This is a shot from my recent trip to the Ailsa Craig and it’s wonderful old lighthouse. It’s been sitting on my computer desktop for a few weeks until I could process it in a way that I liked. I wanted something with subdued tones, and which said something of the loneliness of the place, and I feel this image goes some way toward achieving that.
Cambusnethan Priory was originally built in 1819, as a replacement for an earlier manor house, which burned down ten years before the Priory was completed; and this manor house was built close to the site of the original Norman tower house which had stood on the site. The priory is one of the few remaining examples of early 19th Century gothic mansions, and an even rarer example of the semi-religious style of architecture.
Sadly, the Priory is now nothing more than a ruined shell, a lingering memory of better days and of the glorious house it once was. Visiting today, it was sad to see the terrible state of disrepair in which the mansion now stands. The barest remnants remain of the upper floors and the original oak staircases, which once bore the crest of the Lockhart family. Even the pinacles have had to be removed for fear of them falling.
The images here tries to capture something of the desolation of the house, the brooding sky bemoaning the ruination of the place.
Of all the images I made on my recent trip to the old mansion, this one was perhaps the creepiest. The figure of the decapitated Mummy was standing at an ancient sink, it’s taps covered in dust and cobwebs, and written on the mirror were the words “Save Me”. Close by, on the wall to the left, someone had written “Hell”. This was my final shot of the day before leaving the house.
Those of a certain age will recall the TV mini series “Salem’s Lot”, from the late 1970s. It was the story of a vampire, whose lair was in a spooky old mansion called The Marsten House, a place filled with fear and shadows, death and decay. The mansion in this image reminds me very much of that series and its scary house. Be that as it may, the place has provided me with opportunities to make some wonderful images, many of which are here on my website, although it has also given me a few chills along the way.
Of all the images I made today on the Ailsa Craig, this is perhaps my favourite. The ironic thing is, the image could have been made anywhere and there is really nothing in the image which shows the actual location, an uninhabited island ten miles out to sea. Regardless of that, this sort of image is the kind I most like to create – dereliction is fascinating, and there is always something lovely about chairs in a derelict place.