Abandoned and overgrown: Photographer captures remarkable images of disused RAF base near York

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How the former RAF Church Fenton base looks today. Photographs: Abandoned Yorkshire Explores
How the former RAF Church Fenton base looks today. Photographs: Abandoned Yorkshire Explores

It once reverberated to the engines of Spitfires and Hurricanes. But now much of RAF Church Fenton is empty and silent.

These eerie pictures were captured by a Yorkshire photographer turned urban explorer, who has been documenting abandoned ruins across the region through his Abandoned Yorkshire Explores website.

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Urban exploring has become increasingly popular through photographically-led blog sites. Martin (he asked us not to give his full name) has photographed sites across Europe, but most are in Yorkshire.

From a Pontefract cinema to Leeds Girls School, his pictures paint a haunting image of nature reclaiming back buildings we have left for dead.

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One of his latest expeditions was to the disused part of the former RAF Church Fenton airbase, a few miles south of York. What he found was a massively overgrown jungle hiding the old buildings, including the “highlight [which] was the huge water tower with a great view from the roof!”

The airfield was opened in April 1937, as the air force was being expanded in response to the growing threat from Hitler.

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During the war Church Fenton was home to a night-flight training unit. Later it hosted RAF squadrons which carried out offensive sorties over Northern Europe.

In peacetime the RAF used it as a training base, and it closed in 2013. You can read more about its history on this excellent website.

Meanwhile, have a look at Martin’s pictures below and visit his blog page for more.

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