Yesterday, at very short notice, I was given the opportunity to view and photograph a historic Welsh farmhouse before renovation commences. An e-mail from a friend of mine alerted me to the possibility of this access a few days ago but it wasn’t until Sunday afternoon that everything came together and final arrangements made. Even then I was unsure whether I’d be able to attend as I had another appointment only 45 minutes before our scheduled meet time.
The house is recorded in history as the birthplace of Dr Richard Price (1723-1791), I shan’t go into his life story here as it’s fairly extensive and is well documented, so have provided a link to the website of the Richard Price Society.
Although I was vaguely aware of the house and its history I did a little research and soon located it courtesy of Google’s aerial views. The scene from above showed the house surrounded by vegetation and it clearly looked abandoned. Apparently, the previous owner lived alone in the house for many years and as she become older so used less and less of it until her latter years were spent in one downstairs room, only leaving that room to use the bathroom adjoining. The house has been derelict and not lived in for the past twenty or more years but only recently have descendants decided to sell.
At the appointed time I was able to meet up with my photographer friend Colin along with another friend Dave Smith who is an expert on interior photography of abandoned places. Us three, along with six others, mostly historians, then walked the half mile from our meeting place to the location where we were to be met by the new owner. On arrival at the site we were welcomed by the owner who then proceeded to split us up into two groups each led by one of his site officials. This arrangement didn’t actually work as some, like me, waited until others had moved to the next section so I could complete the photography. The house was illuminated well on the interior which is just as well as every window is securely boarded and it would have been pitch dark inside without it.
The owner and his site crew were very accommodating and allowed us access to everything whilst keeping a close eye on our safety. The photographers among us were much slower in recording each of the rooms but we were not hurried along. All the while it was pouring with rain and I was anxious the weather was not going to lift to enable me to photograph the exterior of the building. It did eventually slow down a little but didn’t really allow me sufficient time to photograph as much as I would have liked before the visit came to an end.
The first two photographs show the spiral staircase from the kitchen to the first floor and the following two pictures show the kitchen oven. This is the room the last resident lived in and the photographs below that show the bathroom with a 1930s fireplace and a corner of the tiled section of the room where the bath was originally.
The room behind the kitchen had a further three doors, one to another staircase to the first floor, one to the bathroom, one to the front door hallway and one to the double-roomed cellar. The stairs shown here are to the cellar and the next two photos are inside the cellar.
The roof space was accessible via a rickety staircase and the two photos following show this.
The bedrooms were quite roomy but some had no floors so access was not possible, however the next four pictures show three of the larger bedrooms.
Finally, it did stop raining long enough to take a few photographs of the exterior, some of which I’ve already shown you.
All the photographs will enlarge in a new window, some are directly linked to my flickr site.