Saturday, 6 August 2016

Travelers Cottage

(DISCLAIMER: As an overall nice human being, I do not force entry, vandalize, steal, or disclose means of entry or location if it isn't obvious. I do this to protect locations and respect them. Trespass without forced entry is a civil offence rather than a criminal one, which isn't worth acting on unless one causes damage, steals, has ill intent, etc. I simply photograph and leave everything as I find it. I do not condone breaking and entering, and I do not condone what I do. I'm a danger to myself and a terrible role model. )

Today we'll be looking at another abandoned house!
The majority of abandoned houses in the Shropshire countryside are as well travelled as the London Underground. And without anyone to tidy up after the visitors, it really shows! So upon finding myself in a house that was abandoned, but remarkably non-traveled and with minimum mess or decay, I almost felt like I was wrong about this place, and that the the owners would walk in with the shopping any second! Only the long out of date food and the kicked-down door were any indicator that someone was no longer taking care of this place. Upon discovering its existence I grabbed my colleague, Tree Surgeon, and his wife, Ms K since she's the only one who can legally drive, and we headed out to what we later called The Travelers Cottage.

Since its hidden away in the Shropshire countryside, it was a bit of a gamble as to whether it would even be accessible. If it wasn't, we'd be left with no adventure and a very angry Ms. K demanding petrol money for wasting her time. The sad truth of this hobby is that one needs to prepare for disapointment. The ROC posts are a great example. I've been out to six and been inside only four. In the past I have occasionally adventured with those hypermasculine "failure is not an option" types, and it's disastrous. It's a mindset that has no place in this sort of activity. There is a huge difference between striving for success and forcing success. Sometimes one does end up traveling for an hour or more to find that there's no non-destructive way in, and we just have to deal with it. But if you're exploring with someone who says and thinks things like "I've not traveled all the way out here for nothing. I'm getting in no matter what," then you should suggest to this person that they find a better way to spend their time before they get you arrested.
Fortunately my colleagues are sane and grounded by a moral compass. The Oswestry Rooftopper said something recently on a non-adventure that I think deserves quoting. "We've been mostly lucky for years, so what's one failed adventure compared to all that we've done?" And he's right. Since 2010  we've been seeing Shrewsbury from more angles than I thought was possible without a jetpack. I've had a lot of successful adventures, and it's my gratitude for all of them that lessens the disapointment when I do have a non-adventure. Would Travelers Cottage prove to be a non-adventure. Thankfully not, since I'm writing about it.

 The garden was overgrown, but back in the day it would have been amazing.

 I really like this odd portrait, fixed to the exterior of the house.

I'm not sure why a teapot is fixed to a tree though. I was beginning to think that the former owner of this place had some eccentric tastes in decoration.We'd probably get along.

Anyway, gaining entry to the Travelers Cottage was easy. As I mentioned, someone had kicked the door through, and as such there was smashed-glass to avoid as we slipped inside. And yet the exposure to the elements had not caused any major interior decay. This meant that the place had been broken into recently, and probably robbed of anything of major materalistic value. At least, in the way of electronics rather than the sentimental or those items of worth whose value is not acknowledged by your typical shallow materialistic robber. But check this place out. This kitchen is jaw-droppingly immaculate!

 If not for the fact that everything with an expiry date was dated 2010, I'd think this place was still being lived in. It was very, very, eerie.

 In the cupboard under the sink there was an axe.

It sure would have been creepy if this chess set was left mid-game.

 One could have made themselves a cup of tea if they wanted. But would you want to?
When does tea and sugar expire? 

Moving on to the lounge, we found a lot of unusual things. In fact the lounge was what inspired Tree Surgeon to call this place the Travelers Cottage. It seemed to us that whoever had lived here had done a lot of traveling, and collecting random objects, and indeed may even still be abroad for a number of years.
But we loved the cottage. Structurally it was fine. All it needed was a new door, and an owner.

In the corner was a church pew.But that was just the start. As well as being fully furnished, the lounge was full of bizarre ornaments that made it feel rather homely but eccentric at the same time. 

I think the bench would probably have been out in the garden once.

This antler was genuine and came from a real animal. I'm not much of a fan of the idea of hunting an animal and taking part of it as a trophy, but it sure added to the character of the place. 

There was a cuirass and an axe, but I'm not sure if they were genuine. Trying to put a date on them was hard but we've concluded that it's probaly not medieval. These kind of cuirass were worn by heavy cavalry as recently as the 19th Century. But if it was a replica then it could have all been made any time.

One of our favourite finds was this clog that had been turned into a boat and then made into a lamp.

These little bottles still had alcohol in them.

I really like this drink dispenser.

A horn. The only one in the building that didn't come from an animal.

I'm not sure what animal these horns belong to. I'm thinking buffalo but I could be wrong.

I'm loving this little makeshift shelf for pictures.

A small set of stairs led upwards, and at the top, as if to welcome us, was a taxidermied animal head. 

 I always find it so surreal that this head, that I can reach out and touch, was once attached to a living, healthy body, thinking and feeling and enjoying the world in his own way. There was once a fully functional living brain in this, and now he's an ornament.
If any of my readers want my head when I die to mount on a wall, let me know in the comments.

Two smaller heads were on either side of the window. These have dates on their bases indicating that the occupant probably purchased them, and likely all the other taxidermy, rather than being an actual hunter.

Both of them are from 1893. In a strange way this is even more surreal! These guys died over a hundred years ago!

Onto the bathroom, which was an awesome shade of blue. I'd actually love to have this bathroom.

 The toilet was a little questionable. It's lacking a seat, and it's blocked by... something?

 I'm not sure what that is, but it's still in better condition than some of the toilets in bars and clubs!

(You know, I make that joke so often it's a wonder I'm even still allowed in bars and clubs.)  

The toilet seat was on a nearby chair next to the most awesome looking shower in the world.

Moving to the first bedroom. Hope Everyone Likes Pink!

 Curiously, the pot of pink paint was on the floor by the bed. It was the same shade as the walls. It was as if this room was prepared for a guest (or two given the two beds) right before getting abandoned.

 One thing I've noticed about abandoned houses in Shropshire, such as Calcott Hall and Vanity House is that sewing machines often get stolen. I'm just picturing some urbexer somewhere sitting and laughing maniacally in a room full of sewing machines. But so far they havent nabbed these two!

I really like this boomerang because if you look really close you can see where it was carved. Tree Surgeon speculates that this is a genuine Aboriginal boomerang.

Onto the final bedroom. This one had three beds. 

 So this begs the question, if this is only a two bedroom house, why are there so many beds? Did the owner rent it out like Airbnb?

 This cat was either a cheetah, jaguar or leopard. The differences are far easier to tell when one can see the whole body, since the differences in the spots is more pronounced there. It's rather small for a big cat which does support it being a cheetah, but it lacks the stripes that cheetahs have on their face. Either way, Tree Surgeon actually pointed out to me the bullet hole that killed it. And on close inspection it seems that the head was probably mangled by the gunshot, and it's been reconstructed, so this head is actually more fake than taxidermy now, which leads to the question, why bother? Did a creature have to die for this unimpressive paperweight?

On the window were claws or teeth from some animal. I don't know what.

But that was about it for the house itself. Two bedrooms, five beds, a single bathroom, a lounge and a kitchen/hall. And a load of random ornaments. But why was it left this way? The building itself really just needs a little bit of a clean up, and a new door. It would make an amazing home. Tree Surgeon was seriously debating in his mind the best way to go about purchasing it, and moving Ms K and me in.

On our way out we stopped to admire the garden and realised that there was much more to it than we realised. Its overgrowth made it deceptive. But as we worked our way through the bushes we found this odd shrine area.

 Now I don't know enough about this sort of thing to know what kind of shrine this is, if that is indeed what it is, but it seemed really peaceful here. Scraping the mud and leaves away with our shoes revealed a tiled floor, there were little shelves presumably for candles or plants, and a main central shelf presumably also for holding something.

 In the middle of the floor was a small pond, although it was barely recognisable as one now.

And finally there was this lonely little bench.

And that's concludes Travelers Cottage.
This place is full of mystery. It's immaculatre, and has the same eeriness and sadness that all abandoned houses have. Because this isn't just exploring architecture and history. This is exploring the remnants of someones life! Abandoned houses were homes once, and they carry with them the last surviving remnants of someones story.

The sad thing is, since coming here I've noticed other peoples photos on Instagram of the exact same house, clearly after our visit. Things aren't the same. Stuff has already started going missing. It is now known to the wider British Urbex Community, and as such, these photos of the Travelers Cottage depict it in a way that it isn't anymore. But on the bright side, should nobody come and fix it up, it will be engulfed in nature a few years from now and be really photogenic.
I'm sure any photos taken before my arrival probably show it with even more cool stuff. Who knows how awesome it was when the first visitor kindly kicked the door down.

Anyway thanks for reading. If you liked the blog, share it on the social media, and as always I would really appreciate any donations to the blog fund via the donate button up at the top. But far more important to me is that you head out and put a smile on someones face today. Compliment a stranger. Turn a day around. Real wealth is measured in happiness, not money. Nobody will be lying on their death bed thinking "At least I made all that money." Happiness is what every human wants. Happiness is what every human has the power to give. If you go out and compliment someone random, you might get a hug too, and everyone likes hugs.
If you want to get tweeted whenever I update my blog, feel free to follow my Twitter. And also if you follow my Instagram you'll see the occasional photos that don't make it into the blog, and also photos for blog posts I havent got around to writing yet.

And if you want some additional fun, I have a little challenge for you. Nothing too huge. Just a game.
I was recently chatting to the mother of a certain Youtuber over on Facebook. Now I won't name names because you will either know what I'm talking about or you won't, and if you don't then thats cool. But basically we spoke briefly on how the mainstream media will sometimes take a story and twist it to suit their own agenda, which tends to involve a lot of fear mongering. However in this case they ended up stirring an entire shit storm on someone who is clearly quite troubled already. I think if someone is in a fragile frame of mind or if their mental health isn't at its peak, for whatever reason, unleashing this drama on them is just cruel and evil. But it also goes to show that when you look for clues to support a conspiracy theory, you will see them. It's like when people look for subliminal messages by playing songs backwards and hear them because they want to hear them. If you watch a youtube video, looking for a secret "Help me" to indicate someone is actually kidnapped, then you will find it.
So as a bit of fun, to make light of a bizarre situation, if any of you want to go over my entire blog and find clues that I have in fact been kidnaped by terrorists, and report your conspiracy theories back to me, I would LOVE to see what you come up with. Let your imaginations run wild. Read between lines that aren't there. Put logic through a blender and give it to me.

Thank you for reading. Stay awesome.


  1. I am fairly sure (90%) that there are tunnels or some kind of underground room under the parade shopping center,
    One evening when performing a ghost hunt with one of the former shop owners, I found a panel on one of the red columns that was loose, (one of the pillars on the ground floor, to the right as you go in)
    Although I did not force the panel off as it seems to have been painted in place. I am certain it is hiding something, most likely a tunnel connecting to Wyle Cop tunnels.
    I am becoming increasingly excited as you discover more tunnels and reasons to believe that Shrewsbury has a labyrinth under it (At this point it is undeniable) I personally believe that these tunnels are ancient streets that were built on top of when there was no more room to build in the walled town, so they built up, leaving the poor to live down there and built a new street level.

    Love Always
    Chris Webster

  2. Hello, could you give me the location of this place please, as id like to go and explore it. When was this post originally posted? It's such a shame people have stolen things now.

  3. This place is sealed now and was sealed by the police who even left a big notice on the door

    1. Given the fact it's been looted I'm kinda relieved. But lets face it, it's only a matter of time before someone forces their way back in for the sake of a forum post.