Report - - Cane Hill Hospital, Coulsdon - 2009/2010 | Asylums and Hospitals | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Cane Hill Hospital, Coulsdon - 2009/2010


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
A throwback to the place that started my interest in urbex. i used to live just down the road for a while but i never knew anything the castle on the hill was, i just assumed it was some posh house. when i eventually found out i used to spend hours reading all the various websites and reports on here dedicated to it.

around 2009/10 i finally talked someone in to coming with me to see it but we never got the courage to try and get in, the place was under construction and the boards of workmen was enough to put us off. these days i wouldn’t think twice of trying to get in.

an absolute stunner of a building and so sad to see the housing estate that now sits there. i have been back recently to see what it now looks like, i did do a short report on it. there was a building at the bottom of the hill that was only demolished recently, we went to see if we could try it and it had literally gone that week.

i have so many external shots of the place, we would spend hours walking the perimeter. obviously all those years ago i had a potato instead of a camera so sorry for the pretty poor quality.

History -

This was a psychiatric hospital in Coulsdon in the London Borough of Croydon.

The hospital has its origins in the third Surrey County Pauper Lunatic Asylum, designed by Charles Henry Howell and built in two stages between 1882 and in 1888. The design which involved a 'radiating pavilion' layout was original. The hospital was taken over by London County Council in 1889.

The hospital took in a large number of discharged mentally ill servicemen during the First World War, the earliest patient recorded being admitted in 1915 but later discharged to another hospital in 1923. Records for nearly 40 such service patients – some of whom died and were interred in the hospital cemetery – have been found. It was renamed the Cane Hill Mental Hospital in 1930.

By the late 1980s the number of patients had greatly declined, largely due to the recommendations of the Mental Health Act (1983) with its emphasis on care in the community. Following a gradual winding down of hospital services and operations, the entire hospital with the exception of a small secure unit had closed by late 1991. The secure unit moved into what had been the Coulsdon Cottage Hospital: in 2006 it held 23 patients and was run by the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM). The unit closed in February 2008, with the patients and staff being transferred to the River House, a new Medium Secure Unit at Bethlem Royal Hospital.
Demolition of Cane Hill started in March 2008 and was completed by the end of 2010. Only the chapel, administration building and water tower remained.

On 13 November 2010 a fire took hold in the administration block and went on to destroy all but the front facade of the building. The fire also destroyed the iconic clock tower. At about midnight, firefighters saw the clocktower crash to the ground in the blaze. The fire had been started in the basement of the building, draughting its way up through the ground and first floors before finally destroying the roof.

The hospital had a cemetery on Portnalls Road for inmates which was last used for burials in September 1950 and was deconsecrated and cleared at the hospital site's redevelopment in 1981 when remains of nearly 6,000 people were exhumed and cremated at Croydon Cemetery in Mitcham Road. Among the remains were those of British First World War servicemen, who were known to have had separate areas in the cemetery where they had been originally buried with military honours. Research from plans indicated there were two designated main 'Service Plots', numbered 411 and 420, where six were buried in each grave. Eighteen of these, who had qualified for commemoration by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC), are commemorated on a memorial the CWGC erected in Croydon Cemetery, where their ashes had been scattered at 'Location 1000' in the grounds, in 2015.

A drawing of Cane Hill Hospital is featured on the front cover of the US release of David Bowie's 1970 album The Man Who Sold the World, apparently because his half brother, Terry, had been a patient there.Metal band Cane Hill based their name on the Cane Hill Hospital.
























SWC | Bally up!
Regular User
Love it. Thanks for sharing these!

Calamity Jane

i see beauty in the unloved, places & things
Regular User
like this. What a shame you didnt go inside. But the externals are great. Looks like film shots?

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