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Report - Birkwood Hospital, Lesmahagow - September 2014

Discussion in 'Asylums and Hospitals' started by darn, Sep 5, 2014.

  1. darn

    darn 28DL Full Member
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    Birkwood Hospital​


    Birkwood Hospital was run by Lanarkshire Council for the care of children with severe learning disabilities. Opened in 1923, it provided care for both boys and girls and was one of the few psychiatric hospitals which dealt exclusively with children. Birkwood House, situated in Lesmahagow (Lanarkshire) was originally a stately home built in 1887 for the McKirdy family. Birkwood was purchased by Lanarkshire Council in 1920 and was first occupied as a certified Institution for Mental Defectives on 3rd July 1923. Birkwood House was one of several institutions which opened in accordance with the Mental Deficiency and Lunacy (Scotland) Act of 1913. The Act was passed ‘to make better and further provision for the care of Mentally Defective Persons and to amend the Law relating to Lunacy in Scotland.’ Birkwood House is a Grade B listed building and had extensions erected in 1921, 1946 and 1958. The new wing added in 1958 cost £94,000 and accommodated up to 80 more patients. The 1966 Western Regional Hospital Board, Hospital Survey and Draft Proposals for Mental Health Services, stated that Birkwood had 316 beds but suggested that could be extended to a further 376 beds to accommodate for overcrowding in Kirklands Hospital. However, by 1976, The Evening Times reported that Birkwood would have to cut beds due to a degree of overcrowding. Gradually, community based care became more acceptable concerning psychiatric patients and The Evening Times reported in 1981 that Birkwood was trialling an independent unit which would allow improving patients to look after themselves with minimum supervision. The Community Care Act 1990 gave rise to a more community-based focus for long-term care and consequently many of the long-term psychiatric hospitals closed. The hospital began to relocate patients in 2002 and officially closed in 2005.

    The Visit​


    So, first off I will apologise if the pictures are not upto scratch. I am no export nor do I have the best of cameras compared to some on here, and to add to the misery my battery died half way through and I had to switch to the phone (boo!), but this was my first successful outing along with my brother, nah (new member) so we are/were pretty chuffed. I realise it has been done to death, but it's nice to have perspective on a buildings development through the deterioration stages imo, even if it is sad to see; taken 3/9/14.

    I have to admit though, looking at the archived photos of this place on here compared to what we seen, some parts of this building are on their last legs. Many a time did we hear some butt clenching creaking, and the state of the floors in some rooms, with whole sections gone it's only a matter of time before the top ones collapse taking the lower ones with them (although with that said the rooms closer to the spiral staircase are in better condition), but getting there was tricky at times and we had to build a few make-shift bridges. It took us the best part of a day to explore the whole site, but with all of that said it's one of the most enjoyable experiences I have had in a while and certainly my new found hobby.

    So, without further ado:

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    One bag of fresh lonely linen, is it just me that finds that strange?
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    Falling through to that basement don't look fun:
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    The bath I have seen so many posts about:
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    Still had toilet rolls and hand towels making me think no-one told facilities utill the last minute:
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    Unsold auction items (was quite a few items actually):
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    Bloody vandals :( this should have all been donated or transferred to another hospital... our tax money just lying there.
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    I went to take a picture on the slab, and as it wasn't held down when I grabbed it, it fell on my toe... clearly some :wanker thought this would be funny!
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    The kitchen is stripped bare:
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    Funny how the pikies steal everything except something that would refine them:
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    This was shocking to see, literally thousands of records from 60's to the 90's.
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    Stunning 360 view at the top:
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    That infamous spiral staircase:
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    My apologies if this is a bit pic heavy, but I got a little carried away with my first outing.. I have more posted here -> Birkwood Hospital in-case anyone is interested.

    Thank-you for taking the time to look at my post, and please give me any criticism you may have as it's the only way I'll learn!

    I am glad I found this place and looking forward to doing lots more :thumb
     

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  2. Idle Hands

    Idle Hands 28DL Regular User
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    I enjoyed my trip here a few months back, but it's certainly getting to the point of no return. No sign of that hotel conversion starting then?
     
  3. jdotn15

    jdotn15 28DL Regular User
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    BMTH Spray paint on the walls :laugh :laugh
    Quite a few good pics there :)
     
  4. krissigalores

    krissigalores Poison Ivy
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    Is anyone else seeing what looks like a really tiny person in the middle of the kitchen picture?!

    Great report, even if you had to switch to your phone.
     
  5. darn

    darn 28DL Full Member
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    Your report and pictures were fantastic btw, gave me some inspiration for mine and also why I was worried about posting yet another report on something that had been done less than 3 months ago!

    Not a single sign, although the very first window my brother looked in there was a man standing there and scared him half to death... lol, but turns out he used to work here back in the 70’s-80’s and was reminiscing; when we asked about that he said at the town meeting it was announced the plans had fell through yet again... I hope not as I really do wish someone would save this place, but it looks like it would need stripped back to the bare walls.
     
  6. Idle Hands

    Idle Hands 28DL Regular User
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    Yes... now you've said it. I think it's some kind of junction box that would have serviced the kitchens though :)
     
  7. PopPunkJamie

    PopPunkJamie Irregular User
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    Shhhhh don't tell Most Haunted or the Daily Fail, they'll be all over it ;)
     
  8. darn

    darn 28DL Full Member
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    Haha, well spotted, didn't notice that until you pointed it out! Thankfully the kitchen was the least freaky place of them all as it was exposed to the sunlight due to walls being missing, but I think Idle Hands is right :thumb

    Cheers, I was worried they would turn out bad due to it being pitch black in there at times but all in all I guess it done the job! :D
     
  9. Urban Legend

    Urban Legend 28DL Full Member
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    Great report! What an amazing piece of architecture I thought that was long since gone! Didn't realize she was still standing, sadly not as proud as she once was :(
     
  10. Urban Legend

    Urban Legend 28DL Full Member
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    Oh yes. Looks like a bloke in a black suit with black curly hair. Quite Lionel Richie-esque :D
     
  11. KM_Punk

    KM_Punk Muppet
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    I like this. That staircase is cool :thumb
     
  12. Kickasskev

    Kickasskev 28DL Full Member
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    +1
     
  13. slayaaaa

    slayaaaa 28DL Regular User
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    Pfft BMTH! :p

    Nice report this, the place looks amazing, not seen a report on this before I don't think. Did you get a shot in the morgue?
     
  14. darn

    darn 28DL Full Member
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    I know, made me laugh! Thought it would be good to capture that as well even though it was the records that were the main spectacle.

    Thanks a lot! Sadly she is not, deteriorated quite a bit over the last few years. The rot is everywhere, there's fungus as tall as me scattered around and the basement is several inches of wet sludge... I hope that deal to convert/save her hasn't fell through like that guy mentioned, but like so many others on here it seems it may be too late.

    Cheers. Isn't it, made it all worth it... that along with the view at the top of it ;)

    :thumb

    Heh I' glad so many people appreciated that. Was going to post the one that didn't include it, but glad I did now :p

    I thought this was the morgue? Although it did seem oddly placed when I think about it...

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  15. WildBoyz

    WildBoyz Is this the future?
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    Good effort for a first report! Some slightly blurry pictures, but you've got some good ones in there too. It looks like an interesting explore.
     
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