Report - Frenchay Hospital, Bristol - July 2014

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28DL Regular User
Regular User
Jun 20, 2014
A Brief Background

The hospital, situated in the grounds of a Georgian mansion, Frenchay Park,[4] started life as a TB hospital (Frenchay Park Sanatorium) in 1921, when Bristol Corporation acquired the land. In 1931, five purpose-built buildings were constructed to extend the hospital beyond the original house.
Concerns about the possibility of heavy bombing casualties led to the hospital being greatly expanded between 1938 and early 1942. Although Bristol was severely bombed, the new facilities remained unused.

When US forces arrived in 1942, the city handed the new hospital facilities over to the Americans, as a sort of reverse Lend-Lease. The initial units of the Medical Corps were the 2nd and 77th Evacuation Hospitals and the 152nd Station Hospital. Further expansion to the facilities including 27 wards, occurred in late 1942 and it was occupied by the 298th General Hospital. Initially, the Americans used the hospital mainly as training facility for their medical staff. After D-Day, however, the hospital was used in earnest, the processing of casualties becoming a very slick operation under the control of the 100th and then 117th General Hospitals. Casualties were flown into Filton or arrived by train from the channel ports. Between 5 August and 31 December 1944 a total of 4,954 patients were discharged from Frenchay.

Although the Frenchay Tuberculosis hospital operated as a separate unit throughout the war, the patients were transferred elsewhere in 1947.
After World War II, the Americans handed the hospital back to the Corporation. The National Health Service acquired the hospital in 1948.
Over the last 60 years or so, the hospital facilities have been slowly modernized, but many wartime buildings are still very much in evidence.

Frenchay Hospital is due to be downsized so the main Trust hospital will be at Southmead Hospital. The hospital has extensive grounds which would be sold off were this to happen. There is however a Save Frenchay Hospital campaign that is fronted by Steve Webb, the Member of Parliament for the Northavon constituency that includes Frenchay. The campaign's main arguments are that Frenchay Hospital affords greater possibility for expansion than the Southmead site and that emergency access is easier due to its proximity to the motorway with less traffic.

The accident and emergency department was transferred to the new Southmead Hospital on the 19 May 2014, following local advertising of the change. (from Wikipedia)

The Trip

As this was a far from home mission, myself & Vixxie set off at around 7:30am. It was a rather long drive, & we were expecting to get there around 10. I set my Nav up to avoid passing through central London & follow the M25 only, little did I know that this would work to my detriment & what was originally a 2.5 hour journey turned out to be a 4.5 hours (silly bugger!). We finally arrived in Frenchay & pulled up close to the site. As we started to make our way across the heavens opened, & a storm erupted in a tremendous fashion. Talk about setting the scene, ever played Silent Hill Downpour? I kid you not that’s how it felt!

We approached the turn off to find it was completely cordoned off, & there were a few people huddled under a canopy. We both looked at each other as if to say WTF? Turns out they were holding a flower show down the road alongside the Hospital grounds, & not wanting to look suspicious we paid the £5 entry fee for us both & tried to look as interested as possible about flowers! That became the joke of the day, with many wise cracks made about how we would say we were lost on our way to the flower show if we were caught.

Finally making it onto the grounds, we tried to find a way into one of the main buildings. It wasn’t long before we were in & having a root around. It was pretty much how you’d expect it to be, long corridors that seemed go on for ages, heavily sanitised with the strong smell of cleaning products. What was a shock to us though was the fact that pretty much all the lights were still on, & even the alarms for the 02 supply were sounding off. As we entered one of the wards there were about 5 of these alarms going, finding this quite annoying we decided to turn one of them off. Within about a minute of doing so we were confronted by a figure standing in front of the frosted glass door we had come in through. We shit ourselves & leapt into the nearest room we could find, crouched down & prayed that they hadn’t seen us. Luckily they didn’t, & soon went off doing whatever it was they were doing before we caught their attention.

We decided after a while that we would make a beeline for “the place†as it was one of the reasons for coming here. We had a good search around the Hospital grounds, & eventually we located it. Once we were inside we were presented with many an interesting sight. The fridges were still running, & there were even one or two tools left lying around. There were also a lot of reports left, which made for quite a hair raising read :eek:

After spending a good amount of time there we made our way around some other buildings, including a Path lab which had some nice bits of equipment & lots of test tubes. We also found a ward stacked with fully working remote control beds, which provided us with more than our fair share of entertainment. After our bit of childlike amusement we decided to call it a day. It was approaching midnight & we still had a long journey back……12 hours of Urbex fun, well worth the effort.

Here are some shots

Apologies for the amount of pictures, but I felt this place needed it.


































As always props go to my partner in crime Vixxie x


28DL Member
28DL Member
Sep 25, 2014

This is a great post. Its great seeing so many pictures of this place. I used to live over the road from here. Did you manage to find the bar (its located to the north of the main hospital buildings in its own little Anderson Hut type building?

I have so many memories of taking the short cut through the hospital on the way to the bar, downing many cheap beers and then having some innocent fun with trolley races etc in the hospital on my way home.

Take it easy.


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Sep 22, 2014
Ace report. My wife used to work there so it's high on our list to do, thanks for the report as its a bloody long drive for us and didn't want to waist a day traveling there and back.
Great pics and elec still on wtf lol


28DL Regular User
Regular User
Jul 10, 2014
Ah man, hopefully I get a chance at this. Maybe something pops up Bristol way and I can use it as an excuse to get to this. Awesome report/pics. :thumb

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