Decay and change are the universal certainties, an essential part of the life-cycle of the urban and rural landscape.
Derelict buildings are therefore inevitable, but they are also transient and do not last for long. They grow old, shift and settle, decay and many are demolished.
Because they are empty for a while, they become marginal spaces, frequented by those on the fringe of society - the homeless, the drug-users, the criminals and the wanderers. Abandoned buildings breed urban legend. They become established in local mythologies as 'the haunted house' or the 'asylum' closed for hideous crimes committed by those in charge. In reality though, these places tell us more about the changing needs and attitudes of society than anything else:
Churches suffer from shrinking congregations, factoriesfall victim to competition or reduced demand and the owners of mansions struggle to maintain vast labyrinths of rooms which are largely irrelevant to modern life.
The experience of derelict buildings is a unique one mixing sadness and excitement with apprehension and awe. It is addictive, indescribable, somehow compelling and draws us in.
Dan A. Gregory, B.A., M.Sc.
I was born in the late '80s in Crawley, Sussex and grew up in nearby Horsham.
Aside from exploring disused space, my interests include historical geography, archaeology, information studies, social and institutional history, Christianity, architecture and gardening.
My first experience of derelict buildings was at Ewhurst Brickworks around 1995. At the time, the works were largely untouched, with coats still hanging up in the canteen, the last load of 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 and preserve it.
In 2004, I discovered digital photography and after frequenting a few 'urban exploration' websites, began writing the Derelict Miscellany that November.
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 and Ward, Tpr. 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 and to Miss Flook for help and advice. The Derelict Miscellany is hosted by 1&1.co.uk on Linux-based servers powered solely by renewable energy.