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Vanity House, England

Vanity House is an abandoned house in the British countryside. This is one of the older English abandoned house locations. A true classic. This was one of the first derelict houses I visited, early in my photography days. I visited this location twice in 2015.

The house features a traditional vintage English bedroom. The decor is likely 1970s. There are numerous clocks and pocket watches, as well as a vintage Jones sewing machine.

Vanity House was in a poor state structurally. Interestingly, part of the lounge floor had collapsed. Furniture and possessions had tumbled into the hole. Upstairs, the rear wall had large cracks and was parting away from the rest of the house.

“History” of Vanity House – Facts and fables

This is another location where the facts and tales have become intertwined. There are newspapers dating from 2001, but some explorers state the house was abandoned in 1998. One explanation offered is that the house was abandoned in 1998, and then lived in once again in 2001.

The upstairs of the Vanity House features many clocks and pocket watches. Some lay in pieces on tables. This evocative scene likely spawned one of the more emotive tales. “This was once the house of a man (or woman), obsessed with the concept of time”. Alternatively, perhaps photographers simply staged these scenes. It is unlikely we will know for sure.

Another facet of the tale (or another tale entirely?), is this is the house of a husband whose wife died. He was wracked with grief and could not care to sell Vanity House. Likewise, he couldn’t bring himself to live here with his memories. He left the house to go to wrack and ruin. He himself later died.

The origin of the house’s name, Vanity Houser, is also not without disagreement. A popular suggestion is the house was named after the numerous wardrobes and vanity cabinets inside the house. Another is that is was simply named after two cans of hairspray which were found in the bathroom.


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