Report - St Brigid's Asylum, Ballinasloe, Ireland November 2016

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28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Jan 16, 2009
Solo jaunt, part 2/3 of my (temporary) swansong.

Well, this was epic. The best asylum I've had the pleasure of exploring, and possibly the best asylum of the "post-classic" era when most closed. And definitely one of the most memorable explores I have ever done. If it was any one site that inspired me to finally visit the Emerald Isle, it was this. As always, I turned up at the site completely unprepared and without any idea of what to expect. As I walked round the building, I see the grounds are well maintained, and someone is there walking their dog. Is it security? What are those cars doing at the top of the site? I didn't have a clue.

I wasn't feeling that nervous, so I spotted my (possible) way in and ran straight for it. Hidden from the view of the street, I searched for a way in, which didn't take long; though far from trashed, I can see where others managed to gain access and followed their path. I was inside, and was overcome with a really strange feeling; nervous, but like I was in another world (stay with me, I'm not talking about ghosts). I'm inside the building, and with the exception of the water dripping down there's a dead silence. The windows facing the outside are boarded, forcing me to use torchlight. All the rooms are empty and have been tagged with crap like "redrum" and the usual "haunted house" jibber jabber.

One of the patient rooms on the ward. Small, secluded rooms were a contrast to the likes of the dorms found in places like Our Lady's in Ennis.



As I make my way to the other wards of the vast complex, I randomly flick a light switch and boom! The room flickers back to life; the power is still on! Not only that, in so many rooms so much has been left behind. Unlike the likes of Fairmile and its empty, non-descript wards, this felt so much more real. So much more personal, even if it's just furniture.


With no security to contend with, and hearing so little outside beyond cars going past, I was in a different world. I had stepped through the looking glass, and was lost within the walls of the institution, lost in my own thoughts. I'm alone, disconnected from the outside world. I feel no fear, but a feeling of peace and serenity as I wander the almost endless corridors. Apart from the crumbling walls and ceilings, it feels like this place is trapped in a time warp from when it closed in 2009. It is for this reason this has been one of the most memorable moments in my life exploring.




Look into the mirror as two storks look down on you... it feels like a Hitchcock film.



As I continue to wander the corridors, further away from where I was, there was less evidence of anyone coming here. No graffiti, no smashed glass, no footprints; things felt like they had been left as they were since closure. The ward below was only accessible from a single, long corridor. No idea what kind of patients were kept here, but there was once an identical ward at the other end; this had since been demolished, though when I don't know.



There was no main hall designed into the asylum, so I went for a look through the industrial side of the hospital. This place kept on giving and giving.



As the last port of call, I checked out the ground floor of the administration. The power was still on, and the check-in machine on the desk was still powered up and showing the correct date and time! I didn't turn on the telly to check if the CCTV was still live though, ha! Behind this room, there were tons of books piled up on the desks; inside were reports going back years regarding patient finances, admissions and discharges, in addition to letters written to and from patients (though not medical records). For privacy reasons no pictures were taken.

I made my way back to my entry point, and made a swift exit. I was absolutely overjoyed to have seen what I saw, until I realized I made a ridiculous blunder...

I forgot the bloody clocktower! D'arrrrrghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! But instead of going back inside, I followed the dog walkers and locals and decided to have a sniff round the outbuildings. The signs said there was a mortuary nearby, but before I did that I had a look at the chapels. I can't work out why, but on this site were an original chapel AND a newer built one a little bit further up. Both, however were locked. The mortuary/chapel of rest was different...

This had been completely boarded up, but here the door in the hoarding was unlocked. The best way to describe this mortuary, which was a modern build and not the original would be like an an "airing shelter", free to walk into but with rooms inside. I sneak inside, and there's a gurney in the corner.

The door into the chapel of rest (which was still rammed with stuff) and two other doors (probably the toilets, unlikely to be fridges) were locked. I find one of the glazed windows unlocked, so I open it only to find it covered inside with protective mesh! Double d'arrrrrrrrghhhhhhhhhhhhh!

Across the way was possibly occupational therapy and the farm buildings, accessible but full from floor to ceiling with beds and paraphenalia from the hospital when it was closed, making it impossible to take photos or navigate. The additional ward at the head of the site was completely sealed, and next door to the last live building on site so no access there.

Inevitably any comparison to those two iconic Surrey asylums is anathema, but if you never saw either of these then a trip to St Brigid's should be at the top of your list. This is one of the best asylums I have ever seen, so get out there and have a look whilst you still can. You will NOT be disappointed!

Lots of love,



28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Jan 16, 2009
Protestant and catholic, that's usually why there's 2 chapels. Particularly necessary in Ireland I think it's fair to say.

Nice pics by the way!
Thank you Clebby. It was unusual, because one was clearly part of the original site but the other was a bland new build.


28DL Regular User
Regular User
Jan 12, 2014
I really like those cut-in's above the windows in those corridors. Next time i'm in potato-land I might have to make the effort to go and have a look at this one :)


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Jan 16, 2009
You got any more pictures from around engineering hun?
The engineering department you see is very small. There were other buildings in the grounds but the farm was empty, the occupational therapy was too crammed to navigate and the workshops were locked.

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