Tales of the Urban Explorer: Springwell School

in #hive-1043872 months ago

Schools are not one of my favourite explores. They tend to be large, rambling, and samey. That saying you never know what to expect when entering any kind of building that is presumably empty.


From the first few minutes of entering Springwell School, we knew there was someone else inside. @dizzydiscovery always gets a little nervous, but I just assume it's 'other explorers' and ignore the sounds of crunching glass, banging doors, and muffled chatter.


Information regarding Springwell School was sparse and I struggled to find much, relying on scraps of info other explorers had found after their experience.

Springwell Leeds is an educational facility part of the Springwell School group. It was established in September 2016, and originally had 6 sites which served the whole of Leeds.

Newer facilities in Leeds North and Leeds South were constructed in 2017, and the site closed in early 2018, with the last day for students and faculty being Tuesday 27th March 2018.

How much of this is fact I don't know? To establish a school and then 2 years later abandon it makes little sense to me. The building looks like it hails from the '60s or 70's looking at the design and couldn't have been anything other than a school.


If it has only been empty for 2 years then it has fared particularly badly. On entering, I noticed massive amounts of vandalism everywhere I looked.

It wasn’t long before we found the source of the ‘other explorers, and it was quite a shock.

A load of kids, between the ages of 10 to around 16 were sitting in a large room and went deathly quiet when I poked my head in to say 'hello'.

There must have been 20 of them, and all eyes were on me in an instant.

Alright…, I’m not here to bust you, just carry on doing your stuff’, I said, or something along those lines.


The noise levels resumed and we left them alone after we explained we were Urban Explorers. Fortunately, this hobby of mine is popular amongst the young, and I said the right thing.

It could have turned into a ‘Lord of the Flies’ scenario with me being overpowered, tied up and slowly turned and boiled alive in hot oil. I had lived to tell another tale.

@dizzydiscovery mentioned they gave him a little abuse, but I heard nothing other than mutterings. We left the room as quickly as possible to resume the exploration.


An adjoining room contained several bikes, presumably belonging to the throng of kids.



Finding anything of interest in Springwell School was always going to be a challenge as it was so wrecked.



At least there was some evidence that was a school once, a whiteboard, and some miscellaneous signs on some walls.


The roof had been ripped down, presumably so thieves could steal all the copper piping.



The gym was a little more intact and even contained an old basketball. We did try and hoop a few balls while in here.






This room has a built-in oven attached to the table, presumably for cooking lessons. We called it 'Domestic Science' in my schooldays, and if you were a boy then you were a big sissy, and got bullied for being in a ‘girls class


That ‘dodgy looking bloke’ is another explorer who joined us for this one; he usually solos but was glad for the protection of numbers on this one.




There was a separate outhouse, but just like the main building, it was devoid of anything of interest.


I guess at least one homeless has tried to make Springwell School theirs and thought better of it.



Springwell School has little in the way of history and needs to be demolished. There is nothing here worth keeping; it's a mess.


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So this is where kids hang out in the holidays. It is strange that it closed so soon after building work. Do you see much sign of people salvaging scrap metal? You sometimes hear about things like cables from railways being stolen, which sounds a crazy thing to do. I was driving to work once and noticed a manhole cover was missing. Maybe it broke or maybe it was stolen, but I was lucky not to drop a wheel into it.

Do you see much sign of people salvaging scrap metal?

Not seen any yet, they are generally called 'pikeys' and from what I hear can get aggressive if disturbed when stealing stuff. By the time we get there, anything of value is long gone.

I would not use that term, but I expect it could be anyone who thinks they can profit from that trade. I'm surprised that some of the places you go have not been stripped out more.

This post hurt my vision. When I wrinkle up my nose in disgust my glasses move and my vision deteriorates.

2 years? And that in only two more? Good grief. That is a really sad commentary on the times, isn't it? Unlike most of your other explores this one didn't show me any possibilities at all...

Yes, not a good place to visit at all. Most are better than this one, and the next couple are definitely more interesting! At least it was easy to access.

Working in education it is always sad to see buildings like this get to this state of disrepair. We have a couple of school buildings in our district that we had to shut down. The one got bought by a daycare, but the other a private owner purchased it and it looks pretty pathetic now.

but the other a private owner purchased it and it looks pretty pathetic now.

You don't fancy a visit to the depths within? Take one of those Uzi 9mm's with you.. you know .. just in case.

I think he was living there. So yeah. I'd need protection!

Guess these little darlings were up to mischief, don’t tell Boris.

What a waste of public funds building this in the first place if it wasn’t properly used. Looks pretty trashed.
Have you recruited a new boy for hive?

I must highlight the dangers of UX soloing, they would have figured you were alone, and would have been feasting on @grindle soup that evening!

Have you recruited a new boy for hive?

No, explained it to him but too complicated.. usual shit.

I’m very tasty!

Were they nasty kids then? I’m sure a bit of charm would help in a situation like that

Cor blimey, the gang of kids would have been a right shock!

What a waste of money it being open for such a small time. You are right, it is a total mess and they should just get the dozers in tootsweet

I don't like hoards of kids, they get very brave when in large numbers. This lot were OK, and were treating the place like a dosshouse.

They totally do. That is when the danger is at it's highest when they all start to try and impress each other by geeing up to do something. Horrible wee bastards.

Maybe though, they had realised that they were but poor delinquents and were gathering there in the hope that some kindly old feller would drop by and start teaching them, like in a Hollywood movie.

You missed your chance! :OD

I could have, but didn't have my cop jacket on that day... damn!
It worked a treat on those smackheads I found in a mill in Bradford 2 years ago


Hehe, I can imagine!

That is strange to have so many kids meeting there at the same time. Looks like a good bit of aluminum could be taken out of there.

Anything of value is quickly gone!

Wow the obliteration thats gone on in just two years at that school. The copper theft in that one photo where the ceiling has been torn down. Bet they made a few hundred recycling all that copper though.

Its sorta sad to see a school that looks like it had good intentions, was probably cheery with kids running around and bright classrooms to look like a derelict and so thrashed. And again you wonder why. Why did it go under and simply abandoned after two years.

It didn't last long did it? Not one of my most exciting explore's, but I do write them all up unless they are complete duds!

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What a bizarre thing to happen, for a school to close after 2 years?

Or maybe it was all in your head that it was an abandoned school and the group of 20 kids you saw in a room was actually a class taking place... cue X-Files theme tune

and the group of 20 kids you saw in a room was actually a class taking place... cue X-Files theme tune

Could be mate, or the info I got was bogus! Could this have been anything but a school?

A lot of damage for 2 years closed.

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Smells like corruption. But, I guess we may never find out.

Oh my this is in shambles! Really messy!