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Report - Whittingham Lunatic Asylum, Lancashire - May 2014

Discussion in 'Asylums and Hospitals' started by urblex, May 31, 2014.

  1. urblex

    urblex 28DL Maverick
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    Heard about this place early last year & wanted to go ever since, after 2 failed attempts finally managed to do it. Went with Ferox (good to meet you mate & nice one for this again really pleased we got to see this). Even though its half demolished was still a bit to see & got a good feel of how big the place was, and got to see the main hall and the snowflake was still there :)

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    History,
    Also enjoyed reading all the history on Whittingham there's so much of it & everyone i mention it to has something to say or knows someone who has been etc, when i mentioned it to one person he said when he was a kid his parents took him & his brother there for a 'day out' but were told not to talk to or look at any of the lunatics...
    The friend who told me about this place said that he used to drive down with his mates when they were teenagers & always got caught, he said one time when they got in him & another of his mates saw the figure of a woman all in white & both of them refused to go any further & went back to wait in the car.
    "In 1866, the three Lancashire lunatic asylums at Prestwich, Rainhill and Lancaster were deemed to be full. Extra accommodation was urgently needed and to this end the building of Whittingham Asylum began in 1869. It grew to be the largest mental hospital in Britain, it had its own Anglican church, Catholic chapel, farms, railway, telephone exchange, post office, reservoirs, gas works, brewery, orchestra, brass band, ballroom and butchers."
    In 1965 began a "constant flow of complaints" from student nurses about cruelty to patients & dishonest staff. In 1967 the student nurses held a meeting with a senior nursing tutor voicing concerns of fraud, cruelty and poor treatment of patients. The Head Male Nurse and the Matron suppressed the complaints and threatened the students with actions for libel and slander. A year later the Hospital Management Committee got involved and launched an inquiry into allegations of corruption and abuse. It seems like a lot of the staff here were more insane than the patients and should never have been working there. Patients were given food mixed up and served as 'slops' dragged by the hair, punched, locked outside in the rain/bad weather, locked in cupboards, tied to chairs and had wet towels or bed sheets tied around their necks until they passed out. Two nurses were accused of pouring methylated spirits into the slippers of one patient and pocket of another patient and setting them alight. Another nurse was jailed after a patient he had assaulted died. Some of the wards were infested with vermin. When they weren't abusing the mentally ill staff were into fraud and embezzlement, in 1968–69 £49,000 of money issued for use of patients was unaccounted for. According to a Charge Nurse "if you were not in on the corruption, you didn't get on". The Head Male Nurse and the Matron were reprimanded and retired.
    The hospital closed in 1995 due to new drugs and therapies being developed to treat people suffering mental illness, some patients were returned to the community or sent to smaller units around Preston.
    There is still an active hospital next to the site, the 'modern secure psychiatric unit' think its called Guild Lodge and opened in 1999, sure i will be corrected if i am wrong.


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    #1 urblex, May 31, 2014
    Last edited: May 31, 2014

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  2. georgie

    georgie He Never Even Got There
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    Re: Whittingham Lunatic Asylum

    Needs a year/month on the report header

    Id personally drop the word lunatic too
     
  3. Oxygen Thief

    Oxygen Thief Admin
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    Re: Whittingham Lunatic Asylum

    I wouldn't, I'd use it more. That used to be it's original name, no need to be PC about it.
     
  4. georgie

    georgie He Never Even Got There
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    Re: Whittingham Lunatic Asylum

    I know what your sayin im just not into using the word lunatic
     
  5. urblex

    urblex 28DL Maverick
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    Sound done it woo! Sorry but keeping it as lunatic, what Oxygen Thief said.
     
  6. Ferox

    Ferox 28DL Regular User
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    Nice one:thumb Cool pics and a great history. And, your welcome mate.
     
  7. Seffy

    Seffy Bally up lads!
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    Good to see you got to see her before the time is up!

    As for using the word lunatic, I agree with OT. It was the word used to describe these places originally, and there is no reason why we should stop using it now surely?
     
  8. The Stig

    The Stig Urbex = Nosey Bastard
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    Totally agree to keep the word in, after all it just was that and we all knew this.

    Good stuff there, seems to look like the work has come to a stand still from when I last saw her about 2 months ago.
     
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