Decay and change are universal certainties, an essential part of the life-cycle of every landscape and the buildings within it.
All buildings are built with a purpose in mind which is reflected in their architecture. When a building becomes unfit for purpose or that purpose ceases to exist, that building becomes redundant. Often the cost of conversion or demolition is prohibitive and planning applications can take years. Buildings stand empty: thieves and vandals break in, damp penetrates and nature begins to intrude, creeping across stone, wood and metal in strange and beautiful ways.
Because they are empty and marginal, derelict buildings become are often frequented by those on the fringe of society - the homeless, the drug-users, the criminals, the artists, and the wanderers. As for me? I guess I fit into the latter category, sometimes at least: I seek a temporary escape from the everyday, an opportunity for solitude and reflection, but also adventure and discovery. For some inexplicable reason, I choose to find all of this in abandoned buildings.
As an archivist and historian by training, I enjoy researching the history of abandoned places: bringing to light long-forgotten chapters and obscure references, poring over old maps and trawling through boxes of old records.
I was born in the late '80s in Sussex and spent most of my childhood there: 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 to capture and preserve it in some way, however small. In 2003, I discovered digital photography and after frequenting a few 'urban exploration' websites, began writing the Derelict Miscellany that November. Since then, I have worked with universities, archives, non-profit organisations and national monuments records to raise the profile of buildings at risk and improve the records which exist about them.
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 photos or text without due credit or for personal gain. If you'd like to discuss using my material, please use the contact page.
Thanks are due to Messrs. G. M. and B. A. Gregory, M.P. Baines, A. Thoms, T. Nadim, A. Knightley, S. A. Cullen, A. A. Harris and C. R. Ward, Tpr. F. J. L. Osborn, Pte. C. Mayne and Misses R. Barnwell and K. Debansi for help with field visits.
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Special thanks are due to Mr. A. A. Harris for help with transfer and expertise and to Miss R. F. Flook for help and advice.
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