Beauty in Decay

I love old landmarks... not the ones that are merely old... The ones that are falling down and have been half reclaimed by nature or the ones that are naturally crumbling in that picturesque and chaotic manner. There's a quality to them, a random and uncontrolled nature to their appearance that appeals to me more than the order and structure that such constructions would have once had. The way that walls crumble and plant life finds purchase in cracks and mortar has a natural beauty that we humans struggle to create in our own great works; not to belittle them, it's merely a different form of aesthetic. Even where people have stepped in to preserve these decaying constructions the natural processes that over centuries tear these buildings down can usually be seen, and the great ruined structures stand out among their well kept and manicured settings all the more prominently.

The photos here are from Raglan Castle in Wales, which is a spectacular and sprawling ruin. It exemplifies my point that this great military building, somewhat ravaged by centuries of neglect and now well cared for has taken on a particular beauty. Somehow were it more complete it would lose a sense of history and some of it's serene detachment from the realities of our modern experience. The day that I took these was glorious and made for excellent photographs and only highlights the sense of fading grandeur and forgotten purpose that so enchants me about these places.

I find that the sense of entropy is compelling, the thought that someday the buildings that we occupy now might take on the same broken visage and inspire these thoughts in visitors eagre to capture a mote of understanding of what our lives must have been like surrounded by a construction so removed from the craftsmanship and needs of the day as to be nearly completely alien in form and function.

After all, it's the end of things that makes history.

Kraken, China Miéville

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