Above: View of the towers on approach the first visit to this place! weather was fantastic reflection in the pool of water really stood out even to the naked eye. Still in awe of the sheer size of these things at this point.
Thorpe Marsh Power Station was abandoned in 1994 The site is now currently being partly used as an electricity substation and the majority of the main Power Station buildings have been knocked down. All that remains is one large storage building with nothing inside and the 6 Huge Cooling Towers in all their glory. I’ve visited this site a good handful of times now and each an every time I see the towers in the distance upon my approach i get goose bumps. There is something really appealing about the sheer size of these things and being able to relatively freely walk around them.
A Little Background / History to the place from Wikipedia : The station was commissioned in 1959 and was built as a prototype for all the large modern power stations in the UK. It opened in 1963. It contained 2 generating sets powered by coal, and had a gas turbine set using an industrial static version of a Rolls-Royce Avon aero engine with a capacity of 14.9 MW. On 7 January 1973 four workmen died. The CEGB was put under investigation for breaches in safety provisions but they were found to have all died accidental deaths. The station has been closed since 1994 and the 45 acres (18 ha) site was acquired by Able UK in 1995. Much of the station has been demolished and now only its six cooling towers (each 340 ft (100 m) high and 260 ft (79 m) in diameter at the base), two ash slurry hoppers, railway sidings and the station’s large adjacent electricity switching station still remain. The switching station was nearly flooded during the 2007 Yorkshire flood, which would have knocked the grid out according to news reports. The structures still stand now because it is feared that any explosion would cause the banks of the nearby canal to rupture. They also contain asbestos, which would contaminate land for miles around the site. There have been several controversial proposals for the site, including a car distribution depot and more recently a huge landfill site, neither of which have proven popular with the local residents.
Some of the photographs I have taken of the site over the space of 3 visits in June 2009:
Above: This Rusty Digger can be found within the main site near the front entrance to the Power Station abandoned for years the colours on the rust were striking although this is a HDR composite the original scene held the same vibrant colours.
Above: One of our expeditions led us up these steps to the top of the tallest buildings remaining on site. The access is dreadful but possible, be careful when climbing the stairs as they are unsafe to say the least
Above: Another Sigma 8mm Fish-eye shot, different perspective shot from the base of a different tower (right) the 180 degree angle allowed me to get all 3 towers in the frame and I really like the effect it creates of them leaning towards the centre. Again HDR composite of 3 images taken 1 stop apart.
Above: Strangely there is a surprising amount of children’s toys littered about the site. This shot inspired by a similar shot I had seen on flickr was taken to try and enhance the size of the car placing the camera at a low perspective with the cooling towers in the background.
Above: HDR shot taken at dusk sun was setting and the image was much darker than this to the naked eye.
Above: One of my favourite shots from this trip a HDR shot with the Sigma 8mm Fish-eye lens. This is one of the first towers you come across from the walk to the main part of the complex, as you can see one of the struts was missing having been demolished or partly removed. Kind of left me feeling a bit weird about having been inside for about 20 minutes taking pictures. Photo was a composite of 3 exposures taken 1 stop apart.
Update: This site is now unfortunately demolished, I did manage to get one revisit in before all the towers had gone see my revisit report here
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Limited Edition and Canvas prints, as well as regular prints, are available for all of the images above just ask me about prices.