Report - - St Augustines 27/08/09 | Asylums and Hospitals | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - St Augustines 27/08/09



Visited here late night near the end of august.


First floor access only it seemed. So lugging my considerable (muscle bound) bulk over the heras and up the side of the building like spiderman wearing a few tyres, I was in.

After fiddling with my blasted p3 masks pain in the arse rubber head straps etc, sorting out torches and headlamps, tripod n whatnot up the side of the building, I peered into the dark first floor dormitory corridor of what later transpired to be a childrens ward.


The floor was littered with debris from the ceiling, and in a few of the rooms, silvery strands of fibres lay on the discarded doors, evidence of why I took the precaution of a p3.

Other than a few empty baths, the top floor had been ripped to shreds, nothing much to see up there but empty rooms. I headed down the opposite stairwell, almost tripping over something red and rolly.


The site had shut down in 1994, and 15 years is a long time for a place to become derelict. Reaching the bottom of the stairs a dark doorway to my left and another fire hose in front at the side entrance.


I'm going to guess that the extensive amount of fire fighting equipment had something to do with the habits of the young patients in this wing. Pyromania is still a temptation for chavs in asylums it seems, as many urbexers have observed. The difference being, we dont commit chavs like we should anymore.


All was quiet as I proceeded to the left, into the groundfloor corridor. It was painted bright cheerful colours, a muted attempt perhaps at cheering up this doleful location. I observed that the majority of patients here would have been older than 10, the subject matter of the paintings seemed somewhat patronising for that age group, but an attempt had been made at least.


Further in the flap of bats echoed across the empty main rooms of the canteen. More glimmers of silvery asbestos clinging to pipes in my white torchlight, the peeling paint of the ceiling, the atmosphere in here was close, the heat of the night and restrictive face mask filling with sweat. Not the most pleasant feelings.


Finally I reached the other side again, and the bottom of the stairwell I entered, on the wall beneath another fire hose was a row of linked Alcad batteries, presumably for emergency lighting.


Having seen all I wanted to of this depressing building, I exited and dropped down onto the ground. Angling my head torch down and diffused, as to reduce the glare and not give away my location to any late night patrols. The sound of quadbikes suddenly split the night air, I ran to the cover of a hedge and watched as the headlights came up the drive towards the main site.

Chavs, typical. Moving onwards but keeping an eye on the three youths by i moved quietly in the dark towards the rear of the main building. Waiting for them to leave, before I made my move to the potential entrance point I had observed on my reccy.

After a few minutes, they roared off into the night. I scrambled past the fence and entered the relative safety of an internal courtyard. The security arrangements at this location seemed to be mostly static boarding and little activity by actual patrols. It had been a hell of a lot easier than Hellingly earlier in the month, contemplating this, I took a look around. The glint of metal on a wall revealed one of the most alluring temptations of urbex. A ladder, one that goes up!


Unable to resist the gravimetric forces of a ladder, especially one that goes up, I climbed to the top, to find it was some sort of water tower, not only a water tower though. A water tower with another of the most alluring things an urbexer could hope to find... A ladder that goes down!


Unfortunately as I looked down into the hole, I realised that my shoulders, broad as they are, would never fit through that hole. So I decided on an external shot of the administrative building across the courtyard. The building had been burnt badly in an arson attack, but it seemed fairly intact from this side.


Having seen enough from the roof, ever aware that my presence up high shining powerful torches around would be a beacon to anyone on the drive, I headed for the entrance again, with full intentions to enter.


What a derelict looking place this was, full of decay and peeling paint. Perfect for photography and level design references. Stepping over the broken chair at the entrance and crunching through the detritus normally found in abandoned properties I moved onwards east into the building.

Eventually after a while, I came across some interesting room names, "officers mess", I assume this section of the hospital had been used for soldiers suffering from PTSD or other ailments? Inside one of the rooms to the left was a piano.


The other rooms surrounding this were piled full of tables and chairs and various other clutter. At the end of the east wing, where the corridor splits into one leading to an empty ward, and the other loops back round to the rear of the property, I almost fell into a gaping hole, about 4ft deep and filled with pipes. Some sort of maintenance tunnel beneath the corridors. Setting up for a shot at this junction, with room 119, the ghostly outline of a toilet in the dark.


Creepy doesnt begin to describe the rooms along this section, the oddly chosen wallpaper, ladders in rooms leaning against them and various wires and hoses snaking across the floors, the atmosphere seemed the most repressive in this area for some reason. Moving onwards, the rear main wards came into view. Steps up to the burnt out administration block open to the elements and overgrown with moss and various moulds. Seeing the lack of supports up there, and it being past 11pm, I decided not to risk falling through the floor up there, and instead moved on to the west wing rear room.


Like something out of a silent hill game, the rusty trolley loomed out of the darkness, covered in delicious rust, it was a real treat for the fingers.

Moving back inwards from the rear rooms, I came next across a skylighted room filled with fallen shelves.


The broken glass from the skylights crunched underfoot, not quite sure what this room was used for, it had a lot of smaller sub rooms leading off of it however.

As with all trips, you know its been a successful evening, when after roaming the derelict halls alone in the dark, you come across biohazard bags, discarded in the corridor.


Nothing in them mind you. I did look...


As I headed out back long the opposite side corridor on the front half of the west wing, I took my final shot of the interior. It had all been pretty much the same in here, a sort of pastel magnolia yellow wall peeling and showing the greying white plaster beneath. Yellowing insulation cascading down from cracked moulding ceilings and silvery cancer wrapping the pipes.

There was however one last mystery. Ever since my near plummet into the bowels of the maintenance corridors, I figured there had to be some kind of basement these led to, so as it was getting on for midnight by this point, I decided to search for it. Having noted what seemed to be a pit in the courtyard, I headed back out there.

Behind a bush, well hidden from view were a flight of concrete steps leading down into the dark underbelly of the building. Brushing branches out of the way I pressed on.


As with alot of explores, the best as it seems was left til last. The basement was filled with interesting machines, most noteworthy being the heating system machine. The floor was slick with fuel oil from a tank near the boiler tanks as I set the tripod up.


The tunnels did indeed lead into this chamber, however being crawl spaces and not really leading anywhere new, I finished up the shots of the boiler and heating systems and packed up. Exiting the way I had come, just as my watch clicked onto midnight.
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