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Report - Hellingly Hospital, 24th August, 2010

Discussion in 'Asylums and Hospitals' started by analepsis, Aug 28, 2010.

  1. analepsis

    analepsis 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

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    I had been in Brighton for almost a month and there had hardly been a single day of sunlight in the whole of that time. So when the clouds finally broke apart on Tuesday I decided on the spur of the moment to make my third visit to the Hellingly Hospital. Getting to Hellingly by public transport is a real nuisance and I discovered way too late in the day that I could have saved some money if only I'd bought an 'Explorer Ticket', the irony of which brought a smile to my lips anyway...It's really the final days for this much-loved Asylum. Demolition is advancing quickly. Most of the structures north of the arrowhead of wards have been razed to the ground and the marvellous corridors are all gone as far as I can tell. (I couldn't get too close as a gang of labourers were out piling up salvaged bricks on the wastelands just outside the north-east end of the remaining wards.) I was knackered and hungry by the time I'd walked up from Hailsham through the gorgeous Sussex countryside (like Pyestock and Shoreham Cement Works, the approach to this site threads through some beautifully bucolic settings), so I had a cheeky picnic on the first floor, before I broke out my photographic equipment and went a-wandering through the wards.

    It was great day for it. The brilliant sun glimmering behind the rapidly transforming clouds that were racing across the sky, the deciduous trees swirling and rushing in the wind, distant doors slamming and echoing down the wards. I took my time, hoping to catch something special. I had brought my Mamiya 35mm and a roll of Velvia50, just in case I spotted something wonderful. I took a few shots with it but not nearly so many as with the digital kit. Film never lies: it makes you much more selective...So anyway, I traversed the East Wing on the 1st Floor, and went down into the Main Hall, access to which is very exposed now, due to the extensive demolition. Had a look at the crawlspace in the roof, and went into the Hall itself, which (except some panelling on the North side) is pretty much completely stripped out. Most of the West Wing has also been stripped out: mantlepieces, radiators and floorboards all gutted and a lot of the windowframes too.

    I tried getting in the water tower and got to the 1st floor, but the improvised ladder looked a bit ropey and I didn't fancy attempting it during a solo expedition... so maybe next time. I planned to go back around and nose about on the ground floor, but I only got as far as the arcade fire room when I noticed one of the labourers walking straight towards where I was. I had already been there about 6 hours and didn't fancy having to deal with an unpleasant ending to an otherwise wonderful day so I got myself up on to the1st floor and made my way quickly back round to the access, and then hopped it.

    A good day. Sad to see so much gone and lost forever. Maybe worth one or two more trips, but I shouldn't imagine it'll be worth seeing for much longer than that...



    Articles on Hellingly's history can be found here, there and everywhere:



    And that's enough of me droning on... so on with the pics:


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    I also had a bit of fun mucking about and putting myself in the pictures :) :) :) ...

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    :thumb
     

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