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

The post Forgotten Wartime Tank Traps in Embleton Bay, Northumberland 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 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

The post The Abandoned Stretches of Tennessee State Route 211 appeared first on Urban Ghosts Media.

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

The post Abandoned Bedham School & Chapel, West Sussex appeared first on Urban Ghosts Media.

Abandoned Mount Umunhum Cube (Defunct CA Radar Base Opens to Public)

The abandoned Mount Umunhum Cube radar tower near Los Gatos, California, is now part of a tourist attraction.(Image: Jason Hickey. The abandoned Mount Umunhum Cube near )

As we move towards the third decade of the 21st century, the West Coast of the Continental United States seems a world away from the threat of air strikes that hung like a dark cloud over Europe during the decades of the Cold War. But the long-abandoned Mount Umunhum Cube serves as a reminder of just how seriously such threats were taken.

Mount Umunhum Cube was part of a Cold War early warning station built around 1957 and abandoned in 1980.(Image: Dawn Ellner)

Dominating the summit of California’s Mount Umunhum, the fourth highest peak in the Santa Cruz Mountains, the stark concrete “Cube” is actually a disused radar tower that once formed part of Almaden Air Force Station, a Cold War early warning base that operated between 1957 and 1980.

The Mount Um Cube (or Mount Umunhum Cube Box) once supported a large radar that scanned the Bay Area skies for hostile Soviet aircraft.(Image: Rairden)

Also known as “the Box”, the five-storey Mount Umunhum Cube cuts a foreboding shadow over the mountain, and according to Atlas Obscura has become a well-known Bay Area landmark. The Cube was built in 1962 as part of the General Surveillance Radar station, six miles southeast of Los Gatos, California.

Example of a Avco AN/FPS-24 Radar.(Image: USAF. Example of an AN/FPS-24 Radar.)

Tasked with monitoring the skies for hostile Soviet aircraft during the tense days of the Cold War, the abandoned concrete structure once supported a long range AN/FPS-24 Search Radar. The early warning station was one of many built by the West in the decades after World War Two.

(Image: Derek Wolfgram)

But the Mount Umunhum Cube was left to fall into ruin when Almaden Air Force Station was eventually closed down in 1980. In the years since, this unmistakable local landmark has been boarded up, its eerie concrete form becoming increasingly neglected and off-limits to curious members of the public.

(Image: Don DeBold)

After years of decay, the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors voted in May 2016 to add the Mount Umunhum Box to the County Heritage Resource Inventory, protecting it from demolition and ridding the area around it of hazardous materials and the crumbling vestiges of the mountain’s military past.

(Image: Thomson20192)

The summit of Mount Umunhum (Mount Um to locals) reopened to the public on September 18th for the first time in decades. As Atlas Obscura writes, visitors can now “drive to the summit and park near the Cube, as well as enjoy new trails and a ceremonial space honoring the site’s Native American history.”

(Image: rulenumberone2)

Related: Cold Warning: The Abandoned Radar Stations of the Arctic Circle

The post Abandoned Mount Umunhum Cube (Defunct CA Radar Base Opens to Public) appeared first on Urban Ghosts Media.

Winston Churchill’s Half-Smoked Cigar Sells for $12,000

Winston Churchill's half-smoked cigar has sold for $12,000(Image: German Federal Archives. Winston Churchill’s half-smoked cigar has sold for $12,000)

A half-finished cigar might not seem like the most likely lot to sell for more than $12,000 (£9,000) at auction. But this cigar was smoked by UK Prime Minister Winston Churchill on a visit to Paris in 1947.

The personalised La Corona cigar from Havana, Cuba, was found at Le Bourget Airport by a British airman named Corporal William Alan Turner. Cpl Turner kept the cigar, which is boasts Churchill’s name on the label.

The Independent reported: “Also included in the online auction was a photo signed by the prime minister that shows him with the cigar in his hand at the airport.”

Winston Churchill was a well-known cigar aficionado and was rarely seen without one during the Second World War. He was also an enthusiastic drinker, once rounding off a 21 hour marathon debate in the House of Commons with a breakfast of sausage, eggs and bacon, followed by a whisky and soda “and the inevitable cigar.”

He was 76-years-old at the time.

The post Winston Churchill’s Half-Smoked Cigar Sells for $12,000 appeared first on Urban Ghosts Media.

Winston Churchill’s Half-Smoked Cigar Sells for $12,000

Winston Churchill's half-smoked cigar has sold for $12,000(Image: German Federal Archives. Winston Churchill’s half-smoked cigar has sold for $12,000)

A half-finished cigar might not seem like the most likely lot to sell for more than $12,000 (£9,000) at auction. But this cigar was smoked by UK Prime Minister Winston Churchill on a visit to Paris in 1947.

The personalised La Corona cigar from Havana, Cuba, was found at Le Bourget Airport by a British airman named Corporal William Alan Turner. Cpl Turner kept the cigar, which is boasts Churchill’s name on the label.

The Independent reported: “Also included in the online auction was a photo signed by the prime minister that shows him with the cigar in his hand at the airport.”

Winston Churchill was a well-known cigar aficionado and was rarely seen without one during the Second World War. He was also an enthusiastic drinker, once rounding off a 21 hour marathon debate in the House of Commons with a breakfast of sausage, eggs and bacon, followed by a whisky and soda “and the inevitable cigar.”

He was 76-years-old at the time.

The post Winston Churchill’s Half-Smoked Cigar Sells for $12,000 appeared first on Urban Ghosts Media.

Silent Amphitheatre in Dovinė River Park, Lithuania

The silent amphitheatre in Dovinė River Park, Lithuania.(Image: Vilensija. Silent amphitheatre in Dovinė River Park, Lithuania)

In the woodland of Dovinė River Park in Lithania’s Marijampolė Municipality, this neglected open-air theatre makes for a surprisingly pleasant scene amid the trees and foliage. Unkempt grass has consumed the ground between the amphitheatre’s simple wooden benches, and the scene is blanketed by a layer of autumn leaves. The stage itself boasts a liberal coating of graffiti. Or perhaps it’s a scenic hangover from the last performance held here. It may not be as grand as the ruined amphitheatres of Ancient Rome (which we’ve explored previously). Abandoned or simply closed for the winter, it makes for an interesting landmark in the park.

Animal statue in Dovinė River Park, Marijampolė Municipality, Lithuania.(Image: Vilensija)

Marijampolė is one of 60 municipalities that make up Lithuania. Its territory spans the town of Marijampolė itself, and six surrounding communities. Other attractions in Dovinė River Park include the statue above.

The post Silent Amphitheatre in Dovinė River Park, Lithuania appeared first on Urban Ghosts Media.

Silent Amphitheatre in Dovinė River Park, Lithuania

The silent amphitheatre in Dovinė River Park, Lithuania.(Image: Vilensija. Silent amphitheatre in Dovinė River Park, Lithuania)

In the woodland of Dovinė River Park in Lithania’s Marijampolė Municipality, this neglected open-air theatre makes for a surprisingly pleasant scene amid the trees and foliage. Unkempt grass has consumed the ground between the amphitheatre’s simple wooden benches, and the scene is blanketed by a layer of autumn leaves. The stage itself boasts a liberal coating of graffiti. Or perhaps it’s a scenic hangover from the last performance held here. It may not be as grand as the ruined amphitheatres of Ancient Rome (which we’ve explored previously). Abandoned or simply closed for the winter, it makes for an interesting landmark in the park.

Animal statue in Dovinė River Park, Marijampolė Municipality, Lithuania.(Image: Vilensija)

Marijampolė is one of 60 municipalities that make up Lithuania. Its territory spans the town of Marijampolė itself, and six surrounding communities. Other attractions in Dovinė River Park include the statue above.

The post Silent Amphitheatre in Dovinė River Park, Lithuania appeared first on Urban Ghosts Media.