I am happy to announce that my book will be released by BLUECOAT PRESS in early 2022.

I have spent years as a photographer seeking out and photographing the most remarkable abandoned buildings across the UK and Europe. I have captured everything from grand castles to quaint cottages, outdated factories to Victorian theatres - Welsh churches to Belgian dentists.

Bluecoat Press launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the book release which ended on december 03rd 2021. I am delighted to say that not only did it reach the target but surpassed it by some distance.

AT LAST - my book - after 7 years in the making - will be going off for print and will be sent out to all those who backed the project. A HUGE thankyou to everyone who pledged - I will be forever grateful.

Book, a world in ruins, abandoned, urbex, james lacey

A World in Ruins is primarily a photography book with its focus on abandoned and derelict buildings of all types including houses, factories, stately homes, chateaus, theatres, hospitals and schools amongst others.
I have travelled extensively throughout England, Wales, France, Italy, Belgium, Luxemburg and Greece to photograph the buildings included in the book.
Rather than be a series of location reports with text relating to them, this book strives to challenge the reader’s preconceptions about such buildings and focuses on core issues which for me, underpin the appeal of such buildings.
Nine chapters extend across approximately 300 pages which are packed with poignant photographs of these lost buildings along with a large body of accompanying text throughout.


CH1 ‘Nature and Time’
Focusing on the change in aesthetics caused by natural decay as well as
nature and how they combine to produce organic versions of interior design.

CH2 ‘Castle Moulbaix’
Report on an abandoned Chateau in Belgium.

CH3 ‘Faces Without Voices’
A look at mainly domestic dwellings and the faces which stare out from the walls and mantlepieces in the personal family photographs which can give personal context to the building as well as familial insights.

CH4 ‘Crystal Violet’
Report on an abandoned apothecary which closed in 1969. A look at the old fashioned remedies used at the time and the vanity products and how they differ from today.

CH5 ‘Staircase Mystery’
The focus here is on the myriad of staircases found in abandoned buildings and the perils of climbing them to discover what may be found beyond the last step.

CH6 ‘Beyond the Absence’
Looking beyond what has been left behind once a building has been abandoned and into the spaces in-between objects to contemplate what may be missing from a scene. This could be former occupants or objects. The reader is encouraged to interpret the scene and add the missing elements. The viewer can use their own imagination and build pictures as to what is missing from a scene.

CH7 ‘Le Chateau d’Or’
Report on an abandoned French Chateau.

CH8 ‘Lost Faith’
A focus on abandoned religious buildings and exploring the reasons why so many have been abandoned along with the change in idolatry practices of the modern world.

CH9 ‘Veiled Alchemy’
Several themes are discussed in this final chapter. I discuss the inherent dangers of photographing abandoned buildings along with the empirical experiences in planning and going inside the buildings. In addition, I look at nostalgia which is triggered by seeing the vintage items left inside such as old magazines and children’s toys. I also look at the concept of vanishing practices which were once common but have now been replaced by modern alternatives. I also look at the concept of the little explorer, the lost explorer of childhood which has retuned whilst exploring as an adult. The importance of documentation through photographic images is looked at before some of these buildings inevitably get demolished and are lost forever.