Photographing Lebanon's age-old abandoned houses

“All of the beauty that surrounds us, it's kind of like stepping back in the past and trying to imagine what was there before.”

Lebanon’s age-old abandoned mansions – like this one – have been left to decay.

But British photographer James Kerwin still sees their charm and magnificence, from the building's tall yet cracked windows, its etched ceilings and withered rooftops.

“Even without the furniture you could imagine it was a beautiful house, beautiful features, fixtures, fittings, all of this."

He’s been roaming Lebanon for days, capturing traditional old houses from north to south.

This mansion is located in one of Beirut's antique districts.

"So now we are at the Basta district of Beirut, and it's an amazing old house that we are in, one of the most ruined houses I think I have ever photographed, my first ever location actually here in Lebanon to shoot. Stunning kind of house, also lots of details left especially in the ceiling areas, different bedrooms and rooms, and the main hall room which is typical of what you would see across Lebanon, triple arcades, beautiful ceilings, colours and this is just exactly what I love to shoot."

Kerwim previously captured ruins in a variety of places, including in countries of the former Soviet Union, the Middle East, and South East Asia.

He hopes to publish a book soon featuring Lebanon's abandoned traditional houses.

Although abandoned for years, many of Beirut's old structures are now gathering attention after a blast shattered countless homes and buildings last year.

"Because of the focus on architecture over the last one year really, just under a year, because of what happened in Beirut, people got their mind switched on architecture in this country at the minute, and I think it's really a positive thing. I think it's a step going forward that might help Lebanon.// It would be great if some of them weren't in this kind condition, or even turn some of the best ones, turn them into an open house where they are preserved to a point where they are not dangerous anymore and people can view them or see them, maybe a museum kind of thing."