9 Comments Posted by ghost of delete key

I've stood here and walked this brae many times myself, but somehow this particular photo brings out a uniquely haunting aspect which simply escapes my description...

Haunting, and also haunted!! Stare for several long moments at the vines in the lower left foreground, then quickly look at the top of the tower left of the arch...

Motts, you truly freak me out!
@ Nauseous:
There are 4 visible here, and you are standing atop the contents of all these floors, which completely fill another below, possibly two.
5 or 6 all together if the catacombs are any indication.
I can only imagine what exactly remains buried beneath all that, it would be utterly facinating to excavate!

I have always wondered if anyone perished in the conflagration; if so, we would be walking across their impromptu grave.
This was my favorite place on the island. this is the juncture between the main building and the entryway buildings. Ther are tunnels wrapping beneath this staircase which lead to lower levels, now filled with rubble. Some are still "accessible", but either go nowhere, or loop back out elsewhere.
At the base of these stairs is where I used to dig flintlock hammers and chunks of lead fron the ruin. I can only imagine how collossal the explosion here had to be to send such items so deeply into the remotest of corners.
Bits of ammunition can be found all over the Island, and bricks from the east wall can still be found below the riprap on the river's bank by the railroad.
This is just the front of a small villa, there are other buildings draped across the craggy rock ledges behind this, all with a complex of passages and archways. It is possible to get to the second floor, but is extremely dangerous to do so. Much has fallen in, but portion remain. I used to venture across the tenuous floor of the patio to the upper left, and the whole thing would jiggle like walking on a trampoline.
Beneath are utility rooms, and the remains of a boiler and water heaters can be seen there.
I had wondered all my life what this place looked like in its "life", so thanks SOOO much for the links, Nauseous!!
@ Island Hopper:
Indeed, munitions were scattered all over the islans as a result of the explosions. I have found with a metal detector, very large (roughly 2 inch diameter) torn, exploded WWI-era brass shell casings of French manufacture on the west side of the island, and others unexploded, though corroded through, buried in the soil. I imagine there may be other unexploded ordnance buried, so if you were to poke around, you ought to be quite careful.

In the main arsenal structure, the floors above had collapsed filling the building with rubble and destroyed munitions. the whole of this rubble fills what would have been the first couple of levels, with four more visible as scars rising up the walls.The brick rubble you encounter as you enter represents the remains of the ceiling and top floor; this was where small arms and ammunition were kept and many pieces of these may be found. Many years ago I collected quite a number of flintlock hammers and plates, breeches, triggers and other hardware from various arms, and in one colossal find in a deep dig, I found a whole bundle of bayonnette sheaths fused together from the heat of the fire. Turning over bricks and masonry here will yield many blobs of molten lead pooled and solidified amongst the debris.
Cannons were kept in the lower holds, and there is said to be a large cache of heavy weaponry still buried beneath the several floors worth of rubble now heaped inside.
As a youth I had designs of uncovering such treasure, but the rubble is very thick and hard packed, and would require major excavation... much more than a teen with a trowel and a metal detector could handle. :-)
@ quest:
These stairs are not marble, they are poured concrete. Every bit of construction on the island is such, incorporating brick and native stone masonry. Many places you can see the exposed rebar and lathe reinforcement of the structural elements where the concrete has weathered and failed.
At no time was this under water; if it had been, it would have been a flood of Biblical proportions, as this level where the pic is taken is at least 40 or 50 feet above the river's level (by my closest guess, possibly even higher. )

This particular staircase is not far up from the moat, a few doors up on the left as you ascend the main street. It connects a few levels of inns, and this very spot I had found various buttons and buckles in the rotting detritus which accumulates there. This chamber also contained a bedframe, and others were to be found in other rooms.

@ Nevermore:
Indeed, it resembles a dungeon, but in fact was lodging for visitors. When I was a kid roaming these catacombs, I used to imagine crawling through the corresponding vias in an Egyptian pyramid, or a Mayan temple. The feel of this place is quite eerie, it is deathly quiet and very damp, although as you can see it is relatively well lit.

Yes, you do need a boat to get there, and a very small one at that. The landing is silted in, extremely weedy, and barely 4-5 feet deep even at high tide.

It depresses me to see the graffiti on the wall in this picture; this place was virtually devoid of such vandalism when last I saw it.
I know these posts are old, but for the benefit of following viewers;
@ quest: The main arsenal is behind the camera. In this picture, you are standing at the base of the main "road", if I recall, Moat Brae (or maybe Main Brae? the names are emblazoned on the walls and entries).
The wooden drawbridge, which is now in ruins in the moat, opened out to the gate pillars before you, leading straight to a mooring on the protected west side of the island. You can see one of the mooring bollards here in the distance between the pillars. This is the spot which I always landed my Achilles, as the rest of the island's shore is impossibly inaccessible. A perfect site for an arsenal.
I was a kid the last time I saw these, but I figure the pillars stand about 7 or 8 feet tall. Not very suitable to perch upon for a luncheon, but many a bag lunch did I consume here... :p

You could spend a month of Sundays combing this derelict, and never see it all. There are miles of walkways winding through the wilds, and some beautiful secret caves on the east side of the island.

The windows seen here on the right are the first in a series of embedded structures which line both sides of the main access, which comprise the various inns and shops which once operated here. This place was apparently a thriving "village", and a great number of treasures remained within.
I am guilty of having liberated a number of small knick-knacks from the bowels of these buildings in my youth nearly 30 years ago, and I fear many have followed in my footsteps since then. I wonder if many of the ruined antiques were taken; the inns had some brass and iron bedframes in their lower levels, and some kerosene table lamps had remained. Buttons, belts, and shoe buckles could be found in various places, amongst other evidence of human habitation.
There is a local legend concerning Bannerman's wealth, it is said that a substantial sum had been secreted away somewhere on the Island, most likely near the citadel atop the island. I searched the most remote portions of the island many times, but never found anything other than the expected ruins and artifacts. Quite a modern archaeological site.

Thank you, Mott, for the most beautiful photos I have ever seen of this forgotton New World castle.
Looks like Obama's promise of universal health care to me...
Wow! This is a trip! I was just recalling stories of Stony Point, and told of my experiences at Mikey's Grave. I Googled on a whim, and... Wow!
@ Go getta & Call:
The graveyard is indeed haunted:
Many years ago, I lived off Mott Farm Rd. across from the Girl Scout campgrounds. My friends and I would often drive around in our cars endless hours and days, and one of the places we went on occasion was the potter's field in the woods. Forgive me, I can't recall the name of the road, but there's an unpaved access which leads off the roadside into thin trees to a circuit around the graves. They're simply small numbered pegs in the forest floor, askew and forgotten. Mikey's grave, however, stands out and presents the most chilling aspect of this place. It is capped with a cut-out sheetmetal banner in the form of the name "MIKEY", in very jaunty angles. It looks quite disturbing.
Now the backstory I was told was that Mikey was a cretin who had killed someone, hence his institutionalization. Mikey had lived out his years there, and having an 'artistic' streak, and metalworking and mechanical skills, he had made several pieces of this sort of thing, including his own name. After his death, a staffer there who had grown fond of Mikey had saved his name cutout and mounted it over his grave in the potter's field.
Now the legend says that if you drive your car around the path surrounding the graves, sometime after you leave, your car will die. Literally.
A friend of mine did this, and a few weeks later he blew his Camaro's engine. Arguably his fault, or did he tempt fate? Well another friend and I went in his Bronco, and only 5 minutes after we left, the vehicle stalls. No prank, both hands on the wheel, full tank.
After about 10 minutes, the Bronco started again, and ran fine for as long as he had it.
And as the stories I heard went, that's par for the course. Your car fails anywhere from a temporary stall to a fatal malfunction. Anyway, we never did that again. Lesson learned. :)
I now live in PA, and wish I could roll out and visit again, but this is close. Maybe someone near there can get photos to post, or does the graveyard no longer exist?