Far away, in the hills of Wales, is this abandoned house. It first came to my attention when a photographer sold photos of it to the media, which I discovered when I was researching Calcott Hall. This house has no actual link to the infamous Calcott Hall or "Red Dress Manor" as it became known, but because both were abandoned houses featured in the media for being time capsules of the former occupiers life, it was impossible to research one without becoming aware of the other. But quite how Cloud House was originally found is what really baffles me. Calcott Hall is at least visible from the road. Cloud House is truly lost in the wilderness. Who was the first to discover it? It must have looked amazing back then.
Unlike Calcott Hall, Cloud House is the kind of place that feels like a real quest to get to.
But similarly, the number of people who have participated in this quest raises the question of how much is really left?
Operation Cobra was my road trip out to find Cloud House, and we were warned by other urban explorers that it was boarded up tight, impossible to get into and even from one source that it had been demolished. But as I've learned when the same things were said of Brogyntyn Hall and Pitchford Hall, it's best to see for myself. I set a course for Cloud House, assuring that even if it was demolished or locked up, it wouldn't be a wasted journey, because we found a whole bunch of other places to check out along the way, from a series of abandoned houses, an abandoned Little Chef, an abandoned caravan park, a derelict church, and finally a disused hotel. By this point, even if Cloud House disapointed, it wouldn't be a wasted journey.
But I had waited a long time for this, having wanted to check out Cloud House for years. This was a massive itch to scratch.
As I stepped out of the vehicle we had traveled in, I felt a sense of pride at having organised this entire adventure and succeeded in locating the infamous Cloud House. So much time spent examining clues, and scrawling on Google Maps, countless dead ends, loads of guess work, and it had all finally paid off. I struggled to contain how excited I was. Here's Cloud House!
While the Shropshire Star article I discovered Cloud House through was only a few years old, a lot can change in that space of time.
The place has been visited many times now by many people, so I was not expecting to see quite as many valuables left here as there had been in the photographs featured in the newspaper. But still, if we compare it to Calcott Hall, that house was featured in the media in 2012 and in spite of the looting it's still pretty creepy. I was confident that Cloud House still had some amazing things to discover.
Nosing around the exterior, I found the remains of farm equipment, out buildings, and a bath tub that was supporting its own ecosystem.
Life has evolved here, and will slowly build a civilisation, and spend years wondering if other bath tubs are also capable of supporting life, while entire religions focus around the prophesized apocalyptic pulling of the plug.
Numerous windows are propped up against Cloud House. These were likely removed by trespassers seeking to gain access.
Against this backdrop, the chair seems oddly modern.
Climbing in through the one open window in the entire building, we found ourselves in the remains of a pantry.
It's dark, and it's creepy, and I loved every minute of it. This place has been playing on my mind for years.
The sink smelled of urine. I kept my distance.
Ordinarily, I don't ever look in the fridges in abandoned houses. They're a sensory no-no. But this one was already open, so I took a peek...
Moving past that, the kitchen equipment was all in the largest room in the building, indicative that this was a joint kitchen and dining area.
So what's the story of this place? One always assumes when nosing around an abandoned house like this that the owners and occupiers left under mysterious circumstances, or passed away. The fact that all the contents of this house are so old definitely supports the theories that the owner died, seemingly without family to inherit all of this.
As such, one must treat this place, and other houses like it, with respect. It's essentially a gravestone. It's a reflection of their former life.
However, while over the years Calcott Hall and Vanity House have had their stories told to me by people who knew the former occupants, virtually nothing is known about the former occupiers of Cloud House. It's so remote and isolated. The only shred of evidence I ever had that anyone knew anything about it came in the form of an angry comment on one of the news articles that showcased this building. It basically said that calling the place "Cloud House" was a load of nonsense, and that they knew the properties correct Welsh name. When I asked them what that name was, they didn't respond, which is a shame, because if I had a real name to go by, I might have found it quicker.
While there's a lot of decay here, this picture appears to be Queen Mary, and this could give us a clue about the time period in which this house was last lived in. Mary was born in 1867 and died in 1953.
She initially became engaged to Prince Albert Victor, but he died of pneumonia only six weeks after the engagement. The following year, she married his brother, George. George went on to become king in 1910, right up until his death in 1936. Mary became the Queen Mother when her son, Edward, became King. When he abdicated, Marys second son, George VI, became King. And if anyone doesn't know, thats our current Queens father.
So from this, it can be estimated that the occupants of this house lived here in the 1930s, with the owner perhaps even serving the country in World War 1.
In the corner of this picture is a photograph of a baby sat in an armchair.
This organ and grandfather clock are beautiful, and probably antiques.
The chair is fairly modern in appearance.
Leading off from the kitchen and dining area was a much smaller, yellow-painted room. I assume, purely because the kitchen equipment was in the larger room, that this was some kind of sitting room, although no sofas or armchairs remain.
But on that note, it sure is odd to find a lounge area smaller than a kitchen area.
There is a pile of clutter in the corner here, indicative of some sort of clear out, or heavy looting from urban explorers. Topping the pile is an incontinence chair, indicative that an elderly person lived here, which again explains the pictures of past monarchs. A young person in the 1930s would be an old person in the 1960s, and pretty ancient by the 1980s.
I loved this record player.
The place definitely has an atmosphere about it, particularly in the hallway, where I felt like I was being watched. The stairs certainly felt creepy.
Cloud House actually has four bedrooms, which is indicative of a family living here once. Was this a family house? Are the younger members of the family still out there, living their lives?
That there, on the window ledge, is possibly a chamber pot, which functions like a bedpan. They're typically used for continence support for people who are bedridden or have trouble reaching the toilets.
The bedrooms are pretty bare, and vintage beds reminiscent of the kind found in nuclear monitoring bunkers.
It's all very creepy. It's so strange to think someone lived here, isolated from the rest of the world, living off the land, with no internet, mobile phones, and with much more limited television.
In a strange way, it has its enviable qualities.
Now this is definitely a chamber pot. It's under the bed and has suspicious colouration.
Clothing still hangs in the wardrobes.
There's a vintage television here in the bedroom, again indicative of someone with failing health and bedridden. Next to it is some medication.
This bottle of Sulfex is ominously labeled "Poison" at the bottom. The label says that it's for intranasal use, which means it goes up the nose. Sulfex is basically an antibiotic and is often used to treat a Urinal Tract Infection.
The label reads a bunch of words such as "amphetamine" which makes it most unusual that it's to be taken nasally. I have a funny feeling this is probably out of practice now. The label also reads "Sulphathiazole," which I can't even pronounce. As a rule, I don't put anything into my body if I can't pronounce it.
This bottle, labeled The Liniment is a medication applied externally to the skin.
This room was particularly creepy.
There's a religious painting there, as well as an alarm clock.
The original newspaper report for this place claimed laughably that the owner had a "fascination with time."
If this sounds famiar, then it's because they said a similar thing about the previous occupier of Vanity House. In my last Vanity House blog, you may remember that someone had placed a load of clocks on a surface and used it for media sensationalization, much like the christmas decorations placed in the Christmas House, and even later on, a dead bird was placed in an empty birdcage at Christmas House, to give it an eerie story of an abandoned pet.
A similar thing was said of Cloud House, briefly earning it the nickname "Pocket Watch House." A heap of alarm clocks, pocket watches and other small timepieces were photographed together, and the former owner was said, in the media article, to have a "fascination with time."
It's usually pretty obvious when an abandoned property is rearranged to suit a narrative, and this appears to be one of those cases. Personally, I think it's a bit silly, and disrespectful. These places are beautiful without stuff like that adding sensationalization. But to come into a house, which is all that remains of someones life, and rearrange it to make fabrications about how that person lived, that's wrong.
Now, most of the clocks in Cloud House have been stolen, so it was nice to see one remaining here.
Another record player.
A photograph of a man with two boys.
And here we have some eye lotion. It gives the clear direction "Use with an equal quantity of warm water" and it's prescribed to a Mrs Williams.
That's a common enough surname in Wales, so I don't feel that censoring it was necessary. What it tells us is that the occupier of this home was married.
Behind the bottle are some amazing vintage binoculars, and another alarm clock.
On this bed, which is the only double bed in the house, there is another pot for urinating in.
Also worth mentioning is that this house lacks toilet facilities, presumably having a privy outside back when it was active.
Lots of documents and paperwork litter the floor.
Here are some old pyjamas and shoes.
There are newspapers around the house, dated 1980. While it's not exact, it does give a rough idea of the time period when this house was last occupied. Presumably the occupiers died in the 1980s.
There's a dressing table here.
This book translates to "Textbook of the standards" for the Calvinistic Methodists. It's a form of Christianity that spawned in Wales in the 18th Century. They claim to be the only religious order in Wales that is pure Welsh with no influence from other lands.
Except, perhaps, the middle east, seeing as thats where the bible takes place.
Reg-u-letts are a form of laxatives.
There's more liniment here, and castor oil.
And here's some vintage cough medicine.
That's about it for Cloud House though. It's such an eerie little place, sadly rotting away alone in the Welsh hills, miles from anywhere. The owners have long gone, and this is all that remains of their lives. Geographically, however, it's in a beautiful location up in the Welsh hills. Check out the view.
It would be easy to get lost up here, and no doubt the hills contain many secrets. However, for us it was time to return to Shropshire, where this blog can once again win back its name accuracy.
Cloud House, however, was an itch that needed scratching and it was totally worth the trip.
However, Operation Cobra had one last stop on the way home, and that was a ROC bunker in the Welsh hills, although not quite as isolated as Cloud House.
This is the first ROC bunker I have ever found that still has its original fencing around it, and signs forbidding entry. For those who don't know, ROC stands for Royal Observer Corps, and these bunkers were nuclear monitoring posts, used to monitor nuclear activity during the Cold War, when the governments collective arseholes were clenched so tight that only dogs could hear them fart.
This one opened in 1960 and consisted of a fifteen foot ladder into the ground, a small subterranean office filled with communication equipment, and bunk beds, primitive toilet facilities and instructions on how to hunt animals and build cooking appliances in the event that those stationed here survived a nuclear strike.
They were pretty terrifying times, and I've been lucky to be in several of these. This one, however, is locked tight. It was decomissioned in 1991 and could potentially still be immaculate down there.
The other surface features included these air vents. As said, I've been in a few and if you want a good example of one, click here.
And that concludes Operation Cobra. We're in Wales, on top of a huge hill, with a great view of a beautiful country.
As for that crazy subplot about the Welsh Mafia, they were just eaten by hillside cannibals living off the grid. I warned people that they were real!!!
But they thanked us for bringing them a meal, and sent us on our way. But before we set off, let's take in the view from up here!
That there is a power station in the distance, still in use but looking imposing in the distance.
Also present are sheep. Poor bastards. They always make me think, if just one of them was to charge me, I'd probably be taken off my feet and winded at the very least, such is the force of a charge and the hardness of their skull. If an entire herd was to charge me, I'd probably be killed. They have that power, but they are terrified of humans. They could destroy a human but they run away.
If you ever want to know what it's like to be the government, walk through a field of sheep.
Anyway that's all I've got for today. Next time we're back in Shrewsbury checking out something fun. In the meantime, like our Facebook page, follow us on Instagram and Twitter. And if you want to help fund the blog, hit the donate button at the top, but no pressure. In all honesty, if you go out and help someone else enjoy their day, that's even better. There's too much negativity in the world. Together we can help each other, and make life great.
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