Nothing on Earth is static or eternal. Decay and change are the universal certainties and are an important part of the life-cycle of the urban and rural landscape.
The derelict building penned in by temporary fences has more significance than we may be ready to admit: it can change the character of an area, it is a haven for outcasts, a retreat for those wishing to avoid the law, a blank canvas, a political issue. Disused buildings are disused for a reason and their abandonment reflects changes in society's structure and attitudes. Farmhouses are too isolated from roads and lack amenities, churches suffer from shrinking congregations, industry falls to competition or reduced demand, mansions become obselete as owners struggle to utilise divisions of space which are now largely irrelevant to modern life and too expensive to maintain. The lack of an explanation for these often unwanted, unloved 'eyesores' breeds fanciful urban legend. They become entwined in local mythologies as 'the haunted house', the abandoned lab where cruel and bizzare experiments were enacted or the 'asylum' closed for hideous crimes perpetrated by those in charge.
The experience of derelict buildings, especially from the inside, is a unique one mixing sadness and excitement with apprehension and awe. It is addictive, indescribable, somehow compelling and draws us in. Buildings seem alive like us, but their lifecycle is slower. They are customised, added to and taken away from. Thy grow old, shift and settle then begin to decay. Every surface, corner and item of furniture seems to harbour artefacts and memories of past users.
I set up this website five years ago to share the fascination and beauty of derelict space; to inform, illustrate and entertain. Though it's not really my main aim, I also hope to raise public awareness of buildings at risk, although my opinions on what, if anything, should be done about them remain mixed.
Dan A. Gregory
Photographer - Historian - Psychogeographer
I was born in 1988 in Crawley, Sussex and grew up in nearby Horsham.
I was introduced to disused buildings at an early age at Ewhurst Brickworks by my father who worked nearby. At the time, the works were largely untouched with coats hanging in the canteen, bricks still in the kilns and machinery slowly rusting into the ground - I remember finding the way nature was taking over fascinating and wanted, somehow to capture it.
At about the same time, growing up in the '90s I saw my home town changing rapidly around me and a lot of buildings disappearing with seemingly no record being made. It wasn't until 2004 that I discovered digital photography and realised that other people might be interested in seeing disused buildings recorded online. I started my first website, Derelict Horsham (closed in 2007) and since then I've visited many disused sites, most of which are now on this website.
In 2009 I graduated with BA (Hons) in Archaeology and Mediaeval Studies from the University of Wales Lampeter.
Aside from decay and disused space, my interests include historical geography, archaeology, information studies, social and institutional history, Christianity (I am a practicing Anglican), architecture and mediaeval literature.
Although every effort is made to ensure that this information is accurate, accuracy cannot always be guaranteed. This is an amateur website and I fund its upkeep with my own time and money. Please respect my rights as writer and artist by not using my materials without due credit or for personal gain. If you want to discuss using my material, please use the contact page.
Thanks to Messrs. G. M. and B. A. Gregory, Baines, Thoms, Nadim, Knightley, Cullen, Harris, Ward and Osborn, Pte. Mayne and Misses Barnwell and Debansi for help with field visits.
Special thanks are rendered to Mr. A. A. Harris for help with transfer and expertise, to my family, and to Miss Flook for support and advice. The Derelict Miscellany is hosted by 1&1.co.uk on Linux-based servers powered solely by renewable energy.