Continuing my investigation of the stables at Little Canfield I came across this leather jacket:

It reminded me of my own black leather jacket, very similar to this that was my pride and joy as a teenager – it protected me from a severe kicking from a lunatic and kept me surprisingly warm in the cold. I finally swapped it for one of those “designer” style leather jackets with a friend – a bad move – I know who got the best out of that deal!


Back to some dereliction…

Heading out of Great Dunmow towards Stansted you come across a small village called Little Canfield. There’s a lot of new build housing going up here and all the way across to Takeley, but, clinging on at the edge of the development are these derelict stables.

Derelict buildings always benefit from being shot in HDR so you don’t get a load of blown highlights and here was no exception.


The watermill is thought to date from the later part of the 18th century. The mill contains a large cast iron waterwheel and a complete set of gearing to three pairs of millstones. As recently as 2005 restoration was being considered, however the mill appears to have been abandoned now and is rapidly falling into disrepair.


We’ve been a bit all over the place from the start of this blog – I promise we’ll start being a little more disciplined in the organisation of series of pictures so that you don’t have to leap from page to page to find all the posts from a series. Of course, you could try the categories drop down box – top right of the page, but that’s not a whole lot better organised!  The problem has been that I have an idea or picture for a series, and then another springs up in front of me, and then another…all of a sudden you end up with about 6 series all running together, as we have at the moment!

Anyhow – onwards:

Continue Reading…


Continuing the short series of images taken from the Dunmow Lock-Up this is an old shoe last:

Each shoe last is designed for a particular heel height, toe shape, and type of footwear.

Many styles of shoes can be made on the same shoe last , but the toe shape and heel height will be the same for each pair made on that shoe last.


It’s always quite interesting what you find in old “abandoned” buildings. This is probably my favourite shot from the series I took in the old Dunmow lock-up.

For those of you who care about such things this is an HDR shot taken from a bracket of 3 shots.


Great Dunmow has a fabulous little old, disused jail or lock-up.

The plaque on the wall sums up some of its history:

“This small single cell prison ceased its function in 1843 when the Dunmow police station opened. During the 1890’s this disused Lock-up was adapted to be a Soup Kitchen to help feed the poor of the area during those hard years. Lady Warwick is reputed to have provided venison for the kitchen from her neighboring lands.”

The lock-up was used most recently by a local cobbler who died a few years ago and the building was left to Dunmow Town Council who had some plans to turn it into a museum, but with the onset of the recession these plans have clearly been shelved and the building (which is a Grade 1 listed building) is slowly falling into disrepair.

The other week some drunken idiots kicked the door in  (rather belying its previous use) and I noticed that the door was open as I walked past it. Well, you can’t miss an opportunity like that so I popped in with my camera and got a series of shots. It really was a delight to find some of the old cobblers tools and the ancient radio and TV that were left in there and it’s such a shame that the Dunmow public have been deprived of this for so long.


Between Great Dunmow and Little Easton as you drive out towards Thaxted you may have noticed a couple of derelict buildings – just next to the by pass from Tesco’s through the Woodlands Park development. I had a little rummage around these a few weeks ago and picked up some interesting shots.

This sums up the rather gloomy, slightly depressing, atmosphere in this rapidly decaying building. Let’s hope the contractors sort this out a bit quicker than they sort out the by-pass!

Update 2014…this has now been completely demolished.