Report - - Severalls Hospital, Colchester - December 2014 | Asylums and Hospitals | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Severalls Hospital, Colchester - December 2014


A life backwards
Regular User
Severalls Hospital history

The 300-acre (1.2 km2) site housed some 2000 patients and was based on the "Echelon plan" - a specific arrangement of wards, offices and services within easy reach of each other by a network of interconnecting corridors. This meant that staff were able to operate around the site without the need to go outside in bad weather. Unlike modern British hospitals, patients in Severalls were separated according to their gender. Villas were constructed around the main hospital building as accommodation blocks between 1910 and 1935. Most of the buildings are in the Queen Anne style, with few architectural embellishments, typical of the Edwardian period. The most ornate buildings are the Administration Building, Larch House and Severalls House (originally the Medical Superintendent's residence).

The hospital closed as a psychiatric hospital in the early 1990's following the closure of other psychiatric institutions. However, a small section remained open until 20 March 1997 for the treatment of elderly patients suffering from the effects of serious stroke, as a temporary building for the nearby Colchester General Hospital which was in the process of building an entire new building for these patients. Since 1997 the remaining structures have changed little. Architecturally the site remains an excellent example of a specific asylum plan. However, the buildings have suffered greatly from vandalism. In 2005 the main hall was subjected to an arson attack and in 2007 the charred building was demolished for safety reasons. The five boilers were removed from the central boiler house in 2007. In 2008 the sale of the hospital site, including its extensive grounds, collapsed due to the slow-down in the building industry. Planning permission was however granted in 2011 to redevelop the site.


Building work is now up to the perimeter of the main site on the eastern side. This includes the construction of a new road that will link the A12 with the junction of the Northern Approach Road and Mill Road which covers land where several villa's once stood along with part of the former cricket pitch. As a consequence the dog walker's path is closed whilst the new road(s) intersect it. In my theory the new road will provide a good way to carry poor old Severalls away once demolition starts, as it avoids the majority of residential areas with a useful direct link to the A12. The new road is now nearing completion and a spur from the new link road leads ominously up to the main perimeter fence. This year, could be her last...

The explore

Spending all night in an asylum has been on my mooching bucket list for sometime. I wanted to experience Severalls at night (and no - it has nothing to do with ghost c**ting), but all to do with atmosphere and the gradual change from night to day and taking away (hopefully) a few half decent snaps.

Explored in the always excellent company of Hamtagger and Matt Inked.

It is surreal to be on a Friday late night train from Liverpool Street, stuffed full of very loud pissed up city types heading home to middle England and i ponder that in just over an hours time they will all be left behind and home for the next ten and a half hours will be exclusively peaceful...


1. Full moon, it was not to be sadly.


2. Day room.. at night.




4. Ok, i can hear: "what the hell is that?". I liked this effect, night sky on glazed tiles in the smaller kitchen.


5. Cold kitchen. Yes, it really was cold - middle of winter is always the best time to do an all nighter :D.


6. On to the next day and ablutions time.


7. I think we were feeling 'vacant' after ten plus hours...


8. Far Male Wards. These were at least 30 degrees warmer than the female side for anyone thinking of repeating this exercise ;).








12. Severalls one and only chair. With the bed gone, this is the only comfort around :D.




14. Path to paradise.

Thanks for looking folks!! :cool


28DL Member
28DL Member
Hi Session9,
I cant see any pics only titles?

Is this occurring for anyone else.. I just upgraded to IE11 hoping that would help too..




28DL Maverick
28DL Full Member
Nice! Respect for staying overnight am well jealous, some really good snaps there man, they're all good but the 5th one awesome! :thumb

The Lone Shadow

Industrial Fanatic!
28DL Full Member
Looks like an amazing place. Shame I couldn't come, but it is hopefully on my list to do (sometime) later this year. Must have been bloody eerie doing that at night time, lol.