Urbex: South Marsden Hotel

A walk round an abandoned hotel in Swindon.

Today I went for a wander around South Marston Hotel with Joe of Loath, Skippy and theorbtwo.

The hotel went into administration in July 2016, 3 months before it was due to close leaving "[h]undreds of guests and more than 1,000 leisure members ... [without refunds] for [...] bookings already made" (source: Swindon Advertiser) and leaving the 45 employees without wages for the month.

The majority of the assets were auctioned off leaving many of the rooms with lot numbers above the doors and what remains has been trashed by the removal of any and all saleable goods (mostly copper, lead and hard wood). The site has a registered planning application dating from November 2015 (yup that's before the closure was announced) for the demolition of the existing hotel buildings and redevelopment to provide up to 70 dwellings. So it's unlikely that these (now) scruffy buildings will be here much longer.

Joe of Loath did a good job of documenting the state of the property in his report. So the majority of my photographs focus on details, things that amused or saddened me.

Seahorse in the tiling on the swimming pool

Somehow the swimming pool in the spa complex is more of less intact - the retaining rail around the baby pool (pictured) is missing which, combined with the depth of the pool next to it makes it faintly terrifying. As Joe said, the entire hot tub has been removed and the presence of demolition detritus in the pool itself reminds me a little of a drained canal. Albeit one that has less mud than usual in it.

motivational message with a hole punched in it

It almost feels like the wilful destruction of this motivational quote on the wall in the not-so-soft-anymore-play area is a commentary on society.

cake message

This is from the balcony cafe adjacent to the softplay. Given the state of the place (there is rotten food heaped next to one of the walk in fridges in what remains of the kitchen area - be grateful I can't post smells), I think I'd rather they didn't.

pile of decorations

Decorations: hundreds of them, ghosts of Christmases, halloweens, easters. At one point we had to walk over fake trees in order to pass through a corridor. Another missed photograph there.

boxes of paperwork
piles of office furniture
more boxes of paperwork

The majority of the office area rooms are filled with the what didn't sell in the auction, there is very little that is personal here - with the exception of the personnel files - it's corporate furniture, corporate crockery - corporate, impersonal junk.

a lone cycle helmet

Joe doesn't remember that being there. Looks like a previous explorer might have forgotten it. While we're on the subject of previous explorers...

Mirror with the words "Help Me" scrawled across it

I feel like this in rooms full of mirrors a lot.

Kitchen in the upstairs flat
Kitchen in the upstairs flat

These are the kitchen in the on site flat. Very low ceilings and just as trashed as the rest of the site.

Careless words poster

I find the very existence of this sign both worrying and telling of the state of the hotel prior to it's closure. This is on the "out" door from the kitchen.

Alcohol cupbard with bottles on the shelves
Postmix boxes on the floor
Creme de Cassis bottle, half full
Conference water sign
The beer "cellar" - there are no casks left, just the gas lines

What remains of the cellar (the place where they stored the alcohol, it's not actually underground).

Abandoned sandpit with toys
Abandoned sandpit with toys

Possibly the most post-apocalyptic part of the whole site. Judging by the difference between the first lot of photos taken by Joe and what we saw today this site is getting destroyed pretty quickly. I know it looks like a horrible mess, but, if you visit please please don't destroy it further.

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