Sunday, 22 August 2010

Exploring the Past

Today I went urban exploring with my boyfriend and his friends. Urban exploring, for those of you who don't know, is exploring, experiencing and documenting the forgotten buildings of the past. Urban Explorers generally take nothing but photos and leave nothing but footprints: most of them are artisticly-minded nostalgia trippers who simply want some interesting photographs of what once was. There's an amazing number of buildings up and down the country which have simply been left to rot and fall apart by careless owners. Some (like Highroyds Hospital in Menston) are now being turned into souless housing estates, others have simply been left to fall completely apart - like the place we explored today: an old mansion house in Sussex. I'm mentioning it here because it makes me think of the beautifully terrifying Sarah Waters novel The Little Stranger. Stepping through the burnt-out front door of the mansion and breathing in the reek of decay, I knew exactly where I was: present day Hundreds Hall. The place was absolutely destroyed: shelves of books covering the floor downstairs; upstairs wardrobes of clothes had been blown open and strewn around by the wind.

As I only had my iPhone on me, I failed to get any decent pictures. However, I think this one, which I found on an urban explorer's forum, sums it up nicely. The credit for this goes to an explorer called VertexFlame, and the original image is linked below.



calpoet said...

Very interesting blog. Good to see some "serious" books reviewed here.
Check out mine at

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