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Report - Severalls Hospital, Colchester - Essex (April 2014)

Discussion in 'Asylums and Hospitals' started by upright_ninja, Apr 19, 2014.

  1. upright_ninja

    upright_ninja Picture of Stealth
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    Well... I thought it was about time I ventured over to the mighty Severalls to see what all the fuss is about! Along with 28DL member '12318', a sparrow-fart early start was in order and off we trotted! Access was up to the usual Sevs standard but we did it with a bit of perseverance, ignoring the inbuilt brain fault telling us "how difficult a climb can it be?"....! Once inside we headed round in the comfort of the buildings and, following the corridors, ventured around maybe half of the site until... Graham the Security guard put an end to our joviality! To be fair, he is one of the good guys and politely escorted us off site, telling us of the plethora of 'urbexers' he's had the pleasure of meeting. So, despite our stealthy prowess... we were rumbled! Unfortunate, as we were getting into our stride and had managed to see a bag full of the delights inside. Perhaps another day to finish the job!

    Here's a bit of history:

    Situated just north of Colchester (The oldest recorded town in Britain, apparently), Severall's Asylum was built in 1910 and opened it's doors for the treatment of patient's with mental health issues by 1913. The hospital, owned by Essex County Council, was the second one built in Essex to help accommodate patients in addition to Warley Hospital near Brentwood. It's design was the combined effort of F Whitmore and W.H. Town in the Edwardian 'Art & Crafts' style of facing red brickwork and large sash, bay windows giving it a simple, yet elegant look. Being connected by a huge network of corridors, the staff were able to navigate to all parts of the complex and the functional buildings housed everything from in-patient accommodation, wards and isolation units, to kitchens, laundry and workshop facilities to keep the hospital pretty much self sufficient.
    The hospital faithfully served Colchester and the wider community for nearly ninety years and survived two World Wars despite being bombed in 1942 by the German Luftwaffe who mistook the hospital for a factory, resulting in the tragic deaths of 38 patients. Many more were wounded. The hospital finally succumbed to the 'Mental Health & Care in the Community Act', closing it's doors for the last time in 1997.

    Numerous planning applications have been submitted since the hospital's closure but haven't seen any development or restoration work commence. Speaking to Graham the security bloke today confirmed that the demolition of the entire site is imminent, but, this has been mentioned countless times over the last fifteen years or so and could just be a usual ploy to discourage further breaches.

    I'd like to think we'll get another chance to see all we missed today but if these rumours are indeed true, the end of Severall's could be on the horizon.

    Here are some of the 177 shots I took today. I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed taking them and I'm glad I got the chance to cross this one off the list! Apologies for this being a bit image-heavy and all in mono... erm... I'm not sorry really!

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    A truly magnificent place and such a shame to see it in a state of disrepair... but then again, it wouldn't hold the same appeal if it was normal!


    Thanks for having a look... and thanks again to 28DL member 12318 for joining me and not pointing and laughing at this middle-aged loser trying to scale fences designed for a Russian gymnast!
     

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  2. ACID- REFLUX

    ACID- REFLUX 28DL Regular User
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    Re: Severalls Mental Hospital, Colchester - Essex (April 2014)

    Nice ones :thumb

    Certainly got enough different pics in your "limited time" there :)

    And certainly mono makes a difference, and maybe even get away with HDR / Topaz effects in Mono, rather than in colour :) Well except a few lol

    I bet the nice Secca lads have a sweepstake going for most captures in the shortist time
     
  3. H1971

    H1971 28DL Regular User
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    Re: Severalls Mental Hospital, Colchester - Essex (April 2014)

    Ah always nice to see the old girl. Shame you got caught. I've also had that pleasure. Liking the mono shots, Hdr not my thing but your pov is spot on :)
     
  4. AuntieKnickers

    AuntieKnickers inquisitive historian
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    Re: Severalls Mental Hospital, Colchester - Essex (April 2014)

    Sevs is definately one of my favourate trips, shame you got caught. Maybe loose some of the HDR's B&W photos in my opinion - would like to see the originals.
     
  5. upright_ninja

    upright_ninja Picture of Stealth
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    Re: Severalls Mental Hospital, Colchester - Essex (April 2014)

    Only two of them are HDR. The physiotherapy sign and long corridor... and that was only through messing about, experimenting.
     
  6. ZerO81

    ZerO81 Team Weasel
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    Re: Severalls Mental Hospital, Colchester - Essex (April 2014)

    One or two of them are quite OTT on the ol' HDR, which I would be mindful of for your next report as its not really liked on this forum and is bound to get some stern comments!
     
  7. upright_ninja

    upright_ninja Picture of Stealth
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    Re: Severalls Mental Hospital, Colchester - Essex (April 2014)

    The only two photos in HDR are 16 (long corridor) and 21 (physiotherapy sign). All the others have only been adjusted using RAW software to desaturate, tune the highlights, shadows and contrast and then finally draw out lots of detail using the clarity slider. I've then added the copyright watermark in Photoshop with a custom brush. Thanks for the heads-up and I'll keep it clean in future reports. Cheers, dude...!

    u>.<n
     
  8. Collingwood

    Collingwood The quiet one..
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    Re: Severalls Mental Hospital, Colchester - Essex (April 2014)

    I really like this. Great effort mate on getting in. Need to drag my sorry arse up here soon, only 5 hrs each way from my house!!
     
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