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Report - Bristol General Hospital, Bristol - Jan/Feb 2013

Discussion in 'Asylums and Hospitals' started by tumbles, Mar 19, 2013.

  1. tumbles

    tumbles Trip Hopping
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    Bristol General has probably been an fascination of mine since I first cast my eyes on it as a young boy. It's certainly something I've wanted to explore from a UE perspective for well over 6 years since myself and Rooks had a wonder around it while still live. Well I say we, she had a broken foot so she made the perfect patient to walk around it while I sat outside nervously.

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    Time went on and the place continued to operate until when about 2 years ago the NHS announced it would be sold towards the end of 2011.

    My increased excitement was tempered with someone throwing in the curve ball of offering me a permission visit. It took over 18 months for that offer to come to fruition which in itself was slightly frustrating knowing that non legit access was possible but could only last a few minutes and subsequently scupper any further permission developments. As I spent most of last year away from exploring buying a house and getting married I was pleased to see it done by others anyway. Well done you lot ;)

    I'm not one for permission visits really, but this place I feel, it was a gamble that probably paid off. These are my shots from various visits over the last few months. The site has now entered the development stage and it's being stripped back to its original design and then converted into a mixed residential/business use. It's pleasing for once that a developer is doing such a respectful design.

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    The history of Bristol General dates back to 1832. The lack of any health care in the growing industrial areas of Bedminster and Redclife became a concern of a local group of quakers. The Bristol General Hospital in its first incarnation, based on guinea street, provided treatment only to locals in the nearest vicinity.

    The introduction of the hospital was something of a ground breaking move at a time when Bristol was still a rapidly developing and changing city. While the rich lived up in the posh areas of Clifton & Redland the working/industrial persons had previously had no access to doctors or hospitals. The Bristol Riots of 1831 had provoked the demand for a better way of life. This era of massive social change was epitomised with the founding of the general hospital.

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    The success of the early hospital brought with it the demand for a bigger hospital. In 1853 the current hospital was built.

    The original building had two four story blocks joined by a central tower. It featured Italianate stonework and French renaissance rooftops. Further additions were added in 1873 and 1890.

    Further building works were carried out in the 1930s and are generally deemed to be of poor design and not fitting in with the original character of the buildings previous.

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    Since the 1930's the buildings have had all sorts of modifications, additions and it's the original design is almost lost amongst them all. Additional to modifications the building also suffered from extensive damage in the second world war and a number of wards are simply left as a bare shell as a result. The most telling loss of the war time era is the mansard roof that lined the Cumberland basin side of the building.

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    The hospital was originally scheduled to close in the mid 2000's but the sudden closure of Barrow Hospital resulted in a extended lifespan and despite dates being set to close in both 2008 and 2009 it wasn't till 2011 before the hospital was sold off by the NHS. It closed its door to patients for the final time in April 2012

    I've taken too many photos of this place, but you can see more here: Bristol General Hospital, Bristol | Whatevers Left | UK Urbex
     
    #1 tumbles, Mar 19, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2013

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