I have this thing with ruins; always have, ever since I was a little girl. The most mundane and domestic building becomes suddenly enchanting once it falls into disrepair. Take off the roof, rip out the windows and let nature get her way – you’re in fairytale territory in a matter of years.
Yorkshire is full of them – abandoned farm houses, old stone-built cow sheds. Tall, brick chimney spires in forgotten, tiny valleys. Tumbledown shepherd hurts, the storm-stuck church by Sylvia Plath’s grave. I can never keep away.
This place has to be the most unexpected, though. Sandwiched between two busy roads on the way into a fairly grim town centre, from the roadside it looks strange, utilitarian & fairly unimpressive. We’ve driven past it countless times and speculated about its use, but never found time to stop.
On Sunday I spotted lilacs blooming and that was enough. We parked in a layby, crossed the dual carriageway, crunched over broken glass & cider bottles, lifted Orla over the broken stone wall.
& this is what we found.
My expectations were so low I hadn’t even brought my camera from the car -if I’d planned it better I’d have brought Luke Skywalker too. Please excuse the iPhone snaps; I’ve plans to go back and do something creative (James, want to go & play?)
R is brilliant at reading the history of old buildings; he deduced it was a Victorian folly, not quite as old as it looks. A later google search confirmed this: Wainhouse Terrace built in 1876. Still, it has heaps of fairytale romance despite the graffiti and rubbish. In an odd way, maybe even because of it.