Recently, when I undertook two long walks north of Huddersfield, I got chatting to a man in the car park at Scammoden. He told me that on the moorland above Deanhead Reservoir he had just visited a long-abandoned farm - now in ruins. He became animated about it and asked me, "When you visit a ruin are you like me? You close your eyes and you think of the folk who lived or worked there? It's like they are there with you."
I beamed with delight to have encountered a like-minded soul and told him that I felt just the same. I have taken many photos of ruins because for whatever reason I am drawn to them. They sing to me and I know that this is also true for my blogging friend Meike in Ludwigsburg, Germany to whom I dedicated this blogpost. It showcases just six of the ruins I have visited in recent years. You may recognise one or two of them if you have been coming here for any length of time.
At the top is an isolated ruin on Bradwell Moor in Derbyshire. I suspect that it was connected with lead mining in the district. Below is Piel Castle on Piel Island near Barrow-in-Furness. Shirley and I walked there last September. It was constructed in the fourteenth century to protect the Furness Abbey estate
Above is a farm ruin on The Chatsworth Estate. I took this picture just last October and below is the ruin of Girthon Church in Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland. This photo was taken on August 13th 2017 - my son Ian's thirty third birthday:-
Above - one of the ruined lead mine buildings at The Magpie Mine near Sheldon in Derbyshire and finally, below, the ruins of a farm between the villages of Eyam and Stoney Middleton - also in Derbyshire.
I would contend that old ruins frequently possess beauty and a certain majesty for their walls speak of those who went before us in different times - just like the man in the car park said.
Within those ruined walls people lived and perhaps died, they sang, told stories and laughed and cried. They are full of memories and stories that are a mystery to us but that have an eerie beauty.ReplyDelete
I had similar feelings at an abandoned farm in Washington State just north of Ellensburg. I wrote about it here: https://beefgravy.blogspot.com/2014/06/privy.htmlDelete
Living in rural Ireland I see derelict properties every week. Why don't governments give grants to restore the homes? It's sad to see.ReplyDelete
I would rather have the ruins than those samey modern bungalows that have spread over western Ireland like a rash.Delete
The crumbled farmhouse near Eyam has beauty ... yet why so ?ReplyDelete
Is Eyam where the Plague came and the brave villagers self-isolated ?
Barstow mentions a place like that in his novel A Brother's Tale.
Lead mining interests me in the same way as tin mining in Winston Graham's novels. As does the Yorkshire limestone country beloved by W.H. Auden.
I had never seen that ruined church in Dumfries & Galloway.
Death is terrible when it comes for anyone yet those tilting tombstones are lovely.
Nor had I heard of Piel Island near Barrow-on-Furness.
The simplicity of the first photo makes me want to lie down in the grass and go to sleep.
Yes - the same Eyam - "The Plague Village". Please go here:-Delete
If you lie down in the grass and fall asleep, grazing sheep might eat you.
Thank you for the two blogspots.Delete
If I fell asleep in the grass I would wake up a young man again.
Beside me I would find a wee auburn-haired lassie called Charlotte.
We had a romantic week in Rome. I wish I had asked her to marry me.
For me , old ruins always tell a story of people who lived and worked in that location. I can get carried away with ideas of what may have happened at that location.ReplyDelete
You are a dreamer like me Red.Delete
I love ruins. To sit and imagine what life was like, who the people were, what they did. They have a sense of sad beauty regardless of what they once were.ReplyDelete
You can join our dreamer club too.Delete
I love ruins, but never "feel" the people or families that lived there. I just wonder who they were, what they did, how did they pass their time?ReplyDelete
Perhaps that is all that I "feel".Delete
How come if you chat to a man in a carpark, you are innocent. If I chat to man in a carpark R will wonder about my motives.ReplyDelete
I used to think about who lived in our last 19thC house. Love, fights, passions, babies born, deaths.
At work the main building was very early 20thC and there was a well used concrete step, over the decades well worn down in the centre of the step. The feet that went before me. Management eventually judged it was a slip hazard and it was built over with metal plate work. The fixings soon failed and the plate was removed, much to my delight.
I am innocent because I am trustworthy.Delete
I love the story of that worn step.
Thank you, Neil - I feel most honoured at having this post dedicated to me! Yes, the man was "one of us" - a like-minded soul when it comes to abandoned places.ReplyDelete
From early on, my parents took us out on walks and hikes, often stopping at a ruined castle or other place of interest along the way. I always liked those outings, but I distinctly remember the very first time I became conscious of such a place "speaking" to me. I was 13 years old and we were holidaying on the island of Bornholm, where my Dad's eldest sister lives. The place was Hammershus castle, or what's left of it. As I stepped down a set of stone steps into what used to be the dairy cellar (according to the information plaque) and now was a half-walled, roofless, sunlit place, I was quite overwhelmed with emotions I can easily recall but hardly describe.
I think that moment also marked a shift from childhood to adulthood. I have just been on Google Maps looking at Bornholm and Streetview took me into the castle grounds. I would lover to go there in person.Delete
I like ruins, too. I'm not sure exactly why.....I'm always a little bit sad about the fact that a place which was the result of hard labour and holding someone's dreams has been left. They reflect our own mortality I guessReplyDelete
Yes, that's it. They really do remind us of our own mortality.Delete
I always think of the children that played and grew up, and wonder what their remembered when they were older, and what the last to live there thought.ReplyDelete
I always take photos of ruins too, but in Australia they are not as old, but are still interesting and usually tell the sad story of lost dreams, fire, floods or drought. We have visited and camped at Farina in South Australia that is being brought back to some of its past glory by a group of volunteers. It is a beautiful town of ruins but keeps drawing us back to discover more of its history.ReplyDelete
One of my most frequent daydreams is to imagine myself being able to journey back in time and come walking upon the scene of the ruin (present) and imagine it and residents in all it's glory.ReplyDelete
Interesting photos, and fascinating to imagine the ruins in all their former glory, though the cottages would have been quite simple dwellings. I, too, wonder about the people who have inhabited these places in times past. Do any of their ancestors ever return? There must be many buildings in reasonable condition that could be re-purposed to provide much needed homes.ReplyDelete
I often wonder why did people move away, and no one moved back or in?ReplyDelete
I think it is universal for us humans to wonder about the people who have lived in the places we come across, whether ancient ruins or just old houses that are falling down in the woods. "Who built this?" "What were their lives like?" We can't help but be affected.ReplyDelete
I'm always impressed by the people who built these places. All of the many small stones or cut bricks fitted together so perfectly that parts are still standing. Amazing to me!ReplyDelete
I like ruins too, though I'm always puzzled that no one was able to maintain or sell a property rather than simply allowing it to deteriorate. I guess I've never lived anywhere where real estate wasn't constantly in high demand.ReplyDelete
I always wonder about the people who must have built and lived in the ruins as well. And I'm like Ed and would love to be able to travel back in time.ReplyDelete
Great set of photos of ruins, they slowly return to the earth through neglect and their stone taken for other projects. There are still hundreds of houses not connected to the grid in Britain, hidden deep in the National Parks and forests, all potential ruins.ReplyDelete