By Martin Ruffell


THE MOMENT an urban explorer comes across an abandoned cottage full of photo slides of tribal communities taken from around the world and dusty old books has been captured on camera.

One photo from the exploration showed the living room of the house, crammed full of wooden stalls, a television from the 1990s and a cast-iron log burner.

In a second picture a fascinating set of photo slides from the former owner’s travels to the far east could be seen.

DEVON, UK: Old film slides show pictures from around the world. Smith

In another, photos of what appeared to be the occupant’s grandchildren and pets could be seen on the mantelpiece of the property.

The Devon-based abandoned cottage was visited by former plumber turned full time urban explorer Colin Smith (36) from Hampshire, UK who goes by the name The Urban Explorer on YouTube. From the labels on old food, Colin estimated that the property has been left abandoned for at least 20 years.

“Someone had been there before me because the door to the abandoned cottage was just left wide open,” said Colin.

DEVON, UK: Nature has started to take over the property. Smith

“But the house was practically untouched and there was no graffiti or vandalism which was great to see.

“I think the place must have been left for about twenty years judging by the dates on the food left in the kitchen and the layers of dust covering everything.

“I came across a set of photo slides, showing tribespeople in remote communities, so whoever lived in the house obviously travelled all around the world.

DEVON, UK: Books line the shelves of the property. Smith

“There was also an amazing photo album full of Indian steam trains which was fascinating.

“All of their possessions were left in the house, which makes me think that maybe whoever lived here, lived alone and had nobody to sort out their stuff after they died or ended up in hospital.

“It can be sad seeing all of a person’s possessions just left to gather dust, but it’s also amazingly interesting to step inside such an interesting time capsule.”

DEVON, UK: An exterior view of the property. Smith

It is estimated that up to 500,000 properties across the country are sitting empty, while over 100,000 families are currently homeless in the UK.