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Category : Hospitals & Asylums

Tides Reach Hotel – Salcombe

A look inside the Tides Reach Hotel which was prominent on Salcombe Beach Visited Sep 2017 Salcombe, Devon (Demolished)   Former reception area at Tides Reach Hotel Not much history can be found except that the Tides Reach hotel was constructed in 1934, the building has been extended and altered since original construction. The hotel ceased trading in Autumn 2013. Former Gym area at Tides Reach to the right is the sauna and pool Sauna inside the Gym which still […]

Bancourt Hotel – Torquay

A look inside the nortorious Bancourt Hotel which was set on fire while it was full with young famers Visited April 2020 Toquay, Devon (Abandoned)   Gaming machines have been toppled over Not much history can be found except that it first opened its door in the 1980’s with various extentions added. On the 24th April 2017 a Fire began early on Sunday morning, in the basement of the Bancourt Hotel in Torquay and many guests, all attending the yearly […]

West Park Hospital, Epsom

A look inside West Park Hospital or ‘West Park Asylum’ as it is more commonly called. Visited April 2005 Epsom, London (Partially Converted)   Old washing machines sit rusting away Construction was started in 1912 and the hospital was opened in 1923. The Architect was William C. Clifford-Smith, the architect to the City of London at the time, and he designed it with colony principles but on a echelon plan. This formation lead to easy access to each area by […]

Mid Wales Hospital – Talgarth

A look inside the former Mid Wales Hospital in Talgarth, where barbaric treatments were inflicted on patients Visited Nov 2015 Talgarth, Wales (Abandoned)   Corridor inside main building. The cieling is slowly decaying Built in 1900 and opened in 1903, the hospital, also known as Talgarth Hospital and the Brecon and Radnor Counties Joint Lunatic Asylum, operated for 99 years before its closure in 1997 and sale in 1999. The hospital was designed by the partnership of architects John Giles, […]

Denbigh Asylum – North Wales

A look inside the former Denbigh Insane Asylum, One of Britains Nortorious Asylums. Visited April 2018 Denbigh, Wales (Currently abandoned due for demolition 2021)   One of the former wards lay silent Constructed between 1844 and 1848, the hospital served as a refuge for Welsh-speaking mental patients. Originally designed to accommodate about 200 patients, it was expanded to alleviate overcrowding in 1899 and eventually was home to as many as 1,500 patients. The floors have started to decay and collapse […]

Barrow Gurney Hospital, Bristol

A look inside the former Langdon Asylum units before they were torn down

Visited July 2008 Dawlish, UK (Mid demolition phase)

 

One of the former patient buildings partially torn down
One of the former patient buildings partially torn down

Langdon Hospital in Dawlish, Devon was a residential institution built in 1934 to intern individuals ‘suffering from a mental deficiency’. It was owned and managed by Exeter Health Authority. Patients at Langdon were expected to rise early every morning and help with daily tasks. These tasks consisted of cleaning duties, kitchen duties, upholstery skills, laundry duties or gardening duties in the 70 acres of gardens and grounds around the hospital.

Another ward of the former hosital. The demolition crew have not touched this one yet
Another ward of the former hosital. The demolition crew have not touched this one yet

The in-patient facility aspect of Langdon Hospital ended in 1992 when residents were discharged into the community. They were no longer the responsibility of the Health Authority but that of Social Services.

One of the corridors inside Langdon
One of the corridors inside Langdon
One of the wards inside langdon
One of the wards inside langdon
Another corridor which has has the panels torn down
Another corridor which has has the panels torn down
An old washing machine lays abandoned
An old washing machine lays abandoned
Nature has started to reclaim these former rooms
Nature has started to reclaim these former rooms
An old sofa is still placed in one of the day rooms
An old sofa is still placed in one of the day rooms
Sets of old keys rusting away
Sets of old keys rusting away
An old trolley sits in the morgue
An old trolley sits in the morgue

Check out full sets of pictures here

Barrow Gurney Hospital, Bristol

A look inside the former Barrow Gurney Hospital in Bristol, Branded one of Britains filthiest hospitals.

Visited July 2008 Bristol, UK (Mid demolition phase)

 

One of the main rooms that has been destroyed and the ceiling ripped down
One of the main rooms that has been destroyed and the ceiling ripped down

Barrow Hospital was Bristol’s second purpose built hospital for the treatment of the mentally ill. The earlier Bristol Mental Hospital at Fishponds, built in the 1850’s was very much a typical Victorian style asylum, whereas Barrow was conceived from its very beginning to be a modern progressive hospital. By the 1930’s Bristol Mental Hospital was becoming very overcrowded and the need for additional facilities was widely acknowledged, so the Bristol Corporation purchased 260 acres of land near Barrow Gurney at the market value on £20,000 as the site of the new purpose built Hospital.

The hospital was constructed between 1934 and 1937 under the supervision of architect Sir George Oatley of Bristol.

One of Barrow Gurneys many corridors
One of the many corridors displaying flaking paint

During the early years of the 20th century there was a dramatic shift in the design of mental hospitals, earlier institutions like Bristol’s existing mental hospital had been designed around an imposing complex of ward buildings linked together and, to service areas, by a network of corridors into a single large hospital complex.

The practical benefits of this style of hospital where one part of the hospital could quickly and easily be reached from any other part of the hospital began to give way to the perceived therapeutic benefits of a dispersed layout.

One of the main rooms that had sunlight flooding in to it
One of the main rooms that had sunlight flooding in to it

Patients were treated in a complex of smaller separate villas clustered around the hospital site which was believed to give the patients a greater sense of community and privacy. Barrow Hospital was designed with these modern theories’ in mind employing a colony layout of separate wards and villas around the site.

The hospital buildings are of a utilitarian red brick design dictated by the economic situation of the time, however the site selected for the hospital lay in the centre of an ancient woodland which was improved and landscaped around the hospital grounds screening the separate villa’s from each other’s and creating a peaceful environment for the patients. The woodland in the hospital grounds was used for many years to provide patients with breaks from the routine of ward life.

One of the office's with furniture still insitu
One of the office’s with furniture still insitu

The first patients arrived in May of 1938 but the hospital was not officially opened until a year later when Sir Lawrence Brock CBE of the Hospital Board of Control cut the ribbon. However, within four months, it was requisitioned by the government to act as a Royal Naval Hospital following the outbreak of the second world war. The Navy stayed at the hospital until Autumn 1946 when they returned control to Bristol Corporation greatly easing the overcrowding at Bristol Mental Hospital, whose population had grown throughout the war.

On the 5th July 1948 the hospital was transferred to the newly formed National Health Service from then on Both Barrow and Bristol Mental Hospital were jointly managed by the Bristol Hospital Management Committee under the South Western Regional Hospital Board. Barrow true to its initial design was noted as a progressive hospital with a well-stocked medical library which was rare in mental hospitals of the time and it occasionally hosted clinical conferences for doctors throughout the country.

In 1959 changing attitudes to mental health lead to a subtle change in the hospitals name, the word mental was dropped from then on it was just Barrow Hospital. The following year 1960 the hospitals population reached a peak of 453 thou it was predicted that new community based care initiatives would lead to a decrease in patient numbers to 200 by 1975.

This target was not reached but the new approaches to treatment did see a gradual program of closures at barrow from the 1970’s through to the 1990’s, as in-patient numbers decreased residential wards were closed and the hospital focused on outpatient and community support work. By 2004 only three residential wards remained open at Barrow.

Childrens unit with mural still on wall
Childrens unit with mural still on wall

In 2003 Avon & Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust announced their intention to close Barrow Hospital and transfer its services to new purpose built units in a £60 million project, the initial plan was a phased closure to take place by 2008 but in a national survey of hospital cleanliness conducted in 2005 Barrow Hospital was found to be the dirtiest hospital in the country.

Inspectors stated the hospital had “an unacceptably dirty environment”. Two of the hospitals three remaining wards were immediately closed and their patients were transferred to other hospitals. The entire hospital closure plan was brought forward, With the final ward emptied during the summer of 2006.

What remained of the former canteen area
What remained of the former canteen area
Old patient wheelchairs still line the corridors
Old patient wheelchairs still line the corridors
Another empty corridor that lead to the hosptial DJ booth
Another empty corridor that lead to the hosptial DJ booth

Check out full sets of pictures here