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Report - Rauceby Asylum, Lincolnshire - March 2013

Discussion in 'Asylums and Hospitals' started by Session9, Mar 19, 2013.

  1. Session9

    Session9 A life backwards
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    History

    Rauceby Hospital, originally called Kesteven County Asylum, is a now-defunct mental institution in the parish of Quarrington, Lincolnshire. Building work was commenced in 1897, the facility was completed and opened in 1902. After changing hands and names several times the main hospital building was closed in 1998 and abandoned for several years. From 2004 parts of the site underwent redevelopment to convert it into private housing.

    The hospital was designed by GT Hine, construction began in 1897 and was completed in 1902. Operated by the Kesteven County Council the facility was renamed to Kesteven Mental Hospital in 1924 and to Rauceby Mental Hospital in 1933. In 1940 the building was taken over by the Royal Air Force, renamed as No.4 RAF Hospital Rauceby it became a crash and burns unit under the control of nearby RAF Cranwell. During its tenure as a burns unit plastic surgeon Archibald McIndoe worked at the facility, along with other members of the "Guinea Pig Club". The wartime Burns Unit was situated in Orchard House, built alongside the hospital orchard - one of the last remaining parts of Rauceby Mental Hospital to remain in NHS use as offices for the former Lincolnshire South West PCT following the Mental Health Hospital's closure in 1998. An isolation hospital, built on the western edge of the site was never used as such; instead it housed those residents working on the farm and now functions as a 12-bedded in-patient unit for age 12-18 years within the child and adolescent mental health services under the control of the Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust).

    The main hall burnt down in 1947 marking the end of RAF control, the NHS took over the site the following year renaming it to Rauceby Hospital and returning patients that had previously been displaced. The South Lincolnshire Community and Mental Health Services NHS Trust closed the main hospital building in 1997, whilst retaining Orchard House (stand alone block directly to the north of the admin building) as the Trust's headquarters and Ash Villa on Willoughby Road as a Special School. Orchard House was subsequently closed in 2011 and was demolished during 2012.


    The explore

    A modest sized hospital built for 490 patients, Rauceby is not amongst the asylum heavy weights, but despite its size and of course what remains, it passed an enjoyable couple of hours. The place is stripped with a distinct lack of ground floors where bare brick walls are the norm. Some villa's have been truncated and all corridors and buildings between admin and the villa's cleared (including the nurses home) - work which started in 2003. A few toilet/bathroom towers remain, as well as a lift shaft on the female side. The area has been abandoned and the only saving grace when conversion work restarts (maybe) is the relatively dry condition of the buildings.



    The administration building in 1905.
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    The main entrance into the admin building where many journeys would have begun or ended. Sadly the decorative green wall tiles have all disappeared.
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    Thankfully, the beautiful mosaic floor is in good condition.
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    Directly opposite admin, is the conservatory, flanked both sides by the Doctor's Quarter's. The semi circular expanse of open land surrounded by the half eaten villa's reminded me of a Western film set. Would Lee Van Cleef fire a cheap shot from Sycamore Ward?[​IMG]


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    Chuckled to myself mooching round, half expecting to bump into Tony Robinson digging those floors for an ancient Roman tooth pick.
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    Very stripped. There's not even much to offer the wallpaper enthusiasts.
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    I noticed the chapel's alter had broken in two. Apparently during the dry summer of 1976 subsidence had badly affected the chapel and the alter had to be strengthened. The admin building and tower (demolished 2006) were also affected. The chapel had been disused since the early 1980's when a new chapel was built within the hospital itself.
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    And lastly, one for the road (well the train home in my case!). Rauceby Crossing Box, built by The Great Northern in 1880. A full seventeen years older than the asylum, and is due for replacement in the near future. The station is also famous (ok, lets be clear that i'm not at all sure if that is the right terminology) for a certain leader of the Liberal Democrat Party, Nick Clegg who proposed to his wife on a platform at the station.
    So who's careers will survive the longest, Clegg, Asylum or Crossing Box? (sorry, there are no prizes!:()




    Thanks for looking folks! :)
     

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