1. Welcome to 28DaysLater.co.uk - 28DL - The UK Urban Exploring / Urban Exploration / Urbex Forums.

    Asylums and Hospitals, High Stuff, Industrial, Leisure Sites, Residential Sites, Military Sites, Mines and Quarries, ROC Posts, Theatres and Cinemas, Draining, Underground Sites, European and International Sites, Leads, Rumours and News, Kit, Clothing, Equipment, Photography and Video sections plus a lot more.

    Please feel free to browse this website as a guest. Creating an account removes some ads, allows you to post replies, start new topics and threads, and gives you access to more features including bookmarking, live chat, messaging and notification systems.

    Create an account | Login | Request new password

Report - What's left, Runwell hospital, Wickford, Essex - October 2014

Discussion in 'Asylums and Hospitals' started by slayaaaa, Oct 27, 2014.

  1. slayaaaa

    slayaaaa 28DL Regular User
    Regular User

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2014
    Messages:
    1,135
    Likes Received:
    604
    Runwell


    Intro

    [​IMG]

    So again, I wasn't going to post this due to the fact I'd rather it wasn't trashed and torn apart by those ruddy metal fairies, but a request has persuaded me otherwise. Would post it in Non-public, but can't do that! Going to be honest, it's definitely worth a look again, it's amazing. It has a feel about the place, which I think was what it lacked before the demolition. A lot more decay, a lot less to see, but it's good quality.

    All props to Oakley, a spontaneous visit on the way home, but one well worth the visit and indeed, one I shall return to to finish off.

    As always, skip to the end if you're here for the photos, :thumb

    Enjoy.

    History

    Following the ending of contracts accommodating patients at the Essex County Council's Brentwood mental hospital, joint facilities were developed between East Ham and Southend-on-Sea boroughs. A site was chosen at Runwell Hall Farm, to the east of the town of Wickford and the firm of Elcock and Sutcliffe were chosen as architects to the site, the former having previously designed the new Bethlem Royal Hospital at Monks Orchard. Elcock and Sutcliffe were at the forefront of institutional design and when completed, Runwell was seen as being pioneering development in mental hospital compared to its contemporaries. The hospital opened in June 1937.

    The hospital was divided into specific zones according to purpose and type of patient. Staff housing was located close to or outside of the main entrance, with the most senior residences and nurse's home located on the main drive. The chapel, dedicated to St. Luke was placed at the principal junction at the top of the drive - to its east lay admission, research, treatment convalescence and neurosis blocks. The main buildings were laid out to the west: villas for working patients, pavilions for the infirm, administrative buildings, recreation hall, kitchens, and stores blocks providing segregation of male and female blocks. Workshops were provided on either side for the employment of capable patients. To the rear a combined power house and water tower provided a central focal point, with the laundry constructed on the female side. Parole villas were built at the northernmost areas behind the main ranges, providing a degree of freedom to suitable occupants. A large sick hospital was provided directly opposite the administrative block, combining wards for physically sick patients, those with tuberculosis, an operating theatre and staff sick bay. Finally, farthest west, Boundary House, a large block for disruptive chronic patients was built, providing two male wards, four female wards and a separate dining hall. The former farm was relocated to the north of the main site.

    Unlike others of its kind, Runwell utilised names for all villas and wards from the start, instead of numbers and letters used elsewhere until the 1960s and 70's, giving each structure a more homely identity. White with grey brick banding, rendering and variation between flat and pitched roofs were used to identify buildings and prevent a bland functional appearance overall by providing variety.

    Following World War II, Runwell came under the control of the National Health Service, who continued pioneering research work at the hospital. New developments included the Strom Olsen ward, adjacent to the female admission unit, and named after a former superintendent, and a combined occupational therapy and research laboratory block. Investigations under Professor Corsellis led to the development of a 'brain bank', the largest of its kind and instrumental in researching changes to the brain in mental illness and subnormality.

    Under sectorisation and realignment of catchment areas, Runwell's historical role in providing for East Ham diminished and services were became concentrated on the south east Essex area, resulting in strong links with mental health services at Southend Municipal Hospital, later Rochford Hospital. With the threat of closure and development of Care in the Community, services were streamlined between Runwell and Rochford sites, the laboratories and peripheral buildings closing.

    A timeline can be seen here: http://runwellhospital.co.uk/#/history/4539307829

    Report of closure: http://news.bbc.co.uk/local/essex/hi/people_and_places/history/newsid_8897000/8897988.stm

    A lot of controversy and opposition was to be had when plans were submitted to make the site a prison: http://www.echo-news.co.uk/news/4710453.1_500_prisoners_may_be_heading_your_way/?ref=rss

    These plans were later removed.

    A kind group of people have dedicated an entire website to the buildings: http://runwellhospital.co.uk/#/home-page/4537943129

    Many videos of the site can also be seen on YouTube.

    Most of the place slipped from my reach, which is a shame as I would've loved to have seen the site as a whole.

    Present

    After closure in April 2010, the site did not remain empty for as long as some of use on here would've hoped. Demolition begun relatively soon after closure in 2012.

    Demolition of former Runwell Hospital Site, Wickford, Essex

    Reference number: HCAP12099

    Deadline date: 02/03/2012

    This deadline is for… Expressions of interest by 5pm

    Contract value: £1,000,000 – £2,000,000

    Location where the contract is to be carried out: RUNWELL HOSPITAL WICKFORD NEAR CHELMSFORD ESSEX

    Is this suitable for smaller suppliers? Yes

    Is this contract suitable for a voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations? No

    Name of the buying organisation: Homes and Communities Agency


    Between 2010 and 2012 it was reported on this and many other sites. Speed did a fantastic job when reporting it.



    http://www.government-online.net/demolition-contract-essex/

    http://www.echo-news.co.uk/news/9549126.Plans_for_600_homes_on_site_of_Runwell_Hospital/

    Future

    Despite demolition, an update this month confirms the site doesn't have long until work shall start and the grounds will hopefully be fully re-developed and successful in sales too create a new community with some buildings being retained.

    Runwell: Former hospital site

    Update - October 2014

    Full Planning permission for the access road (including works to the A132) was issued this Summer allowing Countryside Properties PLC to commence with the infrastructure works in advance of house building. The detailed submission for the first phase of housing (116 units) is currently being agreed with the Council with works expected to begin on the initial phase in 2015. Subsequent phases of the approved 575 unit scheme will follow.

    Regeneration proposals for the Runwell Hospital site

    Following a period of extensive consultation, the Council’s Planning Committee resolved to grant outline planning permission for 575 homes and supporting development at Runwell Hospital in Chelmsford. This meeting took place on 4 March 2013. This permission sets the broad parameters of development, but does not contain full details. These details will be formally agreed through separate planning application(s).

    The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), the national housing and regeneration agency that owns the site, is finalising the legal agreement with the Council. This agreement will accompany the Outline Planning Permission.

    Now the HCA and their selected developer will work on the detailed planning proposals. Phase by phase, key features of the plan will be presented to Chelmsford City Council to agree.

    These will include:


    • The precise location of the housing
    • The size and look of the housing
    • The position of neighbourhood roads and open spaces.



    The planning application for 575 new homes: http://publicaccess.chelmsford.gov....ils.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=LZOWAJBR0AS00

    In my opinion, if a site is re-developed, it's usually disappointing as we'll usually loose some heritage, but here we see 3 main buildings being retained so Runwell won't be completely forgotten. This I agree with and hope one day I may be able to live in that beautiful water tower/boiler house! (If I become a millionaire)

    My visit

    A very relaxed visit, with no security visible. Oakley and I parked up and took a wonder, surprises were to be had when we discovered the boilers, generator, incinerator and access to the top of the water tower all still present. Dials, servers all sorts, still untouched since it had closed.

    Just as I got up the tower, the sun started to set which made for a glorious time to take a sit down to take it all in. It was kind of surreal, the way it had been left and seemingly forgotten, but then that made it what it was.

    The visit was great, despite the lack of other buildings and not being able to get into 2/3rd's of the place, i really enjoyed it. I've always kicked myself for not getting to this one, and when Oakley said the place still had lots to give I jumped with joy.

    I will be going back to get more pics! I did get into a part of the admin block, but it wasn't worth documenting.

    Cheers man, appreciate you showing me around.

    On with the pics, enjoy.

    Photos

    Chapel

    The most Art Deco church I've ever seen

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    A window

    [​IMG]

    Water tower/boiler house

    The beloved water tower/boiler house, I like the look of this site too much.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Incinerator

    [​IMG]

    I don't think we've seen the incinerator on 28DL before

    [​IMG]

    The single most stylish fire alarm I've ever seen.

    [​IMG]

    Flooded sub level

    [​IMG]

    Looking into the boiler section

    [​IMG]

    A few fine details

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Dials and controls

    [​IMG]

    The boilers

    [​IMG]


    Upon the water tower

    East of the chimney looking over admin towards the new hospital

    [​IMG]

    West of the chimney

    [​IMG]

    Looking South-East towards the chapel over what's left of the east section

    [​IMG]

    Looking North-West over the hatch

    [​IMG]

    Finally, that beautiful chimney

    [​IMG]


    Admin block

    External from the front

    [​IMG]

    External from the back

    [​IMG]

    Windows

    [​IMG]

    The clock

    [​IMG]

    I shall leave you with this

    [​IMG]

    Oh, and thanks Ojay and The Franconian for helping me recover it! :rolleyes
     

    Remove this ad by donating or subscribing.

  2. WildBoyz

    WildBoyz Is this the future?
    Regular User

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2014
    Messages:
    1,887
    Likes Received:
    1,069
    Nice work and report. Glad to see that you didn't lose it lol :thumb
     
  3. slayaaaa

    slayaaaa 28DL Regular User
    Regular User

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2014
    Messages:
    1,135
    Likes Received:
    604
    Haha yeah, my friend's laptop nearly had it when i saw that blank page. :S Ah well. Cheers :)
     
  4. Oxygen Thief

    Oxygen Thief Admin
    Staff Member Admin

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2005
    Messages:
    5,472
    Likes Received:
    1,503
    Home Page:
    [​IMG]

    Damn shame, that was a good explore a while back.
     
  5. Speed

    Speed Got Epic?
    Regular User

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2005
    Messages:
    2,728
    Likes Received:
    1,991
    Interesting to see whats left. Might go have a look myself when im next over. I really did enjoy the place but never got up admin clock tower so unfinished business!!
     
  6. lucan

    lucan 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2014
    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    10
    i used to work in the laundry there long time ago,it was orrible when the opperating theatre stuff came in from southend
     
  7. Wevsky

    Wevsky A Predisposed Tourist
    Regular User

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2010
    Messages:
    2,491
    Likes Received:
    580
    Home Page:
    Glad u decided to post it mate..big vast open spaces but id still go back to get up that boiler roof as it was shuttered up tight when i went in the boiler room end of 2010
     
  8. tumbles

    tumbles Trip Hopping
    Regular User

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2007
    Messages:
    794
    Likes Received:
    299
    Home Page:
    The boiler room was something else, it's interesting because they were meant to be knocking it down - with the plan to get it down before any 'opposition' arrived against it. Think the chapel is listed?

    Certainly flattened the rest of it though, was a great explore back in the day.
     
  9. UrbanDuck

    UrbanDuck Authorised Trespasser
    28DL Full Member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2013
    Messages:
    136
    Likes Received:
    19
    Some nice stuff still there, bit of a hidden gem. Great photos :thumb
     
  10. slayaaaa

    slayaaaa 28DL Regular User
    Regular User

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2014
    Messages:
    1,135
    Likes Received:
    604
    Cheers everyone, dam awesome explore. Iacks quantity but excels in quality :thumb.

    I do believe the boiler house is listed now i think? I hope it is if i'm honest.

    Anyway, everyone has until next January until it get's stripped and re-developed. :thumbs
     
  11. Boomstick84

    Boomstick84 28DL Regular User
    Regular User

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2014
    Messages:
    343
    Likes Received:
    93
    Nice one mate, some nice shots there :thumb

    I was always under the impression that it had been completely demoed but nice to see something still remains. Such a shame so much as gone but looks like what's left is still well worth a look. :)
     
  12. tumbles

    tumbles Trip Hopping
    Regular User

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2007
    Messages:
    794
    Likes Received:
    299
    Home Page:
    It wasn't in 2010 as the owners sought advice on how best to approach the demolition of it. That may have changed though. It's certainly good its still standing and I hope there is some sort of plan to redevelop it. Half the time they are saved and then left to rot in the middle of a new residential development.
     
  13. slayaaaa

    slayaaaa 28DL Regular User
    Regular User

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2014
    Messages:
    1,135
    Likes Received:
    604
    Yeah that's true that mate, or those mysterious arson attacks :rolleyes. I really love the building, and would love to see it converted. Think it looks stunning. :thumb
     
  14. ACID- REFLUX

    ACID- REFLUX 28DL Regular User
    Regular User

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2013
    Messages:
    3,128
    Likes Received:
    1,650
    Nice ones mate :thumb

    Ta for posting it up :)
     
  15. slayaaaa

    slayaaaa 28DL Regular User
    Regular User

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2014
    Messages:
    1,135
    Likes Received:
    604
    Anytime :thumb
     
Draft saved Draft deleted
Loading...

Users Who Have Read This Thread (Total: 0)

Share This Page

Remove this ad by creating an account and logging in