‘Beauty of decay’: Glimpse inside Britain's stunning abandoned buildings (PHOTOS)

‘Beauty of decay’: Glimpse inside Britain's stunning abandoned buildings (PHOTOS)
Books lie strewn across the desks of a long disused schoolhouse as paint fleck peels from the decrepit and damp ceiling in just one of a series of extraordinary images taken by photographer Simon Yeung.

Yeung has made it his mission to explore and photograph Britain’s abandoned buildings.

The UK-based photographer has garnered a core following on Instagram for his work, which involves slinging a camera over his shoulder and clambering through the detritus of Britain’s abandoned buildings.

Yeung’s repertoire includes eerie snapshots of cathedrals lost in time, a crumbling auditorium, a mine in Scotland, and deserted rail lines. Unfortunately - or perhaps sensibly - he refuses to disclose the exact location of many of his subjects.

The air of mystery clearly adds to the interest in his work, with people often posting guesses on his Instagram page in a bid to pin down the whereabouts of a hidden clock tower or tunnel.

“I am drawn to beautiful architecture first and foremost,” Yeung told RT. “In my opinion, the most beautiful abandoned buildings are from the Victorian and Edwardian periods.

“The detail and craftsmanship on display in these buildings can be breathtaking. Not all are in great condition unfortunately, but even the most derelict ones manage to retain glimpses of their former majesty.”

While the images depict buildings long out of sync with the modern world, Yeung explains how ramshackled infrastructure retains a certain beauty. And dereliction is an essential trait when it comes to his urban exploration.

“My first taste of an abandoned location was in Paris and this experience stayed with me long after I left the city.

“I think there is most definitely a beauty to decay. Personally I prefer buildings which have a bit of decay to places which are in almost pristine condition; it has to look derelict,” he says.

“There is a limit though, as there are buildings which are too far gone and no longer aesthetically pleasing.”

Built in 1901, Sleaford’s historic Bass Malting brewery features in a number of Yeung’s images.

The malt house site was severely damaged by fire in the 1970s and more recently survived potentially a worse fate, the threat of a Tesco redevelopment plan.

Of course entering fire-damaged buildings comes with an element of danger - something Yeung says he thrives on.

“The inherent risk there is one of the factors which makes exploring such an amazing experience. I did fall whilst trying to climb into a building recently and injured my ankle. Worst of all, I didn’t manage to get in.”

Law enforcement, however, is a risk he is keen to avoid.

So what’s his view on the topic of vacant spaces, disused and left in a state of disrepair? After all, he has documented scores of industrial buildings that pockmark the UK.

He describes many of the majestic locations as being caught in a “tragic” catch 22 given the financial burden of attempting to renovate the ruins.

“It is tragic that we allow our disused buildings to crumble and rot, but I can also see that for a lot of these buildings, the cost of saving them is likely to be prohibitive.”