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Report - St Augustine's, Chartham - January 2013

Discussion in 'Asylums and Hospitals' started by Session9, Jan 16, 2013.

  1. Session9

    Session9 A life backwards
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    My first explore of the new year brought me to St Augustine's on a rather cold and gloomy day. Nice little explore this one, but if you like your buildings neat and tidy, then don't come here!


    History

    Chartham Asylum has also been known as Kent County Lunatic Asylum, Kent County Mental Hospital and St Augustine’s Hospital (from 1948).

    The site on Chartham Downs near Canterbury was described by the Commissioners in Lunacy as being in 'so bleak and elevated a position, exposed on all sides'. The site was approved by the commissioners only after intervention by the Secretary of State.
    The first asylum buildings were designed by John Giles and Gough and built between 1872 and 1875. On 5th April 1875, the first patients (East Kent patients housed at Barming Heath) arrived at the Kent County Lunatic Asylum, Chartham Downs.

    The hospital closed in 1993 and redevelopment of the site was started in 1997.
    The site of the main hospital buildings has been converted into a housing estate. The water tower forms part of a newly-built block of flats. The admin building, chapel, gate house and another block (i cannot identify) also remain and have been turned into housing.

    There are 4 buildings left that are slightly away from the main site and are lying derelict:
    Oak House: built in 1939 as specialist spinal wards but later used for mental health.
    Beech House: built in 1972 as a psychiatric adolescent day centre unit, incorporating a gymnasium, science laboratory, computer room and workshops.
    Juniper House: built in the 1930's for day patients/students.
    Redwood House: built in the 1930's for boarders.

    If anyone can add or subtract to the history - please do!


    On with the pics

    Starting with Juniper House (Redwood House is in the far background - i didn't bother with this building).
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    On to Beech House and the gymnasium which is at risk of collapse due to to the shear amount of spray paint on the walls.
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    The main event is the biggest building on the site - Oak House.
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    Judging by the fine architecture of the remaining original buildings, it is a pity not more of the asylum was saved. Here, the former admin building.
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    The converted chapel and water tower. This was a safe distance away to view the horrendous block of flats that had been bolted on to the fine water tower.
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    Thanks for looking folk :)
     

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