The empty grounds



Not a factory except one for the mind – or a holding pen, maybe. D and I went wandering around the abandoned Tynecastle High School grounds. Note – we didn’t open anything, just went where the empty space allowed us.


tynecastle 1



I don’t know how long it’s been empty. You can see how high the hedge has grown. A decade maybe? The school stands wide on its grounds at the back of Tynecastle stadium, where, if you don’t know, Hearts of Midlothian play. Things are starting to break down the tarmac. Water, plants. Pushing towards colonisation.







Tynecastle 2






The buildings have a strange harmony together, which seems not entirely a product of design – age and concomitant softening have given their edges a good fit. Like slots of wood meant to be used together, and often used, and now found in a drawer some time later, worn but still clinging to their sense of purpose.






Tynecastle 4




The place was neither desolate nor unpleasant (schools sometimes are – that air of bleach-tinged misery). I looked in the windows –





But the only ghost I could see –


author photo



Was my own.





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7 responses to “The empty grounds

  1. There is something so inviting about that kind of desolation….

  2. It’s a strange sort of emptiness. It hasn’t decayed or anything. It’s as if everyone has just left for the day. Do you know why it’s been abandoned?

    • It is strange, sort of frozen in time – but the new school has been rebuilt about a minute up the road in a fancy, well-equipped set up. Steam was coming up from behind the school too, from something industrial just outside of view, which added to the oddness.

      • I find that also odd: where you replace something and the old building is sitting right there. Maybe you’ve seen it before in Queens? The stadium where the Mets play is exactly right next to their old, empty stadium.

        Frozen in time is exactly right. If they leave it long enough and it starts to decay, I’m sure a gaggle of local ghost stories will crop up.

  3. Old and empty schools are fascinating to me. To go from being so full of noise and life–to empty and lonely. I toured one recently and just wanted to touch all the surfaces and connect with the past.

  4. Ashley

    I currently go to this school. Well I spent my first 2 years in the old school and now I am in my sixth year in high school at the new rebuild one. I used to love this school. I’ve always had an interest with it. It gives me shivers every time I go past it as I had so many memories there from my first and second years at high school. It’s weird to think nobody has went inside this school since it’s been left. It’s been abandoned for at least since 2009/2010 so about 3/4 years. People have always said that it might be so horrible inside the school saying it’s full of rats/spiders etc. I would totally go back and visit it and relive all the memories I have had since there. My grandad even went to this school?! He’s 82 and not here anymore but would be so nice to go back and just have a peak. Even if there was ghosts there, would make it so interesting. I personally think this building has so much personality. I miss it, I will eventually miss school when I leave. All together, great school, great memories.

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