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 Lost Villages and Other Places

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PostSubject: Lost Villages and Other Places   Mon 24 Mar 2014, 12:01

World War One saw the deployment of forces on a continental scale. The battlezone on the Western Front was a scene of concentrated violence on a scale never seen before. The result were actual changes to the landscape, the huge craters round Vimy Ridge are a case in point, less well known are the Lost Villages, villages which were destroyed and never (or only partially) rebuilt, around Verdun.

The remains of the village of Bezonvaux;





The surrounding countryside is practically unusable. This article from 2009, quotes the French Interior Ministry as estimating 12 million unexploded shells in the Verdun area;

http://www.orionmagazine.org/index.php/articles/article/4397/

....................................................................................................................................................

From WW2, a virtual tour of Oradour-sur-Glane, destroyed by the Das Reich SS Division in June 1944, and maintained as a permanent memorial;

http://www.oradour.org/visite_virtuelle/oradour.html

In French but easy enough to follow.
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PostSubject: Re: Lost Villages and Other Places   Mon 24 Mar 2014, 13:18

The Spanish village of Belchite, left as a memorial to the Spanish Civil War;



http://www.uniquespain.com/belchite.html
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PostSubject: Re: Lost Villages and Other Places   Mon 24 Mar 2014, 13:34

Belchite has become a magnet for the Spanish version of neo-nazis, "Francophiles" in the worst possible definition of the term. There has been talk lately of either demolishing the remains of the "memorial" or simply renovating and rebuilding the old town.

Norfolk has the dubious distinction of having the highest number of deserted villages in the UK, more even than in the whole of Scotland after the enforced abandonment of villages there by Scottish landlords in the 18th and 19th centuries. Local historian Alan Davison managed to compile a list of the main ones - all these places having proven or suspected populations at one time exceeding 500:

Alethorpe, Appleton, Arminghall (possible) Ashby, Babingley, Barmer, Barningham (North), Barningham (Town), Barwick (Great), Bawsey, Bayfield, Beachamwell, Beeston St. Andrew, Beeston St. Lawrence, Bickerston, Bittering (Little), Bixley, Bodney, Bowthorpe, Braydeston, Broomsthorpe, Brumstead, Buckemham Tofts, Burgh, Bylaugh, Caldecote, Choseley, Colveston, Cranwich, Didlington, Earlham, Eccles, Egmere, Foston, Frenze, Gasthorpe, Godwick, Greynston, Gunton, Hales, Hargham, Harling (Middle), Harling (West), Hautbois (Great), Hautbois (Little), Heckingham, Herringby, Hockham (Little), Holkham, Holverston, Houghton, Houghton-on-the-Hill, Illington, Ingloss, Irmingland, Kempstone, Kenningham, Kilverstone, Langford, Letton, Leziate, Longham, Lynford, Mannington, Markshall, Mintlyn, Narford, Oby, Oxborough, Oxnead, Palgrave (Great), Palgrave (Little), Pattesley, Pensthorpe, Pudding Norton, Quarles, Rackheath (Little), Riddlesworth, Ringstead (Little), Roudham, Rougham, Roxham, Ryston, Santon, Saxlingham Thorpe, Shingham, Shotesham St. Mary, Snarehill (Great), Stanford, Stanninghall, Sturston, Summerfield (Southmere), Sutton, Tattersett, Testerton, Thorpe Parva, Thorpland, Threxton, Thuxton, Wallington, Waterden, Weasenham St. Peter, West Tofts, Windall, Winston, Witchingham (Little), Wolterton, Wreningham (Little) and Wretham (West).

The reasons for abandonment are many and quite debatable - ranging from plague and pestilence to simple changes in agricultural practice over time. Emparkment accounted for a few, as did coastal erosion, but by far the biggest cause in recent years was the creation of the giant Stanford Military Training Area, a "temporary" arrangement enforced on unwilling locals during WWII which is still ongoing.



The remains of Godwick Church (copywright Nick Stone), centre of a village abandoned between 14th and 16th centuries

And a link to Nick Stone's excellent photographic blog spot Invisible Works
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PostSubject: Re: Lost Villages and Other Places   Mon 24 Mar 2014, 14:44

Essex villages had a habit of "wandering" around the countryside for a variety of reasons, too.
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PostSubject: Re: Lost Villages and Other Places   Tue 25 Mar 2014, 12:53

Trike wrote:
From WW2, a virtual tour of Oradour-sur-Glane, destroyed by the Das Reich SS Division in June 1944, and maintained as a permanent memorial;

As if such a cruel atrocity is not hard enough to live with for those who survived there is also the fact that it was the "wrong" village anyway - SS Battalion commader Diekmann mistook the place for nearby Oradour-sur-Vayres when he had received intelligence from Vichy agents that an SS officer was being held there.
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PostSubject: Re: Lost Villages and Other Places   Tue 25 Mar 2014, 14:11

@nordmann wrote:
Trike wrote:
From WW2, a virtual tour of Oradour-sur-Glane, destroyed by the Das Reich SS Division in June 1944, and maintained as a permanent memorial;

As if such a cruel atrocity is not hard enough to live with for those who survived there is also the fact that it was the "wrong" village anyway - SS Battalion commader Diekmann mistook the place for nearby Oradour-sur-Vayres when he had received intelligence from Vichy agents that an SS officer was being held there.


I've heard that, mistook on village for another.

.........................................................................................................

The remote archipelago of St Kilda, abandoned by it's residents in 1930. There is, I believe, a military presence on the main island of Hirta



http://www.kilda.org.uk/
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PostSubject: Re: Lost Villages and Other Places   Tue 25 Mar 2014, 15:22

Home of two rare breeds of fairly primitive sheep Broreray and Soay (but not the St Kilda). Had a number of endemic races of creatures such as the St Kilda wren - isolated islands often produce miniature or oversized races or species. Also notable in that the archipelago
doesn't contain an island called "St Kilda"
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PostSubject: Re: Lost Villages and Other Places   Tue 25 Mar 2014, 16:46

And then there's the village of Tyneham in Dorset ... not really a lost village as it's still there, but rather it has no inhabitants. Tyneham was commandeered by the War Office just before Christmas 1943 for use as a firing range and for training troops.  252 villagers were displaced, the last person leaving a notice on the church door:

"Please treat the church and houses with care; we have given up our homes where many of us lived for generations to help wn the war to keep men free. We shall return one day and thank you for treating the village kindly".

However, whilst the village's evacuation was supposed to be just for the duration of the war, in 1948 the Army placed a compulsory purchase order on the whole village and surrounding land and it has remained in use for military training ever since.

Tyneham, St Mary's:



A similarly commandeered village is Imber on Salisbury Plain, which like Tyneham can only be visited on a few fixed days each year under strict MOD supervision.

Imber, St Giles':

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PostSubject: Re: Lost Villages and Other Places   Tue 25 Mar 2014, 22:25

The villagers either didn't have the right ethnicity or enough determination.  During the 1880s our government took over some Maori land for defence purposes and kept it till 1941 when they gifted it to the Auckland council.  When they decided to sell it for development in 1977 the Maori tribe whose land it had been staged a fairly peaceful live-in for 508 days.  When the police and army stormed this and arrested 250 people there was unhappiness throughout NZ (Bastion Point made headline news night after night at this time) and eventually an apology was made and and the land given back with reparation.  But I am not sure that it was ever a lost village as such.

I thought NZ would be too new to have many of these, but I think there are quite a number of early Maori settlements that have disappeared through the years for various reasons, some may be that they were also intended to be temporary, but sometimes from a loss of population through measles etc, some taken over by warfare.

My own little town of just over 300 people was once in a different place and was shifted when the railway came through and people bought up land in the new area.  The old settlement is remembered in its name of Settlement Hill, but the town's name came here with the new residents and their businesses.

In recent years since two major floods in 1978 and 1980 the town of Kelso has folded up.  The area exists as farms but the small number of people living there abandoned the town (also of about 300 people).  Village isn't really a word used here to describe these small settlements, though nobody would pick you up on it if you did. Sometimes township is used instead of town.
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PostSubject: Re: Lost Villages and Other Places   Wed 26 Mar 2014, 08:40

I suspect that many towns and villages have shifted location over the years in response to changing needs.

My own village, Corsavy, started out as a sheep-farming hamlet 'Corti Savi' that is "Savi's enclosure", on a suitable bit of open flat land with access to high mountain pastures. By the tenth century the village was established enough for a stone chapel to be built and consacrated to St Martin ("Sancti Martini, in villa Rivo Ferrario") in 993 by Bérenger, the Bishop of Elne. In 1158 it was officially made the parish church for the growing farming community. 

But early in the twelfth century baron Bernard Ramon "de Curti Savini", who held his fief from the King of Majorca, had started construction of a castle about a mile away on a prominent rocky crag. This gradually became the focus of the village as people moved there to benefit from its protection - it was a rather lawless time. The castle chapel, dedicated to St Jacques, served the new village until it eventually fell into ruin along with the castle, and so a 'new' parish church was built in the seventeenth century, dedicated once again to St Martin. The original site of the village was effectively abandoned by the fifteenth century and so today, alongside a few broken walls and levelled trackways, only the chapel of Sant Marti remains to mark the old site (ruined by centuries of being plundered for building stone the chapel is now being restored using stone from the original quarry).

Photo below - The old church of Sant Marti, and in the middle distance the current village clustered tightly around the remains of the twelfth century castle, with a fourteenth century signal tower on the high ground at the back of the village:



.... and the church of St Martin, hidden away in the centre of the 'new' village:



Last edited by Meles meles on Thu 27 Mar 2014, 20:48; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Clarity)
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PostSubject: Re: Lost Villages and Other Places   Wed 26 Mar 2014, 14:56

Somewhat different, a short film about the last resting place of airliners in the Mojave Desert;

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PostSubject: Re: Lost Villages and Other Places   Wed 26 Mar 2014, 14:59

Some of them look in better nick than the last charter flight I took to Crete where the window I sat beside kept making loud popping noises and the toilet had a sign in it apologising for the lack of suction due to a "burnt out" component - every time the plane banked there was an entire row of three seats in front of me that gracefully slid in unison out into the aisle and back again. Oh how we laughed.
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PostSubject: Re: Lost Villages and Other Places   Thu 27 Mar 2014, 07:54

http://www.bbc.co.uk/insideout/eastmidlands/series4/east_midlands_reservoirs.shtml

Beneath the waters of Ladybower reservoir in Derbyshire lies an area which was once the villages of Derwent and Ashopton complete with small stone cottages, tree lined lanes, a seventeenth century church and an old mansion.


http://fantasticjournal.blogspot.co.uk/2008/07/village-that-died-for-derbyshire.html


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PostSubject: Re: Lost Villages and Other Places   Thu 27 Mar 2014, 13:57

Fascinating video there, Temp.

These villages will never reappear. A map of the villages lost to coastal erosion on the Holderness coast;

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PostSubject: Re: Lost Villages and Other Places   Thu 27 Mar 2014, 14:11

Hartburn is a great name for a village - pity it's been quenched.

In Ireland it's not uncommon, especially in the west, to come across the ruins of what must have been pretty thriving little hamlets at one time but which now are so completely "abandoned", even in the memories of local people. No one can recall what families lived there, why or when the cottages were vacated, and sometimes even by what name the village went. There is something fundamentally sad about them - all those lives now so permanently erased - and the shells of their old dwellings reinforce the feeling tremendously.
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PostSubject: Re: Lost Villages and Other Places   Thu 27 Mar 2014, 14:33

I remember hearing something about villagers having to move because of something to do with works an ancestor of a member of the local aristocracy was having done on his estate a couple or three centuries ago.  Not sure of the details - probably something to do with enclosure but I couldn't actually swear to it. I remember when I was learning about the Reform Act at school, one of the "rotten boroughs" was under water.  When I was a conveyancing secretary a client was proposing to buy a house on the east coast of England and when the local authority search came in, it revealed that some of the garden belonging to the house had been lost to erosion (so how long would it be before the the house itself was swallowed up?) The problem where I live is different.  Growth in population means developers have their beady eyes on greenfield sites near the outskirts of the town.  There are houses at the back of me but to the east I look out over green fields but that will end soon if proposed planning to build 600 houses goes ahead.  I don't like it but apart from writing a letter of concern (which I did) what the heck can I do?  A bit further east the HS2 is supposed to be coming through.  They are not planning to build any stations on that line in Staffordshire so those of us living in the county would have all the inconvenience and no advantages of the proposed railway (I'm very cynical about the advantages mind) and I SO want to get to London more quickly whenever I make that journey (that's irony by the way). Somebody called me a "nimby" and I said "too bl**dy right".  I think they thought I would protest that a nimby I was not, but I don't want the darn railway and I don't want 600 extra houses near where I live (I think it's circa 7000 projected houses for the town as a whole).  Oh dear, this sounds a bit like "The Daily Rant".  Getting back to lost villages, I always feel sad whenever I read Oliver Goldsmith's poem thus entitled (i.e. "The Lost Village").
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PostSubject: Re: Lost Villages and Other Places   Thu 27 Mar 2014, 15:28

I'm more a banana than a nimby these days ...
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PostSubject: Re: Lost Villages and Other Places   Thu 27 Mar 2014, 16:10

You live in a nice spot, MM!

Regards,

AR
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PostSubject: Re: Lost Villages and Other Places   Thu 27 Mar 2014, 17:55

Thanks AR, I do feel fortunte to live here  ... and since I'm a b&b you're welcome to visit anytime.  Wink 

But it is funny ...  whilst I was checking some of the dates I'd written above, using the village's website, I discovered that there's actually a neolithic dolmen about a kilometre away, straight down the valley from my own back door. Indeed if it wasn't for the trees I could probably see it.

And I never knew until now. Just goes to show how useful this forum is! 

Très cordialement, MM
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PostSubject: Re: Lost Villages and Other Places   Fri 28 Mar 2014, 11:08

Thanks MM - as it happens, Mrs Rheged and I had a week just on the other side of the Pic de Canigou last year.  I was dead set on climbing it, but it was very hot, so I had a swim and downed a few bottles of Chateau Intermarche instead!

Back on the OP, one of Britain's hidden gems is Snarford church in Lincolnshire.  The village is deserted, but the church still stands and has the most amazing collection of beautifully painted tombs.  Well worth a detour if you are in the area which, quite frankly, most people never are.

Regards,

AR
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PostSubject: Re: Lost Villages and Other Places   Fri 28 Mar 2014, 12:35

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PostSubject: Re: Lost Villages and Other Places   Sat 29 Mar 2014, 12:08

I am posting the link to the part of the Shrugborough Estate website that mentions that the village of Shrugborough was moved in the formation of the Estate. http://www.shugborough.org.uk/theshugboroughestate/EstateHistory.aspx It is only mentioned very briefly in the sixth paragraph (last one before "First Earl of Lichfield") and you need to scroll quite a way down the page.  The mention is incidental. I didn't mention the name of the village or estate when I posted before because you have to be careful what you say int his country sometimes, but I guess if it is on the Estate's own website and in the public domain it is okay.
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PostSubject: Re: Lost Villages and Other Places   Sat 29 Mar 2014, 14:18

Same happened further south in the county - though it might then have been in the Worcestershire enclave that included Dudley. Local lore says the Dudley family wanted to live in Worcestershire, so the enclave was created for them to do so.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Himley_Hall
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PostSubject: Re: Lost Villages and Other Places   Sat 29 Mar 2014, 14:41

Temp - that's a truly eerie video of the drained Ladybower reservoir. Is that a car half-submerged in the mud, visible in the foreground at 2:17? Whatever it is, that must have been some drought in the mid-1990s to reveal all that. Genuinely spooky.
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PostSubject: Re: Lost Villages and Other Places   Sat 29 Mar 2014, 15:50

The old gold mining town of Tallangatta is another submerged beneath a resevoir in Australia and reappears every 10yrs or so during drought. Even though the town was moved further up hill before the Hume Dam was built and the valley flooded in the 1950s, it is rather akin to a wreck rising from the deep when the old town resurfaces, it is eerie and evocative to witness.

Before


During flooding



New town  on the shores of the resevoir today



During drought, you can see the normal water line in the background along the hillside.



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PostSubject: Re: Lost Villages and Other Places   Sat 29 Mar 2014, 16:03

A brilliant BBC doc on digitally rebuilding the ancient city of Pavlopetri off the modern island of Elafonisos in Southern Greece based on archaeology of the site. Now submerged beneath the sea, Pavlopetri at 5,000yrs old is thought to be the oldest submerged city. 

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PostSubject: Re: Lost Villages and Other Places   Sat 29 Mar 2014, 16:19

And who can forget the discovery of Cleopatra's Palace submerged beneath the harbour at Alexandria.

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PostSubject: Re: Lost Villages and Other Places   Tue 15 Apr 2014, 14:18

There was a programme (Landward) on last week which took a look at the effect of the Great War on rural Scotland. One of the areas examined was the Cabrach, a crofting area split between Aberdeen shire and Banffshire. This area had 800 volunteers for the Army in the first few weeks, so many that the crofts were left to be run by the women and older men. They managed to cope with the winter of 1914/15, which was unexpectedly mild, but in the winter of 1915/16, with heavy snow, the crofts were abandoned, never to be returned too, as the remaining populace moved to the surrounding towns.

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PostSubject: Re: Lost Villages and Other Places   Sat 03 May 2014, 10:51

Probably not for here but for want of a better place. Archaeologists have discovered that Amesbury in Wiltshire holds the distinction of being Britain's oldest settlement and not Thatcham in Berkshire as previously thought.

Carbon dating of bones of aurochs – the giant cattle that were twice the size of today’s bulls – at the Blick Mead dig site, has shown that Amesbury has been continually occupied for each millennium since 8,820BC. Older than Thatcham, occupied since 7,700BC, it is in effect where British history began.

http://www.pasthorizonspr.com/index.php/archives/05/2014/britains-oldest-settlement-is-amesbury-not-thatcham-say-scientists
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PostSubject: Re: Lost Villages and Other Places   Fri 18 Jul 2014, 15:30

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PostSubject: Re: Lost Villages and Other Places   Mon 28 Jul 2014, 16:32

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PostSubject: Re: Lost Villages and Other Places   Wed 08 Oct 2014, 10:16

Pilfered from the Daily Moan - churches being normally the highest structures in small villages they tend to be the last remaining relics protruding from flooded valleys after dam construction. In March 2013 the paper compiled some pictures of these in an article entitled "Haunting Images".


The church of St. Nicholas in Mavrovo, Macedonia 1850-2003


Holy Rosary Church at Karnataka, India - submerged 1960


The Church of Krokhino, in the former village of Vologda Oblast, Russia - built 15th century, submerged 1950s


Church bell tower, Reschensee, Italy - built 14th century, submerged 1950


St. Nicholas Cathedral, Kalyazin, Russia - built 1769, submerged 1939


Potosi, Venezuela - built early 1800s, submerged 1985

In Potosi's case however the church has made a miraculous recovery. Years of drought by 2010 all but eliminated the reservoir that had been created and the entire structure has now re-emerged, presently serving as a graphic and damning indictment of failed energy schemes undertaken by successive Venezuelan governments in recent decades.
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PostSubject: Re: Lost Villages and Other Places   Wed 08 Oct 2014, 13:25

In a similar vein to the Venezuelan story, the Argentinian village of Epecuen, which was lost when the nearby dam broke it's banks. The village has now re-emerged.

A video of friend MacAskill cycling round it;

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PostSubject: Re: Lost Villages and Other Places   Wed 08 Oct 2014, 13:45

This city isn't so much lost as empty;

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-17035192





though checking on wiki, the population as at 1st October 2012 was 1.16 million, so possibly not as deserted as it once was.
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PostSubject: Re: Lost Villages and Other Places   Wed 08 Oct 2014, 14:06

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PostSubject: Re: Lost Villages and Other Places   Wed 15 Oct 2014, 09:52

A spill over from the Business of History quiz: the ghost town of Farina, South Australia;



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Farina,_South_Australia
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PostSubject: Re: Lost Villages and Other Places   Wed 15 Oct 2014, 12:13

I'm surprised that no one has yet mentioned the Ukrainian city of Pripyat.

26 April 1986 : population about 49,500.
30 April 1986 : population officially zero.

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PostSubject: Re: Lost Villages and Other Places   Tue 14 Apr 2015, 16:04

The Haludovo Hotel in Croatia. Dreamed up as collaboration between the then Communist Government of Yugoslavia and Bob Guccione of Penthouse Magazine back in the early 70s.

Now lying abandoned;

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PostSubject: Re: Lost Villages and Other Places   Fri 08 May 2015, 21:53

In my area I can remember this place before Kielder reservoir:



The overgrown trackway ran from a pit to the village of Plashetts beneath the reservoir in the distance.
 My nephew didn't believe when I told I'd walked along the middle of the lake but the line of the Border Counties Railway was a nice walk from Hexham to Kielder castle.

Very dull, I know but I just fancied trying to post a picture to see how it works.  confused

Although, now I come to think of it, it was Plashetts station and surrounding Forestry Commission houses where I went to the shop.  The village was up the hill and I suppose I might find it if I was up to walking up hills.
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PostSubject: Re: Lost Villages and Other Places   Sat 09 May 2015, 11:52

Not dull, Brenogler: the places that form our lives are just as important as the more exotic ones, and that sort of story shows how quickly new formations and projects change the landscape.  NZ works mostly from hydro-electricity and that has brought similar changes to the environment.  Isolated enough that whole towns don't normally disappear, though the best part of one did, but rivers are diverted and lakes grow where there were none before.  Sometimes the opposite happens.  One little hydro-electric town, Twizel, was built in 1968 as a service town and expected to disappear when the dam was built.  By that time, a community had built itself up and now it is a thriving wee town though why you would want to live so far off the beaten track I don't know. (People might say the same about where I live, but at least we are only an hour and a half from the nearest city.)

The photos of the submerged churches Nordmann posted were wonderful.
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PostSubject: Re: Lost Villages and Other Places   Fri 22 May 2015, 13:38

Reconstruction of the Claudian artificial harbour of Portus, just north of Ostia;



Over the last 2000 years, the sea has retreated. leaving the Port under suburbs, roads and fields.

However, it has not vanished completely. The hexagonal inner harbour survives as an inland lake;

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PostSubject: Re: Lost Villages and Other Places   Wed 27 May 2015, 12:59

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PostSubject: Re: Lost Villages and Other Places   Wed 27 May 2015, 20:08

@Triceratops wrote:
More about Portus;

http://www.ostia-antica.org/portus/claudius.htm

Triceratops,

thank you for this interesting site. No time for the moment to intervene that much...

Kind regards and with esteem, Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Lost Villages and Other Places   Tue 22 Sep 2015, 13:14

Motown to Ghost town; Detroit's population has halved in the last 40 years:

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PostSubject: Re: Lost Villages and Other Places   Tue 22 Sep 2015, 23:00

Interesting research, Trike. I doubt the decaying parts of Detroit will last with the same grand, evocative remains as Portus. In fact the decay there looks as if it might be a good thing and the faster the better.
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PostSubject: Re: Lost Villages and Other Places   Wed 23 Sep 2015, 08:41

The contrast is quite stark, Priscilla. The old derelict Detroit in the foreground and the shiny new Detroit in the background.

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PostSubject: Re: Lost Villages and Other Places   Wed 23 Sep 2015, 11:33

WW2 Sherman tank being used as a diving platform in Saipan;

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PostSubject: Re: Lost Villages and Other Places   Thu 03 Mar 2016, 13:25

"I've got a brand new Combine Harvester" 

Actually about 350 old ones in a Combine Harvester graveyard in Alnwick, Northumberland;




they are a useful source for spare parts.


Combines: Alnwick
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PostSubject: Re: Lost Villages and Other Places   Fri 04 Mar 2016, 21:07

@Triceratops wrote:
"I've got a brand new Combine Harvester" 

Actually about 350 old ones in a Combine Harvester graveyard in Alnwick, Northumberland;




they are a useful source for spare parts.


Combines: Alnwick

Yes, Triceratops, old memories...my whole career in the combines...
http://www.company-histories.com/New-Holland-NV-Company-History.html

Not that much New Holland in Britain as a I see...mostly Massey Ferguson, John Deere and Claas...
Although nowadays 17 % of the world market of combines is from New Holland...

Kind regards, Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Lost Villages and Other Places   Thu 27 Oct 2016, 13:02

St Kilda was mentioned before. A recent BBC website article by Amanda Ruggeri documenting a visit to the abandoned island this year contains some great photos she took while she was there, as well as some interesting facts about the islanders in the century or so before resettlement.

BBC Travel: The Ghost Town Surrounded by Ocean
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https://reshistorica.historyboard.net
 

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