Celebrating deterioration!

05 beautiful abandoned buildings in the UK.

Well maintained manors, gardens and castles are a delight to behold; however, abandoned structures hold a particular allure that’s not easy to put into words. Perhaps it’s the crumbling masonry, the rays of sun dancing on peeling walls through gaping holes in the roof and lush vines that unhurriedly entwine themselves around objects and walls that were once lovingly maintained. This list just might kick off your appreciation of deserted buildings and perhaps even tempt a visit!

Exhausted? Consider a retreat to any of these tranquil locations!

St Peter’s Seminary, Cardross

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The building was built as a training centre for Catholic priests, yet was already unwanted by its completion in 1966. The Roman Catholic Church, made anxious by the decline in church attendance and the dwindling number of young men eager to join the priesthood determined that they would discard training in isolation and begin their discipline within the community. The building has since been graffiti artist’s heaven. Plans to remodel the building were approved in 2017, and while half of it has is now renovated, part of the master plan is leaving a portion of the structure as it was.

Dunnottar Castle, Stonehaven

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Meet the castle that has seen the kings slain at its doors, soldiers burned alive within its walls and had seen the Honours of Scotland smuggled past its walls and the English army outside. Celtic saint Ninian erected a timber structure that he established as a church. It later bloomed into a settlement and has seen Kings, noblemen, monks and queens all live within its now decaying walls. The history of the castle is quite rich and the fresh wind swirling from the sheer cliffs, and the booming voices of the waves greeting the beach will make this exploratory walk one of a kind!

Get your Wecancar car hire and experience the sites yourself!

Witley Court estate, Worcestershire

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Witley Court Estate once welcomed the royalty and men of prosperity yet now stands empty and charred.  The Foley family retained the house for over 180 years until the gambling costs of Baron Foley caused to the home to being sold to the wealthy Dudley family for £890,000 or £50 million in present currency. The house was modified into one of Europe’s largest private mansions, and Lord Ward took charge of constructing the garden with the help of landscape architect William Andrews Nesfield. Nesfield added two intricate fountains, of which The Perseus and Andromeda fountain is often compared to Trevi Fountain in Rome. The house was a setting for garden and hunting parties of the affluent, and it is said that gardeners would work overnight changing the bedding display so that guests would have a different view in the morning. While the house remains unchanged after the fire, the gardens and the fountains have been revived and look as spectacular as or perhaps better than they once were.

Corfe Castle, Dorset

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Constructed in Purbeck limestone for William the Conqueror’s son King Henry I, the castle was sold fifty years later to Lord Chief Justice Sir John Bankes by Queen Elizabeth I.  A force of forty seamen stormed the palace and were successfully resisted for six weeks by Lady Bankes, her servants and an army of five men. After killing and wounding over 100 men by pitching massive stones and fiery embers from the rampart, the castle finally fell in the hands of the Parliamentarians after one of her soldiers betrayed lady Bankes. She was allowed to safely escort her family away from the premises and presented with the keys of the castle for her bravery.  The castle was destroyed by Captain Hughes of Lulworth and handed back to the Bankes family after a period of seizure. Descendant Ralph Bankes bestowed the castle and adjoining lands to the National Trust in 1982.


Tintern Abbey, Monmouthshire

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One of the best-preserved abbeys in Wales, Tintern Abbey, was established by Walter de Clare in 1131.  The monastery was rebuilt in during the 13th century by Roger Bigod III who was the most generous benefactor of the Lords of Chepstow. He undertook the responsibilities of reconstructing the church which apart from its roof and glass windows the church stands as it did back then.  When the king’s visitors came knocking, the 12 choir boys and 35 servants surrendered, ending a 400 years lifestyle. The abbey has been a source of stimulus for artist Joseph Mallord William Turner and William Wordsworth whose poem Tintern Abbey speaks of the result the ruins had on people at the time.