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Report - Harperbury Asylum, the place that keeps on giving – Radlett 2015-2016

Discussion in 'Asylums and Hospitals' started by mockney reject, Mar 26, 2016.

  1. mockney reject

    mockney reject 28DL Regular User
    Regular User

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    The history


    Most people know about this place by now but I’ll add a brief history out of common courtesy

    The Hangars Certified Institution opened in October 1928 and the first patients, eight high-grade male adults, were admitted, supervised by untrained male attendants. They cleared out the hangars, which were converted into wards and became the foundation for the new Colony. After a few months there were 86 male patients from the County of Middlesex who lived and worked on the site. Construction of the new buildings began in 1929 and the patients were also involved in digging and establishing the gardens.

    The first of the new buildings opened in February 1931 and, by December, 342 male patients were in residence. The administration centre, placed on a north-south axis, contained offices, clinic rooms and a dispensary. Behind it were the kitchens, storerooms, workshops and laundry. These central buildings were flanked by 2- or 3-storey villas for male patients on the east side and for female patients on the west. The De Salis Recreational Hall (named after Sir Cecil De Salis, Chairman of the Council's Mental Deficiency Committee) could seat 700 people and was equipped with a stage and a cinema projector.

    A Nurses' Home was built to the west of the administrative building, adjacent to the main entrance in Harper Lane. The Medical Superintendent's residence was an 18th century farmhouse - Wild Farm - in the grounds of the Institution. Residences for the Deputy Medical Superintendent and other senior officers were also built, as well as a staff village. The site also contained tennis courts and sports grounds.

    Building work continued in stages until 1936. The villas were built around three loop roads, which divided the site into male, female and children's sections (an isolated section on the south side was allocated for the latter). The villas containing wards were designed for different grades of mental handicap, and each was arranged around recreational playing fields and gardens. In the children's section the buildings were one-storey; there was a school block - a single row of classrooms connected by a corridor.


    The Institution was renamed the Middlesex Colony when it was officially opened in May 1936 by the then Minister of Health, Sir Kingsley Wood.

    In 1986, following another NHS reorganisation, the Hospital was linked with Hospital and Cell Barnes Hospital under the control of a management unit of the North West Hertfordshire District Health Authority. In 1991 the three Hospitals were managed by the Horizon NHS Trust.

    In 1994 a new Assessment and Treatment Centre replaced the Admission Assessment Unit which had opened in 1982. Phased closure of the three Hospitals continued, and purpose-built bungalows to house specialist residential units for the remaining patients were built on the Harperbury Hospital site. When Leavesden Hospital closed in 1995 its remaining patients were transferred to Harperbury, and similarly when Cell Barnes Hospital closed in 1998.

    Harperbury Hospital finally closed in 2001, the last of the large institutions in the area.

    The Explore



    I love this place, I always find that if I’m out that way and happen to have the camera with me I’ll pop in and have a nose. The sites great, it’s a complete abandoned “village” for want of a better word. You could spend days in there and we have.

    The site of so many funny urbex related incidents I could report those just on their own.

    But one of the funniest had to be @oakley climbing over a chain mesh fence and it falling over in slow motion as he fell with it ripping his trousers from knee to ballbag lol lol

    Every time we visit we find that extra parts have been left open and are not as looked after as they were on our first visits, that and the secca are getting older and older, picture Dads Army if you have never been there.

    My last few visits have been with @slayaaaa & @oakley. We have found the main hall to be open which was awesome in its own right. The services building again was pretty cool and well worth a mooch around. On my last “accidental” visit, a week or so ago when I was heading back from Northampton, I met up with @slayaaaa and a non-member as he texted me about some more buildings being open that I “ had” to see. So dressed in semi smart clothes I made my way there and headed in. We found the limetree building and the admin building both to be open, although the admin building was a little bit of a let down.

    As always enjoy the pics and if you get the chance go and enjoy Harperbury, in fact fuck it take a picnic J

    The main hall

    Only pic I have I’m afraid as I leant my camera to @slayaaaa as his broke

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    The services building

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    A horse

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    Pawns

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    The limetree ward


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    The admin building


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  2. Els

    Els Obsessed with BS7671
    Regular User

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    Looks good mate. I was down there a few weeks back but ran out of time before I could see this lot. The security patrol with a dog btw.
     
  3. Speed

    Speed Got Epic?
    Regular User

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    I hope you went under the stage this time ;)
     
    mockney reject likes this.
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