The Thread of Abandoned Places

Perpetual Man

Tim James
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Dadipark in Belgium, still seems to be very little sadder than a slowly crumbling themepark

 

Perpetual Man

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That really is quite odd. It looks as though there is a reason for it even if that reason is unknown. But the placement of the windows replaced just seems random!
 

bedlamite

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This is a blast from my past. This barge was abandoned on the Swansea Canal. As you can see, the towpath was well overgrown - this picture is from the 50s! The towpath was the back lane into my house - this barge was about 100 yards from us. There was another fully submerged barge which I unfortunately don't have a picture of. In winter, the water was crystal clear, and it was so eerie to see - eels loved it! This barge was removed in the late 70s/early 80s, and was preserved at a martitime/industrial museum. Must go and see if it's still there.
 

bedlamite

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Another local one. This is Weaver's flour mill - vast building that stood on the North Dock in Swansea, now the main approach for the town. First reinforced concrete building in Europe, this was. Demolished for a Sainsbury store.


Here, in its pomp, with mad bridges connecting the various Weaver properties:
 

Perpetual Man

Tim James
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I love the second picture there bedlamite, the interconnecting building is superb.
 

Perpetual Man

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Obviously I have got to the end of the list I was working from so these posts are going to become a little more sporadic, and probably things more associated with places I've been to.

And to start off: The ruins of St. Anthony's Chapel on the side of Arthur's Seat in Edinburgh. A nice hike up an extinct volcano in gale force winds, pushing a buggy - lovely. The two dodgy figures by the chapel our myself and Harry (Perp Jr)

The water bowl thing is just fascinating.

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Perpetual Man

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Love it. What was the water bowl for - water, obviously it seems, but decorative, functional, ceremonial? Got a project I've just started - am going to visit every castle in Wales. We have more than anywhere else, so I'm going to celebrate that fact with my mission.
I've wondered about the water bowl. Is it something more modern, put there for dogs? Is it more historical, for people going to the chapel? Is it in case the volcano becomes live again? Or is it to make people ask what is the bowl doing here?

All the castles in Wales? What kind of time scale are we talking about?

And Venusian Broon, great take on the thread, loved it.
 

steelyglint

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The water vessel was probably a 'holy water' receptacle which folks going to the chapel would use. Definitely NOT a dog bowl. Not sure what use a couple of pints of water would be if the volcano became active again - the damage to Edinburgh in such a scenario could amount to more than fourteen shillings and sixpence! That's enough cash to buy the Outer Hebrides! He said, paraphrasing Blackadder (Macadder, actually).

If there's a helicopter in the equation you might get around to all the castles in Wales in just a couple of weeks. There's lots of them. They were used as not only strongholds for military conquest, but also as instruments of colonization, as the king usually built a town within the walls and populated it with his own (English) people.

We've got a few 'abandoned' places around North Devon. I REALLY wish they included the pub next door - and if I could arrange that, I would. If I get the chance I'll take my camera to see some of them and add the results here - but I'm no David Bailey or Lord Snowdon (though I did see him working on promotions for Range Rovers back in the early '90s. One of the girls mentioned that she'd like to be photographed by him, so I stood near an open window and said loudly, "well, he's supposed to be the best in the world." Five minutes later she was invited to sit in one of the cars whilst it was photographed - a bit of ego-polishing goes a long way, even with those who shouldn't need it).

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Kerrybuchanan

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About the stone bowl: we have one almost identical in one of our fields. It sits under the place where a natural spring bursts out of the hill, from between the roots of an ancient oak tree, collecting water before letting it overflow from the lip and disappear back underground until it re-emerges as a stream.

As we also have a deep water well in the same field, I assume there was habitation there a long time back. There is also an ancient roadway nearby, which is marked as a ruin in very old maps. I have often wondered if there was a religious/superstitious history associated with our spring.

These days it acts as a very welcome drinking fountain for our horses, so I hope whatever god it was once dedicated to doesn't mind sharing.
 

steelyglint

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Your 'deep water well' could hold some amazing secrets. Such things often have intentionally-broken artifacts at the bottom of them, thrown in as offerings to whatever the locals believed provided the water. It would have to be very old to be pre-christian in Ireland, but it is possible. They didn't mess around with cheap offerings either - there could be precious metals, jewellery or anything down there.

A rope, a crowbar, a big lump of BluTak and a couple of hours spent 'fishing' might get you a new Aston Martin, racehorse or a new wing for the house. As anything found in there was discarded, not hidden or lost, it will not be subject to the 'treasure trove' laws. Not sure what their equivalent is in Eire (my geographical knowledge of Ireland is nothing to shout about), but if you're in Northern Ireland you should get to keep whatever you find. Still have to be a hearing, but you should win that with ease.

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Kerrybuchanan

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I like the sound of the Aston there, @steelyglint, but no racehorses! We have too many of those already (broken - down, rescued variety).

That's an exciting project for the summer anyway. Note to self. Wholesalers for BluTac....

The good news is that we're in NI. :D
 

steelyglint

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One thing I never thought would have to be 'rescued' is race horses. I thought they all went into breeding programmes and were well cared-for. The vast amounts of money that racing involves, and they still need rescue? Somebody (probably many somebodies) would appear to need a serious arse-kicking. I offer my steel toe-cap Doc Martens freely - kicking energy included.

Good luck on your 'fishing' expedition. Do let us know what you find - even if you're on a beach in the Seychelles taking a break from driving the Aston.

However, watch out for the local archaeologist. If they get wind of anything interesting they can intervene and take it away from you. You still get the market value of anything found, but what is the market value of something no-one ever found before? And what you get is determined by a bunch of 'experts'. Nobody tells you what they're experts at, though. They could be chicken-sexers for all we know. But it is probably a panel of archaeologists, and they care as much about the 'value' of an artifact as I do about price of fish in Upper Volta in 1576.

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