Yesterday I was approached by a chap who knew me by reputation and doing what I do, and expressed his own keen desire to dig into Shrewsbury's secrets. It was fascinating. Through him I also learned of another Shrewsbury rooftopper, calling himself Ninja. Ninja was known to my contact via a friend of his who worked at the hospital who was apparently always patching up "Ninja" after his accidents while rooftopping.
Now I'm not going to assume I'm the first to do what I do. That would be arrogant. But if I have inspired anyone then my words still stand- be careful. I'm by no means an ideal role model. I could have died numerous times through my own silly antics. Sure, I'll continue those silly antics, but this just furthers the point that I am an insufficient role model.
And with that out of the way, let's look at my holiday in Liverpool! Click pictures to see them big.
For those of you who don't know, Liverpool is the location of a magnificent bombed-out church. It was built between 1811 and 1832 and is actually officially named St Luke's Church, but in 1941 it was bombed by the Germans and remains a hollowed out shell better known as the Bombed Out Church.
I must admit, I didn't even know it was there. It was simply on the route from the place we were staying and the city center. But a quick glance at the church instantly put it on my list of things to do. From the outside it seems to be a hollowed out church overgrown with plant life.
And I spent a ridiculous amount of time scouting the exterior to find a way inside only to learn that it was having an open day. I'm not one for using legitimate means to get to places but there was still opportunity to be naughty... but we'll get to that!
Armed with my partners camera, I ventured in...
It's strange to think that what now looks more like a well maintained walled-off garden was once a place to worship, filled frequently with people for over a century. It seems remarkable that the walls would survive while the blitz hollowed out the building.
Not content with seeing only the parts open to public, I spoke to the man at the door and asked to see the tower. He was not swaying on that- the tower was unsafe. Now that is understandable! However I saw another door with some stairs leading downward. That wasn't open to the public either, he told me. But I'm an explorer, I explained to him. I'm beyond familiar with health and safety violations, trained in emergency first aid, and look at this- I can wear a hard hat if you want!
And my persuasive words earned us a trip down under the church. It was very exciting. I'd never been in a church crypt before. It was a lovely little tunnel system connecting rooms- one of which was slept in my monks a century ago! How fascinating.
I often find myself looking at walls and seeing bricked up archways that hint at a deeper complex at one point, now lost forever.
The underground bit was very cool and emerged at last in a secret room, removed from the rest of the bombed out church. There we saw the last window that the building had to offer- the only piece of glass in the building to survive the second world war!
This room was very intriguing, showing archways in the tower that indicated that the upper levels were still present, just unsafe. But I was still happy with what we had seen.
And that concludes the Bombed Out Church.
We also went legitimately to the top of Liverpool Cathedral, and while going up there really has nothing to do with urban exploring, the view was still amazing, and we had some magnificent photos of the tower interior, in particular a look down at the massive cathedrals bell from one of their epic walkways that lead up the side of the tower walls. Look at the picture below, and notice the door in the corner, for an idea of scale. This building is gigantic.
Special thanks to my partner for letting me borrow her camera and joining me on yet another epic adventure.
Next time we'll be back in Shrewsbury, and we have something brilliant.