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Report - Birch Hill Hospital, Rochdale - July 2015

Discussion in 'Asylums and Hospitals' started by neizt, Jul 25, 2015.

  1. neizt

    neizt Lazy Explorer
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    History:
    In 1871, the Union purchased a 24-acre site on the slopes of Birch Hill and Starring Hill at Dearnley for £2,500. The following year, building work began on a large new workhouse.

    In March 1873, the old Spotland workhouse partially collapsed, possibly because of subsidence due to an old coal-pit beneath the building. However, since the new workhouse was far from ready, the Spotland building had to be patched up and was used for another four yours. Even then its days were not over — in 1881, Rochdale Corporation were forced to rent it for use as a temporary isolation hospital during a smallpox epidemic.

    In 1902, a 172-bed infirmary was built at the north of the workhouse. It had a central administration block with male and female ward pavilions to each side.

    During the First World War, part of the site was taken over by the military who also erected tents in the grounds.

    In 1930, control of the site passed to Rochdale County Borough, with the Poor Law Institution being run by the Public Assistance Committee and the Hospital being run by the Health Committee. With the inauguration of the National Health Service in 1948, the site became a single hospital known as Birch Hill. Now run by Rochdale Healthcare NHS Trust, many of the original buildings are still in use. The former imbecile and infirmary blocks at the east of the site are believed to be scheduled for replacement.

    In 2001, English Heritage decided not to grant the buildings 'listed' status and their future was uncertain.

    I believe the hospital eventually closed it's doors in early 2013.


    The Visit:
    A day out with a list of places and one stop was here. Visited with @David Hullton and a non member. Fairly straightforward visit, although we were unable to leave the same way we entered as there was a police car parked up there! Sadly the way we went in would have been even more tricky carrying a camera around, so photo's are from an iPhone.

    Doesn't seem to be many reports on this place and as I've only just returned to the urbexing scene, I thought why not :)

    Photos:
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    Goldie87, Coolboyslim and urblex like this.

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  2. Lancashire lad

    Lancashire lad chief taster for costa coffee
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    NICE REPORT that clock tower is something else in it ? did you explore the cellars too? how far along the conversion are they need to revisit to finish my album pal
     
  3. neizt

    neizt Lazy Explorer
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    Oh yes, it's great up there! Wish I'd have taken my proper camera. Another visit may be on the cards :)

    Not sure about the conversion, don't think much has changed recently anyway.

    Didn't realise it had a cellar until I got home and read some reports!
     
  4. Lancashire lad

    Lancashire lad chief taster for costa coffee
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    yeh its dark as hell and muddy like thick sludge access stil easy?
     
  5. neizt

    neizt Lazy Explorer
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    Oh yeah, easy enough. Just crawled under a gate haha.

    Think someone must have seen us though, or they saw me moving one of the clocks and that's why police turned up!
     
  6. Lancashire lad

    Lancashire lad chief taster for costa coffee
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    aye its dodgy with all the houses around now to many nosey nieghbours lol
     
  7. neizt

    neizt Lazy Explorer
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    Yeah that's the problem. Same situation at the High Royds Asylum in Leeds. That's what put me off going in.
     
  8. Lancashire lad

    Lancashire lad chief taster for costa coffee
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    went highroyds on Thursday theres gonna be nowt left pal all the old derelict stuff is now storage for all the materials went in about four corridors and found it all full of crap
     
  9. Dr.Gusto

    Dr.Gusto Dont worry am a doctor
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    sweet as nuts
     
  10. Urbexbandoned

    Urbexbandoned 28DL Regular User
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    Love that clocktower! Chapel windows are nice too :)
     
    Lancashire lad likes this.
  11. Bolts

    Bolts 28DL Regular User
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  12. Zeebex

    Zeebex 28DL Full Member
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    Hi guys not saturday just gone 2 saturdays before, some kids went in and tried to chav the building they were going to start a fire in there, there are cams and sensors and a silent alarm, on a windy night the fire doors will blow open wide from the air pressure inside the building. even a cat can set it off

    I know is the building is to be restored back to its former glory but in the form of 1 bed and 2 bed luxury apartments and townhouses but still keeping the same outer facade, Please beware that there could be a possibility that the floorboards have been cut as ive been told they are very poorly in places.

    It was said that in 2013 the building was hit with an arson attack

    http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/local-news/birch-hill-arson-raids-nightmare-1001657

    "Developer Persimmon Homes bought 28 acres of the former hospital site, on Union Road, for £21.5m in 2007 for housing – and the site has room for up to 400 homes. The historic clock tower will be preserved and form a centrepiece of the new development"

    I have not been inside but enjoy everybody elses post's :)

    Keep Your Heritage Alive
     
    #12 Zeebex, Dec 15, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2015
  13. AndyK

    AndyK Behind Closed Doors
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    Loving the clock tower. Any idea if that's being retained?
     
  14. Zeebex

    Zeebex 28DL Full Member
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    Hi Andy K "The historic clock tower will be preserved and form a centrepiece of the new development" I will get a picture when I can, everything will be there and the clock tower is going to have a full refurbishment. when you are on the site there is a plaque showing what the development will look like once complete.
     
  15. AndyK

    AndyK Behind Closed Doors
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    Ahh just seen the post above. That's good news :)
     
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