Our relationship to the past is complex. For one thing we always rewrite it, covertly and not so covertly, to make sense of the present, our present. Thinking of the past is often done with nostalgia and indeed nostalgia has become a real industry, that of historic sites, heritage and its management.
At a personal level we at times insist on wanting to delete the past from our memory, people or experiences we feel have had a painful impact on our lives and whom we want to forget and want others to forget about them. Yet it is not possible to delete anyone from our past or present and attempting to do so leads to further problems. The best thing is to embrace our history and acknowledge it as a part of ourselves, with its positives and negatives.
Derelict buildings have a role to play in our understanding of and relationship with the past. They make us question ideas of permanence and ultimately of what constitutes our heritage.
The images here were all taken at Rougham Hall, a wonderful derelict building near Bury St Edmunds, bombed by the Germans during World War II.