Report - - Goodmayes Asylum, Ilford, Essex - 2014/2015 | Asylums and Hospitals | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Goodmayes Asylum, Ilford, Essex - 2014/2015


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Goodmayes - 2014/15

Finally! This place has been quite a project from myself and I've managed to take a few people along with me who've also enjoyed it.

I've not done it all and I'm sure one day someone will find more here (tunnels for starters) but I've covered most of the main buildings. Wards, admin, water tower, corridors etc.

Thanks to: Oakley, Mockney reject, Urban duck, Boomstick84, Urban Dairies and a few non-members that ended up coming along too.

It's such a nice place! Every time I returned I found something new and more times than not it was something I didn't expect. For example, a fake Pathology dept in the Male Chronic block, complete with fridge table, false Victorian tiled walls and painted signage. But more of that later.

For now, have some history which I urge you to read to get you in the full swing of things to come.

History of Goodmayes Asylum – The Birth of Goodmayes

1889 saw West Ham become a County Borough following the 1888 Local Government act. Following this change, a quick decision was made so that West Ham had it's own asylum for the mentally ill paupers. The closest at the time was the Essex County Asylum, otherwise known as Warley. This proved to be inefficient and was another main reason Goodmayes Hospital was established.

After a small period of doubt Blue House Farm in North Ilford was purchased for £8,835 and a further £300,000 was borrowed in 1898 to erect the Asylum buildings. The foundation stone was laid on the 3rd of August 1898 by Alderman William Ivey as work began to accommodate 800 patients.

At the time it was named West Ham Borough Asylum and after 3 years of construction it was opened on the 1st of August 1901 at a cost of £338,633.

Patients were first admitted 5 days later.

The Design

Built on a Compact Arrow layout, with a south-facing aspect, the central Administrative Block was flanked on either side with four ward pavilions, one designated for the sick and infirm, another for acute cases, one for epileptic patients and the last for chronic cases. The west side contained 350 beds in 8 wards for male patients, and the east side 450 beds in 9 wards for female patients. There was also an isolation block.

The site also contained a kitchen, a mortuary, workshops, staff quarters, a laundry and farm buildings. An artesian well had been sunk to provide a water supply, and the necessary pumping plant and water tower had also been built.

Residences for the staff, located to the east of the Asylum along Barley Lane, included a Medical Superintendent's house (now Tantallon House), a Steward's house, two detached cottages for the Resident Medical Officers, and four pairs of semi-detached cottages for married attendants (which had to be supplemented in 1907 by another three pairs).

The Asylum farm, located to the south of the site, provided produce for the institution and an occupation for the inmates.”

The Asylum was designed by architect, Lewis Angell.

The expansion at Goodmayes and the King George Hospital

Eventually, demand for accommodation for the mentally ill grew, and many extensions were added on the hospital grounds.

Little heath house was added to give extra room for 75 female patients in the 1920's and then 5 detached villa blocks, kitchen block, medical block, 2 admission blocks and a 3 story nurses' home was built and opened in the late 1920's.

A lot later in Goodmayes' timeline, The King George Hospital was planned and built after demolition had been completed on the mortuary and isolation block. The hospital opened in 1993.

The Closure of The Goodmayes Asylum

Slowly, in the late 1980's and 1990's the hospital began to see a decline after the complete re-organisation of the mental health service in the UK in the 1960's. In 1993 the 1930's Female Chronic and Epileptic wards were demolished to make way for Meadow Court. Meadow Court was a Nursing home built to replace the nearby Chadwell Heath Hospital on the site of the former female wards.

Eventually many of the once great Goodmayes Asylum buildings were demolished, including the chapel, admissions block, some service buildings and a few other out buildings to be replaced by modern services in the neighboring hospital, King George Hospital.

Goodmayes today

80% of the once grand hospital now sits derelict or empty with the rest now random offices situated in various sections around the hospital. Doctors' offices, services for King George next door, Security for the surrounding area and even storage etc.

The plan is to eventually redevelop the remaining land for residential use. However hopefully the original buildings will be retained as I personally believe this was one of the best looking Asylums with it's incredible 1930's bay windows, stylish brick work and classic compact arrow style.

Despite the main hall being incredibly ornate and stunning, apparently a better example sits near by and is at the moment, not listed by English Heritage. The future is uncertain for the hospital and perhaps this report will provide a reminder of it's existence? Hopefully so as it would be yet another remarkable mistake to simply forget and demolish such an incredible estate.

Exploring Goodmayes

Exploring the hospital has been an incredible pleasure, we've had a lot of fun here and we've found some great bits and pieces. Without going into to much detail, access changed daily and it's been part of the fun finding out how to get in each time we turn up. We've turned up and visited this place again and again, each time practically only managing to get into a small section we hadn't seen before, so it's been time ticking buildings, wards and corridors off over the past 12 months on and off.

We've walked down the corridors passing Nurses and Doctors carry files, we've even had a few, presumably students, give us a wave from neighboring buildings assuming we were there to study too. It's been great and I can't get enough!

The Floor Plan

The floor plan of Goodmayes followed a typical “Compact Arrow” asylum layout, Compact Arrow was the most practical and was a later design in the age of the asylum. It is similar to the Broad Arrow plan except the wards were moved closer to each other to remove the unnecessary longer corridors. The wards were also conjoined to allow Nurses to move and work quickly.


This report is in depth, so it will be picture heavy and I will structure the report on the lay out of the hospital, beginning from the front and working our way backwards and eventually upwards. We'll begin with the administrative building and then from left to right the wards, the corridors and then the services and higher sections of the hospital.

I hope you enjoy the report and pics!

The Administrative Building


The Admin building is the furthest South of the hospital, It features a small corridor leading backwards into the main hospital corridors across from the main hall.

The Admin building itself houses a nice ornate staircase that welcomes you as you enter the building.






The Main Hall


The main hall sits North from the Admin building separated by the hospital shop and the main Southern corridor. It has 4 large double wooden double doors that lead into the main hall. The Hall itself shows off an incredible decorative ceiling and walls typical of Victorian architecture.







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The Male Sick and Infirm Block


The Male Sick and Infirm Block was built slightly asymmetrical, the Male side has some extensions added to the North and South and a new corridor added around the 1930's.

The block it self shows a main corridor, linked with a hall leading to the entrance of the ward and 3 other ward extensions. These feature toilets, bathroom blocks and stairwells.





The later extended corridor



The Female Sick and Infirm Block


The Female side shows smaller extensions to the North, South and East added at a later date (Presumably 1930's).







The Male Acute Block


The Acute Blocks Featured a large corridor with large bay windows leading down into a small extension of 3 ways. All 3 extensions were used as wards with the North featuring a toilet block and stairway. There was also a separate toilet and bathroom block to the North of the main ward corridor.

This block was live on the first floor with modern offices,, however the 2nd floor showed some great original features including small seclusion rooms/cells, original bay windows and some amazing original paint schemes.









The Female Acute Block


Again the bottom floor of this ward is live offices and is uninteresting, the top floor features the same layout except the Southern outer extension was extended longer than the Male side and later had a false wall installed in the middle. The Female side was a little less interesting than the Male but it did still have some great doors and those ward curtain rails.







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The Male Epileptic Block


The Epileptic blocks were designed further from the corridors with longer corridor leading into an open plan ward at the end, this corridor had small rooms to the South and featured a toilet block and stair case to the far North.

The bottom floor of this ward is live offices ad is uninteresting, however the second floor is one of the better wards and has original light fittings, curtain rails and even has old patient records with original death certificates dating from the 1920's to the 1970's.








The Male Chronic Block


Both Chronic blocks had 2 stories and consisted of a large open plan corridor, or ward, with smaller rooms (or cells) to the North with a similar open plan ward at the far end of each block that featured 2 impressive Victorian bay windows. The were 2 toilet blocks and 2 staircases.​

The bottom floor of this block had been re-done for training purposes and made into a mock Pathology lab, it has false walls, mock Victorian tiled brick and various features that are not original. The second floor is now empty offices and is uninteresting.







Upstairs, not quite as good



The Corridors


The large impressive corridors you can see all the way down, these picture mainly show the main corridors.
Close encounters.






The Roofs


The Roofs include the corridors roofs and various ward and other building roofs we managed to get onto.

Just a few pictures from various sections of the roofs.



Main hall and admin




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The Boiler House


The boiler House is still used for the neighboring King George Hospital. The boilers are live and are I use 24/7. Obviously having been update around 1993 when the new hospital was built. The Boiler house is a slightly more modern extension but it did serve the Goodmayes asylum heat for a good few years before being converted for The King George Hospital.





The Water Tower


The Water is completely original except apparently one section of the chimney on the tower was dismantled During War time to prevent low flying planes from crashing into the tower. This was common of a lot of asylums and never was replaced.

There is a separate report for this, but for sake of covering it all, here's a few pictures.







The views


Many photos! Hope it wasn't too much and I hope you enjoyed the report! :)

Thanks for reading and Many thanks to Time-chamber and The County Asylum's website for letting me use the crucial floor plan picture/map! Check their reports and documentation for better pictures and stories! :)​


Got Epic?
Regular User
Not bad! The hall here is somthing else. Easily best main hall I think. Hopefully they clear that junk out of it before leaving for good.


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Nice report mate and very in depth. Good write up as always and cool location. Yeah, shame about the junk in the Main hall atm

scotty markfour

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a most excellent report @slayaaaa , love the fisheye effect pics on the corridors , makes a difference coming across an asylum that is,nt decaying and falling apart like denbigh Lunatic Asylum ! well done too on being brazen with staff n students walking past , on some of my adventures i have posed as a security guard and a photographer for the local rag ...lol

mockney reject

Regular User
Awesome :)

We've had a few great adventures there mate :)

Been waiting for this report for a while, you've done another one of our "locals" justice

As @Speed said that hall is amazing, it took my breath away as we walked in.

It's a shame the "padded cells" are long gone but still such a brilliant place :)


( . Y . )
Regular User
Well you certainly didn't disappoint! I look forward to the day it will inevitably become a free for all.. no doubt there's still more to come from here.


Regular User
Great job. I hope this gets a couple of years to slowly rot to the kind of state I love. Bet it gets bulldozed or converted before then though


Got Epic?
Regular User
Asylum Win. Good work mate, banging report.

Even over St Laws?
Yes way better, you cant see half the good stuff in these photos really. There's a full stage, balcony at the back with original seating still untouched, projector room with projectors, rooms full of old stuff at both ends. No others come close imo. I need to go back again i think!


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Yes way better, you cant see half the good stuff in these photos really. There's a full stage, balcony at the back with original seating still untouched, projector room with projectors, rooms full of old stuff at both ends. No others come close imo. I need to go back again i think!
There is, the projectors are even still in situe but couldn't get to these parts when we tried.

Cheers for the comments guys, much appreciated :)