Ruined Fort Godwin Artillery Battery (Kilnsea, East Yorkshire)

The ruins of Fort Godwin in East Yorkshire.(Image: Rich Cooper 2012. The ruins of Fort Godwin in East Yorkshire)

Near the tip of East Yorkshire, adjacent to the Sandy Beaches holiday park, lies a ruined wartime fortification that’s consumed by the North Sea at high tide. The remains of the Godwin Artillery Battery lie half buried in the sand east of Kilnsea, a tiny hamlet on the north bank of the Humber Estuary. We’ve featured a number of abandoned military fortifications, built for the defence of Britain, to date, but the Godwin Artillery Battery is arguably the most destroyed.

Abandoned remains of the Godwin Artillery Battery near Kilnsea.(Image: Rich Cooper 2012. Abandoned concrete remains of Godwin Artillery Battery)

Built at the outset of World War One, when the bustling ports of the Humber Estuary were crucial to the British war effort, the coastal artillery battery known as Fort Godwin was operational by 1915 and equipped with two 9.2 inch Mk X guns. The 46.7 calibre breech-loading weapons, which saw service between 1899 and 1950, are considered to be among the most successful of Britain’s heavy naval and coastal defence ordnance.

Fort Godwin Artillery Battery was built in 1915 to defend the Humber Estuary ports against German attack.(Image: Rich Cooper 2012)

Fort Godwin remained in service after the end of the First World War. Then,as global tensions again boiled over, the installation was thrust back into the thick of it during World War Two. By 1940 the fort’s original firepower had been upgraded. A 4-inch Mark IX gun replaced the older armament. Two searchlights were also fitted to counter the threat of Nazi attack.

(Image: Rich Cooper 2012)

At the end of World War Two, the Godwin Artillery Battery would again be called on to defend the land as the tense Cold War decades unfolded. But by 1995, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the fortress lay in ruins, all but destroyed.

(Image: Rich Cooper 2012)

The mighty concrete gun emplacements now lie broken in the sand, their giant forms collapsing into the beach as coastal erosion attacks the surrounding cliffs.

(Image: Rich Cooper 2012)

What’s left is a mass of broken rubble, unstable and hazardous to approach, pummelled by the inhospitable North Sea waves. Despite its condition, there’s no mistaking the original purpose of these century-old fortifications, or the crucial role they played in keeping Britain safe throughout a century of conflict.

(Image: Rich Cooper 2012)

Nearby, in a field east of Kilnsea, stands another relic of the Great War in the form of a concrete acoustic mirror. Grade II listed and more intact than Fort Godwin, it was constructed around 1916 as part of an early warning system (see also the ruins at Denge, Kent) that was ultimately replaced by the Chain Home radar network.

(Images: Rich Cooper 2012)

Related: 10 Abandoned Sea Forts, Towers & Anti-Submarine Platforms

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The Lonely Ruins of North America Farm Above Langsett Reservoir (South Yorkshire)

The haunting ruins of North America farm above Langsett Reservoir near Upper Midhope,, South Yorkshire(Image: Expresso Addict. The haunting ruins of North America farm, South Yorkshire)

High on the wild hillside overlooking Langsett Reservoir in South Yorkshire, England, are the lonely ruins of an old farmstead with a distinctly New World name. North America was one of six farms abandoned in the early 20th century when the area was depopulated in a bid to improve the water purity of the reservoir. The last farming family moved on around 1907. Nearby Brookhouse farm was also vacated around this time and the structures were used for target practice during World War Two.

(Image: Dave Pickersgill)

Langsett Reservoir was built between 1898 and 1904 between the remote villages of Langsett and Upper Midhope on the edge of the Peak District National Park. At around a mile in length, the reservoir is fed by the River Porter and supplies water to Sheffield and Barnsley.

(Image: Neil Theasby)

The lonely ruins of North America farm lie to the south-west of the reservoir. The moors above Langsett and Upper Midhope are rich in military history. We’ve featured the disused Army tank range before, and the remains of North America farm still show the scars of small arms fire from decades passed.

Read Also: Thornhill Trail: ‘Tin Town’ & The Forgotten Bamford and Howden Railway

Read Also: 5 Villages Flooded to Make Way for Man-Made Reservoirs

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Castellated Relics of the Douglas Southern Electric Tramway (Isle of Man)

The grand castellated entrance to Marine Drive on the Isle of Man, formerly the route of the long abandoned Douglas Southern Electric Tramway.(Image: Glyn Baker. Route of the old Douglas Southern Electric Tramway on Marine Drive)

Vintage trams, both passenger-carrying and rugged industrial tramways, largely disappeared from the UK decades ago, but in many areas, their remains are hidden in plain sight. One of the most charming we’ve stumbled across is the abandoned Douglas Southern Electric Tramway on the Isle of Man, which once carried passengers from Douglas Head to Port Soderick along what is now known as Marine Drive. Abandoned in 1939 and largely destroyed by the 1950s, two grand castellated gateways survive to tell its story.

Marine Drive on the Isle of Man(Image: Glyn Baker. Marine Drive)

Opened in 1896 by the London-based New General Traction Company, the Douglas Southern Electric Tramway followed the course of the cliffs, passing over a series of dramatic viaducts as it wound its way toward Port Soderick. A funicular railway (see here), itself long removed, carried passengers the last leg of the journey from the Douglas Head Marine Drive Railway (as the route was also known) on the clifftop to the tiny hamlet below. Then came World War Two, which saw the tramway and funicular shut down forever.

The abandoned tramway arch at Port Soderick.(Image: Richard Hoare. The abandoned tramway arch at Port Soderick)

Rudimentary tram sheds and workshops at Little Ness, about halfway along the route, are no more. The site of an old power station that provided electricity for the trams is now a car park. The disused trackbed – now a road called Marine Drive – has suffered several landslides over the years, leading to its closure to through-traffic in 1977. Today, the most impressive relic of the abandoned Douglas Southern Electric Tramway is the grand entrance at the east end of Marine Drive.

(Image: Rude Health. Derelict buildings at Port Soderick)

Another lonely arch, this one smaller and less grand, stands amid the ghost town that is Port Soderick, at the opposite end of the line. The hamlet, which includes a shuttered amusement arcade, paddling pool and hotel/pub (the Anchor), declined after the tramway and funicular ceased operating at the outbreak of World War Two.

(Image: Andy Stephenson. The Anchor hotel/pub from the former paddling pool)

Various attempts have been made to revive its fortunes over the decades, but as yet Port Soderick remains a haunting relic of the British seaside holiday. Earlier this year it was reported that the derelict buildings are set to be converted into tourist accommodation.

A surviving Douglas Southern Electric Tramways car at Crich, Derbyshire.(Image: Optimist on the sun)

The abandoned tramway, meanwhile, with stunning views over the Irish Sea, now forms part of the Raad ny Foillan coastal footpath, which translates to the Way of the Gull. An original tramcar (above) was saved from scrapping and is now displayed at the National Tramway Museum at Crich, Derbyshire.

Read Next: 9 Abandoned Cableways, Aerial Tramways & Ropeways of the World

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Cold War: F-15 Fighters Intercept MiG-29s off Alaska (1989)

Cold War intercept: two F-15 Eagles intercept a pair of Soviet MiG-29 Fulcrums as they approach US airspace in 1989.(Image: US Air Force. F-15s intercept two MiG-29s transiting near Alaska, 1989)

Captured on the night of August 1, 1989 shortly before 11pm, this stunning photograph reveals the moment when two McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagles intercepted a pair of Soviet MiG-29 Fulcrum fighter jets as they approached US airspace. With the Cold War drawing to a close, the Russian-built combat aircraft were transiting to a western airshow – in Abbotsford, British Columbia – for the first time. The F-15s belonged to the 21st Tactical Fighter Wing, stationed at Elmendorf Air Force Base in Alaska. Former Warsaw Pact aircraft are now a common theme at airshows across Western Europe and North America, but the late ’80s and early ’90s marked the first time that most front-line pilots were afforded a close-up look at their old adversaries.

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Emu Flat: A Historic Locality in Victoria, Australia

The old school in Emu Flat, Victoria, Australia.(Image: Melburnian. The old school in Emu Flat, Victoria)

Emu Flat – a locality in Victoria, Australia – sounds like a place of wide, sweeping vistas, where cattle herds graze and horses roam, and a handful of tough characters have steadily tamed the wild landscape. That’s what it sounds like, anyway – and it’s not too far from the truth.

Location of Emu Flat in Mitchell Shire, Victoria, Australia(Image: Location of Emu Flat in Mitchell Shire)

Emu Flat lies in the Shire of Mitchell, where in 2006 the precinct undertook a heritage study (pdf) on the area. What they uncovered didn’t parallels to America’s Wild West. It began in 1837 when Alexander Fullerton Mollison struck out from New South Wales with “two overseers, 49 servants, 5000 sheep, 634 cattle, 28 bullocks, and 22 horses”. He was later joined by his brother, and the pair expanded their territory into a sprawling cattle station called Pyalong Run. At its heart were towns Pyalong, Mollison’s Creek, and Emu Flat.

(Image: Scottius11. Stone and timber ruins near the locality)

When Emu Flat’s school first opened in 1873, it was a rudimentary bark building staffed by a teacher – Ellen McKenzie McHarg – who wasn’t paid for the first year she of her employment. By 1883 some 30 students attended the school, but it closed in 1895. The school was moved, and in 1902 a new building opened, part of which still survives today. Local children would be educated in this spartan classroom until 1943.

(Image: Scottius11)

The other surviving building is the old Uniting church,. Like the school, the church’s first incarnation was a temporary bark building erected in the 1860s. There was no permanent minister, meaning one would ride in on horseback to perform services. In 1872, locals came together to haul in granite, which they used to build a more permanent church.

(Image: Scottius11. The protected Emu Flat Uniting Church)

The construction was overseen by a stonemason named Alex McAlpin, and opened the following year. Over the decades the small church has kept meticulous records. We know, for instance, who made furniture like the round, corner table (Norman Harper), and who donated the baptismal font (Mr. and Mrs. Chas Hayes, in memory of their young daughter, Anne). Those items are still there and, according to the heritage survey, the church remains a vital part of the area’s cultural landscape.

Read Next: 10 Creepy Forgotten Places in Australia

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Culver Hole: A Medieval Dovecote Steeped in Smugglers Myth

The medieval Culver Hole at Port Eynon on the Gower Peninsula.(Image: Andrew Bennett. Culver Hole at Port Eynon, Gower)

Nestled beneath the rugged sea cliffs of the Gower Peninsula, an area of outstanding natural beauty in the south of Wales, this remarkable collision of man and nature is easily missed from the coastal pathways above. A breathtaking walled sea cave, Culver Hole dates back to medieval times. Its history is steeped in folk tales of smugglers and secret passages, but the cave’s original function is rather less romantic.

“Believed to date from the 13th or 14th century, Culver Hole is sealed off by a sixty foot high stone wall, that resembles something out of an Indiana Jones film set”, wrote Martin Aaron in a BBC blog post. Visitors are, however, more likely to find evidence of Columbidae rather than Serpentes.

Culver Hole in South Wales.

(Image: Alan Richards)

From inside, the centuries-old purpose behind the construction of Culver Hole, a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and Scheduled Ancient Monument, is plain to see. Aaron writes that “the internal wall face is honeycombed with around thirty tiers of rectangular nesting boxes which would have been home to hundreds of medieval pigeons.”

(Image: Nick Earl)

Pigeons were an important source of red meat and fresh eggs during times of hardship, and their ability to breed year round made them attractive to people of all social classes. As locals and livestock struggled to stretch meagre food stocks across the long winter months, the Blue Rock Pigeon would have been an especially desirable option, writes Explore Gower.

(Image: Ceri Roberts)

Moreover, the word culver derives from the Old English culfre (or culufre), meaning a pigeon or dove. Explore Gower adds that “the term culverhouse is still used in some parts of Britain to denote a dovecote.” But what’s in a name? In the case of Culver Hole, it seems, everything!

Its hundreds of purpose-built nest sites located behind the high stone wall, concealing several floors and rough stone stairways, requires little further explanation. But this is the British coastline, so it’s not particularly surprising that centuries-old stories of smugglers have added a touch of derring do to the local pigeons.

(Image: Aaron Jones)

Folklore tells of smugglers stashing their contraband inside the walled sea cave. More elaborate versions of the legend tell of a secret passage, or smugglers tunnel, connecting Culver Hole to the nearby salt house at Port Eynon. Though there’s nothing especially mythical about a tunnel, even a hidden one, secret passages are common in urban legend, and have been linked to the notion of hidden gold or lost treasure. Perhaps there’s a touch of Indiana Jones to Culver Hole after all!

Read Next: What’s the Story Behind California’s Mysterious Pirate Tower?

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Historic Nothe Fort Inclined Tramway, Weymouth

The Nothe Fort inclined tramway at Weymouth, Dorset.(Image: Neil Owen. The Nothe Fort inclined tramway in Dorset, South West England)

Situated on the Nothe Peninsula in Weymouth, Dorset, Nothe Fort is a coastal defensive structure built between 1860 and 1872 by 26 Company Royal Engineers in a bid to protect the Royal Navy base at Portland Harbour. When the fortification was abandoned by the military in 1956, the local council soon took over and turned it into a museum. The fort stands adjacent to Nothe Gardens.

(Image: Neil Owen)

Fans of vintage transportation and little-known railways will find the inclined tramway especially interesting. Built around 1860, the wrought-iron plate rails straddle three flights of steps. Trolleys equipped with double-flange wheels were used to transport ammunition and other stores from the quayside to Nothe Fort.

(Image: Steinsky. The fortification seen from the harbour)

In October 1978 Nothe Fort, the inclined tramway and a large searchlight battery on the Nothe Peninsula were classed as Scheduled Ancient Monuments, receiving tens of thousands of visitors each year.

Read Next: 9 Abandoned Cableways, Aerial Tramways & Ropeways of the World

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5 Popular Misconceptions That Stubbornly Persist

Popular misconceptions and modern myths, from the five-second rule to Beam me up, Scotty!

Popular misconceptions, both localised and widespread, are a common aspect of modern life. There are some things we simply accept without questioning, taking as read what has been constantly reinforced within our belief system. The fact that hearing something enough times can lead us to no longer question it, turning myth into “fact”, is both fascinating and worrying at the same time. From an immortal pop culture catchphrase and the mundane maintenance of one’s automobile to darker modern myths, here are five popular misconceptions that have persisted over time.

“Beam Me Up, Scotty”

When James Doohan passed away in 2005, his Associated Press obituary read, “James Doohan, 85, the burly chief engineer of the Starship Enterprise in the original “Star Trek” TV series and movies who responded to the command “Beam me up, Scotty,” died July 20 at his home in Redmond, Wash.”

Only, he never actually answered to “Beam me up, Scotty”. It’s a popular misconception so persistent that it even appeared in the poor man’s obituary. So what’s the deal? TV Tropes dug deeper in a bid to find out where this particular phrase, popularly uttered by Captain Kirk, came from. It turns out the exact four-word catchphrase was never uttered either in the original television show or in Star Trek: The Animated Series. They found “Scotty, beam me up,” and even “Beam us up, Scotty”, but never that most famous line. According to the wiki, its first appearance was actually on a bumper sticker, and it wasn’t until 1995 that William Shatner finally recorded the line in an audiobook version of The Ashes of Eden.

There’s another footnote to this popular misconception, too. Since Scotty was the chief engineer, he was rarely the person sitting at the console pushing the buttons, anyway. The most common version of the line was, “Four to beam up,” directed at whoever was sitting there at the time.

Fan Death

Fan death, a popular misconception of South Korea.(Image: Infrogmation)

Fan death is a real fear in South Korea, where there’s a persistent belief that falling asleep in a closed room with a fan going is potentially deadly. The popular misconception is so widely believed that – according to The Atlantic – many fans have a timer that will automatically shut them off in the middle of the night. The Korean Herald calls it the country’s best-known urban legend. Even though people understand that its a myth, the story persists.

The Korean Consumer Protection Board issued an official advisory in 2006, warning that nighttime exposure to a fan can cause hypothermia and death by an “increase of carbon dioxide saturation concentration and decrease of oxygen concentration”. Snopes also looked into the myth of fan death, including claims that fans turn oxygen into carbon dioxide, and that their blades render air unbreathable.

Needless to say, it’s not true. Most nighttime deaths attributed to fans have been found to have other tragic causes, like undiagnosed heart conditions. No-one’s entirely sure how this popular misconception took root in the South Korean psyche. One theory posits that it was started by the government in an bid to get people to use less electricity.

Related: Sleep Paralysis: Evil Spirits & the Terrifying Night Hag

The Five-Second Rule

Popular misconceptions: the five-second rule for picking up dropped food.(Image: Rachel Glaves)

It’s unclear where this popular misconception originated, but we’ve all done it – especially when the tasty morsel we’ve just dropped is our favourite cookie or chocolate. The belief is that if you pick something up off the floor within five seconds (or sometimes, three seconds), it’s germ-free and safe to eat. It’s not that easy, of course, so let’s look at what the science says.

In 2016, National Geographic reported on a series of experiments published in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology, and to make a long report short, they found a few things. The longer an item of food was in contact with a surface, the more bacteria it accumulated – but there was also plenty of bacteria that transferred instantly. Researchers found that the type of food was important. The more moisture present in the environment, the more bacteria was transferred. So you may want to think twice about picking up that piece of watermelon you’ve just dropped.

On the flip side, you’ll also occasionally read news stories claiming that scientific research supports the five-second rule, like this March 2017 article in the Independent, quoting a germ expert at Aston University. Nevertheless, buried in that story is a caveat that picking up food is never 100 percent safe, so better to err on the side of caution.

The 3,000 Mile Myth

The 3,000 mile myth for changing your cars oil persists to this day despite negatively environmental consequences and wasted cost.(Image: Myke Waddy)

It’s probably one of the first things you learned about car care when you start driving, especially if you live in the USA. But the idea that you need to get your oil changed every 3,000 miles isn’t just a falsehood, it’s a popular misconception with serious unintended consequences.

In 2008, SF Gate reported that California’s waste management officials were kicking off a campaign to debunk the 3,000 mile myth and hopefully help the environment along the way. The site reported that 73 percent of California drivers were changing their oil far more often than necessary, meaning they were wasting money and damaging the environment also.

Just how often you really need an oil change depends on a range of factors, such as the age of your car and what kind of driving you can do, but a campaign website aimed at debunking the 3,000 mile myth stated that “automakers are regularly recommending oil changes at 5,000, 7,000 or even 10,000 miles based on driving conditions.”

Tornado Myths

Tornado myths(Image: Will Campbell)

Tornadoes – those vicious, twisting columns of air – are terrifying, but there are many popular misconceptions over the safest thing to do when one strikes. Let’s discuss a couple of them here. It might just save your life.

According to Popular Mechanics, one dangerous myth is that overpasses are safe places to head to if you’re caught out in the open. An overpass is actually highly dangerous in a tornado. The narrow space can create a wind tunnel with even faster winds, and you should never seek shelter there. Equally dangerous is the idea that you should open windows in your house to equalise the pressure. Doing so just isn’t necessary – finding somewhere safe and heading to the basement is more important.

There’s a plethora of non-safety related myths about tornadoes, too. Contrary to popular belief, they’re not just restricted to North America and have been seen on every continent except Antarctica. There’s also no kind of terrain that can prevent or stop a tornado, and twisters don’t gravitate toward sparsely populated or rural areas over urban ones, either. Another popular misconception? They can’t happen in winter. Yes, while it’s true they generally form in warm weather, it’s entirely possible for twisters to strike snow-covered areas during the winter.

Read Next: 8 Creepy Internet Characters Who Became Urban Legends

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The Ruined “Smugglers Bothy” at Lamberton Skerrs

The ruined "Smugglers Bothy" at Lamberton Skerrs, the southernmost tip of Scotland.(Image: Graham Robson. The ruined ‘Smugglers Bothy’ at Lamberton Skerrs)

Travel by train up the East Coast Main Line from London to Edinburgh and, on the border of England and Scotland, you may just catch a fleeting glimpse of an isolated ruin overlooking the chilly North Sea. The abandoned building at Lamberton Skerrs is the remains of a long-disused fishery with a history steeped in tales of smugglers from centuries past.

The abandoned fishery at Lamberton Skerrs is steeped in tales of smugglers from centuries past.(Image: Iain Lees)

The fishery at Lamberton Skerrs, at the southernmost tip of Scotland’s east coast just a few miles north of Berwick-upon-Tweed, consists of the ruined cottage, an old net winch and several storage caves carved from the rock face, where other forsaken relics of industry slowly rust away.

(Image: Lisa Jarvis)

Rumour has it that the cottage was once dubbed the “Smuggler’s Bothy”. It was allegedly built around 1760 by merchant and tea smuggler John Robertson, who brought his contraband ashore at this rugged point under cover of night. Only later was the bothy repurposed as a fishery. Its proximity to the mysterious Marshall Meadows Seaweed Railway may possibly be related.

(Image: Richard Webb)

Sadly the building shows signs of vandalism in more recent times, and it’s understood that the roof was destroyed by a fire that was deliberately set. Nevertheless the abandoned fishery offers a fascinating glimpse back into the history of this stunning stretch of UK coastline, both legitimate industry and more shadowy dealings.

(Image: Lisa Jarvis)

For more information on the ruins at Lamberton Skerrs, check out this 2016 article from Two Local Explorers, titled “The Smugglers Bothy”.

(Image: Richard Webb)

Related: 10 Swashbuckling Buccaneers from the Golden Age of Piracy

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The Ruined “Smugglers Bothy” at Lamberton Skerrs

The ruined "Smugglers Bothy" at Lamberton Skerrs, the southernmost tip of Scotland.(Image: Graham Robson. The ruined ‘Smugglers Bothy’ at Lamberton Skerrs)

Travel by train up the East Coast Main Line from London to Edinburgh and, on the border of England and Scotland, you may just catch a fleeting glimpse of an isolated ruin overlooking the chilly North Sea. The abandoned building at Lamberton Skerrs is the remains of a long-disused fishery with a history steeped in tales of smugglers from centuries past.

The abandoned fishery at Lamberton Skerrs is steeped in tales of smugglers from centuries past.(Image: Iain Lees)

The fishery at Lamberton Skerrs, at the southernmost tip of Scotland’s east coast just a few miles north of Berwick-upon-Tweed, consists of the ruined cottage, an old net winch and several storage caves carved from the rock face, where other forsaken relics of industry slowly rust away.

(Image: Lisa Jarvis)

Rumour has it that the cottage was once dubbed the “Smuggler’s Bothy”. It was allegedly built around 1760 by merchant and tea smuggler John Robertson, who brought his contraband ashore at this rugged point under cover of night. Only later was the bothy repurposed as a fishery. Its proximity to the mysterious Marshall Meadows Seaweed Railway may possibly be related.

(Image: Richard Webb)

Sadly the building shows signs of vandalism in more recent times, and it’s understood that the roof was destroyed by a fire that was deliberately set. Nevertheless the abandoned fishery offers a fascinating glimpse back into the history of this stunning stretch of UK coastline, both legitimate industry and more shadowy dealings.

(Image: Lisa Jarvis)

For more information on the ruins at Lamberton Skerrs, check out this 2016 article from Two Local Explorers, titled “The Smugglers Bothy”.

(Image: Richard Webb)

Related: 10 Swashbuckling Buccaneers from the Golden Age of Piracy

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