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Report - Runwell Mental Hospital - Essex - Oct 2009 to Mar 2010

Discussion in 'Asylums and Hospitals' started by Speed, Apr 18, 2010.

  1. Speed

    Speed Got Epic?
    Regular User

    Nov 15, 2005
    Likes Received:
    The name Runwell is not new to the world of UE although I would think these days there are few people on here who would particularly remember it. Back around 2004 and 2005 we explored its neuroscience wing which was used to do a huge amount of research into mental health problems. It was an awesome place, a real 'brains in jars' affair! Unfortunately it was one of my first explores and all photos I took are unbelievably useless, who knew taking photos in the dark was possible back then!?

    Shortly after our visit that block got cleaned out, de-asbestos'd and what not and everything was lost. Since then ive visited once or twice over the years to keep my eye on the place knowing that closure of the main hospital was due any time soon. The date kept getting put back and back, 2007 then 2008 then 2009, it was getting silly but thankfully when I visited in October last year changes were afoot. A new replacement hospital had sprung up next door and new wards had closed. Over the next few months I kept going back, doing a bit more each time. At first things were still very live and at times I ended up exploring live asylum but as of March 20th the place was officially closed and the boilers stood down. For the first time in a long time there was a whole abandoned un-explored asylum sitting there asking for it.

    Being built in the 30s and more modern than most you would expect it to not be as good as others but I find it in many ways more interesting. Its a similar colony design to West Park, with central hall, flanked by corridors, an admin block to the front and industrial areas to the back. The ward villas sprout from each side with some connected by covered walkways. It all makes for it being a bit of a tricky explore, there’s not just one access to it all, for each section you need to evade the security man, find a way in, keep low and then get out unscathed for the next bit. Over about 6 visits ive managed to get around a lot of the place but i am far from covering it all. There’s still many wards, the boiler houses and a chapel to check out but its time I posted something and shared the wealth.

    I suggest if you want history you start at wikipiedia, it’s too much to explain everything that went on at this hospital here.

    Lets set the scene with some random bits








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    and crack on with the good stuff!

    The Mortuary

    The mortuary was one of the first bits I found my way into. Obviously derelict quite a while I wasn’t sure whether to be disappointed with it or happy it had so much to see in there. As you can see it is crammed with junk but under all that junk its all still there, slabs, fridges, morticians boots you name it! You basically have 3 rooms, Chapel of rest, Post-mortem room and Fridge room all with their own features and feeling.


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  2. Speed

    Speed Got Epic?
    Regular User

    Nov 15, 2005
    Likes Received:
    Main Hall

    This took a few attempts and I think my initial explore was when it was still live! At first I was a bit disappointed but on my second trip I really started to appreciate the subtle 1930s style going on in there. All the artwork from the hospital seemed to have found its way in to big heaps at the back.





    Projector Room

    Well this has to be the highlight of the whole place id say, yet I so nearly missed it! Im sorry to inform you that all the equipment was removed by a restoration trust at the end of March. We got in literally the week before I think! What a room however, it was totally mint and a pretty big surprise to find it in there. Out of all the halls and cinemas I have been in it’s probably the second best ive seen!



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    Internal Chapel

    The hospital has a proper chapel down by the main gate but I have not had a chance to even look at it yet. Just off from the hall I found this smaller affair, complete with statues and a confession box. On my first visit it was locked but on the second we found t open with one of the statues smashed on the floor. Not sure what went on there…


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    The laundry has been closed a while and was pretty sparse apart from the large machines. Still its one of my favourites no doubt! Big washing machines ftw!







    Hopefully this will be the first of several in 2010! (oh and this one isnt an april fool, after all im using photos from a place you have never been :p)
    #2 Speed, Apr 18, 2010
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2010
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