Dan Baines

Fairy Rings and Monstrous Things

Drones in Haunted Zones #1 - Ambergate Wireworks

Please note that the following footage and images were taken without breaking into or setting foot inside the buildings. The drones were flown through open windows and piloted remotely by FPV.

In a new series of blog posts my son and I head to derelict and mysterious places and document them with images and film using drones. This amazing technology allows us to get a new perspective on these neglected places without endangering ourselves or disturbing the environment.

Ambergate Wireworks, Derbyshire

As you wander along the Betty Kenny Trail in Ambergate, Derbyshire (see previous blog post) you will eventually stumble upon a huge derelict factory. This vast complex of forgotten buildings contains not only acres of factory space but rows of cottages, a laboratory, a water powered generator and a brooding mansion set atop of a hill overlooking the decay below. Those familiar with the Mothman Prophecies would immediately agree that this place has a similar vibe to the old saw mill where the creature supposedly lived.

The following information is from various internet sources -

In 1867 Richard Johnson and his nephew opened the wireworks and employed over 500 people. This successful factory produced the telegraph wires used under the English channel during WW2 and the suspension cables for Sydney Harbour Bridge. In 1990 the Bridon company took over production which lasted until 1996 when all wire production ceased. The complex is now owned by the Lichfields and some parts are still leased as storage however, the bulk of the buildings have been left to rot.

In a grand position overlooking the Derwent Valley and the abandoned wireworks is Oakhurst House.

The mansion was built in 1848 by industrialist Francis Hurt and was designed to house his three unmarried daughters, thereby freeing up Alderwasley Hall, his main seat, for his male heir.

Hurt's plans never materialised, however, and his daughters did not move into the house. Instead it was bought by the Thewlis Johnson, part of the wirework business. The house remained a possession of the wireworks during the later 19th and early 20th centuries, with some alterations being undertaken during the 1890s.

In the 1970s Oakhurst House was converted into flats; however, with the bankruptcy of the wireworks and the deteriorating condition of the building, the flats were abandoned in the late 1970s. Since then, the house has remained unoccupied and is now derelict and a partial ruin.

A few years back it was for sale for £1 but it had to be restored back to it's original glory.


Drones – Parrot Bebop & DJI Phantom

Music – Mirrored Theory 'We Follow Patterns'

For more music check out his Soundcloud page here