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Photo Assignment: Abandoned and dilipated houses and properties

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    Ooooh, I see you covered the cellars and attics in your towns historical coverage. They are constant source of surprise when I come across them, I can never figure out if the partly covered cellar has had ground level has been raised or if it had a stairwell that's been filled.
    I came across also doorways that have been bricked up, pillars that don't fit in with their present day surroundings and even exposed remains of what I think was a fire place.

    This one I found in an old alley exposed and very much a mystery as the alley has always been there and the fire place looks out of place, I can't explain this one.

    This first photo is of an sunken arch and the fire place.


    This is the alley in question, the fire place is just a fraction out of sight on this.
    Infamy, Infamy.... They've got it in for me! Said The Laughing Assassin.

    Comment


      Yep, cellars and attics were often the only places left unaltered. In a bank which had been altered out of all recognition on the ground and first floors, the attic was a wonder. We were warned not to tread on to the joists, but as soon as we were left on our own we teetered gingerly back and forth and I took photographs of what had obviously not been touched for 100 years. Small scraps of wallpaper, and the smoke stains over in the corner where the fireplace had been - the chimney was visible outside.
      In a small cafe which was itself about late 1600's, I went down into the tiny cellar and I'm sure the bricks of the staircase were Tudor, as were those in the mixed brick and rubble walls. The supposition was that the cafe was burnt in the 1688 fire but the cellar, of course, would not have been affected. The photos are not good enough to show the bricks clearly, but I'm posting one of a local chimney stack on which you can see the difference in thickness between the lower bricks and those above.


      I mention this because looking at the mish-mash of bricks on your middle photo I just wonder whether the 5 or 6 courses at ground level might be very early? There are also one or two similar courses further up, though it's hard to say whether it's the bricks or an enthusiastic application of pointing! Was that bricked up bit to the right of the fireplace a bread oven? Why ground level, they're normally higher, aren't they? Or perhaps ground level was lower originally.
      That arch at ground level in the first photo could just be some sort of opening at one time to let in light to a cellar, can't tell really. You say the alley has always been there. How long is always? I mean might parts of this building be several centuries old and your outside fireplace once in a room? But perhaps I'm being fanciful. If the building is near you, why not have another look at the bricks in the third picture, they seem quite a mix.
      Honestly, you can go round in circles in this game
      Ivy

      "To thine own self be true.......
      Thou canst not then be false to any man."

      Comment


        Looking at the chimney stack, it seems to be two courses of brickwork. Also it looks like there is no attempt to follow the original design.... or is it just me that sees that?
        Fascinating roof too! is it my eyesight (and that's not good), does the roof sag down? I say that, because in my home town we have a fair few buildings that have roofs that are very distorted.

        Hmmn, I see where your going with the courses of brickwork on my middle photo. But I had sort of a bingo! moment, could it possibly be a door on the first photo? Just a thought, as it was very typical for the Georgians to build outside cellars.
        I have a few photos of just this type of cellar, but one my fellow snappers and I discovered is underneath a bank.

        It's very intriguing when coming across these wonderful old arches, this one in particular was uncovered during ongoing restorational work in our market square. What are your thoughts on this one Wherrygirl? I can't tell you how much I love seeing these things beeing uncovered. It's a little like another thread I started on our 500 year old underground hidden smuggling tunnels (that's another story)!

        Here is the bank photo:
        Infamy, Infamy.... They've got it in for me! Said The Laughing Assassin.

        Comment


          In my chimney stack photo the roof is OK, it's the stack that has sunk down to the left. The lower dozen courses are Elizabethan/Tudor then the top of that section had to be levelled and the remainder of the stack built up probably 19th century time, or it could have been repaired later than that. Well, there isn't much to show of the original design in the Tudor section, so it didn't matter too much, I suppose, although I must admit it doesn't match the front chimney. Although I'm going a bit off-topic as this is not an abandoned building, I post below the front chimney which also gives some indication of the various additions made to the pub, plus the inside view of that complicated corner. From the front the roof line shows that it was once 2 distinct buildings.




          Again off topic, you may like to see the jetty uncovered when the pub owner bought the butcher's shop which was acually the front left room of the house. It was lovely to see the joist ends for a while, though they have now been covered up again. The pub owner was very upset when he discovered that, during the work being done, the builders had poured loads of concrete on top of the original floor which had been exposed and which he would have liked to have kept visible in some way.



          But back to your arches. I doubt if that one at ground level in your first batch would have been a door, the opening would only have been about 20-22 inches wide, wouldn't it, and then you have to allow for the jambs. Small window, perhaps?
          But that bank photo Yes, I discovered the outside Georgian cellars from buildings hereabouts. Did they not trust the cellar walls to carry the weight of the house above?! One ancient property in the town, dating back to the 1400's, and which escaped the fire had one cellar half below ground and reached from what is now inside the Victorian rear part of the building but originally would have been outside, then it also had a second cellar fully below ground and which you reached from outside at the back. That would have been outside the original property, too. The first one had one of those little windows high up in the wall and just at the outside ground level, which is why I see similarities in your arches.
          Don't know what to make of your bank arch. Again fairly narrow by the looks of it. Is there a cellar there beneath what is behind the door? I still stick with the cellar window idea at the moment, I suppose.
          Last edited by wherrygirl; March 30th, 2011, 12:28.
          Ivy

          "To thine own self be true.......
          Thou canst not then be false to any man."

          Comment


            Now this is very interesting in pic1, the roof slates/tiles look the same although the obvious brick work is not. Although the brickwork is from a different time, the angle that the roof comes away from the other is so quirky and gives it vast amounts of character.
            The window in pic2 is fabulous, it has a medieval feel to (obviously not though). I do think that your not really not off track, the concept of these buildings and how their partially hidden features still remain come together under one common interest.... history!

            Oh boy! The buildings jettied floor remains are simply outstanding!! Oh for sure I can understand the owners upset at such an amazing work of art being.... well, shall we say butchered. Can you tell me, was the jetty always visible or was it uncovered? It's utterly remarkable to see such workmanship still surviving in our era. We do have a few of these type buildings in our town, although our little town of Gainsborough has changed so much there are some well preserved specimens.

            Well, as for the cellars and arches we've discovered, we are finding more every day. My sister is in the ongoing process of covering our families geneology roots, funny thing her quest and my historical buildings quest have come together in an unexpected way.
            She has discovered that the Georgians were great advocates of having their cellars outside and separate from the main house, but as we have drawn on a little more information we have found that from inside the bank there is no access to the underneath. I don't really know what this is telling me because on all the records so far this one isn't mentioned like all the others that are. It is also surrounded by a security fence, there isn't anything dangerous or obstructive there..... a mystery? I think maybe!
            I do certainly agree with you that it couldn't be a door, and yes! a window is much more likely.
            I also uncovered today some more partially hidden arches that are wide enough to be doors even. I will post them up when I have taken them off the camera.
            This is turning into an exciting voyage of discovery for me, very nice to know that it isn't just myself who finds such intrigue with this subject.
            Infamy, Infamy.... They've got it in for me! Said The Laughing Assassin.

            Comment


              Firstly, I realised last night that I'd posted one of Frank's (our previous Town Recorder) photos in no. 3. Not that he'd mind in the least, but that's not on! I knew I had my own somewhere and found them still mounted for an exhibition last year but not strangely on the computer, so I've substituted. Gives a better view, actually. And I show here a close up of the jettying, where the old herringbone infill between the uprights is clearly visible. I love the brick infill in old buildings especially when the wood is left unpainted. Just an all over warm colouring and beautiful patterning.



              It was the old floor that the builders covered in tons of concrete before the pub landlord realised, but the jettying he had covered up, maybe because it would have meant uncovering all the rest of it along the frontage plus the necessary preservation work - costly. See below. The ex-butcher's is at the far left. You can see where the jetty is right the way along the building, can't you? How many people realise what's underneath? Very few. The pictures were taken about 3 or 4 years ago, but when the jettying was first covered up goodness knows.



              What do you think of the mock Tudor?? Ugh

              You say i.r.o. your bank that there is no access to the cellar inside. None visible now, maybe, but what do the present floors hide? Tell you what, (here we go) though, a building in our market place has superb cellars, with a blocked up tunnel (rumour has it that the market place is a maze of tunnels leading perhaps to the castle remains) reached only nowadays by the outside sloping, dark blue wooden flaps in the photo. But inside, if I remember correctly, there was a possible doorway up into the building. That cellar was entirely beneath the building. But there are other instances in the town of cellars being outside.



              I'd be really off topic if I started on family history, but that has led me to such discoveries and one great Aussie adventure. Enough
              Last edited by wherrygirl; April 7th, 2010, 16:49.
              Ivy

              "To thine own self be true.......
              Thou canst not then be false to any man."

              Comment


                Good grief the work to restore the jetty in pic1 would not only cost a fair chunk of your wallet, it would take a master craftsman to accomplish it. Still though, it's a lovely sight to see these old forgotten pieces of workmanship. Probably some would think a little strange to be so intrigued by wood, if that's the case I'm happy to be strange!!

                Okay, the mock Tudor. While in some cases it can look rather nice and brightens up a building, I do also think that it can look tacky. We have a pub the Elm Cottage that up to 1962 it was in it's original stone face, then in 62' they put the mock Tudor on it. I guess that in hindsight it doesn't look as bad as it could have been.

                Elm Cottage 1904


                Elm Cottage 2009


                In many ways looking at your place is like looking at my home town, the mix of totally different buildings is very much the same as here.
                Ah! Cellars, tunnels & rumours.... that's the same thing here in the sense that to the young generation they are just rumours. To us (old fogies, as my son puts it) they aren't rumours at all, not if you've look in to the real thing, they are there!

                Now here's a thing, this week one of our members discovered markings all around the town etched into the stone. We don't know if these are Stonemason markings or the Mason Society themselves.
                Here is the markings:


                Hmmn, you say you'd go off topic if you started on your family history.... I tend to think that family & the place where you live are linked in more ways than you think. History often intertwines itself in the strangest ways.
                Infamy, Infamy.... They've got it in for me! Said The Laughing Assassin.

                Comment


                  Going up to town a while ago the word benchmark came into mind and I realised that my original post here was confusing them with trig points. But both were used to the same end by the OS. So I've revised my post:

                  These are something to do with surveyors when they are setting a level, am not expressing it very well! But also if there is a number with them then they would be benchmarks set by the Ordnance Survey showing height above sea level and were once used in conjunction with trig points when mapping the country by triangulation. Trig points are found usually engraved in the top of short concrete pillars on tops of hills etc. The whole system of mapping has now gone over to using GPS, so these marks and pillars will become of great historical interest one day - a side line to historic monuments!
                  Last edited by wherrygirl; April 12th, 2010, 15:41.
                  Ivy

                  "To thine own self be true.......
                  Thou canst not then be false to any man."

                  Comment


                    Looked fairly abandoned, but what a beautiful house if restored and saved:

                    With best regards from Jan-Olav Storli

                    Administrator and Owner of CaptainsVoyage.
                    Main page: http://www.captainsvoyage.com

                    Surround yourself with positive, ethical people who are committed to excellence.

                    Comment


                      Ooooh yes! I'd love a house like this, fabulous place to own. Nice find Jan-Olav.
                      Infamy, Infamy.... They've got it in for me! Said The Laughing Assassin.

                      Comment


                        This is really stunning Asimut, I wonder how long it takes before it comes to this state with trees growing on the roof? Absolutely brilliant photos.
                        Infamy, Infamy.... They've got it in for me! Said The Laughing Assassin.

                        Comment


                          Originally posted by SaintsFCFan View Post
                          This is really stunning Asimut, I wonder how long it takes before it comes to this state with trees growing on the roof? Absolutely brilliant photos.
                          Couldn't have agreed more: these are absolutely stunning compositions.
                          With best regards from Jan-Olav Storli

                          Administrator and Owner of CaptainsVoyage.
                          Main page: http://www.captainsvoyage.com

                          Surround yourself with positive, ethical people who are committed to excellence.

                          Comment


                            Originally posted by Asimut
                            This small house was the local post office at this place for a long time ago
                            Now I just have to rot without anyone cares anymore...

                            I would love to know the history of this building. I love the roof- are the tiles slate? I think they look like fish scales!

                            I wonder why the siding is mismatched? An d is that old knob-and-tube electrical wiring? The stucco on the brick fireplace....all very intriguing.....

                            Comment


                              Originally posted by ehp View Post
                              ......knob-and-tube electrical .......
                              I guess you mean the "knob-and-tube electrical-thingy"?
                              With best regards from Jan-Olav Storli

                              Administrator and Owner of CaptainsVoyage.
                              Main page: http://www.captainsvoyage.com

                              Surround yourself with positive, ethical people who are committed to excellence.

                              Comment


                                With such a pretty view, it's a shame no one has renovated it....And that slate has many good years left to it, I would think.

                                How charming it would be, with a wooden and glass door, with a deck built all around to accommodate the slope and a proper garden? Window boxes.....

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