Wednesday, 12 August 2009

The Ruin

About ten years ago an old country-house hotel just outside this town suffered a fire. The couple who ran it left. Naturally when I heard about it I got on my bicycle and went to explore. I went back a few times, but I don't think I knew what to make of it at that time, then I forgot all about it. Today, though, I went back, and oh what marvels I found (click on the photographs to make them huge enough to look at the details):

The first thing that caught my eye.


Bannister, why the wire, I wonder?

Detail of the balustrade

Local colour

I can't think of a more suitable book to find in a house like this

Tear drop

Country Pile

The central tower.


steven said...

eryl look what you found!!! treasures and then more treasures!! the textures are extraordinary and the detail from the balustrade - ooooh girl!! the central tower - wouldn't you love to see it all as it was?! lovely pictures. good for you to bike out there as well!!! have a lovely day. steven

angryparsnip said...

ahhhhhhhhhhh. . .
This plays to my fantasy of what England is in my little tourist mind.
Ruins lots of forbidden ruins with mist and moors... and of course a Mr. Rochester, le sigh !

Great photos the Balustrade,( I want )
and the central tower. . . fabulous

angryparsnip said...

Opps I meant Scotland . . . my little tourist mind just got a brain freeze
I should never type late at night.

a sorry parsnip

Rachel Fox said...


Titus said...

Oh, I echo, echo, echo like the building. Superb images.

Tousled Raven said...

Crumbs! I remember this building when it was alive and kicking and thrumming with life in all sorts of guises .....but somehow this is special too with the ghosts of the past hovering in there. I bet there was a light on the bottom of that staircase. Lovely photos Eryl!

PI said...

What more inspiration could you ask for. Marguerites (I don't know the one with a shaggy petal but it's lovely)always remind me of an opera I saw in Paris where the heroine was dying of TB and the young hero had cuffs that dangled on his skinny wrists which was heart- breakingly sad. I was coming to the end of something and the slightest thing set me off.
The curvy bannister is exactly like the one in our old Victorian house - so sad to see it charred but rusty iron is glorious.
I can't read the bleedin' title.

Eryl Shields said...

Steven ~ I'd love to be able to see what it was like as a house with a family in it in the nineteenth century, that's for sure.

Parsnip ~ Scotland, England: the border is really only an emotional/mental one!

The balustrade is fantastic isn't it? I took hundreds of photographs of it, then I found a broken piece and brought it home.

Rachel ~ isn't it?

Titus ~ it's at times like this that I wish I had a proper camera that would really capture it. But I'll just have to try and write a poem or two.

Tousie ~ do you really? I knew the couple who ran it for a while but never went there before it was a ruin.

Pat ~ I certainly couldn't ask for more, but it will probably take me twenty years to make proper use of it.

You've made me want shaggy Marguerites more than ever now! I wonder if they can be grown from cuttings? I have the non-shaggy variety but they seem so dull in comparison.

The title? Of this post? It's The Ruin; how odd if it's that you can't see. Blogger has been very peculiar of late though, it wouldn't let me cut and paste a poem of the same title into this post, and I couldn't be bothered to type it all out.

Scarlet-Blue said...

It doesn't take long before nature takes over. I love finds like this.

willow said...

Sad, the fire. But BRILLIANT photos!!!! What a setting.

savannah said...

it is sad to see a what appears to be a lovely building so gutted and yet, the beauty that's left behind is exquisite in its decay. photos are very cool, esp. the agatha christie relic. xoxox

Eryl Shields said...

Scarlet ~ it's incredible how quickly nature reclaims the spaces we have taken: the tarmac road leading up to the house is barely discernible so covered in grass it is. And there is a tree growing out of the roof and ferns growing in the floors of most of the rooms.

Willow ~ sad for the people who lived here, but they have a new life now so are probably over it. Great as a kind of monument to the fact that humans have to live alongside nature, and that nature can't always be controlled.

If I thought it was safe I would seriously consider organising a masked ball here!

Savannah ~ there is something about decay that really is spectacularly beautiful. Exquisite describes it perfectly. The Agatha Christie was the single estate cocoa bean chocolate chip in the cookie for me! XXXXXX

Kim Ayres said...

Wow! You'll have to take me out there sometime - cameras at the ready :) Great photos!

Tousled Raven said...

Part of the history of this amazing building if my memory is accuarate, well this bit is right ....it was rented with nearby farm land and the people had another farm near Lochmaben then they left. I am told that some time before that it was a school and girls school is what we think having talked to Mother Raven. I also know there was the country hotel bit but I didn't know that it got to actually become that before the fire flourished inside it.

Eryl Shields said...

Kim ~ just heard a rumour today that someone has bought it, so best be quick!

Tousie ~ crikey, I can't imagine it as a school, it must have been a very small school. I've been told that there were a lot of private schools in this town once. Then, they pretty much all closed at once. I heard a story about a woman who brought her brood down on the first day of term only to find the school padlocked! I wonder if it was the same place?

Tousled Raven said...

It is reputed this was once the home of the Moffat Clan. Thought to have been built in 178? and is an Adam house. I think the farmers the parent ravens knew left in the the 80's. It was later a hotel until consumed by fire in August 1997. The hotel was tragically struck by lightning in 1997 and burned to the ground. The owner says, 'It is a sad sight as it is, but unfortunately the insurance never paid out (act of god, apparently) and I was never able to restore the property. You’ll be glad to know though, that I still own Granton, and that I’m in the process of selling it to heritage of Scotland for redevelopment.' (that info found from a 2008 blog)
Then I found a planning application from June 2007 for the erection of a dwellinghouse at the site. It was refused. So that's the only other info I've managed to glean about it! Well so far .... Interesting about the number of schools in the area.

PI said...

It was the book title I couldn't make out. I could read Agatha Christie. I need to stand on my head;)

Eryl Shields said...

Miss Raven ~ blimey, you've got your phd head on this evening I see! What's an 'Adam' house?

Pat ~ for the sake of your safety I will tell you that the title is: Murder is Announced

gleaner said...

Lovely photos!

Anonymous said...

The Local rumor is that the owner burnt it down for the insurance to escape debt. The insurance never paid out because of disputes over what the money would be used for and the cause of the fire. Apparently the major stumbling block is that because it is a listed building it must be fully restored to its former state which makes restoration very expensive hence why it has not been ecconomically viable to repair. There is also a secret walled garden that is overgrown and goes with this property.

Eryl Shields said...

Gleaner ~ thank you.

Anon ~ cripes, local intrigue! The listed building thing is interesting: it sounds like they (whoever they are, some sort of government department I guess) prefer a building in ruins than restored in a way they have decided isn't fitting. Sad. If it's left much longer there won't be anything left to restore.

I saw the walled garden, it's most certainly overgrown!

Crafty Green Poet said...

what a wonderful series of photos, looks like a fascinating place to explore...

Lily Cate said...

Oh, how beautiful.

Eryl Shields said...

Crafty ~ thank you. It really is a great place to lose yourself in for a day.

Lily Cate ~ hello, and thank you for coming over and leaving a comment.

Derrick said...

Hi Eryl,

I'm catching up here! Such evocative pictures. It must have been a beautiful place and although some would see beauty still, I would rather see the original return. Perhaps the wire in the newel post was for an ornate lamp atop it? And you're right about the Agatha Christie novel.

Eryl Shields said...

Hey Derrick, I agree it would be lovely to see it loved and housing a family once more. Though I am a sucker for the crumbling, due to a romantic notion that comes via photographs of Venetian palaces.