Back in 2016 my good friend Lee recommended I go a few miles outside of Aylesbury to photograph a derelict building. My initial reaction was "why?" but curiosity got the better of me and off I went.
Dinton Folly, as it is known back then, is just over 3 miles outside of Aylesbury Buckinghamshire. If you never heard of Dinton Folly then driving on the A418 towards Oxford you would easily miss it as it was covered by wild "shrubbery!" (Sorry, I couldn't resist a Monty Python reference then).
I couldn't park on Dinton Folly's grounds so after a short walk the building revealed itself to me. My first impressions was sadness. I felt sad that this once proud structure house life. I cannot imagine what it has witnessed since its construction in 1769. But what I do know that it has never been used as an home. I've been informed it was used by Sir John Vanhatten to store his collection of fossils in the limestone walls. Thanks L.B. for that bit of fasinating trivia.
Dinton Folly had seen better days for sure. However seeing it in that naked and vulnerable state made me feel connected to a "thing" I had only just seen; although it was broken it was still dignified. Although it needed a lot of love Dinton Folly still had a lot of love to give to whomever would take care of it. It was like a metaphor for my own life but I digress.
I circled the structure slowly, really looking at it's form and surroundings, and no matter which angle I observed it from, it stood proud. I could see its strength as it resisted the elements, traffic vibrations and probably some mild vandalism. Dinton Folly may have been stripped of its clothes, but it remained dignified and regal.
After circling once, I raised my Canon to compose shots and it was when I saw it through my lens I paused. I paused because I realized this shattered remains of a once majestic building will be loved once more because news spread that it had been sold to be converted into a family home. It was then I understood why it had been bought.
I continued to take photos from various angles. Every so often I ran my fingers along the stone walls, through the dirt and open wounds. I understood this was probably the last time I would see Dinton Folly like this.
My photos of Dinton Folly are not amazing by any measure, but they are special to me. As I grow older the passing of time has larger resonance. Dinton Folly has been through much I imagine, as time passes quicker I know this building will outlive me, and for one brief moment in April 2016 I connected with it.