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Report - St Joseph's Orphanage, Preston - April 2014

Discussion in 'Asylums and Hospitals' started by Idle Hands, Apr 20, 2014.

  1. Idle Hands

    Idle Hands 28DL Regular User
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    St Joseph’s Orphanage

    Visited with Bigjobs, Paradox, Scrappy, Katia, Paul2129, Albino-jay and two of his mates – most of whom had handily been before and knew their way around. It was a great day with great weather and great company that I’d happily explore with again.

    Paradox has already covered this in her extremely comprehensive and readable report so I’ve tried to cover it slightly differently. Inevitably much of what follows will be similar though…

    This site is like a maze and has been added to over the years, but the original orphanage was endowed by Mrs Maria Holland in 1872 for the benefit of Roman Catholic girls. The building was designed by Preston’s own Mr RW Hughes, and constructed on the site of a former brewery in the Victorian Gothic style from red bricks, with blue brick and sandstone detailing, and Welsh blue slate on the roof. The Dutch Sisters of Charity of Our Lady Mother of Mercy ran the orphanage, which initially housed around 50 people.

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    To the East, and added five years later, is the St Joseph’s Institute for the Sick Poor which offered accommodation for another 25 people. Both of these buildings are listed and are currently planned for conversion into residential accommodation as part of the Winckley Square conservation scheme.

    Mrs Holland died in 1878, with much of her estate being used as a permanent endowment for the orphanage.

    Mount Street Hospital as it became known gained its first operating theatre in 1910, while new wings were added in 1933, and again in 1955. These additions complicate the layout of the site which has two courtyards, one hidden from street views: As you can see below, the left hand chapel is part of the orphanage, while the right hand hospital wing is due for demolition as part of the redevelopment scheme.

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    There are many interesting features on an exterior that looks like it needs a lot of work:

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    During the Great War the hospital cared for wounded English and Belgian soldiers, with Dutch and Belgian sailors benefiting from its services in world War Two.

    The hospital closed in 1986, two years before English Heritage noted the importance of the orphanage on social history when listing it in 1988. For a while, the rest of the site operated as an old peoples’ home, before closing for good in 2003. The 1933 hospital wing has remained unused since 1986 however and is only listed in relation to its link with the Victorian original buildings. For that reason it is permissible to allow its demolition and the redevelopment of that part of the site. The 1955 addition being more hidden is to be retained and converted into apartments – rather surprisingly given its bland and characterless construction.

    Pictures… A few from the nursing home wing for starters:

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    The chapel is in pretty good condition, all things considered:

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    The operating theatres were next to see, in the hospital wing:

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    I’m not sure what the number 246 signifies but it appeared all around the site in various wings and guises:

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    One from the top of the Institute...

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    So there you have St Joseph’s – first stop of the Preston meet. The second stop was Miley Tunnel, which was rather uninspiring until the wire wool came out…

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    I’ll be back with part two of the meet once I’ve processed the pictures. In the meantime, thanks for looking…:)​
     
    #1 Idle Hands, Apr 20, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2014
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  2. Ojay

    Ojay Admin
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    Some really nice pics, you have a real eye for composition, something I really lack :D

    Anyway good to see this place again, props to Jobs for sorting this out :)
     
  3. Paradox

    Paradox 28DL Regular User
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    Nice :) You got some proper lovely shots there Idle Hands, I like the write up too :)
     
  4. Ojay

    Ojay Admin
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    This is the calibre of stuff I enjoy scrolling through, sorry to harp on but I do like these pics :thumb
     
  5. Bigjobs

    Bigjobs Official Smartarse
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    Awesome shots, like really awesome shots.

    These are the kind of shots that should be full member shots.
     
  6. albino-jay

    albino-jay 28DL Regular User
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    Belting shots there fella, and a top write up too.

    :D
     
  7. Idle Hands

    Idle Hands 28DL Regular User
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    Thanks for the comments guys, much appreciated :thumb It was a cracking day out, really enjoyed it :D
     
  8. ZerO81

    ZerO81 Team Weasel
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    I have to fully agree with Ojay, these are some of the best shots from this place.
     
  9. ravenblakh

    ravenblakh 28DL Full Member
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    Seriously stunning shots here! :D Really enjoyed the ones of the operating theatre and the church, amazing to see something left in such a good state!
     
  10. Idle Hands

    Idle Hands 28DL Regular User
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    Thanks very much everyone :)
     
  11. Ninja

    Ninja 28DL Full Member
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    As previously said, great composition and very interesting pics :thumb
     
  12. ACID- REFLUX

    ACID- REFLUX 28DL Regular User
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    Top quality & pics :)

    Makes me want to visit even more than i already did :)
     
  13. Idle Hands

    Idle Hands 28DL Regular User
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    Thanks once again everyone :)

    Well worth the effort mate if you're down that way!
     
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