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Report - Barrow Hospital - October 2013

Discussion in 'Asylums and Hospitals' started by UrbanK, Oct 22, 2013.

  1. UrbanK

    UrbanK 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

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    This is my first report and first time urbex-ing proper (well, first in a modern-ish building anyway).

    So, this is Barrow Hospital. The images here are from two separate visits, 2 weeks apart this month as I couldn't resist going again.

    Background: The hospital was constructed between 1934 and 1937 under the supervision of architect Sir George Oatley of Bristol. The first patients arrived in may of 1938 but the hospital was not officially opened until a year later. 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. On the 5th July 1948 the hospital was transferred to the newly formed National Health Service.

    In 1960 the hospital's population reached a peek of 453 though 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 1970s through to the 1990s; as in-patient numbers decreased, residential wards were closed and the hospital focused on out patient and community support work. By 2004 only three residential wards remained open at Barrow.

    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. 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 hospital's 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 closed during the summer of 2006. (From Forlorn Britain).

    There are various videos floating around You Tube of this place which have been great to watch - the state of Barrow right now is considerably worse than it was even 3 years ago. Having said that, there's something about the location of this place, surrounded by woodland, the folk tales (true or otherwise) and the sad end to these buildings, that makes me love it very much.

    Construction seems to be at a standstill and what has been done is pretty haphazard and shamble-like. There is movement on the site of a white van, but I haven't seen or heard any human activity on either of my trips there. My guess would be a few more seasons would be enough for this place to really start caving in on itself, such is the sorry state of most of it.

    Mother and Baby Unit

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    Woodside Block

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    Leigh Assessment Unit (I think)

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    Some of the 'better' graffiti...

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    And a few of the visitors over the years...

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    #1 UrbanK, Oct 22, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2013

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