The Lost Jaguar Graveyard

Lancashire, UK. Sitting adjacent to a once busy b-road, this 11-bedroom venue was originally built as a private home for local mill owner and businessman Henry Hoyle Hardman in 1869. The grounds, made up of several buildings both old and new, were used more recently as a wedding venue, restaurant and nursing home until it's closure around a decade ago. Planning approval was granted for a local property developer to convert the house into a dwelling in April 2009, but is has remained derelict and he has now had it on the market for more than 6 years. The 10,000 sq ft mansion has been valued at £500,000, but the sheer extent of work needed to bring this place back to its former glory means that the Grade II listed property has been entirely forgotten and now requires a comprehensive scheme of renovation that, as of yet, nobody has decided to risk their money on.

The grounds of the estate are littered with signs of its history; the east entrance, once used for goods delivery, was for a time used by a jaguar collector who had a special affinity for British motors such as the XJS and the XJ models of the 1970s whilst storing a number of somewhat random motors on the grounds of the victorian cottage to the rear of the mansion. The numerous caravans and storage containers indicate that a vehicle workshop may have existed here at one time. To my knowledge, there are a total of 17 vehicles left behind, including three mk1 Mini Coopers, four Jaguar XJS, three V12 XJS, a mk1 Nissan Primera, four various models of Transit, a Triumph Dolomite and a very rare Alvis TD21 coupe convertible, a British car built by a company rarely spoken of in this day and age. The man passed away not long before the venue itself closed around a decade ago and the cars have slowly become consumed by the elements. Almost all valuable parts have been scavenged such as badges and engine components, leaving no chance of restoration. A sad sight, but one that reminds us what our world might look like if humans were to one day disappear.

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