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Report - Cherry Knowle Hospital, Sunderland March 2011

Discussion in 'Asylums and Hospitals' started by catbalou, Mar 30, 2011.

  1. catbalou

    catbalou off the wall
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    Visited with Dweeb and Speed.. Big thanks to you both

    After some of my posts here, it may be apparent that I spend a lot of my time up at Ryhope Hospitals :)
    I decided that since the demolition workers were in and every day they seemed to travel further and further down The Laurels with their generators and machinery, I wanted to take the plunge and go in to have a last look before the whole place is no more.
    I contacted a couple of explorers who said they were going to visit the place, and asked if I could go along since the place has so much history for me.. due to family members working here, and the fact I would spend summer holidays from school wandering around the place waiting for said family members to finish work, as well as performing in various dance displays for the patients in the main hall. Walking through the main hall as well as underneath the stage where we would practice dance routines was a sudden 'blast from the past' for me.

    Photos may be not the best quality, but to me...as always.. it was all
    about the explore. This time more than any other place. It was a bittersweet visit for me, which came to an all too sudden end.

    Bit of history on Cherry Knowle:
    George Thomas Hine was appointed by Sunderland Borough Council to build the asylum which lay on the village of Ryhope with fantastic views, some overlooking the North Sea. Construction of the Sunderland Borough Aslyum started in 1893 and was completed two years later.
    The layout chosen, was the 'compact arrow plan' popular of its time, consisting of six blocks of wards, as well as a chapel and recreation hall.
    As the years went by, further developments took place during the 1930's and after with the construction of an admissions hospital and convalescent villas to the south, extended Nurse's home to the west of the main building and the wartime emergency medical service huts close to the main gate, later named Ryhope General hospital.

    The site became Cherry Knowle hospital on being incorporated into the National Health Service in 1948.
    Later developments under the NHS included a new boiler house and further staff accomodation within the grounds.
    The small wards within the site were all named after trees, and legend has it that a patient was assigned to a certain ward depending on the state of their mental health... i.e. the 'thinner' the tree you were assigned to, the more "hope" the doctors would have for your recovery.. various wards included, the Willows, the Poplars, the Oaks.. so if you were sent to The Oaks... then you can assume that you're gonna be there for a long, long time... ;) but perhaps, an old wives tale, and not to be taken too seriously.

    The main building of Cherry Knowle - The Laurels was closed in 1998.. leaving the rest of the site to outpatients clinics as well as temporary inpatients wards.. some of which, including the original Poplars have now closed.

    As it stands today, The Laurels is being demolished as part of a 43 week programme, where a new hospital facility for mental health is planned at Ryhope as well as up to 770 new houses to be built on the 47 hectare site.

    A sad day when a landmark building such as this, viewable from the A19will be eventually flattened..
    I for one, hope to at least get a brick from the main hall as a memento in the months to come.

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    Is that a security cabin I see before me..?
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    Thanks for looking

    Cat
     

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  2. catbalou

    catbalou off the wall
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    Just as a brief add-on, whilst on a wander around grounds in Cherry Knowle, I thought Id have a look in one of the newer separate outpatients buildings. Lights were still on in the corridors, but the place is all boarded up.. These buildings are also due to be demolished.
    They're usually patrolled, but I think the guys were on a tea break ;)

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    Cat
     
    bart-666 likes this.
  3. catbalou

    catbalou off the wall
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    A Happy St George's Day from Cherry Knowle :D

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  4. catbalou

    catbalou off the wall
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    Re: Cherry Knowle Hospital, Sunderland March/April/May 2011

    Updated, for a few 'very' recent ones since I was stuck for something to do..

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    what's left of the swimming pool.. :(
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    Cat
    :)
     
  5. catbalou

    catbalou off the wall
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    May 2011... Yes, its more from my favourite place...

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    somebody knocked over the "whey" chair...! : /
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  6. catbalou

    catbalou off the wall
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    Give me a shout if you're in the area.. I'll either be there or 'around' ;)
    Since I have zilch in the way of funds for road trips at mo Im spending a lot of time here :)
    Its going fast... hence me documenting it all the time. Boring for a lot of folk who are probably thinking "whats the effing facination?" but holds a lot of memories for me :)

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    Taken on an extremely windy day recently... which all added to the ambience of a lone explore... complete with a picnic... wine, spicy meatballs (dunno why... Id made them and thought Id take them along for a snack) bacon fries and flapjacks in a courtyard :D

    Cat
     
  7. catbalou

    catbalou off the wall
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    Cherry In June... (yes, you're probably all sick of this place, but lack of funds for/people to go with, for road trips means I keep going back to this place).

    Beyond the fence, and laying in sun with a picnic makes for a lovely evening :)

    Needless to say, I popped inside for a bit of a wander and also a glazed brick from the swimming pool debris.



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    Cat
     
  8. catbalou

    catbalou off the wall
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    Going going... :(
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    In your tunnelz... :thumb
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    Cat
     
  9. catbalou

    catbalou off the wall
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    A couple from the Isolation Hospital recently, before it gets flattened..:(

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    Cat
     
    Andy.Dunning likes this.
  10. AldousBlue

    AldousBlue 28DL Member
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    Fabulous photography and an excellent report. A place I was involved with once upon a time.
    Well done!
     
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