July 17, 2010 4:58 PM ‐ Underground
Nettleden.com delivers user-generated, rich-media based information on urban exploration venues. It ties together the location with the users who explore and research these venues as well as giving explorers an online community tailored to urban exploration in which they can interact with one another.
Nettleden.com can be used, free of charge as a reference site for non-member or members can sign up for free to use the social networking features. Users can them be nominated or pay to become privileged users.
As well as providing details historical information on urban exploration venues, the site offers map locations, grid references, photos and videos. It also gives users the tools to comment on pages, photos and videos, write and publish trip reports, organise events and discuss urban exploration venues and issues in closed user groups.
Nettleden.com was set up in 2002 by Steve Higgins, who set up the website after becoming interest in secret underground places. It all started for Steve a few years before this though, at the age of thirteen when he was interested in UFOs and attended local meetings and various lectures around the country.
One talk Steve attended, by Matthew Williams included a slideshow of photos taken at RAF Rudloe Manor in Corsham, Wiltshire. He spoke of an underground city, the government's secret underground base.
A few years later, Steve had grown up and left behind the conspiracy theories of UFO in the skies over Britain, but was still fascinated by the tales of Corsham's underground city. This lead to the discovery of a book by Nick McCamley entitled "Secret Underground Cities"
Steve's first underground trip happened by chance which driving around the Corsham area, trying to find those place Matthew Williams had discussed all those years ago. While driving back along the A4 towards Bristol, Steve saw a sign for the village of Monkton Farleigh. Recognising the name from 'Secret Underground Cities', Steve took a detour and went for a wander.
Armed only with a dying pocket torch from the glove box, Steve managed to find the slopeshaft leading down in to Monkton Farleigh Mine. Steve walked down the 135 steps into the darkness, at the bottom he couldn't believe what he was seeing. His pathetic torch didn't even start to light the huge complex of tunnels which branched out in front of him.
In April Steve decided to publish his photos on the Internet which is when Nettleden.com was born. The name "Nettleden" doesn't have any meaning or connection with underground workings. Steve picked the name by flicked through a road atlas looking for something that sounded good.
Nettleden.com went from strength to strength, who would have though there were so many people who were interested in the subterranean and urban exploration.
In 2017, I moved Nettleden's content across to Higgypop.com and closed down Nettleden after 15 years. The reason for this move is that Nettleden is a very niche website and it reached saturation in terms of visitors years ago and has been steadily ticking over with about 20,000 users a month, a small percentage of the growing audience that this website has. This means Nettleden is not a huge earner and has no real growth potential, because of this the site doesn't really warrant any ongoing work or development.
Nettleden badly needed a revamp, it wasn't mobile friendly and the content management system was dated. By moving Nettleden on to a new dedicated section of this website, the content instantly got the upgrade it deserved.
I already post articles and content relating to secret underground bunkers and urban exploration on this website, this existing content was worked in to the underground section of the website to help Nettleden's existing content thrive in its new home.
This wasn't a decision I made lightly, Nettleden has been a website I've been passionate about since 2002 but I'm sure that the move will give the content of Nettleden a new lease of life and the love and attention it deserves.
Thanks for your continued interest in Nettleden, I hope you will continue to support it in its new home.
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