In todays blog I'm out in the Shropshire wilderness feeling like if I stray too far from civilisation, a big white ball will come out of the ground and chase me across the beach.
Seriously, I was trapped out here. This is one of those areas that are a few miles from public transport, and there's no phone signal. But I kinda love it.
My feet weren't going to love it in the morning, but that's okay, it's Future Me's problem.
So what was I doing out in the middle of nowhere? I was looking for an abandoned house, of course.
I was given a tip that there was an abandoned house within a certain distance from a village in Shropshire, and I made an effort to get out to it, approaching cautiously, not being 100% convinced that this place was abandoned, what with a car being parked outside. However, with the garden strewn with wreckage and nobody emerging from the building to tell me to fuck off, I soon accepted that I was alone here.
This car is the most modern piece of machinery here and even that has seen better days.
A quick number plate lookup told me that this car is from 1978 and that its tax has been due since 1995. So from that we can assume that this house has been empty for a couple of decades, roughly.
Abandoned houses fascinate me. The stories surrounding their abandonment are known only to those who lived here. Most often it can be assumed that the previous owner has passed away without any family to inherit what they had. And as such, when I visit places like this I treat them with respect. This is essentially a gravestone to the former occupant, or a museum of their life.
When the occupants life came to an end, the house remained as it was. Or so I thought...
Upon entry I recognised the house from the magical land of the internet, from some Urban Exploring site. When I read that entry I had no idea that the house, nicknamed the Matriarch House, was in Shropshire, because the photographer had not specified the location. It had stuck in my mind though, because of a World War 1 helmet and a bunch of Nazi-related stuff that was reich in mein kampfort zone.
To clarify, I'm not a Nazi. I just think finding an abandoned house with Nazi memorabilia in the UK seemed so out of the ordinary, it was enough to give me adventure envy.
Upon realising that I was in the actual Matriarch House, I set about finding the items that I had seen in photos, but they were not here. The house has indeed had many visitors and looters since its discovery, no doubt because its location got out to the urban exploration community at some point.
But in spite of this initial disapointment, the house still retained a lot of property, including the furniture and the sewing machine.
This is a sort of antibiotic used to treat bacterial infections.
This book is the closest thing I found to anything war-related, and it's not specifically about it. However, given the earlier visitor had documented items with swastikas on, and a World War 1 helmet, it's a fair assumption that the former occupier did have an interest in history around war time, and perhaps they even fought in the war. This book on European history would cover World War 1 and the early years of World War 2, as well as the Victorian era. Also present in the earlier visitors photos were Victorian photos in picture albums, which were likely remnants of the previous occupier and their family lineage perhaps. All of it hinted at an interest in history that was likely caused by having a detailed family bloodline. I actually envy this. I know absolutely nothing of my genetic lineage before my parents. My only living parent was adopted. For all I know I could be a Burmese Princess or something.
The calendar is intriguing because even though it's dated 2013, someone has crossed it out and scribbled "2014" on it. Now, this is not how calendars work. One can't just write a new year on it and then use it again, because the days will be different. As you can see, September 1st 2013 was a Sunday. This year it was a Friday. Do you see what I mean? The varying lengths of months and the rigid unvarying length of weeks throws it right off.
Presumably the occupier knew this. Perhaps an illness or age prevented them from going out and buying a new calendar, so they made do with the same one again, but remembered that the days were wrong. I seem to recall a time in my life when I was much less motivated than I am now, when I simply didn't turn the clocks back, and kept telling myself that I'd get on it, but ultimately just reminded myself to subtract an hour when checking the time. So I can believe that someone might fall into this sort of rut with something like a calendar.
Here's the scariest thing in the abandoned house, the Daily Mail (AAAAAAAHHH!!!) and it's dated 2011.
And here we have more medicine (and you know I include the chocolate when I say that!)
Omeprazole is for gastroesophageal reflux disease, which is basically caused by the backup of stomach acid in the esophagus, which can cause heartburn and stomach pain.
Based on the evidence, it would seem that someone of failing health did live here. Perhaps their health deteriorated to the point that they were stuck at home, and as such the car never got what it needed, and the calendar never got replaced. Nothing in this house dates any later than September 2014.
There are a couple of identical photos here. I have no idea if this was the home owner or a family member. Does anyone recognise them?
Showing the buildings age, what passes for a kitchen in this house is pretty much just an old building extension filled with kitchen appliances.
The presence of cleaning products adds to the eeriness. Of all the rooms in the building, the kitchen is perhaps the one with the most accurate portrayal of how this house looked on the last day of being lived in. Nobody loots cleaning products and expired food.
The door was baricaded though but this is actually a common feature in abandoned places. Some urban explorers will block the most obvious way in, and exit through an unobvious way which isn't immediately visible from outside, to retain access to an abandoned site but also protect it from people with less imagination.
I made my way upstairs.
The bathroom is filthy. The box on the toilet is indicative that maybe someone was in the process of packing but gave up.
And again, nobody ever loots toilet paper. I mean why would we? We have indestructable waterproof money now. Just wipe your arse with a fiver, wash it off in the sink and wipe your arse with it again! It's brilliant. Sure, you lose £5 but think of the money you'll save on toilet paper in the long run.
From here things got considerably more cluttered.
The framed pictures add to the houses former character. Nothing highlights mortality quite like an abandoned house does. Someday we'll all be gone and it could be our posessions being wandered through and photographed.
There are books discarded among the clothing here.
Coats are still hanging in the wardrobe.
And somewhere under all this clutter is a bed. The fact that so much has been piled onto the bed indicates either heavy looting, or some attempt at sorting out the occupants posessions. This is, however, consistent with the images I saw of this house when I first saw photos of it online.
There's something I often say, usually in regards to visiting a place more than once, and I learned it from Camelot Theme Park and Calcott Hall, and that's that an abandoned place will always be at its best on the first visit. These places do not last long. Even comparing my experience with someone elses experience on the internet, Matriarch House has been changed.
Still, in contrast with the likes of Calcott Hall, the Knights Templar Caves and Cloud House, the Matriarch House has yet to be scooped up by the media, and as such it has been slightly more preserved. The media is actually pretty awful for this sort of thing. In fact the mainstream media is awful for most things. But Matriarch House is hidden away in the Shropshire countryside and that's the way it should stay. It's sadly not the way it will stay- The Matriarch House location is known to people. But it would be nice to think of it being forever preserved.
That's a little much to ask though.
That concludes my blog on the Matriarch House. It's a nice, mysterious abandoned cottage with a lot of potential. Being structurally okay, it could easily be cleared out and lived in again.
Next blog post I have something Shrewsbury based that is huge and long demanded by my readers. But there might be a bit of a wait, but it will be worth it. In the meantime, follow me on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, and if you like this blog post share it on social media.
And most importantly, don't forget to just be good to each other. Each of us has power to decide if someone has a good day or a bad day. Don't misuse that power, because that's just what Hitler did. Don't be a Hitler.
Thanks for reading! Stay awesome!