Report - - Severalls Hospital - Lunatic Asylum in Colchester, Essex – October 2015 | Asylums and Hospitals | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Severalls Hospital - Lunatic Asylum in Colchester, Essex – October 2015


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Following our recent successful trip Carcarzy and I felt had the urge to complete another exploration, and this time we had a bigger site on our minds.

Having completed some research, we stumbled across this location which bears some resemblance to a location I was lucky enough to explore some years ago (and a few others may have had the opportunity to visit, before it was transformed into a housing estate) called The Epsom Cluster, which consisted of 5 hospitals called Horton, Long Grove, St Ebba’s, Manor and West Park Hospital, albeit on a smaller scale. Our researched really excited us about the opportunity to explore the place, but we knew it was not going to be easy due to the high level of security and on the ball security guards (as mentioned in other posts)

What:Lunatic Asylum
Where:Colchester, Essex
Visited: 2015


Severalls Hospital was the second Essex County Asylum (Severalls Hospital) – opening in 1913 to relieve pressure from the Warley Asylum; it was designed by F.Whithouse & W.H.Town and adopts the echelon layout. The site was continually added to between 1910 and 1935, and this is reflected in the different styles present. The asylum was situated on 300 acres of the Severalls estate, which was sold to the Essex County Council in 1904 and its doors were opened to patients in 1913; at its peak it housed over 1800 patients, both in main wards and the outlaying villas – there was also staff accommodation and academic buildings. Interestingly the chimney attached to the water tower was lowered by one third of its height during World War Two to prevent it being a hazard to crippled bombers landing at a nearby US airbase.

Severalls Hospital was also committed to cooperating with its surrounding hospitals; the 1960s saw the introduction of a new operating theatre to help alleviate the local waiting lists and in 1978 a medical ward was also opened which housed 28 patients. The increasing emphasis on rehabilitation and the move away from isolation meant that Severalls saw a significant decrease in permanent beds, from 1100 in 1977 to 726 in 1988; at this time smaller care homes had been setup around the Essex county, meaning that a large hospital was no longer needed.

The hospital closed down in 1997 and has suffered from a number of arson attacks leading to the destruction of the main hall and the Superintendents house; in recent times an airing court shelter has been destroyed. The site is to be regenerated with the main administration building and a small section of the superb wards being restored and converted to residential housing as they are one of the few remaining original examples of the echelon layout; water tower and some outlying villas are also to be retained and reuse.

Having arrived at the location, we could see the old asylum from the road. We walked around but found no other option but to climb a high fence much of which contained barbed wire (be careful guys and girls ;) ). We managed to look around the place for several hours, being particularly carefully to be quiet and lot leave any trace of our presence. Although we were fortunate enough not to be caught by the security, there was evidence we had recently missed them when spotting cups of tea which had recently been left on the floor.

Anyway, we visited much of the hospital including the mortuary, basement tunnels, kitchens and even attempted to get in the tower (with no success) and although much of it has been stripped out we were very pleased with the outcome and feel this was well worth the trip. There were still many interesting finds as I hope you will agree, seen in a selection of the photos uploaded below:


Funky door design

Could not break the safe!

Don't think these have been worn in a while

Random tunnels under the hospital

Scales - still in partially working order!

A random stair case to the basement in the kitchen

A great stair case in the administration house


We said a prayer for Mary the ghost!

Hope you like!

The Guard Dog

Will only bite a little bit... well a lot
28DL Full Member
It's nice to see this place still standing!
  • Like
Reactions: kkj


Don't be a melt just get out there be for it's gon
28DL Full Member
Nice pic's was there the other day did not find the mortuary were about was it ?
  • Like
Reactions: kkj


Don't be a melt just get out there be for it's gon
28DL Full Member
Cheers mate I'll have a look there next time I'm going