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Report - Whittingham Hospital - May 2014

Discussion in 'Asylums and Hospitals' started by raisinwing, May 11, 2014.

  1. raisinwing

    raisinwing 28DL Regular User
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    I've not had a proper look around here since February 2012 despite the fact that I've constantly gone on about wanting to get back and finish it off. Seems I have left it a little late, but never mind there's still tonnes to see. So if you've been meaning to go, make sure you go soon!

    Cameron House, the Nurses Accommodation and a load of other miscellaneous buildings are no more, it's now a rather large pile of rubble. As are the corridors of St Luke's and a few of the ward blocks. The main chunk of the asylum towards the front of the site is relatively intact (minus the interlinking corridors), it's these 4 front ward buildings and the admin block that will be retained for conversion into overpriced housing. It's probably worth noting that these are in fact far more knackered than the buildings towards the back end of the site. The weather over the last few years coupled with the lack of slates on the rooves has led to the internals being damper than ever, tread lightly upstairs it's a bit dodgy nowadays.

    Still, as knackered as the place is there's still nice stuff to be seen. It's strange to see how little some parts have changed and how loads of bits and pieces are in exactly the same position they were a few years back, but then this is juxtaposed against the fact that all of what is right next to it is now a pile of bricks on the ground. One good thing is that it appears all of the building materials are being put to some sort of use as all similar bricks, same size lintels and the like are being bundled up together (they were a bit of a big souvenir, otherwise there'd be a few in my garden). One highlight was the water tower finally being accessible, you get some great views over the site and the surrounding area from up here. Bizarrely, it only houses one small tank, and doesn't ever seem to have had anything additional. I presume it's not the original water tower due to it being of concrete construction, but I've not found anything to support this theory.

    Apparently they will be pulling off site fairly soon until September due to it being the bat roosting season, so in theory that gives people plenty of time to take a look before it's too late, I know I'll be going back as there's still stuff I've not seen.

    A copy of what I believe to be the latest plans are here: Click. It shows that at least a rough approximation of the layout of St Luke's will be retained in the road plan, however the rest will be virtually unrecognisable which is a shame.

    Photos...

    Admin block, this will be retained and converted, in theory.
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    Inside the above block, it's going to take some serious work to get this back to a habitable state.
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    The removal of boards from the windows have revealed some nice stained glass, this will all be gone fairly soon however.
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    The view out of this window has changed a bit over the last few months.
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    This block will be retained.
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    One of the more intact ward blocks, this will however be demolished.
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    I'd always wanted to get up the water tower here and it was worth the all the stairs. I have to say it's probably one of the nicest water towers I've been in, due to it not being cramped and full of pigeon poop.
    [​IMG]

    Whittingham will always be a special place in my memories and I'm genuinely sad to see it going, but it's all part of the game at the end of the day. Sites come and go, there's always something new to explore.

    Thanks for looking...
     

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  2. dweeb

    dweeb Super Moderator
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    I've never managed that tower! It was still locked up when I was last there!!

    That hall shot is superb.
     
  3. Ojay

    Ojay Admin
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    I'm not the biggest fan of soggy derps, however this is a f00king shame!

    Heritage claim there is nothing of historic importance here ?

    The fuck, it's only like (was) the 1st or 2nd biggest Asylum in Europe (tumbles ?) ffs!

    As for the admin block, be amazed if that stays :popcorn
     
  4. raisinwing

    raisinwing 28DL Regular User
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    I read a report once from English Heritage that stated there was no need to list Cane Hill because Whittingham was a much better example. Erm nice work EH... Both now gone...

    I'd also be amazed if any of this stays, it's well past it in terms of being able to be saved.

    Once again, amazing job by the HCA. Such a waste of a fantastic building that could of been saved almost entirely at far less cost if something had been done with it say 15 years ago.
     
  5. Paradox

    Paradox 28DL Regular User
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    This place was still up and running when I was a kid. The patients used to wander round the village. Such a shame to see it like this :(

    You got some proper nice shots there though :)
     
  6. Oxygen Thief

    Oxygen Thief Admin
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    jeez he's still alive.

    Good report this, really shows the state of the place.
     
  7. tumbles

    tumbles Trip Hopping
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    I think I only ever saw Zippy & Pixie take some shots from there, that was yoooonks ago

    It was comfortably the biggest in the UK, officially holding 2'800 at its peak but unofficially that figure was believed to have peaked at 3'500 during the mid 1930's - when you consider Cane Hill only held around 2'000 at the same sort of 'peak intake' time it was bloody staggering.

    EH will use whatever they bloody can as an excuse. I think they used the excuse that CH was a radial pavilion and there were better ones left - citing Exminster (a traditional radial design) and Whittingham (a corridor pavilion design) - it was complete bollocks as CH was unique in its design as a radial pavilion and they bloody well knew it. They and the relevant authorities/owners just wanted rid of CH anyway possible.

    Great pics though, like Dweeb loving the shot of the hall - have they removed the boards off all the windows?

    I think the last rites of the derelict asylum are starting to be read. Within 18 months there isn't going to be more than 2-3 left derelict.
     
    #7 tumbles, May 12, 2014
    Last edited: May 12, 2014
  8. Idle Hands

    Idle Hands 28DL Regular User
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    Nice report there :thumb

    I think the reason this lasted so long was partly down to my mate's Dad protesting about the redevelopment plans and motivating the other villagers in Goosnargh to do the same. I believe the local community used to go in and watch productions in that concert hall...
     
  9. The Kwan

    The Kwan funksoul Brother
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    Some lovely old building blocks in this report, such a shame that they will be demolished...nice report :thumb
     
  10. raisinwing

    raisinwing 28DL Regular User
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    Thanks for the update, I was just repeating what one of the demo chaps had said re September. Shame about the superintendents building, it's a really nice quirky building architecturally so will be sad to see that go.

    Also thanks for the warning, I doubt it will put anyone off though! I did have a bit of a surprise when a big chunk of the first floor fell down a few metres from me in admin, all part of the fun though!

    I've put together a rough sketch of what's demolished and still there:
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    I can't guarantee it's accuracy 100% of course, and things will obviously change but I think it's roughly accurate.
    I haven't bothered to highlight anything regarding St John's, the farms and other miscellaneous buildings that are either long gone or are still in use. I've highlighted St Margaret's for some reason despite it having been demolished ages ago. It really does give an idea of the scale for the place though. It was bloody massive. Still there's enough to keep you busy for a good few hours though.
     
  11. Seffy

    Seffy Bally up lads!
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    Looking down the new posts, I thought I saw a report from Rasinwing, did a double take, and it actually was a report from Rasinwing! Staggering..

    Nah only joking pal, good to see you getting out still :) Such a shame about old Whitty, I do want another trip here too, just wish it wasn't so damn far. Maybe though…
    And good work on doing the tower, that shot over the place is ace. As is seeing the hall without boards finally :D
     
  12. scrappy

    scrappy 28DL Regular User
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    good set there, shame its going. thought this would be there for ever. that water tower is really good aint it, love it in there
     
  13. ASOM

    ASOM One-Man Urbex Art Army
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    Great set and a nice, although sad update.
    Peak population of 3,533 in 1939, largest in Europe. Water tower is way later.
    As I've mentioned before, I can't help feeling that asylums are the architecture of "ordinary" people, not manor houses, university, mansions, royal palaces etc, hence total lack of sincere interest from EH - this is the last one that really showed how the lineage or asylum architecture evolved from the actual radial asylums of Glasgow City (1814) and St Lawrence's (Bodmin) (1820) through to the one radial-corridor at Exminster (1845) and on through to Parkside (1871), Whittingham (1873) and Cane Hill (1883) which were all sort of experiments and offshoots in a way, which combined with Burghill (1871) brought GT Hine to the echelon (or compact arrow) plan that finally blended them all "successfully" at Claybury (1893). Once those endless corridors and the bleachy/mouldy smell are gone though, as they always are when converted, the real sense of "place" specific to the asylums is mostly lost anyway, wouldn't you agree?
     
  14. ACID- REFLUX

    ACID- REFLUX 28DL Regular User
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    Loving the report & pics & the Demo updates :)

    It seems weird now the corridors are gone.....along with the no access perforated steel sheets :)

    Looks like most places, remove Slates/Tiles leave to nature and it basically falls down saving Demo cost ( so i was told by a Demo man?)

    Think each wing was only held together by the weight of the structures above as the Mortar had long since given up. I know the floors had with 14 + stone on them :)

    I"d like to get the old Quadcopter up for some Ariel shot"s if possible, the Water Tower would be an ideal position :) but i don"t fancy running around with all my gear if you get my drift :rolleyes: never mind the risk of it crashing and not being able to retrieve :eek:
     
  15. ACID- REFLUX

    ACID- REFLUX 28DL Regular User
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    Thanks for the update :thumb

    Loving the Tree just hanging on for dear life & Asbestos free :)

    Going....going......
     
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