, which wrote that “…Sprucemont is the business point of the district, and for a new mining town it is one of the most substantially built in Nevada. The visitor will take note of the total absence of tents or canvas houses. The buildings are large and roomy and quite a number are two storey, with architectural finish worthy of an older place.”

(Image: Famartin)

The paper optimistically estimated the town’s population at as many as 700, up from only 50. But the coming years brought a series of strikes stemming from disagreements between miners and the companies they laboured for. Sprucemont proved to be more short-lived than anyone had expected. By 1905, most of its residents had decamped to Jasper. And when the area experienced a revival in 1919, it passed Sprucemont by.

(Image: Famartin)

Traces of the abandoned mining town still remain amid the haunting Nevada wilderness. Exploring Nevada, however, writes that a trip up to the isolated location isn’t one to be taken lightly. According to the website, visitors need to prepare with a 4WD vehicle and plan to either return to civilisation by nightfall or pack a tent.

(Image: Famartin)

The views alone make a visit to the old Sprucemont ghost town worthwhile. It’s not difficult to imagine the scenic vistas that greeted tired miners as they emerged from the mountain, albeit shrouded by the tough conditions and hardships of life in the Old West.

Read Next: Seven Magic Mountains: Towering Colour in the Nevada Desert

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Freda’s Grave on Cannock Chase

Freda's grave on Cannock Chase in Staffordshire.(Image: Frank Smith. Faithful dog Freda’s grave on Cannock Chase)

In a peaceful corner of Cannock Chase, not far from Coppice Hill, lies the grave of a working dog named Freda, who died in 1918. Freda is understood to be a harlequin Great Dane, though other reports suggest she was a Dalmatian. Her origins are equally mysterious, and two different accounts have persisted.

What we do know is that the much-loved Freda served as the regimental mascot of the New Zealand Rifle Brigade, which was based in south Staffordshire during the First World War. It’s been claimed the dog was adopted by ANZAC soldiers while fighting in France, who then took their beloved pet with them when they returned to their English base.

(Image: Michael Marsh)

New Zealand History, however, writes that “the New Zealand Rifle Brigade was stationed with the Brigade at Cannock Chase, near Brocton in England. The 5 (Reserve) Battalion had been at Brocton since September 1917, and Freda was probably acquired there.”

The website adds: “Another story is that Freda was picked up and adopted as the brigade mascot in France, accompanying the unit back to Cannock Chase in 1918. According to a local historian, Freda had provided warmth and companionship to New Zealand soldiers amidst the death and destruction of the Western Front battlefields.”

(Image: Bill Boaden)

Perhaps the truth lies in both accounts; it’s worth noting that the global influenza pandemic of 1918 contributed to the death of some 50 members of the Brigade, who were interred at the Cannock Chase War Cemetery. It seems likely that Freda’s presence did indeed offer comfort to these men, albeit miles from the battlefields of northern France, before she herself died in October or November of that year.

When Freda died in 1918, around the end of the Great War, soldiers of the the New Zealand Rifle Brigade buried her at this pleasant spot near their billet. A marble headstone bearing her name was erected in 1964 by the Friends of Cannock Chase, and over the decades her grave has been tended by local villagers.

(Image: via Wikimedia Commons. A harlequin Great Dane pictured in 1910)

But that wasn’t the end of Freda’s story, as New Zealand troops took more than just memories of their faithful canine companion back to their homeland. According to the BBC: “Her collar and lead are still kept at New Zealand’s National Army Museum in Waiouru.”

Freda isn’t the only animal mascot featured on Urban Ghosts. Several years ago we recounted the heroic tale of Timothy the Tortoise, the last survivor of the Crimean War, who died in 2004 at the age of about 165. Timothy (a female tortoise despite her name) was discovered aboard a Portuguese privateer in 1854 and went on to “serve” aboard a number of Royal Navy vessels, including HMS Queen, a first-rate ship of the line.

Timothy the Tortoise(Image: Jeannette. Timothy the Tortoise at Powderham Castle)

Timothy took retirement in 1892 at Powderham Castle, the home of the Earl of Devon. She was buried near her home in the rose garden and, among other accolades, will be remembered as the only tortoise present at the siege of Sevastopol.

Related: 5 Heroic Tales Inspired by London’s ‘Animals in War’ Memorial

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Freda’s Grave on Cannock Chase

Freda's grave on Cannock Chase in Staffordshire.(Image: Frank Smith. Faithful dog Freda’s grave on Cannock Chase)

In a peaceful corner of Cannock Chase, not far from Coppice Hill, lies the grave of a working dog named Freda, who died in 1918. Freda is understood to be a harlequin Great Dane, though other reports suggest she was a Dalmatian. Her origins are equally mysterious, and two different accounts have persisted.

What we do know is that the much-loved Freda served as the regimental mascot of the New Zealand Rifle Brigade, which was based in south Staffordshire during the First World War. It’s been claimed the dog was adopted by ANZAC soldiers while fighting in France, who then took their beloved pet with them when they returned to their English base.

(Image: Michael Marsh)

New Zealand History, however, writes that “the New Zealand Rifle Brigade was stationed with the Brigade at Cannock Chase, near Brocton in England. The 5 (Reserve) Battalion had been at Brocton since September 1917, and Freda was probably acquired there.”

The website adds: “Another story is that Freda was picked up and adopted as the brigade mascot in France, accompanying the unit back to Cannock Chase in 1918. According to a local historian, Freda had provided warmth and companionship to New Zealand soldiers amidst the death and destruction of the Western Front battlefields.”

(Image: Bill Boaden)

Perhaps the truth lies in both accounts; it’s worth noting that the global influenza pandemic of 1918 contributed to the death of some 50 members of the Brigade, who were interred at the Cannock Chase War Cemetery. It seems likely that Freda’s presence did indeed offer comfort to these men, albeit miles from the battlefields of northern France, before she herself died in October or November of that year.

When Freda died in 1918, around the end of the Great War, soldiers of the the New Zealand Rifle Brigade buried her at this pleasant spot near their billet. A marble headstone bearing her name was erected in 1964 by the Friends of Cannock Chase, and over the decades her grave has been tended by local villagers.

(Image: via Wikimedia Commons. A harlequin Great Dane pictured in 1910)

But that wasn’t the end of Freda’s story, as New Zealand troops took more than just memories of their faithful canine companion back to their homeland. According to the BBC: “Her collar and lead are still kept at New Zealand’s National Army Museum in Waiouru.”

Freda isn’t the only animal mascot featured on Urban Ghosts. Several years ago we recounted the heroic tale of Timothy the Tortoise, the last survivor of the Crimean War, who died in 2004 at the age of about 165. Timothy (a female tortoise despite her name) was discovered aboard a Portuguese privateer in 1854 and went on to “serve” aboard a number of Royal Navy vessels, including HMS Queen, a first-rate ship of the line.

Timothy the Tortoise(Image: Jeannette. Timothy the Tortoise at Powderham Castle)

Timothy took retirement in 1892 at Powderham Castle, the home of the Earl of Devon. She was buried near her home in the rose garden and, among other accolades, will be remembered as the only tortoise present at the siege of Sevastopol.

Related: 5 Heroic Tales Inspired by London’s ‘Animals in War’ Memorial

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Forgotten Wartime Tank Traps in Embleton Bay, Northumberland

These abandoned WW2 tank traps and ruined beehive pillbox can still be seen in Embleton Bay, Northumberland.(Images: Urban Ghosts. Abandoned WW2 tank traps in Embleton Bay)

There are few stretches of English coast more tranquil than the one that extends south from the isolated fishing village of Low Newton by the Sea. But during the Second World War this stretch of the Northumberland coast was a world away from the pristine calm of today. The sand of St Mary’s Bay (also known as Newton Haven) and Embleton Bay was – quite literally – a minefield, and the dunes were punctuated by machine gun posts and rows of hastily constructed barbed wire fencing.

The anti tank blocks in Embleton Bay echo the expansive wartime defences built along the coast of Britain during the Second World War.

A number of pillboxes survive today, include several rare “beehive pillboxes” at nearby Dunstan Steads. Alongside one ruined beehive pillbox that recently reemerged in Embleton Bay (above), a number of heavy concrete blocks echo the terrifying reality of an impending German invasion of Britain during those dark years. The blocks are just a handful of the thousands of tank traps placed around the UK coast, blocking access through the sand dunes and across tidal estuaries.

This fascinating account on the BBC’s WW2 People’s War website tells of the intense activity in and around Low Newton by the Sea during the late summer of 1940, as troops scrambled to shore up the beautiful Northumberland coastline as part of the overall defence of Britain.

According to the account: “Barbed wire was put up, one row with iron stakes and three rolls of round barbed wire, two on the bottom and one on the top. Tank traps made of concrete went to every opening on the beach and pill-boxes went up on the links and some in the fields. Some are still preserved to this day. Also long poles were pile driven into the beach to stop enemy aircraft from landing… Miles of barbed wire were taken down and dumped over the rocks. It took years for it all to rot away.”

Read Next: 10 Historic Border Fortifications & Military Defences of Wartime Europe

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The Ruined Monastery & Hermitage of St Peter Koriški

The ruined hermitage and monastery of St Peter Koriški in Kosovo.(Image: Besfort Guri. The ruined hermitage and monastery of St Peter Koriški)

Nestled amid the wilderness of Kosovo’s Prizren municipality, a haunting medieval religious ruin endures within the mouth of an ancient cave. The cave once housed a monastery and hermitage dedicated to St Peter Koriški, and a series of beautifully 15th century frescoes (and other artefacts) can still be seen today.

Peter of Koriša, a 13th century saint, was the first known Serbian hesychast (one who spends his life in contemplative prayer), according to Life of the Orthodox Church. The story goes that St. Peter and his sister, Helena, left home after the death of their parents. Building their own monastic cells by a nearby church wasn’t remote enough, and Peter eventually left his sister behind to venture alone into the mountains of Prizren.

Beautiful medieval frescoes remain evident in the cave mouth.(Image: Besfort Guri)

The Archangel Michael is said to have appeared to him and, after fighting demons in his mountain retreat, Peter was eventually found by a group of monks who asked him to teach them his ways. He gave the monks permission to live in the nearby cliffs, and died soon after.

(Image: Besfort Guri)

During the middle of the 14th century, King Dushan of Serbia built a church to house his relics, but conflict with the Turks put the site in peril. The monastery and ancient hermitage of St Peter Koriški was abandoned in 1453. After the saint’s remains were moved to Crna Reka in 1572, the ancient religious site was left to the elements.

The empty stone tomb of Saint Peter Koriški.(Image: Besfort Guri)

For centuries, the ruined monastery and hermitage endured. Finally, in 1950, the location was declared a cultural monument. By 1990, it had become a Protected Monument of Culture and the protection of the Republic of Serbia. The tomb of St Peter Koriški – hewn from the rock by Peter’s monks at his request – still stands, open and empty, beneath ancient frescoes that tell their story. The abandoned hermitage remains a haunting, lonely reminder of one man’s devotion, and the aspirations of others.

Read Next: 10 Abandoned Churches Destroyed by War

The post The Ruined Monastery & Hermitage of St Peter Koriški appeared first on Urban Ghosts Media.

The Ruined Monastery & Hermitage of St Peter Koriški

The ruined hermitage and monastery of St Peter Koriški in Kosovo.(Image: Besfort Guri. The ruined hermitage and monastery of St Peter Koriški)

Nestled amid the wilderness of Kosovo’s Prizren municipality, a haunting medieval religious ruin endures within the mouth of an ancient cave. The cave once housed a monastery and hermitage dedicated to St Peter KoriÅ¡ki, and a series of beautifully 15th century frescoes (and other artefacts) can still be seen today.

Peter of KoriÅ¡a, a 13th century saint, was the first known Serbian hesychast (one who spends his life in contemplative prayer), according to Life of the Orthodox Church. The story goes that St. Peter and his sister, Helena, left home after the death of their parents. Building their own monastic cells by a nearby church wasn’t remote enough, and Peter eventually left his sister behind to venture alone into the mountains of Prizren.

Beautiful medieval frescoes remain evident in the cave mouth.(Image: Besfort Guri)

The Archangel Michael is said to have appeared to him and, after fighting demons in his mountain retreat, Peter was eventually found by a group of monks who asked him to teach them his ways. He gave the monks permission to live in the nearby cliffs, and died soon after.

(Image: Besfort Guri)

During the middle of the 14th century, King Dushan of Serbia built a church to house his relics, but conflict with the Turks put the site in peril. The monastery and ancient hermitage of St Peter KoriÅ¡ki was abandoned in 1453. After the saint’s remains were moved to Crna Reka in 1572, the ancient religious site was left to the elements.

The empty stone tomb of Saint Peter Koriški.(Image: Besfort Guri)

For centuries, the ruined monastery and hermitage endured. Finally, in 1950, the location was declared a cultural monument. By 1990, it had become a Protected Monument of Culture and the protection of the Republic of Serbia. The tomb of St Peter KoriÅ¡ki – hewn from the rock by Peter’s monks at his request – still stands, open and empty, beneath ancient frescoes that tell their story. The abandoned hermitage remains a haunting, lonely reminder of one man’s devotion, and the aspirations of others.

Read Next: 10 Abandoned Churches Destroyed by War

The post The Ruined Monastery & Hermitage of St Peter Koriški appeared first on Urban Ghosts Media.

The Abandoned Stretches of Tennessee State Route 211

Derelict sections of Tennessee State Route 211 in Dyer County.(Image: Pepper6181. Derelict sections of Tennessee State Route 211)

Abandoned stretches of American highways and byways have an eerie desolation about them, and the long-disused sections of Tennessee State Route 211 are no exception. Especially poignant are the derelict bridges that dot the route; structures that may themselves be forgotten, but the memories of those for whom they’re named live on. One example is the Adkison Memorial Bridge just south of Obion, TN.

(Image: Pepper6181)

According to BridgeHunter, the Adkison Memorial Bridge was built in the late 1920s as one of 17 toll bridges on the 17 mile SR211 highway in western Tennessee’s Dyer County. It was constructed across the Obion River near the eponymous rural community of Obion.

Adkison Memorial Bridge and former route of Route 211(Image: Bing Maps. Adkison Memorial Bridge and former route of Route 211)

BridgeHunter writes: “This is one of seventeen toll bridges that the State of Tennessee erected in the late 1920s. About two-thirds were named for World War I veterans, of which six (including this bridge) were named for WWI veterans who won the Congressional Medal of Honor. This route was originally State Route 3, the Jefferson Davis Highway, and later US 51 before becoming State Route 211.”

(Image: Pepper6181)

A context study carried out by the Tennessee Department of Transportation (pdf) on the state’s toll bridges says it was the fifth of the bridges to be built, and the tolls were removed in 1947. The Obion bridge remained free to cross until the construction of the nearby State Route 3 (US 51) led to its abandonment in 1990. But the disused bridge still stands not only as a reminder of another era, but of the extraordinary heroism of one Tennessee man.

Medal of Honor recipient Joseph B. Adkison(Image: US Army. Medal of Honor recipient Joseph B. Adkison)

Joseph Bernard Adkison was born in 1892. Twenty-seven years later, on December 31, 1919, he was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his actions during World War One. Born in Shelby County, Adkison grew up in western Tennessee as the son of a single mother. In 1917, he joined the US Army’s Company C, 119th Infantry, 30th “Old Hickory” Division.

Southern approach to derelict Adkison Memorial Bridge on SR211(Image: Pepper6181. Southern approach to derelict Adkison Memorial Bridge)

In 1918, the then-sergeant and his platoon were near Bellicourt, France, when they were pinned down by heavy fire. Adkison – alone – charged the German machine gun nest, kicked over the weapon and captured its operators, allowing his platoon to advance as a result.

(Image: Pepper6181)

Today, the abandoned stretch of Tennessee’s State Route 211 is maintained by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, and still serves as access to the CM Gooch Wildlife Management Area. The disused highway also reflects the bravery of men like Joseph B. Adkison, keeping their important personal stories alive as the decades march on.

(Image: Pepper6181)

Related: 10 Haunting Abandoned Bridges and Viaducts to Nowhere

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Abandoned Bedham School & Chapel, West Sussex

The ruined Bedham School and Chapel near Petworth, West Sussex.(Image: Charlesdrakew. The ruined Bedham School and Chapel near Petworth, West Sussex)

Take a stroll through Bedham Copse near Petworth, in West Sussex, and you may stumble upon an unusual set of ruins nestled amid the tranquil woodland. The roofless Victorian abandonment has the look of a chapel, though once served a dual purpose for the community of Bedham, a tiny hamlet in the civil parish of Wisborough Green.

(Image: Charlesdrakew)

The hamlet itself is little more than a farm and several houses on the verdant ridge of the Weald, an area that lies between the distinctive chalk hills of the North and South Downs. During Victorian times the Church of England and local landowners built a small schoolhouse here in order to give local children an elementary education. The one room schoolhouse was built in the style of a country chapel, and church services were held there each Sunday.

(Image: Charlesdrakew)

According to Bepton Ranger: “Built in 1880, the church was built by William Townley Mitford – the Member of Parliament for Midhurst – and dedicated to Saint Michael and All Angels. Back in the 1870s religious morals and education were considered vital for the rural communities in the Sussex Weald, and many buildings were erected to serve as both schoolrooms and places of worship.”

(Image: Charlesdrakew)

Bedham’s Wikipedia page states that “at the end of the school week the chairs were turned to face the east and ink pots removed from the desks.” Sunday services were conducted by the Rector of Fittleworth, a nearby village in the District of Chichester. He was, it’s said, accompanied by a local lady on the harmonium.

During the week, when Bedham School was busy educating the local youth, a curtain was used to separate infant classes from seniors. At its height the school is said to have employed three teachers and served around 60 pupils.

(Image: Charlesdrakew)

But by the end of World War One the building was reportedly falling into disrepair and ceased operating as a school in 1925. It remained in limited use as a chapel but was completely abandoned by 1959. Left to fall into dereliction, the old schoolhouse would become the intriguing ruin we see today.

(Image: Charlesdrakew)

But despite its abandoned condition, the decorative stone and brick shell of Bedham School and Chapel, long since devoid of its roof, appears to be well maintained. The ruin is now a well known landmark of the surrounding woodland, connecting past to present in the timeline of one small English hamlet.

Read Next: 10 Abandoned Synagogues of Europe & America

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