Abandoned Hampshire: Camrose Stadium- Basingstoke

Located in the heart of Basingstoke, this stadium was abandoned in 2019. It could hold a total of 6000 fans, with 651 seated and the rest standing. In 1997 the stadium achieved its record attendance, with 5085 people watching Basingstoke play Wycombe Wanderers in 1997. Basingstoke FC was founded in 1896 and moved to the Camrose Stadium in 1945. It is named after Lord Camrose who offered them the site. The ground developed and improved between then and its closure. A clubhouse was constructed in 1969, and the main stand built in 1970. In 2019 the club was relocated to Winchester City’s ground, as the chairman wished to sell the ground for housing development, submitting plans for 89 houses on the site.

A lost convent was uncovered in 2020, leading to these plans being rejected. The convent stated that the Camrose Stadium had to be used for football until 2053. Fans and locals have also campaigned for the stadium to retain its use, leading to the site to be listed as a community asset. With the convent and community on its side, it doesn’t look like the stadium will be making way for a housing estate any time soon.

Urban Exploring the Abandoned Camrose Stadium

In the evening light, the silhouettes of the floodlight towers stand out against the light polluted night sky. Looking at the stadium from the pavement of the busy dual carriageway running right next door to the ground, it’s not immediately identifiable. Only from certain angles you can clearly see the stands that once held hundreds of fans chanting and cheering on their teams. Most of what you can see is advertisements strewn over a wooden wall that divides the grounds from the pavement. This wall is tantalisingly easy to hop over, if it wasn’t for the many eyes that would see you as they drive along the busy road.

Looking around the perimeter, one side is covered in darkness, making it easy to locate a way in. Upon entering, the first thing that hits you is the pitch itself. It no longer resembles a pitch, it’s a jungle. Even a couple of years of neglect are showing on the stadium. While the stadium appears structurally sound, there is waste everywhere. The structures are weathered and unwelcome intruders vandalising the grounds has given the stadium a very decrepit look. It is an interesting look into an apocalypse style scenario and sad to think it wouldn’t take much to restore the stadium to its glory.

Before we could fully take in the grounds, as we approached the supporters stand, the sound of an alarm pierced the night. After a hasty exit, the alarm stopped. Most likely motion activated, we wonder if this alarm was actually linked to something, or just an alarm to scare off any explorers. We will never know.

Last Updated on 26 January 2022 by Michael

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