Tales of the Urban Explorer: Holy City Zoo

’this is a continuation of the last explore, Tales of the Urban Explorer: Prudential Assurance Buildings’...

We descended slowly down into the bowels of the old bank. It was as if the blackness was pouring in from every corner and the shadows seemed to be alive within the corners of each room I entered.

It was extremely dark down there and once again I found myself alone as my colleague had whizzed off at the high speed.


If that light of mine ever fails then it's going to be distinctly uncomfortable. These were the bank vaults and after meandering through a series of non-descript winding rooms I saw the logo, ‘Holy City Zoo’.

It then occurred to me that budding party-goers could not have possibly entered the club from this angle lest they all stole a gold ingot or two en-route.


There must be an alternative way into ‘Holy City Zoo’ and we had entered via the old bank staff entrance which would normally have been sealed off.


Had this been a bar once, behind it there was little evidence, in fact finding anything about ‘Holy City Zoo’ was hard work.

My google searches had revealed many other explorers down here, and that was about it besides one obscure reference about raves during the mid' '90s.

Looking around at the devastation and lack of human evidence I could understand that no loud music and shagging in dark corners had happened since those times.


Purples and Reds everywhere. Once it must have been quite colourful. It does make a change from the usual 'black' I have become accustomed to in clubs.


Even with my extra-bright torch, the photography was suffering, it's not as clear as usual.


I found plenty of bad graffiti walking around this maze in what seemed like a one-way route.



Someone had been collecting old bricks, so many that the shelves were collapsing.


Fine vintage bottles of wine were once housed on these dusty shelves.


'Lambrusco White' with a little pigeon feather mixed in for good measure.



I continued walking through this maze of the finest derelict quality looking around in earnest for beer glasses, used condoms, and gimp masks.


Finally, I found a little daylight as well as the old beer pumps and a takeaway carton. Just who had been eating curry and chips in the bowels of a bank?


Corridors of pure blood, a little chipped away now.


There’s always more than one bar even in the smallest of nightclubs.


From the angle of the barman, one can see the collapsed roof where the 'Prudential Assurance Buildings’ staff may have taken their smoke breaks outside.


What are those nets used for? Is it part of the ceiling housing?



This was one strange place I thought, walking below the old flooring into yet another section of the club.



A place to get comfortable; either by use of the seating or in that old sleeping bag on the floor.


No chance of taking a piss, a shit would be difficult but using the hand dryer is a synch.


One can’t go in the Ladies.., that would not be ethical.


How long has that bottle of Jack Daniels been here? Original or brought down by some homeless addicts to wash down their pills?


We figured that up those stairs was the original entrance to ‘Holy City Zoo’. The top was heavily boarded up.


Not all areas have avoided water damage. It is best to keep away from the toilets.


...they can be used but try not to place any weight on the lid when sitting.


We made our way out of 'Holy City Zoo' noticing the décor style change quickly from bright colours back to tiling and dark wood.


There was little in the way of zombies and vampires in this one. What an anti-climax.


...'the only outside vague evidence that Holy City Zoo exists is by this plaque close to the external entrance. You need to know it's there.. otherwise it's invisible from society'...


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I don't think they have been making Jack Honey that long so I can't imagine it was down there from the original club. Were the club and the bank running at the same time? I guess the bank would probably be closed by the time they turned the music up in the club right?

Yes, the bank would have been closed. It's an odd collaboration between them don't you think? Getting down there takes some effort, it's quite a walk from the window entrance on the bank yet someone has brought down the whiskey.

Another explorer who went a week later told me he met someone down there, who was not an explorer. You get all kinds of mental-cases sometimes. I'm glad it wasn't me.

Wow, that would be scary! Especially in such a confined space. I wish I could have seen the dynamic of the place when it was operational. Definitely an interesting combination!

That must have been abandoned for a fair while to get that bad. I've never really been one for nightclubs, but they tended to feel seedy to me even when new. At least you got down there for a look. These things need to be documented!

I went to countless clubs when young. It was Thursday, Friday and Saturday night each weekend for a while. Going back to one of those would be a blast. All these ones, I never visited when open.

I assume the bank was closed by the time the nightclub opened, yes? I have to wonder why they didn't use the upstairs or perhaps the downstairs had more of the underground atmosphere they are looking for.

I don't get why they break up everything in these places when obviously, some people use them for shelter. The bricks made me do a double-take. After I finished daydreaming they were the real deal, I had to wonder who would stack all that weight on those shelves. Can you imagine ferrying those things upstairs to get out? Or perhaps they were building
something there?

I was expecting something creepy! :) Although thank you very much, I am glad there wasn't. I admit though, the outside of that building is classy. Too bad the inside is in such rough shape with the moldy stuff.

Clubs open around 10pm here, or did when I used to frequent them, closing around 2am. The bank would have been closed long ago.

Some people get a kick out of smashing things, it happens all the time. It was quite rough down there. I'm out again the Saturday, some terrible holes lined up!

It looked pretty rough and I totally misunderstood. I thought the bank was out of business! (Closed? Ha!) Now I get it. Still, It doesn't mesh with the stuffy bank...

10-2 sounds about right. No more alcohol after 1 or 2, depending on which state you lived. I suppose there is a real thrill smashing things, sort of like breaking glasses in a fireplace, but, sweet Jesus, some of these people are pigs.

Oh, you are going out again Saturday??? I thought you relaxed in the winter? I think you are doing the right thing before they close all these holes down! Good luck and stay safe!

I need to get out, it's for my mental health!

Lambrusco white, I love a cheap date

It struck me as more of a rave place than a wine bar. Still, there was little evidence of human habitation down there so I have to take what I can get!

don't we all !!

If that light of mine ever fails...

You mean you don't have a backup to the big light? Holy kak, surely not!!

It's not the same when it's not Holby City Zoo. I am tempted to open my own shit nightclub in Glasgow and name it this. :0D

I have the phone and it's light, but it's poor compared to that many lumened beast I carry around with me. I'm sure there's some shit nightclubs in that city of yours, as well as many other tasty terrible derps just like this one!

There are indeed, I used to be in one of the group's. I forgot about the phone light, phew!

I once went down an old underground station with only a lighter as it was a sore of the moment thing. It was stupid and ridiculously scary!

a lighter..., haha.., that's what you use if you find yourself buried alive in a coffin when waking up. One of my worst nightmares!

Hehe, it did get awfully hot. Had to take the metal bit off of the end and shields it like a candle!

I think we all share that fear of the coffin waking!! It was a big thing back in the day. I read loads of stories about it!


Holy shit!

I managed to drop an upvote before you were already a hundredaire and post a reply before there were 50 already!

As much as I love the exploration posts, I feel kinda bad seeing these places abandoned and in such disrepair. That being said, I must admit I think grabbing some jack daniels and smashing some porcelain sounds like tom therapeutic fun!

Oh look...I didn't hit submit and now I am in the cheap seats!

Hope you are doing well old friend.

(PS: The Lumens you air dropped a while ago is not worth $4.46!)

Only $4.46, you should have dumped them long ago! I don't have any Lumens left.

People just love breaking the fucking toilets in those buildings lol

For a moment there I thought those old bricks were bars of silver. I was like holy shit this guy just stumbled upon a fortune. Then I read that they were regular bricks and I was like - well that makes a lot more sense

They break anything that's there. The longer it exists, the worse it gets.
Bars of Silver would have been great, it's how to get them all out.

I think that the toilet of ladies might have remained better than men's as always, even under those conditions :)

I don't think I went in there, but you could be right!

Oh, you went to the place in the day, i don't know why usually the people that do urban explorer do it in the night, makes me wonder if they like the adrenaline instead of the feel of explore.

I see many do night trips. Inside would be OK as it's nearly always dark but I would then lack a great cover shot. That's what draws in the crowds!

your posts really fascinate me

How do you go about getting permission to tour these places or are they B&E's ?

We don't get permission and there's no breaking and entering. If there's a hole, we go in, if not, we walk away.

ah good plan, I have a bunch of decrepit spots by me !

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Wonder if there was anything left in that keg? Love the colors in these shots. And to think not a single pisser was saved. Someone needed to release some aggression on that porcelain. Damn they were banged up good. Maybe that was from all of those animals in that there zoo! hehe. Nice post! I enjoyed it as usual. 😁

A gimp mask is not something you come across everyday. Any chance the old establishment had extra curricular activities going on?

I find what you do very fascinating, the photos are perfect, the saturation and contrast are very good. Congratulations.

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