Report - - Cane Hill Remastered - A Look Back at the 'King' of Asylums - 2006 to 2008 | Noteworthy Reports | Page 2 | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Cane Hill Remastered - A Look Back at the 'King' of Asylums - 2006 to 2008


Got Epic?
Regular User
Feel free to add a few photos of stuff I've missed. There were so many bits I just can't find good photos of. The pharmacy was excellent as I remember it but god knows why I don't have a single photo. I don't have any from the tower either. I never got onto the roof myself but remember the epic toil of trying to get up it through crazy gaps in floor boards and what not.


28DL Regular User
Regular User
I think Cane Hill is one of those places that helped define the 'urbex' scene in the UK, I remember looking through Simon cornwell's photos in 2002 and thinking that it was incredible, it was certainly a huge pull factor that got me helped get me involved in exploring, It wasn’t my first location but its was the catalyst that made me start posting photos online.

Back then online scene was in its infancy, It was a handful of small websites linked by webrings, small message boards all Run by a few early pioneers. For generations people had simply gone into abandoned buildings, out of curiosity or to document them but it took the advent of the internet to make it a communal activity. Those early days were all about pushing the boundaries it seemed new and exciting to go trespassing and post about it online. It genuinely felt like we were uncovering a hidden slice of history and sharing it with the world. The "hidden history” idea is a cliché now but back then the scene was new it still felt fresh.

That online scene really grew up around a handful of locations, Cane Hill and the Canadian Red Cross Hospital were particularly dominant and it wasn’t until much later that people stared to innovate and go searching out new and more diverse locations.

In turn Cane Hill became a rite of passage for many, it wasn’t just an abandoned asylum it was the cornerstone of an online community. In many ways it was the first tour bus location: a place you could read about online and then turn up and loose yourself in a sprawling abandoned world for an entire day and still not see it all. In the early days security was fairly lax and people could safely travel great distances to visit, safe in the knowledge that you were more or less guaranteed to get in. Its accessibility helped to feed a reputation that’s made it a Legend. It of course had the substance to back it up, the quality of architecture the stuff left behind and the intense sense of a bygone era all helped to set it apart.

Back in the day then the standard of 'urbex' photography was not especially high and as a arrogant teenager I was convinced I could take better photos... As a result I first visited in Cane Hill a cold February in 2004 and the power of the place had me hooked. I created the Abandoned-Britain website shortly afterwards. You can still find some of my early photos of Cane Hill on there if your interested. The photos have dated a bit in the 10 years since I took them but I'm still pleased with them.

By 2006 Cane Hill Security was stepped up, it was largely a victim of its own success. Its online presence and constant stream of explorers eventually resulted in more patrols and the days of easy exploring were over. The core community had largely moved on by then anyway and were branching out finding all sorts of other places to go.

My final visit was in December 2007 Rumours of imminent demolition drove me back for one last comprehensive trip. One day I'll actually get round to sorting through the photos from that day and publishing them...! I sort of regret not going back once demolition work had begun but by then I felt I'd seen enough and had moved on to other areas of interest.


Super Moderator
Regular User
Amazing really to think of early days. I remember being sat at college with shitty 2004 internet looking at Daves photos and it was certainly that and simon cornwell's site that got me into the scene. I think all of the early explorers had been doing it anyway off their own back and it was those pioneering sites that brought us together.

I think the quality of Cane Hill speaks for itself by the fact that a decade and thousands of locations later, we still drool over the photos!

The Ancient Mariner

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Very nice. I only got to personally see a snippet of Cane Hill in its last days before it was gone. Wish I had seen a lot more a lot earlier.


Trip Hopping
Regular User
There was something about the first time you walked through the footpath from Portnalls. I mean I'd seen pictures, I'd heard the stories.. but at 5.45am on that sunny June day I just saw this collasal set of buildings with smashed windows and curtains flailing out of them.. it was incredible. We spent 12 hours in the place that day, we were all knackered and had mostly filled our cameras up and worn the batteries down. I think your pictures summerise why it was so special/unique and iconic. There was probably tons of stuff that many of us never found in the place. I honestly think you could have spent a week inside and still not found every crux and corner of the place.

I'd never thought much about the train room but now you mention it's rather remarkable given what happened to Bowies half brother.

P.S More of this please!


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Very interesting read and great photos @Speed really nice to read about some of the old explores way before I got interested in exploring. Cheers for sharing this with us :)


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Amazing set of photograph from a truly epic explore. It's great to see just how much remained within the confines of the hospital, IE the beds and patients belongings. I've just taken a look on Google Earth and can see all that remains is the chapel. Quite sad really

It's demolition is a stark reminder as to why we do what we do, IE capture something before it's gone forever.

This explore reminds me of my first time around High Royds back in 2007... I remember spending a whole day wondering around photographing the place.... even after a day we still hadn't seen quite everything. Vast places to say the least!


Regular User
Wonderful read, and super photos. I'm so sad that I only started noticing dereliction a couple of years after this was gone, especially as it's pretty close to me.
I can't help feel that we are in a time of drought for derelict stuff in the last year or so. Every single scrap of derelict stuff that I have seen or read about on here seems to have been bulldozed or renovated recently. It seems to be the way in the current state of the economic cycle. I know some on here might disagree with this but it is certainly what I have seen here in London and the south east. All the time I learn of things that lay derelict for a decade near me, and waiting for me, in my naive years. Then I research further and find out it has gone in the last year or so. I personally love the decay factor and I'm sure this maturing process takes years. So I can't see me being satisfied for some time to come!
Thanks for this great read.


Got Epic?
Regular User
Yeh but now we have Coal Power, Steel, Prisons etc.. Theres a boat loads of exploring to be done, major groups of buildings are still closing and being disposed of.. It will never be like the old days of going out every weekend and discovering a place that has been shut 20 years as we have simply found all the places like that already..

It's all about perspective. Nowadays we are lucky that we get to see places like CH in their prime, not after 15 years of rotting away getting destroyed. We do still have good derelict stuff too, look at St Joe's, used to be mint when we first when there. 10 years on it's like CH was, a bit derelict, a bit smashed, but still an excellent place full of decay and what not. We dont view it like that tho do we.. Places still do endure, they simply get discovered much earlier and instead of us marvelling at how well they have survived we despair at how badly they have gone down hill.


rebmeM LD82
Regular User
Oh that brought back some memories of seeing the regular reports from cane hill crop up on here. Alas I never made it over the fence here without being seen, despite a few attempts and eventually gave up trying, favouring the much easier to explore and still pretty good West Park just down the road. Great set of photos there Speed.


A life backwards
28DL Full Member
Fantastic coverage of a great place. Enjoyed reading that immensely.
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