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Report - St Mary's Lunatic Asylum, Stannington, Northumberland

Discussion in 'Asylums and Hospitals' started by Natalie Faunch, Mar 10, 2014.

  1. Natalie Faunch

    Natalie Faunch 28DL Member
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    St Mary's Asylum at Stannington in Northumberland which is sometimes known as the Gateshead Borough Asylum.

    Here comes the history bit. Under the reforms imposed by the Local government Act of 1889, Gateshead became a county borough within it's own right, administratively independent from the County of Durham and within the next twenty years it became evident that pressures for space at the county's Sedgefield asylum would lead to the end of contracts with the new Gateshead authority. By 1910 Gateshead corporation had purchased part of the isolated West Duddo estate west of the Village of Stannington in the neighbouring county of Northumberland and were to engage George Thomas Hine and Hallam Carter Pegg as architect for the new 500 capacity asylum to be built there. The asylum would be the last project to be completed by Hine during his lifetime.
    The structures were in typical Hine style of red brick with yellow brick banding, multiple-paned sashes, concrete lintels and with grey slate roofs.The principal ward blocks were positioned en-echelon facing plantations to the south separated by the recreation hall, with male and female departments and services to the east and west respectively and separated by central services flanked by three-storey staff blocks. The administration block faced out onto a formal green space with various access routes to the chapel and isolation hospital, superintendent's residence and main entrance. The main drive and gates formed part of a patte d'oie arrangement with spur routes leading to the main hospital, six pairs of married staff cottages residence and farmland enforcing the self contained nature of the site.
    Almost as soon as the asylum was opened, it was requisitioned by the military for the duration of World War I. Following the end of its war duties the site was returned to Gateshead who added a nurse's home in 1927-8 and modified the isolation hospital to form a sanatorium for tuberculosis patients. Further pressure on the County Durham mental hospital led to a union with the neighbouring county boroughs of West Hartlepool and South Shields during the 1930's. The joint funding and demand for further space provided impetus for major additions to the Stannington site which would be completed in 1939. Built in plain red brick with slate roofs, the new units provided ten further pairs of staff cottages, two additional blocks flanking the main building, male and female detached working chronic blocks and a large admission and treatment hospital with convalescent villas at the north of the site.
    World War II led to the development of a hutted Emergency medical services hospital to the north of the admission unit, which was also requisitioned. Peacetime brought about the creation of the National health service, under which the hospital became known as St. Mary's - named after the Stannington parish church. The hutted emergency hospital was converted to house mental defectives. Limited development under the NHS consisted of a new staff training school and a number of prefabricated units providing social and occupational therapy facilities.
    Resettlement and closure led to retraction of wards and services back into the main building, with the areas to the north closing first. Despite the hospitals remote location, and considerable distance from it's catchment area, it remained open as late as 1995 when most surviving facilities were relocated to Bensham general hospital.

    Description harvested from County Asylums which has a few external shots of the asylum.


    Here are some photos taken at the site on 9/3/2014
    Sadly, most of it has been stripped bare and demolished.

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  2. tumbles

    tumbles Trip Hopping
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    Nice pics, haven't seen anything from here in a while.

    One thing though its either:

    a) Lunatic Asylum

    or

    b) Mental Hospital

    :)
     
  3. ACID- REFLUX

    ACID- REFLUX 28DL Regular User
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    MMMmm i was wondering what condition this was in .....now i know :( Cheers for posting
     
  4. BillAnd

    BillAnd Badass dare devil gangsta
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    very nice report - for a once popular urbex haunt, but very few people visit now that most of it has been demolished
     
  5. Will Knot

    Will Knot 28DL Regular User
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    Well nice, love the pics :thumb Pretty trashed tho' :)
     
  6. Martin Lynn

    Martin Lynn 28DL Member
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    there's normally a nice security guard that pops up within minutes of you arriving at this place and some dog walkers who like to keep it "for themselves" who are happy to shop you and give your reg details to the police.... nice site though, I went yearrrrrss ago
     
  7. tumbles

    tumbles Trip Hopping
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    Years ago yes, these days its pretty much all converted now. Fondly remember old git shouting 'NO PHOTOS' out of the window.. sure enough within 5 minutes.. WOOF!
     
  8. IamJuss

    IamJuss 28DL Member
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    Could anyone tell me how to get to this place? Has anyone got a postcode? Also can you get in to take pictures or not?
     
  9. Oxygen Thief

    Oxygen Thief Admin
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    Stop being so lazy.
     
  10. gPub

    gPub 28DL Full Member
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    Place looks quilty.

    Some really good 'dark' photo's in the report.

    Gonna have to get me and 1nk4 up north it seems.
     
  11. 1nk4

    1nk4 28DL Regular User
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    this does look pretty awesome!
     
  12. floonds

    floonds 28DL Full Member
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    Update (20 Nov '14): I only live about 10 mins from here and learned recently the old Administration block has been converted into a new gastropub and hotel accommodation. Went over the other night for a meal and to see what they've done with the place - it's pretty cool. The existing building is untouched, with rooms upstairs and pub/restaurant downstairs (Albeit they have extended slightly to the West side for further seating). The place is called St Mary's Inn and there's loads of stuff relating to its history. The branding is pretty cool too.

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    Anyway, decided to come back tonight to see what's left of the site after its takeover by Bellway Homes.

    The main entrance lodge and that house where the security guard used to come from are now converted into homes and people are living in them. Carry on through and a lot of the main site is actually still standing. All of the internal corridors and outbuildings have been demolished however the main ward units are all still in situ (granted completely gutted back to the brickwork) and the water tower is still standing. The old church is currently being refurbished as well.

    There is a row of new housing to the left of what was the admin block (over what was some of the buildings backing onto the front of the wards) as well as at the far North end. The connection from the admin block to the main hospital is gone and is now a road leading to the new row of housing.

    To the South, the playing fields and airing courts are intact as these are grade II Historic Landmarks. The remains of the tennis courts and bowling green are untouched along with the semi detached gardeners' housing and the nursery further down that lane. The cricket pavilion is also untouched.

    Ashley house is completely untouched, however there is a big sign outside of it showing the plan to convert it into a house.

    See plan below of what is left. I've greened over demolished parts, everything else that you can see is still standing. Red shows new housing developments, white lines show new roads.

    BTW, the entire site still absolutely STINKS of that anaesthetic hospital smell! A walk around the perimeter and you just hit pockets - it's eerie but pretty cool - wonder what the new residents think when they open their windows!

    Let's hope they do something good with the ward blocks and water tower.

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    #12 floonds, Nov 20, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2014
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