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Report - Severalls Hospital - Colchester - August 2016

Discussion in 'Asylums and Hospitals' started by RichPDG, Aug 22, 2016.

  1. RichPDG

    RichPDG 28DL Regular User
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    The History:
    Severalls Hospital in Colchester, Essex, United Kingdom was a psychiatric hospital built in 1910 to the design of architect Frank Whitmore. It opened in May 1913.
    The 300-acre (120 ha) 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 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

    The Explore:
    With the impending demolition that imminently awaits severalls, I decided that after putting it off for long enough that it was now or never if I was to see the site so decided to get the wheels rolling. All my usual explore partners were either busy or unavailable so I asked Mikeymutt if he fancied it and we hatched a plan.

    Having finally arrived at the site, I was blown away at the sheer size and scale of the place. It is MASSIVE! Our first obstacle was the three fences we needed to conquer before gaining access to the building itself. The first one was no problem and we were soon over it, the second one again was no problem and we had soon passed that. The big challenge though was finding a way around the very imposing looking 10ft palisade. This however was a breeze and we soon found ourselves inside the mothership which is Severalls!

    If you don't know your way around this place, it's understandably easy to get lost very quickly. I lost count of the amount of times we must have walked down the same corridors again and again!

    We lasted about 2 hours before inevitably getting caught by security which somewhat came as a delight as it meant we wouldn't have to face climbing 3 fences again to get out! Hats off to the security guy as he was one of the most (if not the only) pleasant security personnel I have ever come across!

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    Thanks for looking! :D
     

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  2. Lavino

    Lavino 28ÐŁ ƦEGUŁλƦ U$EƦ
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    Nice one. Everyone seems to look foward to getting caught here. Must be part of the day.
     
  3. Six

    Six 28DL Regular User
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    Glad you got to see it! I was thrilled when I got caught as I really wasn't looking forward to getting over the fence again!
     
  4. monk

    monk mature
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    You was happy to be caught ? That sucks!
     
  5. Six

    Six 28DL Regular User
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    Yeah, we were looking for our way out and had had about 4 hours in there so I was more than happy to be let out of a gate rather than tackle the fence the other way!

    If we'd have been caught 20 minutes in however, it would have been a different story.
     
  6. 1nk4

    1nk4 28DL Regular User
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    am definitely gonna have to bite the bullet and get this off the list.... nice report, thanks for sharing!
     
  7. mattdonut

    mattdonut likes teh HDr
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    nice pictures
    quite sad to see the demo markings on the wall now
     
  8. tumbles

    tumbles Trip Hopping
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    Nice set. Sevs seems to have more character now than say 6-7 years ago. Lot more pealed goodness.

    Will be sad when this one finally goes. It doesn't quite have the charm of Cane Hill & West Park. Perhaps because it was so stripped but its certainly outlived the vast majority of asylums that closed around the same time.
     
    Heroic J likes this.
  9. TheTimeChamber

    TheTimeChamber The other one
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    Which is impressive when you consider how much Colchester has expanded in the last ten years
     
  10. tumbles

    tumbles Trip Hopping
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    Probably the failure of the ring road being built has saved it this long. I think they are saving a fair chunk aren't they?
     
  11. Severall Hospitals

    Severall Hospitals Sectioned Member
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    Agreed, however the delay in the Link Road and Re-development has also meant that the elements and relentless acts of arson / vandalism have resulted in only a few Buildings being retained, as listed below:

    • Administration Building (front part only) - this is the only Listed Building on the Site
    • Water Tower
    • Larch House (formally Attendant's Residence + Recreation)
    • Part of the Western Echelon (including Graham + Duncan Wards)
    More information can be found about the buildings to be retained, including proposed drawings, on the Council's Planning website: http://www.planning.colchester.gov....action=show&appType=Planning&appNumber=160147

    A real shame that the Buildings weren't sold and re-developed sooner (like at Warley or Claybury for example)..
     
  12. tumbles

    tumbles Trip Hopping
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    I really should get back adn do Myland Court. Everyone seems to miss it out (I get its outside the fence) but it always had more character than the rest of the buildings.
     
  13. Fly By Night

    Fly By Night 28DL Member
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    :thumb I last set foot in there almost 10 years ago. Felt an immense amount of peace - seeing it now, I really do think it's time that it goes.
     
  14. The Stig

    The Stig Urbex = Nosey Bastard
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    That doesn't look like Michael in the pic? But still sounds like he was a nice bloke as well.
    Glad you manage to get in and have fun, good to an update on the site.
     
  15. LordRyanIII

    LordRyanIII 28DL Member
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    Sorry if this isn't allowed here, I'm mostly a lurker, only created an account to post this.

    I've been Urbexing for a while, but never got around to going here. Your post has made me want to change that, I had no idea they were actually going to demolish it.

    So I guess what I want to ask is, does anybody want to go for one last trip? I'd like to find an experienced partner to go with, preferably somebody who wants to give it one last farewell.

    (Again, apologies if I'm not allowed to comment this, it just seemed the most appropriate place as your post is the most recent I could find and your post it what inspired me!)
     
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