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Report - Severalls Hospital Colchester, June 2016

Discussion in 'Asylums and Hospitals' started by The lone wanderer, Jun 27, 2016.

  1. The lone wanderer

    The lone wanderer 28DL Full Member
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    So here goes my first report.


    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. Psychiatrists were free to experiment with new treatments on patients seemingly at will, using practices now considered unsuitable such as electro-convulsive therapy (ECT) and the use of frontal lobotomy a change in management during the 1960s (and likely a change in social acceptance) saw reforms introduced including the creation of art and music therapy programs and the widespread use of drugs and medication. The hospital closed as a psychiatric hospital in the early 1990s following the closure of other psychiatric institutions.

    The explore

    So me and my brother decided to head down to Colchester on a miserable Sunday morning. After some research online I had convinced myself that it would be relatively easy to get in to the hospital, which was partly correct as the getting onto the grounds was fairly straightforward however, the first few buildings we encountered where all boarded up tight and looked as though this had been recently done. As we headed father in towards the main hospital we were disheartened to find a rather large fence stopping us from getting into the main hospital buildings. It was also evident from the jcbs and other plant and track marks around that there is demolition work currently taking place here. After much debate we decided we would climb a tree to get over the fence. My brother went first and as soon as he dropped down on the opposite side to me he quickly informed me to run as had just landed about 10 meters directly in front of two security guards! Opps! So a few hushed phone calls to each other later we managed to regroup. Not to be beaten we then decided to park up elsewhere and try from a different side. Eventually after some searching and nearly calling it a day we were in.

    Photos

    [​IMG]DSC_0336 by sam van schevensteen, on Flickr


    [​IMG]DSC_0370 by sam van schevensteen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]DSC_0342 - Copy by sam van schevensteen, on Flickr


    [​IMG]DSC_0379 by sam van schevensteen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]DSC_0373 by sam van schevensteen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]DSC_0380 by sam van
    schevensteen
    , on Flickr

    [​IMG]DSC_0360 by sam van schevensteen, on Flickr


    [​IMG]DSC_0349 by sam van schevensteen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]DSC_0389 by sam van schevensteen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]DSC_0392 by sam van schevensteen, on Flickr


    [​IMG]DSC_0391 by sam van schevensteen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]DSC_0388 by sam van schevensteen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]DSC_0358 by sam van schevensteen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]CSC_0416 by sam van schevensteen, on Flickr


    [​IMG]DSC_0352 by sam van schevensteen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]DSC_0368 by sam van schevensteen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]DSC_0354 by sam van schevensteen, on Flickr


    [​IMG]DSC_0383 by sam van schevensteen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]DSC_0403 by sam van schevensteen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]DSC_0355 by sam van schevensteen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]DSC_0394 by sam van schevensteen, on Flickr


    [​IMG]DSC_0348 by sam van schevensteen, on Flickr




    After wasting a couple of hours trying to get in we didn't have as much time as we would of liked to walk around inside, the places is huge and we plan to go back a spend an entire day exploring here. sooner rather than later as it appears demolition is soon to be well underway.
     
    #1 The lone wanderer, Jun 27, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2016
    Alessio1st, mrwhite and ultravox like this.

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  2. Special Brew

    Special Brew 28DL Full Member
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    Firstly good job on managing to get around a lot of the place, but I would say you don’t need to publish the exact date you went, in fact its good practice not to! Also did you actually see any recently demolished buildings then or have they just been clearing the site of vegetation etc?
     
  3. The lone wanderer

    The lone wanderer 28DL Full Member
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    Thanks for the advice about the date i cant seem to edit the title but will keep it in mind for my next report. With regards to the demolition we didn't see any demolished buildings just machines the kind i would expect to see used for demo work, and we didn't venture close to the tower where these where located. There seems to be a lot of clearing of trees as well overall i looks like it might be a busy place to go during the week.
     
  4. ultravox

    ultravox 28DL Full Member
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    I thought this place had already been demolished! :banghead Nice to see its still there and still worth a visit. :thumb
    Excellent report, and thanks for sharing.
     
  5. KM_Punk

    KM_Punk Muppet
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    Nice report :thumb you've covered this well.
    Sorry, but couldn't help but comment on the ECT part. We still use that, and it's very effective. Actually it's more successful then any anti-psychotic medication on the market in the UK today, by percentage of success. We are currently working hard on eliminating the stigma associated on ECT. I know historically ECT has been barbaric and Frankenstein-like, but today it's very clinical and safe. I've seen people go from been in a complete state of Catatonia to discharge on a 3-week course of 2 ECT sessions a week. Read this ->http://www.leicspart.nhs.uk/_OurServices-AcuteRecoveryTeamforAdultMentalHealthService.aspx
     
    Django and ASOM like this.
  6. The lone wanderer

    The lone wanderer 28DL Full Member
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    Thanks for all the positive feedback guys!
     
  7. Cane

    Cane 28DL Full Member
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    I popped over there the other day with my quadcopter. First visit there in over 10 years and i was stunned at how much it's changed. So much has been demolished or burnt down.
     
  8. Special Brew

    Special Brew 28DL Full Member
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    As far as i'm aware only the main hall and two of the southern villas have been demolished, is this still correct or has more gone?
     
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