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Report - Berkshire County Asylum (aka Fair Mile) - August 2010

Discussion in 'Asylums and Hospitals' started by layz, Aug 1, 2010.

  1. layz

    layz Conquistador d'Wolverton
    28DL Full Member

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    Hi guys

    Previously visted this place on my birthday and got caught, so was glad to finally get in today 6months on.

    During my pursuit of urban exploration I seem to have developed a taste for extremes: either a site where the workers left yesterday leaving all the machines running like an apocalypse has just happened. Or sites where the residents left years ago; so long in fact that all evidence of human occupation is a mere whisper of the wind in the ivy encrusted rotting bowless of a building. Perhaps Fair Mile is the definition of the middle of these; a cold clinical place where no humans exist yet neither can nature. Perhaps Fair Mile needs a few more years to rot, for the paint to peel and for nature to encroach and infringe upon her threshold.

    The Explore

    Visited with Gigi and Cogitio, and after nearly an hour of trying, ducking and diving and near misses with the security guard we finally found a sketchy way in.
    There is very little left inside, and many have described it as not worth the effort getting in. I’m inclined to agree, however I’m glad that I’ve finally ticked it off my list.

    My photos aren't as good as I was hoping, my new tripod seems to be quite unstable :p


    History

    Work began on the Tudor/Gothic asylum in 1868, and was designed by Charles H Howell for a total of 285 patients. Like most asylums the plan is symmetrical about a central admin block to the West, and a dining room to the East. The male wards were situated to the North, females to the South. The site was extended by Howell in 1877; and in 1894 by the famous asylum designer and architect G T Tine who built the recreation hall and accommodation for a further 300 patients. Hine also built the isolation hospital in the grounds, and numerous cottages around the site. The recreation hall was designed to allow male and female patients to mingle once a week for a social dance, and hold a yearly Christmas play which members of the public were allowed to attend.
    The hospital received some bad press in later years following a patient suicide, and was finally closed in 2003 in place of a new £30m facility in Reading, deemed to be less depressing that the Victorian ‘Fair Mile’ to staff and patients.



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    Regards,
     
    #1 layz, Aug 1, 2010
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2010

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