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Abandoned Britain
November 19, 2010 7:46 AM   Subscribe

Stephen Fisk runs a website called Abandoned Communities, which documents unsettled settlements around Britain. Some were huge, like Sarum, between (roughly) the eleventh and fourteenth centuries a royal city with its own cathedral, while some were never bigger than a few dozen people. There are places that have been swallowed by the sea, places that have been swallowed by London, and some that simply dwindled into nothingness. Some you may have heard of already, like St. Kilda or Capel Celyn (cofiwch Dryweryn!). There's also a handy map that links straight to any particular location, and collections of painting and poetry pertaining to these vanished places
posted by Dim Siawns (10 comments total) 82 users marked this as a favorite

 
Very cool. Thanks for the post.
posted by MarshallPoe at 7:57 AM on November 19, 2010


The problem with posts like this is that I can almost justify the time I spend on the links as research. Almost. Not that it will stop me. Thanks!
posted by mollweide at 8:01 AM on November 19, 2010


This appears to be a local shop for local people.
posted by pracowity at 8:18 AM on November 19, 2010


This is another one of those posts I'm bookmarking against a rainy day. Thanks for posting it.
posted by immlass at 8:27 AM on November 19, 2010


Years back, I did some conservation work for the John Muir Trust at Inver Dhorrcail (57° 5' N, 5° 32' W) in Knoydart. We set up camp in a suspiciously flat area by Loch Hourn. When morning light came, we saw that each of us had pitched their tent in the centre of a cottage foundation running down the street of the village of Inbhir Dhorrcail, which had been cleared in 1835.

/ given what JMT now do, and what I do now wildly diverge, I guess that's not happening for me again. Oh well.
posted by scruss at 10:03 AM on November 19, 2010


Ta very much!
posted by carter at 10:17 AM on November 19, 2010


Related AskMe from Wednesday.
posted by MrMoonPie at 10:17 AM on November 19, 2010


If you like this sort of thing (as I do) you might want to check with your library to see if they have a copy of one of Georg Gerster's big books of pictures of ancient/abandoned sites as seen from an airplane.

(There are only few online ... enough to imagine what a bookful is like.)
posted by Twang at 2:39 PM on November 19, 2010


Fascinating stuff, and fascinating to me that some of these communities managed to cling like limpets to their populations, maintaining steady rates for literally hundreds of years. It really illustrates to me the scale and pace of 20th and 21st century development.

I grew up in a rural area of QLD Australia in the eighties, for example, and I cannot think of a single area or town there - or anywhere I've been in the entire world for that matter - where the population has remained stable, in my lifetime of 29 years, let alone hundreds. Really illustrates why population and its associated demands is becoming such an issue.
posted by smoke at 4:12 PM on November 19, 2010


After Sarum was abandoned, the Teletubies were never seen again.

Seriously it is great that sites like this still exist. Here in California, if it is 50 years old it is considered historical. We really have no sense of history.
posted by eye of newt at 12:17 AM on November 20, 2010


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