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Report - Severalls Hospital - Lunatic Asylum in Colchester, Essex – October 2015

Discussion in 'Asylums and Hospitals' started by kkj, Oct 5, 2015.

  1. kkj

    kkj 28DL Regular User
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    Following our recent successful trip Carcarzy and I felt had the urge to complete another exploration, and this time we had a bigger site on our minds.

    Having completed some research, we stumbled across this location which bears some resemblance to a location I was lucky enough to explore some years ago (and a few others may have had the opportunity to visit, before it was transformed into a housing estate) called The Epsom Cluster, which consisted of 5 hospitals called Horton, Long Grove, St Ebba’s, Manor and West Park Hospital, albeit on a smaller scale. Our researched really excited us about the opportunity to explore the place, but we knew it was not going to be easy due to the high level of security and on the ball security guards (as mentioned in other posts)

    What:Lunatic Asylum
    Where:Colchester, Essex
    Built:c1910-1913
    Abandoned:1997
    Listed:No
    Visited: 2015

    History

    Severalls Hospital was the second Essex County Asylum (Severalls Hospital) – opening in 1913 to relieve pressure from the Warley Asylum; it was designed by F.Whithouse & W.H.Town and adopts the echelon layout. The site was continually added to between 1910 and 1935, and this is reflected in the different styles present. The asylum was situated on 300 acres of the Severalls estate, which was sold to the Essex County Council in 1904 and its doors were opened to patients in 1913; at its peak it housed over 1800 patients, both in main wards and the outlaying villas – there was also staff accommodation and academic buildings. Interestingly the chimney attached to the water tower was lowered by one third of its height during World War Two to prevent it being a hazard to crippled bombers landing at a nearby US airbase.


    Severalls Hospital was also committed to cooperating with its surrounding hospitals; the 1960s saw the introduction of a new operating theatre to help alleviate the local waiting lists and in 1978 a medical ward was also opened which housed 28 patients. The increasing emphasis on rehabilitation and the move away from isolation meant that Severalls saw a significant decrease in permanent beds, from 1100 in 1977 to 726 in 1988; at this time smaller care homes had been setup around the Essex county, meaning that a large hospital was no longer needed.

    The hospital closed down in 1997 and has suffered from a number of arson attacks leading to the destruction of the main hall and the Superintendents house; in recent times an airing court shelter has been destroyed. The site is to be regenerated with the main administration building and a small section of the superb wards being restored and converted to residential housing as they are one of the few remaining original examples of the echelon layout; water tower and some outlying villas are also to be retained and reuse.
    ____________________________________________________________________________________

    Having arrived at the location, we could see the old asylum from the road. We walked around but found no other option but to climb a high fence much of which contained barbed wire (be careful guys and girls ;) ). We managed to look around the place for several hours, being particularly carefully to be quiet and lot leave any trace of our presence. Although we were fortunate enough not to be caught by the security, there was evidence we had recently missed them when spotting cups of tea which had recently been left on the floor.

    Anyway, we visited much of the hospital including the mortuary, basement tunnels, kitchens and even attempted to get in the tower (with no success) and although much of it has been stripped out we were very pleased with the outcome and feel this was well worth the trip. There were still many interesting finds as I hope you will agree, seen in a selection of the photos uploaded below:

    20151004_154656.jpg 20151004_154907.jpg 20151004_155054.jpg 20151004_160125.jpg 20151004_160550.jpg 20151004_160555.jpg 20151004_160604.jpg 20151004_160714.jpg 20151004_160738.jpg
    Funky door design
    20151004_161206.jpg 20151004_161334.jpg
    Could not break the safe!
    20151004_161637.jpg 20151004_161744.jpg 20151004_162314.jpg 20151004_162426.jpg 20151004_162741.jpg
    Don't think these have been worn in a while
    20151004_162809.jpg 20151004_162848.jpg 20151004_163139.jpg 20151004_164546.jpg
    Random tunnels under the hospital
    20151004_165357.jpg 20151004_165403.jpg 20151004_170224.jpg
    Scales - still in partially working order!
    20151004_170310.jpg 20151004_170422.jpg 20151004_170554.jpg
    A random stair case to the basement in the kitchen
    20151004_172022.jpg
    A great stair case in the administration house

    20151004_172047.jpg 20151004_172051.jpg 20151004_173055.jpg
    We said a prayer for Mary the ghost!

    Hope you like!
     
    mattdonut, urblex and PatientTheory like this.

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  2. The Guard Dog

    The Guard Dog Will only bite a little bit... well a lot
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    It's nice to see this place still standing!
     
    kkj likes this.
  3. gingaurb

    gingaurb 28DL Full Member
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    Nice pic's was there the other day did not find the mortuary were about was it ?
     
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  4. Sneaky_d

    Sneaky_d 28DL Full Member
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    nice one.
     
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  5. Frony861

    Frony861 28DL Member
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    Amazing place, definitely on my bucket list :thumb
     
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  6. DirtyJigsaw

    DirtyJigsaw 28DL Full Member
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    Always good to see pics from this place, cheers
     
    kkj likes this.
  7. kkj

    kkj 28DL Regular User
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    Near the tower, through some wooden exterior shed looking doors
     
  8. gingaurb

    gingaurb 28DL Full Member
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    Cheers mate I'll have a look there next time I'm going
     
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