In moments of quiet self-reflection, you might ask yourself, "What mark will I leave on society? How will I be remembered, and by whom?" While most of us hope that the traces of our lives are remembered fondly by those we love, some people might simply fade into obscurity, remembered only as a name on a handful of legal documents. 
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A small cottage in Hertfordshire, U.K., is all that remained of one such life. Crumbling and left to the mercy of the elements, the ramshackle home was referred to simply as the Crooked Cottage, reports the Daily Mail. The house and all its contents would have gone unnoticed were it not for the curiosity of Derby photographer Toby Batchelor.

Batchelor is one of a small but growing community of urban explorers. SF Gate freelance writer James Nestor likens urban explorers to other adventurers, but rather than caves and oceans, they dive into the darker areas of city undergrounds and abandoned buildings, "closely examining and understanding the inner workings of our constructed world, of seeing civic society in its real, raw, unpainted, unplastered and unprettied state." And for some urban explorers, an abandoned home is a treasure chest -- a look into a forgotten private life. 

"In the field of urban exploration it doesn’t get better than something like this," Batchelor told the Daily Mail. Exploring the home, Batchelor found a bed still made, a dresser bursting with clothes and old family photos left lying about. As he walked from room to room, the pieces began to shape the story of the life once lived inside. A hand-crank meat grinder, jars of preserved food and an old bicycle tell of a simple life, accentuated by music played on a well-worn organ or on the record player. 

What happened to the people inside, and under what circumstances did they leave the home with so many memories left fading inside? 

When Batchelor shared his findings on YouTube and Flickr in 2012, public interest in the home was sparked. After initially reporting that the house was occupied by a couple, the Daily Mail later corrected that the home was owned by a spinster and her father. After he died in 1971, she lived alone until she was taken into care in 2003. The picture became clearer. These where the remaining pieces of a woman's life dedicated to caring for her parent, then living alone with her memories for 30 years. 

With no family or friends to collect the belongings of the anonymous woman, the photographs and footage taken and shared by Batchelor have become the only way the silhouette of her life can be drawn and remembered.