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Report - Silverlands, Chertsey - April 2013

Discussion in 'Residential Sites' started by chrisr86, Apr 13, 2013.

  1. chrisr86

    chrisr86 Clumsy oaf
    28DL Full Member

    Oct 14, 2010
    Likes Received:
    Well I've neglected 28DL for at least the last year or so when it comes to posting new reports. Time to make a change to that!

    What better place to start than Silverlands? I visited with Phantom Bish and two non-members. Knowing its reputation for security and speakers blaring out warnings to trespassers before they're even up to the building (and the last report dated 2010) we knew it was going to be an interesting one. However we got in ok, getting to work taking photos quickly as we knew we wouldn't have long. It was only a few minutes in that we heard a beeping "silent" alarm and it was obvious we'd have company soon.

    Didn't take them long to arrive and after a while we left, knowing full well there was no avoiding them. Two meat wagons and a few police cars greeted us soon after (talk about an overreaction!). A quick search, a few questions and a nice chat with some very reasonable police officers and we were on our way. It certainly made for an exciting end to the day's exploring.

    A bit of history for those unfamiliar with this place:

    Built for Vice-Admiral the Rt. Hon Sir Frederick Hotham sometime between 1818-1825, it was the Hotham family home until around 1887. Over the next 50 years, Silverlands changed hands a few times and then in 1938 it became the new home for the Actors Orphanage. The Actors Orphanage was set up in 1896 to house children who had become orphaned by the film and theatre professions.

    In 1947, the St. Peter’s Training School for Nurses was formed. This was opened with 3 student nurses at Silverlands. This ran alongside the buildings use by the Actors Orphanage, until 1958 when the Orphanage Ceased to exist.

    The building remained a nurse’s training school up until it closed in the late 1990's. A few years later, it was in the news as in 2001 when plan were put in place for it to house the relocated Wolvercote Clinic for convicted paedophiles. This angered local residents, as it was not the kind of clinic they wanted near to their children’s schools. October 26th 2001 saw the first candlelit vigil outside Silverlands. BBC News covered the event as 300 protesters remained there in the rain. From then on, every Friday between 17:00 and 19:00 it was repeated. Whilst this was going on Silverlands was enjoying a refit to the tune of around £3 million.

    In response to a Parliamentary Question tabled 4th July 2002 it was confirmed by Home Office Minister, Hilary Benn, that Silverlands would not become the home of the Wolvercote paedophile clinic currently based in Epsom, Surrey; it has been empty ever since.

    Time for some shots. Being up against a ticking clock we didn't spend too long composing photos, just a quick tour of the place to fit it all in and see the sights. Much of it is quite similar with very few items or furniture left over except for some very fancy chandeliers. It's all about that staircase to be honest.





    The lift mechanism.


    And the money shot.


    Cheers for looking!

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