Many of us would jump at the opportunity to live in a period property. The thought of reclaiming the character intrinsic within those old features and integrating it into a modern living space is irresistable, barring the price tag of course! Here’s a selection of fine yet derelict mansions, which are currently more the subject or urban exploration than revival. But if money were no object, how would you fancy taking on one of these abandoned buildings as a renovation project?
Cambusnethan Priory, Scotland (above)
Built in 1820 for the Lockhart family of Castlehill, Cambusnethan Priory is one of the few remaining examples of gothic revival architecture in Scotland. The house was converted into a hotel in 1980, but this change of use was short-lived. The hotel closed in 1984, leaving it to the mercy of a nasty cocktail comprising time, arson, vandalism and a liberal helping of inclement Scottish weather. Awarded both Grade A listed status for its historic importance, and a well earned place on the Scottish Civic Trust Buildings at Risk Register, Cambusnethan Priory is in terrible condition today and urgently in need of some TLC.
Shandon House, Scotland
Remaining in bonnie Scotland, we stumble across this spooky – and very derelict – example of Scottish Baronial architecture. The pointed towers are distinctive of 19th century Scottish revival, and you get the impression the Wicked Witch of the West may have rented this place had she ever decided to visit chilly Caledonia. Shandon House was built for William Jamieson in 1849 and is set in 31 acres overlooking Gare Loch. This once picturesque setting is now dominated by Faslane Naval Base, home of the UK’s Trident nuclear submarines.
Due to its location, the house (formerly used as St Andrew’s School) was purchased by the Ministry of Defense, but has been derelict for over a decade. The views are now marred by the abandoned remains of a remand home, and now that the place has been allowed to rot for a sufficient length of time, renovation would be a time consuming and costly affair. As a result, the Ministry of Defense is apparently looking to sell it. Any takers?
Hafodunos Hall, Wales
Across the British Isles, the abandoned Hafodunos Hall still stands well amid the North Wales countryside, just 10 miles from the coast (and currently for sale!). The fantastic abandoned mansion remained in good condition until it was targeted by arsonists in 2004 and consequently gutted by fire.
Situated close to the village of Llangernyw, the hall was designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott (grandfather of Sir Giles Gilbert Scott who designed the famous Battersea and Bankside power stations) between 1861 and 1866 for Henry Robertson Sandbach. Scott was considered among the most important advocates of Gothic Revival styling in domestic architecture, and Hafodunos is the only example of his Venetian-inspired country house style in Wales.
Abandoned Mansion, Ostrowo, Poland
Ostrowo is a village in Poland, and home to the grand house above which looks to be in reasonably good condition. Though clearly once the home of an affluent family, perhaps this abandoned house is not quite ready to give up its secrets yet – except perhaps to urban explorers. Despite the lack of information, check out these awesome pictures by the same photographer.
Arlington, Natchez, Mississippi
Arlington, built in 1816, is a Federal style mansion in Natchez, Mississippi. The property was declared a national historic landmark in 1974 but is nevertheless sinking into total decay. Recently, the longterm survival of Arlington had become an issue of grave concern, with the building’s future hanging in the balance. With part of the house destroyed by fire, a missing roof and liberal amounts of spray paint covering the walls inside and out, it seems the chances of rescuing this historically important abandoned mansion are becoming increasingly slim.
Nam Koo Terrace, Hong Kong
Nam Koo Terrace is a classical Chinese mansion built 90 years ago, then later abandoned. According to rumour, the house has a dark side to its history, which continues to rear its ghoulish head in modern times. Reportedly, Nam Koo was once used by the Japanese army to house “comfort women”, for the soldiers’ pleasure. Local legend has it that several years ago a young girl walked out the house, apparently possessed, and attacked police officers walking by. Could this be why Nam Koo Terrace remains abandoned to this day?
Other Abandoned Mansions