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Report - Severalls Hospital, Essex - March 2013

Discussion in 'Asylums and Hospitals' started by NightFoxx, May 6, 2013.

  1. NightFoxx

    NightFoxx 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

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    Welcome to another instalment of the Severalls saga! So as enthusiastic, but stone-cold newbies to the scene we wanted to sink our teeth into a juicy slice of the UrBex pie, Severalls Hospital became the target.

    So on a windy March morning Special Brew, a non member and I mounted our assault. Despite the hoard of very impressive reports already published, we still weren't prepared for the sheer scale and awe-inspiring-ness of the place. Its vast. We spent 6 hours inside the fences but only managed to see just over half of the site. So armed with my Nikon round my neck (and me on my photographic debut, that counts as an excuse right?) we set out to explore the place. After touring the perimeter buildings we got stuck in to the main course. We started out with the outer Villas before moving through the warren of disorientating corridors into the kitchen complex, the cargo loading hall, the canteen, the sorting office and the heating and water works rooms. We passed through quite a few others but it was often hard to determine their history as the elements had taken their toll, with the walls and floors being obscured by the advancing vegetation. Probably the most impressive feature though (for me anyway) was the huge water tower that stands over the hospital from its position in the centre of the site, It wouldn't really have looked out of place on a silver screen as a Dracula's castle. Unfortunately for us the best we could do was to look up at the brick monolith from the base as all the obvious access routes had long since been sealed up. We concluded our visit in the morgue, an unassuming building that conceals this incredible body fridge, was powerful stuff. The place is absolutely incredible. (Oh and a big thanks to Special Brew for the research, scout and access)


    The History

    Severalls Hospital in Colchester, Essex, UK was a psychiatric hospital built in 1910 and opened in May 1913. The 300-acre (1.2 km2) site housed some 2000 patients and was based on a plan whereby wards, offices and services were within easy reach of each other by a network of interconnecting corridors. This meant that staff were able to operate around the site without the need to go outside in bad weather. Patients in Severalls were separated according to their gender. Villas were constructed around the main hospital building as accommodation blocks between in the years after its opening.
    Psychiatrists were free to experiment with new treatments on patients seemingly at will, using practices now considered unsuitable such as electro-convulsive therapy (ECT) and the use of frontal lobotomy.. A change in management during the 1960s (and likely a change in social acceptances) saw reforms introduced including the creation of art and music therapy programs and the widespread use of drugs and medication.
    The hospital closed as a psychiatric hospital in the early 1990s following the closure of other psychiatric institutions. However, a small section remained open until 20 March 1997 for the treatment of elderly patients suffering from the effects of serious stroke, etc., as a temporary building for nearby Colchester General Hospital. For anyone else looking into the history a bit more deeply, severallshospital.co.uk is well worth a visit.

    Without further ado, on with the photos:


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    IMG]http://i1346.photobucket.com/albums/p695/NightFoxx5/DSC_1454_zpsb51353ad.jpg[/IMG]

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    Thanks for taking a look! Hope to get a report up from a trip to the old Colchester Odeon soonish
     

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