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Report - Severalls Asylum, Colchester - September 2012

Discussion in 'Asylums and Hospitals' started by Session9, Sep 17, 2012.

  1. Session9

    Session9 A life backwards
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    The explore

    Welcome to yet another slice of the delicious Sevs. This day was particularly sweet, as previous missions had resulted in failure, with only the former cricket pavilion providing any entertainment! Having studied plans of the hospital it was surprising how quickly i became disorientated once inside. The place is vast, and in three hours i guess i had only walked about a quarter of it. Of course, finding your way about is part of the fun and i was pleased to have covered most of the usual tourist hot spots.

    A moment of weakness came when i stepped out into the hot September air to take some externals... when larger than life the legend suddenly appeared. Micheal had spotted a door slightly ajar (i had been so careful avoiding the usual tell tell signs); so i had to take my hat off, he's good. I was glad to see him in a way (even though i'd rather have found him!) as it was just too warm for another encounter with the tackle masher. Micheal is a thoroughly pleasant chap and he said a demo company had been in recently to assess the site. He also mentioned that it had been a lean spell for catching explorers, or is he getting a tad rusty?


    History

    The 300-acre (1.2 km2) site housed some 2000 patients and was based on the "Echelon plan" - a specific arrangement of wards, offices and services within easy reach of each other by a network of interconnecting corridors. This meant that staff were able to operate around the site without the need to go outside in bad weather. Unlike modern British hospitals, patients in Severalls were separated according to their gender. Villas were constructed around the main hospital building as accommodation blocks between 1910 and 1935. Most of the buildings are in the Queen Anne style, with few architectural embellishments, typical of the Edwardian period. The most ornate buildings are the Administration Building, Larch House and Severalls House (originally the Medical Superintendent's residence)

    The hospital closed as a psychiatric hospital in the early 1990s following the closure of other psychiatric institutions. However, a small section remained open until 20 March 1997 for the treatment of elderly patients suffering from the effects of serious stroke, etc., as a temporary building for nearby Colchester General Hospital which was in the process of building an entire new building for these patients. Since 1997 the remaining structures have changed little. Architecturally, the site remains an excellent example of a specific asylum plan. However, the buildings have suffered greatly from vandalism. In 2005 the main hall was subjected to an arson attack and in 2007 the charred building was demolished for safety reasons. The five boilers were removed from the Central Boiler House in 2007. In 2008, the sale of the Hospital Site, including its extensive Grounds, collapsed due to the slow-down in the Building Industry. Planning permission was however granted in 2011 to redevelop the site.


    Enough gibberment and on with the pics:

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    It will soon be Christmas by the way....
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    A break for cricket at Sevs. The tranquil game providing a contrast with the chaos contained within the buildings beyond.
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    The rarely photographed cricket pavilion (taken in February). The building appears to be in the direct line of a new road. Whilst other buildings were cleared in 2011 for it, this strangely remains.
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    Anyway, back to he main event. Bit of corridor action.
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    Be careful when opening doors.
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    No matter how much one tries to cover it over, stencilling will always come back.
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    And lastly, my favourite of the day.

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    Thanks for looking folks! :)
     

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