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Report - St. Augustine's Hospital - Chartham - Feb/Mar 2010

Discussion in 'Asylums and Hospitals' started by badwabbit, Mar 21, 2010.

  1. badwabbit

    badwabbit 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

    Joined:
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    Time to get my first report wings!

    The History Bit

    As covered adequately in other threads, here's an overview:
    Started 1872. Opened 1875. Designed by John Giles & Gough.

    Known as:
    Kent County Lunatic Asylum, Chartham (1875-1920)
    Kent County Mental Hospital, Chartham (1920-1948)
    St Augustine's, Chartham (1948-1992)

    Closed 1992, when the main asylum site was redeveloped into housing.

    The Site Bit

    The main asylum site was redeveloped into housing in the mid nineties - the chapel, water tower and admin block buildings were kept and converted to flats/housing. There are still four hospital buildings left on the adjacent site, and this site will not be developed into more housing - this site is marked by the local government as for leisure or mixed-use business only, so unless businesses step in to buy and redevelop the site into a hotel, corporate head office or small business units, these buildings will be left to rot.

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    It is located in an Area of Natural Beauty, and sitting at the top of a hill has great views over the Chartham Downs.

    The Buildings Bit

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    Oak House

    Of the four buildings left, the main hospital building is "Oak House". This was built in 1939, and was originally built as specialist spinal wards. I do not know if that remained it's use over it's fifty+ year lifespan though. It's been pretty heavily trashed by vandals over the years, and is partially fire damaged (especially the upper floor). Despite having a nice discreet easy entrance, between my visits additional boarding and doors have been forced open in very obvious places, with some re-boarded over by security. However, no one seems particularly bothered, and many entrances are very obviously left open, despite occasional patrols fixing fence breaks (I've seen many fence breaks and fixes over my few visits.)

    There are nice main wards with *lots* of small, often *tiny* rooms, with four courtyards which can be seen in the aerial view. Two courtyards are pretty small and overgrown, the larger two had vehicle access from the front through the small corridors.

    One interesting fact is that many of the rooms have their use written on the door frames in marker pen. So you can find such descriptions as "Pricey's Paper Shop" and "Nurse Uniform Store" etc. The staff quarters has some quite funny notes on the doors/walls.

    All the corridors have the floor access points open, dropping about four feet, so be careful of those - falling in wouldn't be fun. Virtually all the exterior windows are boarded so it's pretty dark, especially the wards in the wings.

    Juniper House, Redwood House

    These are two additional hospital buildings located a few hundred yards from Oak house. I don't know what these were used for, possibly residential children's facilities.

    Beech House School

    The fourth building is a special school, built in 1972 and of more modern design. This consists of residential and day care facilities, a gym, three classrooms for general use, cooking/domestic training, and woodwork/metalwork shops, including a dedicated kiln.

    Water Control

    There is an additional small tower building in the back field with similar brickwork to the 1939 buildings which looks like it was a water mains / control point for the site.

    The Pictures Bit

    I've taken a lot of pics and have a few places left I'd like to explore and document (mostly Redwood and Juniper) so I'll probably do at least one more visit. Any questions or picture requests, hit me up!

    See below the pics for additional resources and links on St. Augustine's.

    Enjoy!


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    Looking at the upper fire damage floor

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    The Sun Room, for some nice evening sun

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    Upstairs at Augustine's

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    In the basement

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    Murky Corridors

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    Trashed Corridors

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    The Ol' Joanna

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    Beech House School

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    Tag The Blackboard!

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    Flickr - the full set of pictures

    Previous 28DL St Augustine's threads:
    link, link, link, link

    View in Google Maps

    More info on St. Augustines

    Arial view 01
    Arial view 02

    Site Development Principles (PDF)

    Chapel apartments interiors

    Hope you enjoyed my first newbie report!
     
    DirtMonger likes this.

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