Home

We are two brothers. Like you, we hold down full-time jobs and lead a relatively normal lives. The only difference is that every once in a while we don old scruffy clothes, grab our cameras and head off into the wilderness to venture into forgotten and decrepit buildings. Occasionally we remember other useful items such as water, torches, the odd snack and even a camera battery. TheTimeChamber is a website that centres around the photographs that are generated by these activities, and the interest that we share in the social history that surrounds us. We have aimed to accompany our photographs with a historical account for each location that we have visited in the UK and abroad (it used to limited to just the UK, but then we started earning a bit of money and branched out a bit, sometimes unexpectedly). This website aims to bring to life the forgotten memories of the institutes and establishments that the modern world has turned its back on and left to decay.

It all started over a decade ago when unknown to each other we had spent the same week reading about derelict buildings online on various websites throughout the web. That was back in 2007 when we discovered that there was 100 acres of industry laying derelict on our doorstep. Since then we have not looked back, except when we hear the scuffle of footsteps behind us or the loud banging of a door in the wind. It has been an adventure filled with tense moments, incredibly stupid moments, and moments when we forget we are in the middle of a guarded derelict site, laughing like hyenas because one of us has taken an unexpected nose dive out of a window.

We can’t explain why we do it, we just do. It probably has something to do with being cooped up in an office block five days a week. It is a bug that we cannot always ignore. We blame That Smell. 

The Website

If we are honest, it is not what we had ever expected. It started as somewhere to post a few photos that we had taken so that we could share them to the wider world through the wonder of the internet. Being at university and having time on our hands we began to read about the buildings we had been visiting and began to develop a keen interest into their histories. Luckily, we found a few useful books and it started to expand. Then it expanded a little more and ballooned a to an unmanageable size and we redesigned it to become more functional, and then set about expanding again. We started out with a few page hits a day and didn’t see much growth until Virgin Media picked up our page after a ‘Most Haunted’ program on Denbigh Hospital and the traffic flooded in – if this hadn’t happened, I expect we would have lost interest. The past decade has led to a rather comprehensive site, not only filled with photos, but a wealth of researched information and a blog filled with inane ramblings of our mishaps and adventures.

We eventually decided that the website should be split down into two sections, Places we have explored and a section dedicated to our photography exploits unrelated to our explores. Have a look around, we hope you enjoy it!

Where we have been

Having explored a wide variety of sites around the United Kingdom, we have attempted to split the website down into different sections. Admittedly, we have a bit of an obsession with both the old Victorian Asylums and the Cold War military installations, especially if they are underground! We have also become involved with the restoration of Cuckfield ROC Post and the preservation works at RAF Warlting, both of which are documented on this site. The website has been broken down into the following sections:

  • The Victorian Asylums
  • The Royal Observer Corps
  • Military Installations
  • The ROTOR Project
  • The Civil Defence
  • WWII Deep Shelters
  • Underground sites
  • Everything else (Industrial, Residential etc)

Photography

Over the last decade our exploring has meant that we have also developed a keen interest in the wider hobby of photography and last year we spun out a separate section of the website that is dedicated to these exploits. For the last 9 years of operating TheTimeChamber has always had a photography section glued to side of it. We haven’t ever done much with it, other than sling up a random selection of photographs that we are pleased with. When we switched  the website over to running on WordPress, we added a few tutorials and musings and got no further. But as the website has grown, along with our photography, we have kind of forgotten about it and left it dormant.

That was until about a year ago when we created photo.thetimechamber.co.uk and started another WordPress site to try and create a photography based section away from our Urban Exploration. We promptly forgot about it and got distracted by other things.  This wasn’t going to well, it it just couldn’t get off the ground. We would rather be outside doing other things, than trying to find that code snippet and compile a selection of photos. In idly browsing the web, we came across a WordPress theme that caught our eye, and after installing it, the photo section was born proper.  Using Portfolios, we can now display all manner of photos in an ordered manner. Old photography related blog posts will be slowly moved across and updated.

We hope you like it, you can find it at: photo.thetimechamber.co.uk

The Blog

We decided a while ago that a blog section would be a solid edition to the website as it had begun to feel like a University paper with little personality. The hope was that a blog would inject some soul into the place and it has become a section of the website that contains everything that we haven’t really figured out what to do with. Inevitably, this has distilled down into us rambling on about god knows what for whatever reason, sometimes whilst wearing rose tinted spectacles and sometimes when we have come across something interesting that doesn’t fit the main site.

It’s our brain dump of hopefully interesting articles, sometimes a photodump and other times a pool of ill thought out words. Our latest posts can be seen below.