Tales of the Urban Explorer: Wurzel-Land!

in Urban Exploration3 months ago

"Wurzel's place is on the tour bus, we need to go fast"

This one looked strange, weird, and unique. I agreed with @anidiotexplores.., we needed to be there before the shutters were placed and Wurzel-Land was off-limits.


A week before, a couple of explorers were screamed at by an Asian neighbour. "Fuck off, and don't come back" he raged wielding a short bent tree stick, dressed in only oversized white Y-fronts while jumping up and down in a frenzy.

A terrible sight and mind-shattering especially as these particular explorers happened to be females. This is what happens when brazenly approaching from the front and trying the front door.

…'always go by the rear entrance, and leave by the front if you want to make a statement'…

The latest press article tells us that Wurzel-Land is up for sale at £75,000 with Jake buried in his own garden.

Jake, 83, who died a year ago yesterday, christened himself the 'King of the Eccentrics' – with quirky inventions, headless mannequins, and even a torture device among the treasures he left behind.

Jake rose to fame in the 1980s appearing on various television shows and was featured in a 2014 documentary about his life.

Jake was the local eccentric changing his name to Jake Mangle-Wurzel sometime in the 1970s, after the death of his wife.


He was quite loved in the local area, but maybe not by his immediate neighbours, especially Mr. Angry White Y-Fronts, next door.

We approached from the rear across some old playing fields which were a little squelchy but accessible.


Wurzel-Land didn’t exactly compete with Disney-Land but there were soaring towers of sorts.


Vaulting the fence and ignoring the statutory ‘keep out’ signs, we entered a world of madness and eccentricity.


There were several sections to Wurzel-Land, some having suffered fire damage. This one was akin to a caravan but actually wasn't.


I guessed this was Jake's sleeping quarters. We didn't know where to look, so much junk hanging from every ledge, shelf, and cupboard.


He looked kind of untidy but maybe he didn’t stink of BO like some of these weirdoes.


The legend himself, printed out?


He was a fan of art, mannequins, and 'dummy' security cameras. I had not noticed the 'dummy' until this write-up.


Even crazies need some form of entertainment, we can hardly criticise?


A letter unsent, not everyone is going to like the local eccentric. Zoom in a little and you will find this is quite legible.


Jake had been dead for around 6 months when we visited. The fridge looks like it could have been rusty for far longer.


Jake’s notes are great; he turned ‘Pip’ away because she stinks. Hilarious!


I dared not open this book; it could have crumbled beneath my fingers.


Jake loved the local press and was friendly with the media and one councilor.



It would make for a lousy night's sleep now. Do hoarders sleep on all their crap as well as collect it?


Odd windows but double-glazed. Jake must have felt the cold.


We moved out of the ‘caravan’ section looking for whatever else might enter our vision.


This section was more run-down and had plenty of signs. He did like them, and there was no end to his statements.






A beer cask being held up with rope?


Next was a more burned section, with the roof missing.


Some documents had survived the fire, some quite old and dating back decades.



Jake loved press material about himself. I noticed a lot of it floating around.


Someone had tried to burn down his 'inventions' A series of cogs and pulleys that appear to do nothing. Now all rusted and useless.



While I did think of jumping down there, I decided there was plenty of other shit to see without breaking my ankles.



Did Jake do charity work for good causes?



I wasn’t going to climb over all this crap to see what was beyond.


It’s a shame some twat has burnt this part of the house. It was very ‘outdoors’.


This is one way of protesting about a ‘miscarriage of justice’ and being fined £100.



Sometimes I wish there was some in-between area. There was too much to take in unless you want to spend several hours rummaging.



With all those mistakes, I would be tempted to start writing again.


Any idea what this is?


The children's laptop is about as close to technology as Jake managed.


I am sure many things have been stolen from his legacy, both before and after our visit.


The view from the roof, complete with the open-air toilet in a conspicuous colour to attract attention. I wonder if he ever did have a public shit up here?


Children’s toys and photographs; he could have had relatives visiting. It would have been a great place for kids, so different.



This section was definitely caravan-style with yet more sleeping quarters.




The demise of a councillor, possibly a friend to Jake?


The Office what?



Notice the cables tied to this, I wonder what it used to do?

I am sure there’s an example of it all in his TV series, though watching this it looks like a shit-hole when he was alive and lived there.

This is one of many videos that can be found on YouTube about Jake. Some are age restricted. I linked one here that is not.







Don’t forget to throw your shit in the bin before you leave.


Mirror-Mirror what?



Within the trapdoor, there's a lot of gunk.


No doubt a relative as this deceased teenager boasted the same surname as Jake before his ‘rebirth’.


Is this relative to Jake’s own funeral?


I had to check out the receipt, only the find out what Jake used to eat. Pilchards, Gravy and Chocolate Eclairs. Not at the same time I hope.


If you want to remember things, then why not write them on your walls in pen?


He might have been eccentric but appeared to look after his teeth.


Mindless scribbles or an agenda?


I love his address, 'Palace of Poles Apart'? Jake was no intellectual dummy and appeared to take offence to others criticising his lifestyle.


@anidiotexplores noticed this 'device' before our departure. Did Jake like a little self-anal?


This is where Jake is now buried. The headstone is of someone else that he bought decades previously. There are even concrete bags next to it.

I noted the new houses overlooking Jake’s place. Nobody seemed to care even if they spotted us.


I wish there were many more Jake Mangel-Wurzels. What an explore. We left while failing to take a snap of the front door.


That image and description of the Y-Fronts man was a little much. I could be mentally scarred for life.


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Wow, that is quite the find and explore to have. I am sure I saw Wurzel on TV or read about him back in the day. Sounds very familiar and eighties.

The beer keg held up by rope, shortly some fiendish game! :0)

It made our otherwise day in Huddersfield decent. A great explore and a lot of fun. There were piles of old newspapers and stuff that I couldn't get to, under all the other shit. This dude was a massive hoarder.

I will never understand hoarders. The thing you said about sleeping on all that shit. I mean they really must add there is no room for anything else?

It's a disease, I have known a few.

Me too. I married one in its early stages!

Awesome place, awesome guy, I hear it is cleared and up for sale now

They don't last long.., these epics. The TourBus shortens their lives drastically.

yes then get spunked out to the press by fuckwits after fame.

Wow, that's quite a place. Are there many English eccentrics left? I expect many would be on the mental health spectrum, but if they are happy and not hurting anyone then let them live as they want.

I am not sure if any are left. I was not aware of this dude until his gaff hit the TourBus. A must visit, and I hear it's been all tidied up now ready for sale.

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Thanks @lizanomadsoul 😀

You are very welcome @slobberchops 😀 always a pleasure to explore scary places with you, that I would never have entered by myself.

What a great explore. I remember seeing him on TV, I think it was an extreme hoarders type programme. Very eccentric, but with massive character. Its a shame he has passed away. I remember him talking about a fire which had destroyed part of his living space or something, and he was beginning to have health issues - it wasnt that long ago (maybe 2-3 years).

When you see all of the stuff left behind, it literally is his life bare for all to see - one heck of a collector, and I bet he knew where everything was and why he had collected it - he would have had a reason for everything. RIP


Yeah, that's him. There were a couple of fires, yet he stayed put. I could see lots got burnt in the fire area, a few things remained.

That's quite a lot of crap there! He seems like quite the character too. There is a tv show over here called American Pickers. They go to barns and get like vintage stuff. They would maybe have a field day here with some of the stuff so intact. Assuming an owner was around to sell it to them.

He's already been on Hoarders, a series about.., well you know. They try to fix people.., but Jake didn't want to be fixed.

Pip out here with two cats and stinking lol
This was one cool find! The notes really bring this one together for story and what went on here.

Yes, the notes. I pick a few out and read them later. It's a case of get in, and out before we are busted.

That's got to be the best yet! A great British eccentric with an amazing legacy for you to explore. I really don't remember from TV but he seems like Wilf Lunn whose also from those parts and did the crazy inventions on Vision On. He's 80 now according to Wikipedia so maybe he could be a future visit!

That would have made my day there. Great explore.

It made a very bad day decent. I won't be going to Huddersfield for the foreseeable future after that terrible day!

I will be after visiting that Wilf Lunn's place when he pops off if its anything like this.

I have a lot of hoarders in my family but none of it is interesting. No inventions that do nothing. Just people with boring stuff hanging off their boring stuff. Great pics. People are so interesting.

I have had my share of being around Hoarders, it's hardly pleasant.

Love it!

Looks like the best explore yet and I reckon you would've gotten a laugh out of Jake if you had've met him! I knwo I would have! What a character!

Though I still can't help but thinking the real Wurzel Gummage, a tv show that I'm sure you would know and one that I vaguely remember from my childhood.

Looks like the best explore yet and I reckon you would've gotten a laugh out of Jake if you had've met him! I knwo I would have! What a character!

Maybe his ghost! He died around 8 months before our visit.

Lol..yes! haaa

Do you remember Wurzel Gummage though?

Did that whole site and him not remind you a bit of Wurzel Gummage?

I do.. and he must have gotten the inspiration from Mr Pertwee.

Yes that's what I was thinking too!

What a weird adventure, and even though it 's been 6 months, I doubt that much has changed, it's obvious he was living in a situation very similar to your photos. It reminds me of the Hoarders tv show that I watched a few times years ago, but this place is a mix of interesting and depressing, whereas the show on tv was mostly just depressing.

I can remember when I was a kid and the Poor Farm down the road from our farm was evacuated after a fire damaged the place. At this time Poor Farms were being shuttered around the USA anyway, so a choice was made to not repair it and force the residents/patients out. They scattered in various directions, some of them threw rocks at us kids, but we finally got to explore the interior of a place we'd always wondered about as kids.

Hoarders (the TV show) is still a thing here, I don't watch it.. I get enough of them while exploring.

I think I'm a compulsive cleaner. Every time I see the places you present I really want to clean, order and restore those places.

I imagine separating the traleasures fron the trash 😁🤣

I never heard from the place before. It´s a amazing the Horder. I can´t believe that´s there a Person living and Sleep.

How big was the place??? It looked like at least ten rooms. And yet it looked like he had it packed where he had trouble moving around too...

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It was a maze and unique. He built bits on top of what he already had so how many.. I don't know? A good 50% was burnt, and there were cellar areas I wasn't going to explore.

He must have had a hidden area that was actually comfortable. Those bedrooms don't look livable.

Jake's a mad lad!

I think all that HDR made my eyes hurt!

I think all that HDR made my eyes hurt!

Sorry, they are OTT at times. Without it, the UK is so drab, trust me.

He seems to be passionate enough to collect his own pee in the bottle!

We need more Jake's in this world.

Wow what a place… sooooo much everywhere, that people can live like that 😳
It does make for a great exploration though…
That machine almost looks like an old electric shock device… but who knows.
Great captures of this place. Thanks for sharing.

It looked wide open to the elements in the doco, he must have been a tough old bugger!

I can imagine… as it looked like he was indeed living with the elements. 🤓

The priority was dying that beard!

Hahaha funny funny 😆

He seems like a beautiful gentle soul. Old Jake.

I so wonder what is personal story was and if anyone bothered to ask beyond the hoarding (a result of trauma)

R.I.P Jake. I suspect you should have been an artist but life never afforded you the space to find yourself... ❤️

He looked great, and probably irritated his neighbours no end! His 'house' was very close to civilisation.

I would totally have dropped in for an afternoon to have tea!

Nice you documented it. I beg there's a really interesting story there

Just saying... I'd read the book!

There's a lot of material on YouTube.

Thanks. Interesting character. 🌺👍

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