Tales of the Urban Explorer: Return to Rock Nook Mill

Slobberchops @slobberchopsJuly 2019 · 6 min read

Having felt unsatisfied with our first visit, I suggested to @goblinknackers that we returned to this fortress of a mill to see what we missed the first time around.


Due to some weed smoking thugs, one of them wielding an air rifle, we were cut short on the initial visit.

Arriving at a similar time as our previous visit, we parked where the thugs did last time only to see the same car containing just two of the thugs pull up beside us.

'What the fuck was going on?..'

Next minute, the white thug car pulled away and left. Had we spooked them into giving up their drug hangout for the day?

I personally couldn’t give two shits if they want to go in there for the daily smokes, but killing pigeons with an air rifle is not so cool.


Six weeks or so had passed and the place had gained a lot of extra vegetation.

That’s the UK summer for you, it rains but when the sun comes out the greenery goes bananas, and today was a lovely sunny day.


Entering via the same method as last time, I took a photograph of the huge hole that a prospective Urbex’er could fall prey too. It wouldn’t kill you falling down there but I wouldn’t like to try the jump.


We went directly down the stairs to what we thought was the bottom floor and started looking around.





This floor was quite devoid of interesting items but had a decent amount of graffiti.



That was until we reached the far side which was extremely dark. @goblinknackers flicked on the huge light and we found some old rusted machinery parts.


In the far corner were some steps descending into the gloom, more than that it was black down there and we took our chances using the rusted metal stairway.



Taking our time, we descended into the blackness of the basement stopping to view what was possibly a small canteen for the staff. The floor was very dodgy here and a little too soft for my liking.


Descending down another rusting stairway brought us to the basement and this huge weighing scale which still worked, in a fashion.


It was creepy as hell down there, with dripping water and the slightest of noises making our hairs stand on end.


Making out way back across the basement we kept stopping. What was that sound? Was it voices, or our ears playing tricks?



Part of this floor was partitioned off with what looked like offices. Sadly there was little to see. Others had been down here, courtesy of the graffiti but you just couldn't come here without serious lighting.



Holidays 1989 it says. 30 years gone by and this notice is still hanging around as well as a European Social Charter pamphlet.





This file cabinet was intriguing @goblinknackers, and he frantically went through it trying to find some secret documents of some sort.


The binders were named but all the papers had been removed.


By this time we were aware that someone else was in the building likely on the floor above. We kept flashing the light down the length of the mill as the creepy noises were being somewhat persistent.


Climbing up these steps tentatively, @goblinknackers whispered to me, ‘Weed, can you smell it?

I could but we were not ready to face what was possibly the thugs once again as there was more yet to explore.



The next section was either jump down the gap or vault on to the rotten wooden stairway. We decided to climb down and entered a small office with some personal items within.




A newspaper from 1994, some papers from 1985 and Word Perfect! I haven’t seen that software in years.


There was even a service hatch for the hungry maybe.


From this view, it looks like a house looking outward. These must have been the offices and where the administrative staff worked.


A view of the factory next door that connects to this mill. It’s still in use.



Toilets; just don’t go in there. It’s always the same.

It was time to face the music. We could hear the thugs very clearly now as we left and ascended the stairs but what we found was not what we expected.

Four lads of around 15-16 years of age looked a little scared as we approached them. These were not the same thug weed smokers with the air rifle.

Alight lads’, I said in a measured tone. No need to spook them.

Where did you come in', said one followed by, ‘You scared the shit out of us'

The same place you did', I retorted. They were smoking some kind of joint and made no attempt to conceal it.

They obviously didn’t see us as a threat, but still asked, ‘What are you doing in here?

'Some kids don’t know about Urban Exploration I guess'

Photographing the place, have you been to the top floor?’, I asked with a friendly tone.

Yeah, but it’s dodgy up there’, one replied, ‘Floor is a bit soft and shaky

Thanks', I said, and started climbing up to see the view.

I don’t have any problem with these kids. If they want to smoke weed then it’s their business. I'm not here to judge them.


The steps to the top floor which is where the fire took place several years before were flaky but manageable



The landing at the on the top floor was OK if you were careful. There were parts that you could potentially fall through but this is something you learn to avoid.




The views over the top were amazing. Rust combined with the blue sky and abundant greenery contrasted to make some dazzling photography.

There’s a further ‘tower’ on the other side of this wilderness to explore but we decided wisely not to take our chances.


See those gaping holes in the floor? Death was waiting for the foolhardy trying to cross this minefield.


I did tentatively check what I was standing on a couple of steps out and was rewarded with squishy yielding wood that would not have taken my weight.

Short of balancing on those blackened beams with a long pole for balance, the far tower is going to remain unexplored for anyone visiting Rock Nock Mill.


Even then, would those beams take your weight? It’s highly unlikely.


Our return was definitely worth doing. This mill is enormous and the finale was something I would not have wanted to miss.



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I'm seriously glad the hooligans didn't prevent you from your stated business....

This is a really cool place and very much worthy of a second trip!


It was well worth it for the top part. You really get to appreciate such sights as that one after doing many of these.


a few coats of paint will fix it


.. and maybe a couple of hundred thousand to renovate it. Who would want it though? No doubt it will get demolished in times to come.


Oh my God, I'm with you on jumping through holes. I know they're not going to kill you but I have had some big boo boos going in places that looks like they were a maybe but really should have been a no thank you. That bottom floor was a big nothing, but like you said the graffiti was kind of cool and I always like to see where people deem worthy of their time. And now I'm sitting here as I'm reading this wondering if those weed toking Fool's came back? I know I know I have to read to the end to figure that out. Now see? You have me worried about you.

I'm glad you went back because this really made a worthy visit and those last pictures that you took with the sky on the very top were awesome! I never thought of myself as being attracted to the urbex, but the different components mixed with rust and the Eerie feeling as I wander about with you happens to be slightly addicting. Thank you for taking us this and look forward to the next one. Or even coming back here. You really had me going better with those noises as you're down in the basement listening to them talk upstairs. Better than a ghost story.

Upped and steemed



Thanks @dswigle, the top was worth going for and what we missed last time. I figured a blue sky day may enhance the view and we were lucky it was one of those.

The colour contrasts are amazing, and you really start to appreciate some of the stuff you see after a while.


Ok wait, what?! 1989 was 30 years ago?!

Was going to say wow, what a huge place to explore, and glad the hoodlums didn't bother you, and how spooky that basement was, what a setting for a scary movie... but now all I can think about is 1989 was 30 years ago....

Time flies, huh?


It's a large place this one, but we have it covered now. The top floor was really what we came back for and it did not disappoint.


Glad you were able to make it back and further explore. Interesting that they didn't just take the folders with the paper instead of taking the paper out and putting the folders back.


What an awesome find. That must have been exhilarating visit. I know I certainly enjoyed the pictures!


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I love this kinda stuff. We used to have a beautiful dilapidated old train station nearby. I used to admire it whenever I was in the area. Just as I worked up the nerve to explore it, I found that they'd demolished the structure. Thanks for capturing these shots before they're gone. They have a "beautiful desolation" of their own...


Yes, they get demolished if you look the other way. Gotta get them while you can. I have missed many for the same reasons.


Oh I remember Word Perfect from back in the day as an alternative to Word. Was not too shabby.

I cannot get over how much steel there is in there. Thought that would offset the cost, at least partially to raze it.


The steel is a little rusty! It may well be iron as it was likely built in the 1840's or so but I'm not sure. The Word Perfect box was there too.. haha.. I was a whiz at that software one.


Could make a great film set, but parts would be too risky to use. Seems people leave a lot behind when they move out. What you do is a form of archaeology, but got those kids it's just a place to get away. Just hope they find get injured, or you of course. Take care.


Many of these old mills are similar with their metal posts keeping the ceiling upright, but they are all different too. Weed many well be legal here one day, I think the time is coming.. and then they wont have to resort to hiding in these places.