A hilly back street somewhere
It might have been anywhere
Or it might be just a dream
This place I vaguely feel I may have seen before.
Without any discernible pressure or concerns
I walk/float leisurely, lightly even, down the hill, in a dishevelled area
Drifting pass terraced housing in this unpretentious road
There – I pass a slopping down side road on my right.
In a glance – see a big plot of land now boarded up
Rough plywood sheets keeping the area secure.
But beyond those wooded sheets stands a vision
A building of such loveliness my breath is snatched.
A derelict deserted building of such beauty and size
Ornate porticoes with windows to match
Almost “Wedgewood” perhaps, once a church, or cathedral
Vivid pale blue and white with an indescribable beautiful roof structure.
My steps drawn towards the building
I’m entranced, excited, in awe that such was once created
Now to stand forlorn untended, abandoned
I circle the hideous fencing.
Eventually, I find a gap where inner wooden ribs
Once held a loose sheet blown away
Duck between the two inch boarding ribs
A approach the main door standing ajar
Either side, two male life sized figures carved in stone
Welcome my astonished curiosity.
I enter; the air has taken a perceptible chill
Perhaps unsurprisingly, with these thick outer walls
I wander in through an elaborately decorated painted fresco plaster corridor
Into a vast hall – with balconies on three sides.
Each wall adorned with scenes from a past
Abandoned pews still looking like they stood in anticipation
In neat rows on the cold flagstone floor
The wood carved arm rests either end
Each with their own unique carved gargoyles.
At the back of the chamber, up past the stage, another door stand ajar
Down a broad, tall corridor covered with more murals showing historic scenes
I stood transfixed for a time in the defused light straining to see the painted details
Portraits, seascapes, landscapes’, ancient battles showing men in armour.
Some paint sadly flaking, I eventually wandered on
To another smaller corridor where, at the end, wooden stairs spiralled both up and down
I decide to ascend the wooden back stairs, all the way to the attics
Clearly to me, artisans from skilled backgrounds produced this exquisite work
Woodwork, plaster, Masonry my eyes greedily devoured
Even deep leaded glass windows seemed to smile.
Time past, as if I had lost all notion of what time was
Empty rooms almost shout of previous lost conversations
Desks with empty chairs, draws left half open
Notes left in Copper Plate script to unknown others.
Through several rooms, each grow my awe and curiosity
Who built this palace, who’s children’s children visited this place?
What magnificent architect imagined this beautiful place?
Buried in this back street off of nowhere!
Sweet feelings of comfort, engulf my exploration
An even more ornate staircase takes me down
Steps made of marble, ornate balustrades
Sweep in an ark of opulence down towards the entrance
Another door much smaller set in the wall beneath the marble stairs
Takes me to an area of cobwebbed catacombs.
Shelves of dusty files some lying flat – others at tilted angles
Assorted metal and wooden boxes
Clutter seems totally out of place here in this place of tranquillity
Back up I find the entrance door again
I take a few moments to look at the two silent sentinels
One with open arms of welcome a smile dancing on the face
The other anger personified, pin point eyed under a glared scowl.