Bleak Scenes

Abandoned places, lesser-known attractions, and assorted oddities

Tooth and Co. Maltings

This malt house complex in the town of Mittagong, New South Wales once belonged to the now defunct Tooth and Co. brewing company. For many years it turned grain into malt for brewing into beer, but has been abandoned since 1981. It consists of two large brick buildings and some smaller sheds on a large block of land, in the middle of a typical Australian suburb. I visited in December 2013.

Abandoned buildings in Australia are usually tightly secured, but not even a token effort had been made to stop people entering this place. The gates were open, and I didn't even see any no trespassing signs. I just parked on the street nearby and strolled right in. Apparently it's a popular spot for photography - I met a fellow amateur photographer while I was there.

According to this newspaper article someone bought the property in 2000 with plans to convert it into a hotel, brewery, and winery. Thirteen years later the place was still in ruins, so his plans must have fallen through. I saw evidence of relatively recent construction work, which was presumably done before the project was abandoned. The steel frame for a staircase has been installed, but it didn't have any steps. Leaving my photographic equipment on the ground floor, I climbed up the frame and had a look around. Unfortunately it was just a big empty expanse, without anything worth the effort of carrying up my camera and tripod.

The original stairs had all been removed, so there was no way to access the upper storeys.

I found this burnt out house a short distance from the malt houses.

The two parts of the complex are divided by a small creek. I crossed a small wooden bridge to explore the second building.

The second building was more interesting than the first. Some of the machinery had been left behind. Unfortunately the staircases had been removed, so once again most of the upper floors were inaccessible. Perhaps I should return with a ladder and some rope.

This area was one floor above the ground. The stairs had been removed, but someone had left a ladder which looked marginally safe enough to use. I managed to carry my equipment up, and was rewarded by this moderately photogenic scene. A rickety ladder with two missing rungs led to a higher level, but I didn't think the possible reward of a few interesting photographs was worth the considerable risk of using it.