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Report - Shelton Mental Hospital, Shropshire - April 2014

Discussion in 'Asylums and Hospitals' started by The_Raw, Jun 24, 2014.

  1. The_Raw

    The_Raw 28DL Regular User
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    The History

    Shelton Hospital was custom built and opened in 1845 at Bicton Heath, Shrewsbury. The building was designed by George Gilbert Scott (the great grandfather of the architect who designed Battersea Power Station and the Red Phone Boxes, Giles Gilbert Scott) and William B Moffat. The Asylum was designed in the Corridor Layout that was prolific at the time, being symmetrical so that males and females could easily be segregated. The total cost of the original building came to £17,000. The hospital opened on the 18th of March, 1845, with a capacity of 60 patients. By the opening, the patients requiring treatment had increased to 104. At its peak in 1947, the hospital had 1027 patients.

    In 1968, a fire ripped through a ward killing 21 of the hospital's most severely mentally ill female patients. Most of the women were asleep and some were unable to move from their beds without assistance. The fire is thought to have been started by a discarded cigarette and it was found that none of the nurses were trained in fire evacuation procedures. A short BBC video from 1968 including interviews with a nurse and the hospital manager after the fire can be seen here: BBC News Player - 1968: Hospital blaze kills 21

    Over the years the hospital had its own cricket and football sides, a band, a farm supplying food to the hospital, jobs for patients and even a brewery. In Victorian times these places were designed to be self-contained, it was an institution so people who were admitted there often ended up living there their whole lives. Often the staff also would stay there for years and their children would eventually become staff there so you would have generations of people who had worked at the same place. Some of the treatments carried out there 100 years ago would now be seen as appalling and primitive, but knowledge and understanding of mental health was not what it is today and the public’s attitudes took time to change. The grade II listed building, which has been much adapted over the more than 150 years since it opened, closed as a hospital in September 2012. Its role has now been taken over by a new mental health village nearby called The Redwoods Centre, home to around 200 patients. Shelton has now been bought by Shropshire Homes and is being turned into luxury flats, work starts in September 2014.

    The Explore

    I believe this is the last of the Victorian asylums to close their doors, I visited with a non-member friend, with both of us having grown up in Shrewsbury we were desperate to see inside the place. The site is quite large with an impressive exterior and multiple buildings including a chapel and a farm. Practically all of the contents have been removed and everything now looks quite modern but the fact it is still in pretty much pristine condition makes it worth a visit. We explored the main building in it's entirety and just one other building which used to be a secure unit with admin offices upstairs. Access was a tricky one to figure out as the place is surrounded by an unbelievable amount of motion sensors. After a couple of failed attempts (including being caught on Christmas Day morning) and much brainstorming we figured out a way in past the sensors and spent four hours nervously creeping around knowing full well that security were inside the building with us. It's fair to say that this site was a bit personal as we both knew people who spent time in there, in fact I knew a guy who ended his life in there by hanging himself in the secure unit. That was a long time ago but it still creeps me out and it added a sinister edge to seeing the place.

    The Pics

    I accidentally had my camera set to the lowest possible image size so the pictures aren't of the best quality unfortunately. I was hoping to make it back there to reshoot the place but haven't got round to it yet, I might return now that I have a wide angle lens. Hope you enjoy :)

    1. The front of the main building
    [​IMG]

    2. A mosaic on the floor in the staff quarters
    [​IMG]

    3. The lobby of the secure unit
    [​IMG]

    4. Corridor in the secure unit with just empty rooms
    [​IMG]

    5. The tops of the toilet doors were slanted to stop people from attaching something to hang themselves with
    [​IMG]

    6. Warped mirror....seeing your reflection in this probably wouldn't help your state of mind one little bit
    [​IMG]

    7.
    [​IMG]

    8. We then ventured into the basement and found this sign on a door....
    [​IMG]

    9. Filing units where records were stored....
    [​IMG]

    10. The original Victorian brickwork foundations
    [​IMG]

    11. The staff bike sheds still look brand new....
    [​IMG]

    12. Once inside the main building we immediately found ourselves in the impressive great hall which was used as a canteen, I really needed a wide angle lens to capture this properly
    [​IMG]

    13.
    [​IMG]

    14. This corridor led from the hall to the kitchen
    [​IMG]

    15. Kitchen
    [​IMG]

    16. The rest of the main building consisted mainly of corridors with private bedrooms
    [​IMG]

    17.
    [​IMG]

    18. Windows with blinds, curtains and blinds being practically the only thing left behind
    [​IMG]

    19. More corridors, bedrooms and other bits....
    [​IMG]

    20.
    [​IMG]

    21. Birthday card from a relative to a patient
    [​IMG]

    22. One of many intact bathrooms
    [​IMG]

    23. Patient accomodation kitchen
    [​IMG]

    24. Colourful ward
    [​IMG]

    25. Another corridor with rows of doors
    [​IMG]

    26. Inside the attic with an especially creepy looking gate for an entrance
    [​IMG]

    27. And finally, a few exterior shots showing some of the outer buildings
    [​IMG]

    28.
    [​IMG]

    29.
    [​IMG]

    30. The chapel built in 1858
    [​IMG]

    Thanks for looking, I hope you enjoyed seeing inside Shelton :thumb
     

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  2. ACID- REFLUX

    ACID- REFLUX 28DL Regular User
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    Wondered when you'd get round to posting this :)

    Top work as always :thumb
     
  3. Speed

    Speed Got Epic?
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    Good effot. Reminds me of the good old days. Shame most that are left are modernised beyond being of much interest now tho.
     
  4. Lenston

    Lenston Bajo Tierra
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    Looks a good en, good work mate :thumb
     
  5. raisinwing

    raisinwing 28DL Regular User
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    Nice stuff, doesn't disappoint. :thumb
    I've been meaning to get my arse over here for the last month or so but other stuff has been getting in my way.

    Will pop down soon.

    The same Shropshire Homes who've been threatening to convert St George's for yonks, I imagine this will still be around for some time if they do their usual trick. :p:
     
  6. The_Raw

    The_Raw 28DL Regular User
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    Thanks guys

    Yeah I've been sat on it for a while, I've been wantnig to go back with my wide angle lens but just haven't got round to it so thought I may as well post it up :thumb

    I really hope so, the last I heard they had set dates for carrying out surveys with a view to begin construction immediately afterwards. They've done similar sites in Shrewsbury faily quickly so I guess we'll have to see....
     
  7. The_Raw

    The_Raw 28DL Regular User
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    :bananapopcorn
     
    #7 The_Raw, Jun 24, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2014
  8. wellingtonian

    wellingtonian Subterráneo
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    Really interesting report and beautifully shot.
     
  9. Will Knot

    Will Knot 28DL Regular User
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    Very nice pics and report mate :thumb
     
  10. Vixxie

    Vixxie 28DL Regular User
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    I am shocked how clean and tidy it is inside! Also you guys got some balls to explore with the security guards in :thumb
     
  11. urblex

    urblex 28DL Maverick
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    Really interesting report :) thank you for sharing.
     
  12. Idle Hands

    Idle Hands 28DL Regular User
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    Cracking report there. Never heard of Shelton before but I enjoyed reading this :)
     
  13. The Lone Shadow

    The Lone Shadow Industrial Fanatic!
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    Amazing photos bud. I've not seen this one before yet. This looks like one of the best and most preserved hospitals I have ever seen - Love that birthday card - I wonder how many birthadays ago that was.

    The Lone Shadow
     
  14. eclectic

    eclectic 28DL Full Member
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    Well worth the effort guys, nice report indeed :thumb
     
  15. The_Raw

    The_Raw 28DL Regular User
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    Thanks guys, appreciate the feedback :D

    Cool man, I'm gonna be up there visiting my folks for a few days so we should meet and hit somewhere if you're up for it :thumb
     
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