Elm Tree Cottage

Hidden along the border of England & Wales, this holiday cottage was abandoned at some point in 2011 for unknown reasons. All post inside the property is dated past this point and left unopened, including five years of attempted contact from the tv license agency. This was a unique opportunity for me to explore a place unlike any that I had been to before, as it was as close to pristine as I could ever hope to achieve from a location such as this. The property was obviously suited to having people stay for short stays at a time, and didn't have the feel of a home that was ever lived in to as full an extent as I have seen in the past, as those homes more often than not end up littered with the belongings of their owners in one way or another. The two bedrooms each had only single beds, and guides to local walks could be found in the living room and kitchen. This was obviously a place for people to stay as a countryside retreat.

With the cottage having been forgotten so literally since its last use, the weather had made very little impact on the interior and it felt in many ways like we were seconds away from somebody coming home, but one of the strangest things about this cottage has to have been the taxidermy - at least three deer heads were found hanging from the wall, a cheetahs head casually rested on the bedroom cabinet, and two baby snakes were kept inside jars sitting on the kitchen worktop. I'm not sure I'd rest too easily if I'd paid to stay here for a week, but each to their own..

This was a real struggle to find, and any trace of the property was a well kept secret online. The gardens have consumed the majority of the property and it is hardly even noticeable from the roadside, but eventually the research paid off and we were able to spend a little time to ourselves appreciating the sentimentality of this place. I love how one week we can be exploring the vast industrialisation of an abandoned paper mill, and the next we can be inside a place like this. Just one of the reasons this is a project that just keeps on giving.