Fox Manor, Wales
On a crisp March morning, I arrive in the arms of the sweeping Welsh countryside. Hillsides swoop down from every direction. With all my photography gear in hand I made my way to the house which had been named after the fox who sits inside her glass cage in an upstairs bedroom. Foxes were the order of the day it seemed as whilst strolling across a field the remains of a decaying fox lay in her resting place.
A short stroll along a fresh water stream followed by a walk over a rickerty old wooden bridge and into view comes this little Welsh farmhouse amidst the most stunning of Welsh backdrops making this trip a sheer delight. A peek through a window and one can make out a kitchen table covered in an old plastic tablecloth brimming with cuttelry, cups and saucers and a fair few teapots as if whoever lives inside is expecting company. Noone lives inside anymore, the inhabitants long gone, leaving behind just remnants of lives.
Once inside the crumbling back door one is greeted by a mysterious scene of abandonment and the hints of decay. The house still full of the possessions of the former occupants. The deep red painted fire surround dominates the kitchen, the clock which sits above on the mantelpiece no longer ticks as time stands still amid the colour and splendour of this lost home. In the backroom a tilted yellowing photograph of an old lady amongst vintage bottles against a crumbling wall. Her eyes fixed on any movements around this little room of forgotten memories. The obligatory vintage Singer sewing machine adds some familiarity to the surroundings. There must have been a period in time when every rural dwelling had inside a person who sewed, or so it would seem.
Upstairs a decaying old bed, where once the chill of cold winter nights was kept at bay no longer looks so welcoming and the bedside fire no longer glows with the flames of life. Across the hallway in a second bedroom, sparse and decaying, sits the fox. Reflected in a dressing table mirror. Its face locked in a fixed grin. What secrets does it harbour? What tales can it tell? The secrets of Fox Manor will no doubt remain just that, secret. Only clues of the departed are left behind. Another beautiful farmhouse, once full of laughter slowly fading away to be lost forever. The fox and the old lady mere reminders of what used to be.