The Old Crow Cottage, Herefordshire
Sheets of relentless rain battered the sodden fields as i made my way to this ancient cottage. Not a soul to be seen bar a few sheep seemingly uninterested as this intruder on their feeding ground walked by head down trying to wade through the treacle like ground.
Standing in front of this cottage one would be forgiven from thinking that at any moment it will simply tumble down, such is its perilous state. Dating from the 1600’s this timber framed Grade II listed rural cottage stands like a relic from a bygone era with its sloping roof and tilting structure. Yet inside were the remnants of countless lives that once inhabited this glorious little cottage. From historical records, it was registered as a public house – The Old crow Public house - around 1830 and later became a private dwelling with its many acres of farmland.
Inside, moving around the rooms was a challenge with the lack of space and room especially to set up a tripod. Some rooms were in pitch black some in bright light, the metering of the camera wondering what was going on. Upstairs in a bedroom, parts of the roof had long disappeared which meant the floor was more a sponge than a solid platform. Every time a lorry drove past on the busy road outside I'm sure the cottage shook a little adding a slight nervousness to the visit. Being buried by rubble wasn't what I had in mind.
In recent times, the cottage was occupied by three brothers known locally as the ‘Penny Boys’ none of whom ever married. The first of the three brothers died in the 1990s. One of the remaining brothers lived in a caravan at the rear of the house in the orchard whilst the third brother remained living in the cottage. It is not known when exactly the second brother died however tragedy struck in October 2013 when the last remaining brother alive – aged 72 - was killed in a car accident which occurred outside the cottage.
In March 2014 the house was cleared of its contents and all of its physical history leaving behind only the ghosts of the departed.