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Report - Copse Hill Tower Crane

Discussion in 'High Stuff' started by A5pect, Dec 10, 2015.

  1. A5pect

    A5pect 28DL Member
    28DL Member

    Dec 10, 2015
    Likes Received:
    Formally known as Atkinson Morley Hospital, and opened in 1869 the 300 acre Wimbledon Hill Park medical center estate (located at Copse Hill, Wimbledon) closed down in 2003 following the expansion of George's hospital, Tooting.
    (Extra Information: Wimbledon Guardian)

    Following upgrades during the Second World War the site was able to offer much greater bed numbers and staff on site. In 1942 Atkinson Morley’s original convalescent role was permanently changed when its surgical wards were taken over for neurosurgery, and after the war this became its primary role.
    In 1949 departments of psychiatry and neuroradiology were established at Atkinson Morley’s Hospital and by 1954 it had 44 neurosurgical beds, 16 neurological and 50 psychiatric, with 14 beds available for continuity and recovery.
    But only 14 years later Copse Hill’s association with hospitals suffered its first hit. In 1981 it was decided to close Wimbledon Hospital and move its services elsewhere. This finally happened in 1983 when services moved to the Nelson at Merton Park and the hospital was demolished the following year to be replaced by a housing estate. Nearly 20 years later in 2003, Atkinson Morley’s also closed and its services were transferred to St George’s Hospital, now transferred from Hyde Park Corner to Tooting.
    Since closure the building sat abandoned, with graffiti artists moving in and arson attacks beginning to take place the area was badly in need of development despite the slice of history that may be lost. In 2014 Berkeley Homes purchased the land and are currently redeveloping it into luxury apartments with multi million pound price tags. Below is an artists representation of the completed site. The architecture of the building is being somewhat kept (primarily due to council planning regulations).
    Below is an image of the building site 10 weeks before the climb.
    Ten weeks prior to us climbing the crane, i'd mapped the place out in detail but upon attempting to climb it a sneaky rotating PIR caught me hopping the hoarding. Due to my limited equipment I was unable to capture quality images however here are the best I got:
    On the climb down (due to the intense lighting on the top ladders) a security guard on the main gate spotted us and whistled. We sprinted back through the woods as fast as we could and saw that the main access gate was open, leading us to believe we were being looked for. Although I have no proof to support this claim, the one thing i'll say is it made that it made the night one of the most exciting climbs of my life.

    For those interested I filmed the climb on my GoPro and put together a fairly decent video which captures the experience much better:
    #1 A5pect, Dec 10, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 10, 2015
    PatientTheory and Seffy like this.

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