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Roger Fenton (1819-69)

The Old Post Office, Balaklava 15 Mar 1855

RCIN 2500464

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In one of his letters Fenton said that the photograph of the Old Post Office was the first photograph he made in the Crimea. A Victorian public might have expected the post office to be a smart and efficient institution, but the condition of this building emphasises that the photographer is on the edge of a war zone. The rubble on the ground would have been created by the destruction of existing buildings to make way for the military railway, constructed by the British in 1855. A large number of beer bottles stand on the ledge at the top of the stairs.