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Report - West Park, Epsom March 2011

Discussion in 'Asylums and Hospitals' started by catbalou, Mar 27, 2011.

  1. catbalou

    catbalou off the wall
    Regular User

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    What started out as a crazy idea in doing West Park in under a day turned into reality recently. We decided to drive down through the night when the roads were quiet, check the location of
    the place and park somewhere quiet for a couple of hours kip.

    After a quick wash at a 24 hour petrol station, a large cafe latte and sausage roll we set off with camera, map of the aslyum, plenty of water, cigarettes and my explore food of choice - flapjacks of course -
    and soon came face to face with the huge, beautiful maze that would be my 'home' for the next 6 hours.

    After a scary start with nearly getting busted by demo guys working on a building we were in, and feeling the floor shaking underfoot as we walked through, and also the 15 minutes en route to the water tower with so many workers it was getting harder and harder the closer we got to the tower to dodge them, it was all in all a fantastic day out. I think locating the padded cell (with the help of another explorer who is often there and very kindly supplied a map) was the icing on the cake.

    600 mile round trip with a nearly 6 hour explore...bliss.

    Go there. Now.
    If I had the petrol funds and time needed Id be going back myself :)

    Bit of history from County Asylums:

    "West Park was the last mental hospital to be developed on the Horton Estate, having been planned since 1906,
    prior to the opening of neighbouring Long Grove asylum. Initial development to have been completed for
    opening in 1916. From 1917 the main hospital was largely complete and utilised by Canadian Military, and subsequently
    handed back to London county council. The complete hospital was anticipated to hold approximately 2,000 patients of mixed class.

    The Horton Light Railway, which was extended to convey materials to the site during development, remained
    in place for goods traffic and entered the grounds from the north terminating at a building close to the water tower.
    The railway was later closed and removed around 1960. A large detached residence, Hollywood Lodge, was also previously
    part of the Horton Estate was later used as part of the hospital."

    Designed by William C. Clifford-Smith, West Park was a compact arrow style asylum with 'colony' style villas,
    and finally opened in 1923 - the delay being due to military use in WW1. The main hospital finally closed in 2002.


    Couple of shots from outside

    1. Spot the Demo Worker..
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    From the windows

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    Walkway and corridors

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    In the rooms

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    Water Tower

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    Cat
    :)
     

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