Ignoring KEEP OUT Signs Lets A Photographer Share The World’s Secret Treasures

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at 2015.10.13
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We”ve looked at some of urban exploration photographer Matt Emmett”s photography before, and luckily for all of us, he”s still at it, blithely ignoring the No Trespassing and Access Prohibited signs to take photos in places most of us never see.

Emmett, whose ever-expanding collection is titled Forgotten Heritage, travels to abandoned, shuttered places across his native U.K. and throughout Europe, from factories to military compounds to houses and schools, and takes haunting photos that capture both their current decay and former glory. He acknowledges that it might sound cliche, but, he says, “there really is a strong sense of palpable history present in abandoned buildings, the items left behind like paperwork in a drawer or plaques or signs in an industrial plant, allow you a glimpse into the past.”

Some of the places are merely shells, vast cavernous spaces that were once full of human activity and now resemble alien ruins. Some are still full of items that show exactly what was happening on the place”s last operational day. Some places date from a distant past, and some come from not very long ago. All circumstances are equally eerie, and make for equally remarkable photos.

An abandoned castle

An abandoned castle

A sprawling castle complex in Wales, left for many years for nature to reclaim.

Abandoned university

Abandoned university

The impressive frontage of an educational facility in an otherwise busy Belgian city.

Auto loom

Auto loom

German Schlafhorst Autoconer machine at a long abandoned textile mill in the U.K.

Abandoned synagogue

Abandoned synagogue

The beautiful main auditorium at a synagogue in the U.K.

Abandoned coal mine

Abandoned coal mine

The sunset creates a warm glow on the walls of this architecturally impressive, but derelict, coal mine.

A staircase

A staircase

The grand staircase that once led to the principles office at this now disused university site in Europe.

The ceiling of an abandoned spa

The ceiling of an abandoned spa

A stunning classical Roman-style ceiling in the entrance lobby of an abandoned health spa in Europe.

Subterranean cistern

Subterranean cistern

Deep beneath London are a series wonderful spaces of Victorian construction. This is the view within one of several large underground reservoirs beneath the capital.

A radar dome

A radar dome

The exterior of a radar dome at dusk.

Inside the radar dome

Inside the radar dome

The interior of a military radar tracking station lit up from outside by the warm glow of the sunset.

A colonnade

A colonnade

A beautiful folly in the grounds of a once immaculate and grand country estate. After a fire gutted the house 70 years previously, the entire estate was left to the elements and now resembles something more akin to the jungle bound temples in Angkor, Cambodia.

An old TV

An old TV

A retro TV set sits surrounded by the gradually worsening decay in an abandoned house in the U.K.

A control panel

A control panel

Banks of switches, dials and gauges on this vintage control desk in an abandoned power station.

A school chapel

A school chapel

A recently abandoned school housed this small but stunning chapel in Europe.

Exploring abandoned places, particularly those with explicit instructions not to do so, comes with risks of both the legal and physical kind, but that doesn”t stop Emmett. “There is a thrill in exploring an environment that allows you to step into a previously unknown world and discover something first-hand, taking your time and noting the details as you go,” he says. “Having a camera with me allows me to prolong that thrill long after the building is gone.”

You can keep up with Emmett”s latest adventures on Facebook.

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