Visiting: Kirkness

During May 2019, I was staying in Kinross, Scotland, with my brother on a visit to see my elderly mother who lived in Kirkcaldy. It was on one of the journeys between the two towns that I noticed what looked like a number of abandoned and derelict buildings on the top of a hill.

On asking my brother about this, it was clear that he had not noticed the ruins, despite having driven past them for a number of years to and from his workplace. This is not a criticism: being a photographer, I am always looking around and aware of my surroundings, a trait that is probably unique to my and other artistic professions.

On a rather overcast day towards the end of my visit, I made a special trip, armed with my camera, to investigate. Access to the top of the hill was through a farm property, however I spotted someone, who turned out to be the landowner, at the stables half way up. On asking for and being given permission to proceed, I reached what remains of a group of derelict buildings that included a main house, some outbuildings, small cottages and a walled garden. Seeing this as an opportunity to add to my portfolio of abandoned buildings I set about photographing the remains.

My interest in such a subject matter is twofold: the way that nature seems to conquer everything eventually and the way that derelict buildings reveal mysteries about how they were constructed and used. Both these are illustrated and explained in the two images below.

On the returning to my car, I stopped and chatted with the landowner to gather some information about the place. I was told that it was called Kirkness and that it dates back to at least the sixteenth century. On returning home, further investigation did not reveal too much more about when it was vacated, but a brief history can be found here:

My choice of black and white for these images was made to reflect the mood and atmosphere of the buildings and to better portray the loss of bygone days.

Click on the image to view the gallery

(c) 2020 Martin Leitch Photography

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