Ilford Polish Camp – (Ilford Park), Newton Abbot, Devon

A crisp November morning saw us getting up super early and head to Ilford Polish Camp in Newton Abbot. Part of the grounds are live so we had to choose our access route carefully. After about ten minutes, as is most often the case, we found a hole in a fence. And so we were in.

Luckily we had entered the site at it’s most interesting part – the accommodation. Room upon room filled with war memorabilia, journals, letters, newspapers – some of these things should be in a museum!

We managed to see quite a lot of the site before we bumped in to the care taker! Absolutely shit ourselves as we turned a corner right in to him! He was a really nice person, and gave us a little whirlwind tour before booting us out!

Ilford Polish Camp opened in September 1948 – one of 45 hostels across Britain set up to house the 200,000 exiled Poles who had fought alongside the Allies.

Built 60 years ago, at its peak the site was home to 600 exiled Polish people. Sadly, Ilford Polish Camp, and I assume all the personal belongings with it, has been demolished.

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29 responses to “Ilford Polish Camp – (Ilford Park), Newton Abbot, Devon”

  1. Juna says:

    Hello, is this site still accessible? I would like to take some photos there :)

    • Ben says:

      Everything has gone, all that is left is a modern block that is used as a care home.

    • Kieran says:

      The site is still accessible. The main school/community building still stands. Unfortunately it is wrecked. All of the wiring has been ripped from the walls and it’s full of graffiti. Part of the roof in the assembly hall has collapsed so be careful. If you go up the field at the back and turn left there are also two of the dormitories, accessible through a gap in the silver fence. It’s very dark so bring a torch. Looks like a clear up crew has been through as nothing but rubble now. There is also another building on the left, just past the occupied houses as soon as you come off the roundabout. It is pretty cool. Nice old fireplace and stuff inside.

  2. Adam Kopinski says:

    Nice snaps. My nan was a resident at Illford Park before she sadly passed away in 2009. My Dad was raised there with his brother, sister and mother. I’m 31 and can remember visiting the old building before they moved into the new buildings. Dad was also a member of the snooker team they had there. I’ve got some great memories from there and feel proud of my Polish roots.

  3. K.R says:

    My Mother grew up in the Polish settlement as my Grandmother and Grandfather were settled there. I was lucky enough to spend many years exploring the abandoned site and looking around my Grandparents old barrack, although I was surprised to find a poster of Adam Ant in there! Such a shame it was knocked down, was a very interesting place filled with loads of memories and would have been the perfect location for a horror film with all those creepy wheelchairs sitting in abandoned corridors. I believe the last building is standing due to bat conservation.

  4. Jade says:

    Myself and my partner visited this site on Monday, evidently most of it is completely gutted, and no signs of any sort of real history remains, but still an interesting area.
    I was wondering if you had gotten access to the last standing building (I mean standing as in not completely holed by a sledge hammer) surrounded by fencing closest to the still operating nursing home.

    Of course I’m not asking for direct access points but am intrigued into if it is even possible.
    Thanks for your time :)

  5. Kat says:

    Hello!

    I recently visited the abandoned Dairy Crest Factory or Creamery in Torrington with a friend (we’re both photography students!), but unfortunately we bumped into a man seemingly working there who told us we shouldn’t be on private property.. oops!
    We didn’t manage to get the look around the inside like we hoped, but we are planning to return there soon to take some better images.
    I was wondering how you got inside the creamery and to the lift? The images you took are great!

    Thanks for the help,
    Kat

  6. Darren says:

    Hi, I’ve been exploring for years but have only found out it’s a “sport”!

    I’m based in Plymouth and have found some interesting buildings that are worth a look. They’re not on the scale as some of yours but just walking around an old pub or station house I find amazing. I do love the term urban explorer, it sums me up really!
    Hope to speak soon,
    Darren

    • The Urban Explorer says:

      Good to have you on board, Darren! Likewise, I had been an “urban explorer” for years before I even knew the term existed or there was a massive online community.

    • Holly says:

      Hey Darren!
      I’m around the Plymouth area too and your comment piqued my interest! If you have any locations you could give me a heads up about, it’d be awesome as I mostly do my thing out in the sticks but am looking for some good spots in Plymouth :)
      Thanks and happy exploring!
      H

      • Holly says:

        Forgot to add, I’m not after any access details. Just good areas of Plymouth to find decent buildings… I like researching history and things about the building and finding access points for myself :)
        Cheers :)

      • andreas says:

        Hi, I am in Ivybridge at the moment, I am looking for lost places. Can you help me to find or join with me together? Would be nice to hear from you. Andreas

    • andreas says:

      Hi, I am in Ivybridge at the moment, I am looking for lost places. Can you help me to find or join with me together? Would be nice to hear from you. Andreas

  7. Tony says:

    Hi, great website – I found it doing some research on the underground hospital on Portland. That was 2 hours ago and I’ve become happily distracted reading through your site.

    This particular exploration caught my eye. My Grandad was a Polish WW2 vet who ended up in England after the war and met his wife, my Nan, in Devon. It could have even been Newton Abbot as I know they settled down nearby. I wonder if he could have ever stayed here?!

    Of course I don’t expect you have the answer, but how fascinating none-the-less.

    Anyway, loving the site. Keep up the great work!

  8. J.Hartog says:

    I am looking for Jadzka Symanska se is maybe 67 year old

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