Skull Cottage, Gwynedd
On a Christmas drive around this region in Wales we came across this long abandoned farmhouse laying derelict and in a sorry state in the lowlands in front of the distant mountains. Once a thriving farm it looked as if it had been abandoned for many decades, although there was nothing inside to give any clues as to exactly how long the dwelling had been empty.
Before the slate industry developed in this region it was a farming region with dozens of farms scattered around. Due to their historic status most abandoned dwellings have remained standing with a reluctance to demolish them despite not having official Listing status as such.
Many jobs were lost after the closure of the slate mines in the 1950's and 1960's and as such the population numbers went down as people left and searched for work elsewhere. Farming declined as a result as reduced population numbers.
This cottage was probably a sheep farmers dwelling once upon a time. Although there wasn't much left inside in the way of personal items it still warranted being documented. After some of the recent locations and their museum like appearance, it was a challenge to get enough images to warrant a separate report. Without the usual vintage sewing machine, or clocks on mantlepieces one had to look for other things to photograph. The focus was therefore on the intricate detail, the textures and original fittings still remaining. The hints of past decades, of former styles and tatses and living conditions. Peeling oranage wallpapers, bakerlite switches and old firelaces still remained. A retro Creda Corvette water dispenser in the kitchen reminding us that once there weren't sophisticated boilers in all houses. A Topline cooker adjacent to a vintage 1950's kitchen unit typical of old farmhouses still remained. A cap still hung up in the kitchen, maybe the last owners cap hung up for the last time.
Going upstairs was impossible. The floors were half missing and like paper, and anyway, there was no staircase left. The only shot of one of the upstairs rooms was taken by holding my camera up through one of the many gaps in the dining room ceiling - on its tripod - as high as i could and pressing the shutter cable in the hope of capturing something. A fireplace appeared on the screen so all was not lost!
I set myself the challenge of taking at least 10 decent images in the hour or so I spent in this location. Judge for yourselves if I achieved it!