A Visit to Strathmartine Hospital

A truly depressing place now and at its ‘height’. Baldovan Institution was founded in 1852, mainly through the benevolence of Sir John and Lady Jane Ogilvy and from voluntary contributions and fees. It was established on the north bank of the Dighty as an orphanage, hospital and place of education and training for ‘imbecile’ children, accomodating 30 children. As such it was the first hospital of its kind in Scotland and the second in Britain. The Orphanage opened on 30th November 1854 and the Asylum opened on 6th January 1855.

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Nobel Industries Limited was founded in 1870 by Swedish chemist and industrialist Alfred Nobel for the production of the new explosive dynamite. Ardeer, on the coast at Ayrshire, was chosen for the company’s first factory. The business later diversified into the production of blasting gelatine, gelignite, ballistite, guncotton, and cordite. At its peak, the factory was employing nearly 13,000 workers.

In 1926, the firm merged with Brunner, Mond & Company, the United Alkali Company, and the British Dyestuffs Corporation, creating a new group, Imperial Chemical Industries, then one of Britain’s largest firms. Nobel Industries continued as the ICI Nobel division of the company.

ICI Ardeer was commonly known locally as the ‘factory’ or the ‘Dinnamite’. At the time the company generally provided higher quality employment regarding terms and conditions and pension rights than other local firms. The Ardeer site was almost like a community, and there were so many people employed there that a bank, travel agent and dentist were at one time based on the site. The former Western Scottish Bus Company provided tens of buses per day to transport the workers to and from the site, and until the mid 1960s there were even two trains per day to transport workers to a station within the factory.

In the late 1960s construction began on a nylon and nitric acid plant, but this had a short life, closing down just 12 years later.

Twisted Metal

Twisted Metal


One of the great things about urban exploration, for me at least, is getting lost… safely (if there is such a thing). I love industrial. The pipes, canisters, machinery, metal, dirt, cogs, textures. Everything.

50% of the Way

East Fortune Hospital

East Fortune is a village in East Lothian, Scotland, located 2 miles (3 km) north west of East Linton. The area is known for its airfield which was constructed in 1915 to help protect Britain from attack by German Zeppelin airships during the First World War. The RNAS airship station also included an airship hangar. In 1919 the British airship R34 made the first airship crossing of the Atlantic, flying from East Fortune to Mineola, New York.

In 1922, several buildings and an area of land were used to create East Fortune Hospital. This served as a tuberculosis sanatorium for the south east region of Scotland until the onset of World War II. The airfield was then brought back into service as RAF East Fortune, initially a training base, and the hospital patients were transferred to Bangour Hospital in West Lothian. The hospital re-opened after the war, but by 1956, as the number of tuberculosis patients began to fall, the hospital changed its function to house the mentally handicapped. In 1997, the hospital closed down, and its patients were transferred to Roodlands Hospital in Haddington.

Ghosts and Mannequins

Shot at East End Mansion. Possibly the strangest explore I’ve done to date.


I don’t make a habit of hanging around in car parks. But sometimes you find something that you wouldn’t have otherwise.

A train pulls out of Central Station, Glasgow.

The Stand

“The thing under my bed waiting to grab my ankle isn’t real. I know that, and I also know that if I’m careful to keep my foot under the covers, it will never be able to grab my ankle.” – Stephen King

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