Tales of the Urban Explorer: The Duke of Bridgewater

in Urban Exploration9 months ago (edited)

We had arrived in Stoke-On-Trent, the land of pottery or should I say the now wasteland of what was.

The home of the pottery industry in England, it is known as The Potteries. It is a centre for service industries and distribution centres; it formerly had a primarily heavy industry sector.


Note the word, 'formerly'. Stoke was looking ripe for some explores and we had a big list prepared with ‘Aladdin’s Cave being first on the hit list.


“That pub looks a little suspect”, I mentioned to @anidiotexplores while trying to park relatively close to our target. ‘The Duke of Bridgewater’ was looking forlorn and that gate and wall next to it, extremely climbable.


Being open and busy, it's generally luck and speed that you need when getting into a secure area. If the cops happen to drive by then you are fucked, but the public just tends to stare and keep driving in their cars.


I am not particularly quick at jumping over walls but do OK for someone my age. We navigated it with relative ease and were in the ground, safe from eyes in under a minute.

I was surprised to find the building is Grade II listed (which means it can’t be demolished and is a fucking burden to the owner). This article highlights that it has been closed for over a decade and is 'vulnerable'.

The 'vulnerable' part of this means there's a big hole in the side of the yard next to all the shit that has been dumped. I can tell you that hole was not there during our visit which is several months after the publication.

We edged around the back where one has to be of a certain skinniness level to progress. The wall of the pub and an ancient gate made of cast iron and sporting 'sticky-out spikes' made us both breathe in and shuffle along delicately before approaching the back door.


Ah lovely, but how many cream cakes did I digest the night before, and who’s on the other side of that door waiting to stamp on my face?

@anidiotexplores went first, on his back, and scraped through. It did require some effort but this is all part of the fun. Not having much to grab hold of farside doesn't help and my partner-in-crime was already exploring and not waiting about for me!


…'fully expect to get loose stones and glass shards settling into your hair and back if you need to edge in this way. It's advisable to keep your Sunday best attire safely in the wardrobe at home'…'

I don't have any qualms about divulging all this detailed information as it's NINE months old. It's doubtful this is the current way in, even if there still is one.



According to the article linked above, ‘The Duke of Bridgewater' had not been burnt yet and so far that seemed true enough. I was dismayed to see even the TV's sported cocks.


Yes, I could see it was going to be one of those 'manly' explores, full to the brim with male members.


We made for the stairs using the ‘go from the top down’ method devised by @anidiotexplores. It's kind of worn on to me subconsciously. The DVDs were looking a little blue.


An idyllic spot; put your feet up, rest your head against the uncomfortable radiator, and take in the words all around.


Someone does just that or did. You never can tell if the current 'free-renters' are still coming home every evening.



… and this is what they do while gazing at a long skinny blue cock.


Uck, what a mess; they never do any cleaning up or even shove all the shit into one corner. We exited and went downstairs in search of the bar and maybe a pint or two.


I can't say I was enamoured with the colour scheme. Royal blue tends to look quite tacky, and worse when laden with graffiti.


Given the choice of beverage, this was a simple choice, though even the freshest bottle of Becks doesn't go down very well in my system.


Given the level of devastation, I was surprised to see intact glasses. There were more besides this example.


Look at that door, so creepy. There could be a knife-wielding assassin on the far side. It would have made for a better picture if so, with all the shadowing. You can’t have it all I suppose.



The obsession with penises continued in the bar area. Vaginas are so much more difficult to draw for the average mindless destructive wanker with a marker pen.





It always surprises me to see books lying around in pubs. While it's true they can be used for simple décor, your average bloke isn't going to pick one up and become engrossed while drinking his pint.


This room looked more interesting and appeared to be collected items ready for shipping out (that never made it).


The note on the left is philosophical twaddle from what I can make out, the other one is quite undecipherable.


Many books that could be donated to a library, but does anyone use libraries in today’s world? @jacobtothe could tell me more.


It is the same writer, but again not interesting to read. I should have dug harder and found something along the lines of ‘divorce settlement’. @grindle finds the best letters.


What I see resembles the edge of a pool table, green gauze removed and replaced with a little glass.



Many more books on that top shelf. They were out of reach unless I stood on something.


Looking at this, it appears there is a hole in the roof. I can’t remember seeing any on the second floor; very strange.


The tool of artists and in many cases, idiots.



We headed toward the cellar and found it clear of anything besides this silver hose. Don't tell me it has been a grow or this is the first stage.



Upon leaving The Duke of Bridgewater’ I was thinking that wasn’t a bad start. ‘Aladdin’s Cave’ was close by and next on the list.


It's not what you think it is but probably as interesting as this pub.


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Stripper in the bar? Interesting!

Wallpaper stripper in the bar? Significantly less so.

I doubt any library wants a collection of old mildewed books. If books are clean and in decent condition, they usually get added to our fundraiser sale instead of the stacks, although there are occasional exceptions if we get something especially nice or which fills a gap in our collection. "Old" rarely equals "valuable," though, and you might be surprised how little most "first editions" fetch when that is often the only edition for crap literature.

You can guarantee they have all suffered from damp, this is the UK after all.., the land of much rain.

"Yes, I could see it was going to be one of those 'manly' explores, full to the brim with male members."


That is a place close to what a psychiatric hospital looks like in an apocalyptic movie!!!

Grart article again @slobberchops friend!!!... Thanks for sharing!

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That is a place close to what a psychiatric hospital looks like in an apocalyptic movie!!!

I have done a few of those, one of the solo. Quite un-nerving.. I tell you!

People are scared to draw vaginas in case they get misconstrued for being anarchists...


I would welcome more Vagina pictures, it's all so one-sided. You do get the odd pair of tits mind you.

Lol, they are quite pleasing and easy to draw!!

You would think all these cock artists are girls or something? I can't see it myself.

Me neither, 'ware the men who obsessively draw cocks!

Man I love the structure of the exterior with the extra room created so the door faces the street. I can almost picture it being open before you get to the inside.

The phallic art is top notch in this one and I really can’t believe all those books have stayed on that shelf and not yet found their way into a fire.

So you have more buildings to explore in this hood in future chapters? I think I like your views and would like to subscribe to your newsletter!

So you have more buildings to explore in this hood in future chapters?

I do..., Stoke was a brand-new city and unexplored. I wish I could find more like this in a 60 mile radius. We did two visits and the booty was damned fine! There's a lot more to come.

That place must have stunk!!, I wonder why so many smackheads spray cocks on walls?

I'd like to meet melissa she seems a popular gal

That place must have stunk!!

Not that I remember, though I'm quite nose-blind these days due to all the shit-holes I visit.

I'd like to meet melissa she seems a popular gal

Easy to find, hang around the entrance for a few days.., you might get lucky.

back of the net LOL

Mindless waste of a good old pub, minds of idiots paint walls that look like elongated dicks.

Art of entry pretty good (stealth mode), unscathed once again..., another derelict site which is a shame, I think a good pint was pulled in placed like this.... once upon a time!


I see this all the time, and have just got in from another of all this madness. How a place can fall to bits in just 2 years. I had 2 instance of just this today. Will tell you all about it around Feb '24, I'm that far behind!

Being behind is my middle name of late, will be sure to stumble across it somewhere along the line..., if we have electricity then 🙃

Melissa and Anya seem to get around don't they? They wanted everyone to know all of the rooms they had been in. Maybe that is their way of leaving a business card or something. That pool table looks like it is still in kind of good condition. Sad really. The way bar is written on that first door, I thought it was a lighted sign saying it was still open.

Melissa and Anya seem to get around don't they?

Do you think they are the cock artists? I was starting to think the graffiti drawers were all gay or something. It could well be a lot more destroyed than it's state last summer. As usual I am well behind.

Could be. Might be their way of advertising!

That's awesome! And they left you lots of reading material and some movies as well! Very col!

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I couldn't help myself but admire the wall art. xD

Great to see its not burnt ! And I liked the greenscreen room - pretty handy for making all those youtube-DIY-how-to-fix-a-radiator videos. Fair size of place - could make a nice pub !

Another interesting exploration!

Speaking of books. there was a bar I used to frequent when I was in university called the Heorot and themed along similar lines as the name would suggest. They had bookshelves built into the wall at every table full of books. In true mead hall fashion there was very little light except for a fire and a few low (and hidden, to preserve the illusion I suppose) lights, but I did often see people sitting there reading while they drank their beer.

You would need stepladders to reach those books. I can understand the need for shelving but not when its 7 feet up.

The person who drew them is obviously obsessive with Melissa and her vagina :)

My only wish is that they stay away during our visits. Only met 'artists' once, but they were decent ones. One of them handed me a business card!

Thanks for another philosophical rumination on an old historical pub. I was fascinated to see so many books. Solzhenitsyn on the shelves: who would have thought it?! I do hope that some idiots don't try burn it down.

Solzhenitsyn on the shelves

I had to look him up, someone had some pointed viewpoints! While researching I didn't notice any, 'its gone up in flames' reports. It may be sealed now, hopefully.

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Who saved the glass on table amidst such devastation? I’m surprised as you.

I’ve not been in the cities, yet as devastated as that house could be, it’s still better than some cherished homes in some developing countries.

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Looks like you guys aint the only one at here, people are trooping in doing all this garbage, the place is really messed up. The government should sell it off if they know they cant maintain it