Harper Hill’s unusual test site.
Harper Hill on the outskirts of Buxton in the county of Derbyshire seems to attract the strange and unusual, whether it be mysterious helicopter’s landing here https://ludchurchmyblog.wordpress.com/places-of-other-local-interest/mysterious-helicopter/ or the fact that the area is riddled with tunnels https://ludchurchmyblog.wordpress.com/places-further-afield/harper-hill-tunnels/. I recently went urban exploring in the area and was surprised to find an unusual test facility which seems to cover a vast area.
The bizarre thing is that there are numerous public footpaths which criss -cross this facility and yet there is close circuit television monitors watching your every move! An unusual sight which greets your eye when you follow the footpath down the hill which brings you to the facility is a London Underground tube train which I am led to believe they are using to understand the effects of the 7/7 bombings which occurred previously. According to an urban explorer who goes by the name of lifttheveil and lives at Harper Hill, so for obvious reasons wants to remain anonymous, he claims “they have a very weird set up here, aside from normal workers they have a team of scientists that live, eat and even exercise on the grounds (which they sure have a lot of) but never leave. The security here are just like the Camo Dudes at Area 51, they pull up on a hill side and watch you. It also has a wide area, sensors and CCTV. It has a massive underground complex, a secret road network and underground tunnels that are in use and expanded on today. There are links to the local MOD Blackshaw Moor Training ground”.
I came across the following information on the internet which helps shed some light on what takes place at this vast site:
The Harpur Hill Project
The HSL site at Harpur Hill near Buxton is a massive 222 ha. This vast area is essential because of the sheer scale and nature of its testing work that has included, for example, full-size tunnels where disasters such as the King’s Cross fire can be recreated, Europe’s largest impact test track for crash testing trains, and replicating some of the more bizarre accidents such as heating up shipping containers packed with fireworks until they explode. In addition to the actual testing, HSL also has to store all the evidence it collects during an investigation.
Funded under the Government’s Private Finance Initiative (PFI), construction work began at the site in July 2002 on the 22,000m2 development that was built by a consortium, Investors in the Community (Buxton) Ltd (ICB). The £56m project provides scientific and engineering laboratories, engineering workshops, offices, meeting rooms, library and other supporting facilities.