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Report - Harperbury hospital - Oct 2011

Discussion in 'Asylums and Hospitals' started by DubbedNavigator, Oct 5, 2011.

  1. DubbedNavigator

    DubbedNavigator 28DL Regular User
    Regular User

    Sep 11, 2008
    Likes Received:
    First report from me in quite some time, mainly for the lack of camera rather than the lack of explores

    This one has been on my hit list for a while, and with it being within an hours drive i was all too happy to tag along with mr_bones when he mentioned he was going.

    The site has been covered a fair bit in the last few months, however it does seem to have considerably deteriorated from historic reports that i have seen. Thoroughly enjoyable nonetheless and it has the character that other hospitals such as Runwell and Harold wood lacked for me

    Most noticeably, demolition appears to be getting underway. Whilst the roof tiles seem to have scarpered some time ago looking back at previous reports - access the most buildings is now fair game. What this has unlocked isnt so much "little gems", but buildings that reek of the natural decay that has been fairly untouched for a good number of years... PERFECT

    I dont like doing reports without any history, however after seeing that history was scattered quite few and far between over the web, i decided that Siren's research was better than any i was going to produce. So i shall simply repeat that, all thanks to him for it!

    "Harperbury was opened in 1928 using converted WW1 airfield hangars and known as the Hangars Certified Institution. Male patients lived and worked there are assisted in the building of the main colony itself between which was completed in stages between 1931 - 1936. The 'Middlesex Colony' as it was known, was part of an ambitious plan which included the building Shenley Mental Hospital nearby (and on the same estate), although the colony was never fully completed. The name Harperbury Hospital was adopted in 1950.

    The colony was designed by the Middlesex county architect, WT Curtis and anticipated becoming largely self sufficient with its own farm, gardens dept., laundry, boiler house, workshops for men and women, administrative blocks, staff housing, sports fields, a recreation hall and main stores. The villas were designed for varying grades of learining disability and some severe epileptics and were built around three loops roads which divided the site into male, female and children's departments (the last included a school block).

    With the development of NHS trusts, Harperbury joined Cell Barnes and Leavesden Hospitals under Horizon NHS Trust, combining all three learning disabilities in the area within one body and facilitating their closure - of whichHarperbury was the last to go. The centre of the site is now occupied by a consortium of primary care trusts housed in the administrative block, hall, stores, laundry, workshops and other buildings. New bungalows for people with learning disabilities have been built to the north part adjoining Harper Lane. The male villas, childrens villas and school remain in derelict condition."​

    What i envisaged about this day when mr_bones told me how dark it was, i wasnt good. A very much amateur photographer with a really pants compact coupled with no tripod? bad news i thought...

    Instead, what it presented me was a very enjoyable challenge. ive never really taken the time to play around with a point and shoot and i did find that even though it still took 3/4 shots to get it right - some tasty shots were still achievable even with using ledges and window sills!

    All until the camera cocked up the memory card, resulting in a very anxious hour when i got home to try and recover 200 photos!

    One thing that can certainly be said about this place is that you are literally watching every step - DODGY floors!






    Apparently one of the previously accessible villas





    I found something very eerie about this bath..


    We then proceeded to progress further through the hospital, and found some 2 storey buildings. Thought i would stick a couple of externals here




    This is certainly one i noticed had been in better shape in previous reports​



    To round the report off, i thought id leave with my 4 favourite shots of the day



    Photo169.jpg Photo161.jpg

    Thanks for looking!

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