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Report - - Runwell Hospital, Essex - June 2010 | Asylums and Hospitals | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Runwell Hospital, Essex - June 2010


tumbles

Trip Hopping
Regular User
Not a great quality one for today. Didn't really get much play time here - visited one evening with Fieldly and had little knowledge of access. For me though the highlight was the boiler house. Unassuming from the outside it was industrial porn inside. One of the last of the county asylums to be built it was very different from some of its Victorian counterparts.

Following the ending of contracts accommodating patients at the Essex county’s Brentwood mental hospital, joint facilities were developed between East Ham and Southend-on-sea boroughs. A site was chosen at Runwell Hall farm, to the east of the town of Wickford and the firm of Elcock and Sutcliffe were chosen as architects to the site, the former having previously designed the new Bethlem Royal hospital at Monks orchard. Elcock and Sutcliffe were at the forefront of institutional design and when completed, Runwell was seen as being pioneering development in mental hospital compared to its contemporaries.

The hospital was divided into specific zones according to purpose and type of patient. Staff housing was located close to or outside of the main entrance, with the most senior residences and nurse’s home located on the main drive. The chapel, dedicated to St. Luke was placed at the principal junction at the top of the drive – to its east lay admission, research, treatment convalescence and neurosis blocks. The main buildings were laid out to the west comprising of villas for working patients, and pavilions for the infirm, administrative buildings, recreation hall, kitchens and stores blocks providing segregation of male and female blocks. Workshops were provided on either side for the employment of capable patients. To the rear a combined power house and water tower provided a central focal point, with the laundry constructed on the female side. Parole villas were built at the northermost areas behind the main ranges, providing a degree of freedom to suitable occupants. A large sick hospital was provided directly opposite the administrative block, combining wards for physically sick patients, those with tuberculosis, an operating theatre and staff sick bay. Finally, farthest west, boundary house, a large block for disruptive chronic patients was built, providing two male wards, four female wards and a separate dining hall. The former farm was relocated to the north of the main site.

Unlike others of its kind, Runwell utilised names for all villas and wards from the start, instead of numbers and letters used elsewhere until the 1960s and 70’s, giving each structure a more homely identity. White with grey brick banding, rendering and variation between flat and pitched rooves were used to identify buildings and prevent a bland functional appearance overall by providing variety.


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TheTimeChamber

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Lovely stuff mate, both my attempts here were a complete fail. I always liked the art deco look of the interiors.

That boiler house is sexy
 

Calamity Jane

i see beauty in the unloved, places & things
Regular User
Yep liking that boiler room. It is very different in its build. The clock tower looks a little out of place here. Weird one. Great snaps as per:thumb
 

DubbedNavigator

28DL Regular User
Regular User
It being one of the later asylums, I felt it lacked the character of others. Still a great wander though.
 

Seffy

Bally up!
Regular User
Yeah boiler house is peng - can't say as much about the water tower tho?
 

slayaaaa

28DL Regular User
Regular User
Ah man, that is good! The boiler house admin and chapel remained here for quite a while after the wards and hall were decimated. I must have seen every corner of those 3 remaining elements. That boilerhouse is absolutely stunning. Whilst everyone is currently imagining hypothetical time travel, this would be THE asylum for me hands down. Early to mid century masterpiece. Bricks for days

If anyone has more pics hiding away, pls show!
 

tumbles

Trip Hopping
Regular User
Ah man, that is good! The boiler house admin and chapel remained here for quite a while after the wards and hall were decimated. I must have seen every corner of those 3 remaining elements. That boilerhouse is absolutely stunning. Whilst everyone is currently imagining hypothetical time travel, this would be THE asylum for me hands down. Early to mid century masterpiece. Bricks for days

If anyone has more pics hiding away, pls show!
@Speed is your man, he did a comprehensive job here!
 

Speed

Got Epic?
Regular User
It was quite good because it was the first time a proper one had completely closed for a good few years. Dont think id had the chance to mooch around one as it was closing down before. What annoys me tho, theres very few photos left online from the old neuroscience wing. Maybe its rose tinted glasses but i think its probably one of the best derelict hospital things there has ever been when i look back on it now. Brain samples just laying about the place!

 

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