Iranian Consulate, Altrincham.

While driving around me and a few friends stumbled across a building on the side of the road that looked like it had been partially burnt down. We decided to pull over and take a closer look.

In the garden along the driveway was a mountain of toys and furniture that I couldn’t not take a photo of, it looked like a perfect opening image for a series. It was at this point that I decided I would take a look around and make a little series showing this place.

While walking around I was growing more intrigued about finding out what went on here, and more prominently who owned this place. With the amount of land here, the property (as it would have been before the fire), the fact they had a flagpole in the front garden and a swimming pool with a boiler room next to it (which I guess was to heat the pool) in this area of Altrincham, would be around £1.5 Million, even now. The answer to my question began to piece together when I found some paperwork on the floor near the house that had the Consulate General of Iran Manchester’s crest on it. With the paperwork describing the task of finding somewhere in the UK for somebody back in Iran to come and study industrial training over here. This gave me a starting place to look when I got back home.

After doing some reading around it turned out that the building was originally built around 1900, with it being used from the early 1980’s as the Embassy. The swimming pool in the garden has apparently not been used since the mid-80’s and rumour has it that a young boy once drowned in there. (Possibly why it was left alone). I believe that it ceased being the Iranian Embassy around 2005. But it was left alone with many of the fixtures and fittings still inside; this made it a popular target for thieves and vandals.

The local council’s plans for demolition of the building to get rid and build something new have been foiled with its status as Iranian territory and its location in a conservation area. In August 2011 it was the target of a third arson attack within 11 months, this time two floors and the roof collapsed into the basement and burnt for hours, resulting in the local fire brigade having to flood the basement to stop the blaze. So the condition that you see the house in the images has been like that for over 2 years at this point.

There was a light at the end of the tunnel for the building in September 2011 though when representatives for the Iranian Embassy in London visited to discuss the future of the site. However since then in November 2011 the British Government expelled all Iranian Diplomats from the country following an attack on the British Embassy in Tehran therefore all communication about the plans ceased. The council is still looking for a more permanent solution.

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