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Report - - St Johns Asylum, Lincolnshire - Mar 2020 | Asylums and Hospitals | Page 2 | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - St Johns Asylum, Lincolnshire - Mar 2020


Fullhouse420

28DL Member
28DL Member
Nice report! So funny that I saw this today, Whilst I was at work today I was thinking of checking this place out tonight after about 8 years of not being back. Shame about the water tower being demolished.
 

Fuzzball

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
The character of the place is being stripped away now that the foliage has been cleared, etc. The sanitisation of the site as they make it suitable for redevelopment somewhat reduces the atmosphere as civilisation and order returns. However, that said, there was still plenty to see, with cells still retaining their doors and wallpaper etc. Judging by what I'm seeing on the forums, St Johns is likely the last Victorian asylum standing which retains what you'd expect from a classic asylum explore (if you don't count the now impenetrable Whitchurch Hospital or the still-open ones like the one near Romford, or the diminishing ruins of Talgarth or Denbigh. (though, I'm really really really hoping someone will correct me and inform that all is not lost, and there's actually more pockets of resistance like St Johns).

P.S vw_golf_nutter, your St Johns report earlier this year spurred my friend and I to visit very soon after, so thanks! Especially in light of how it seems to be a difficult explore at the moment!
 
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vw_golf_nutter

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
I loved this place, it's by far my favourite explore, the place is huge, it is very sad that we are losing all these old asylums, but equally as sad to see them left to rot and fall down.
 

Fuzzball

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
I loved this place, it's by far my favourite explore, the place is huge, it is very sad that we are losing all these old asylums, but equally as sad to see them left to rot and fall down.
My friend and I found it wondrous too. After failing to visit West Park etc etc, this was our last and best chance of experiencing and reviewing the asylum facilities of the past. It's huge but utterly tiny compared to Severalls etc, that's what amazes me. It's a basic biscuit crumb of those sites it seems. But I really enjoyed St Johns, as I'd never seen a row of cell doors and isolation wards so it really delivered on that.

It's sad definitely as that history is being expunged from memory, but most of them seem to have been preserved in some way. The new estates tend to preserve the Arrow layouts or Plan at least. It's interesting hearing of places like Talgarth fall though, as that place will probably turn to mulch before any restoration work can be achieved. As an urbexer it all sucks though as you can't explore something thats being burnt down OR converted into someone's house.
 

vw_golf_nutter

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
NOVEMBER 2020 Just an update...
I visited over the weekend, they havent done that much since I was last here 7 months ago. They have cleared the land around the buildings so it is all leveled and started to put in foundations for a few houses out the front of the North side.
There is now security there 24/7 with guard dogs. I still managed to get in but it was more difficult than before! The new fencing all the way around is very secure, no weak spots, so only way was over the top!
The place hasnt changed much inside, they have fenced off the ends of the communication corridor (the big steel arches) so you cant get a good pic of the corridor anymore.... They have also cleared some rubble around the Hall, more of the South Entrance/Admin block first floor has fallen through, lots of big generators around inside so I assume they intend to do work on it very soon.
A few pics :-)


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Fuzzball

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Thanks for the update! Useful and interesting info! Definitely more vehicles and huts than earlier this year. How the heck do you still manage to get in! You must transform into a squirrel or sommat. Most people seemed to have gotten stumped this year, we almost were, too. There again, I'm not a very good urbexer, I get stumped by leaves on my car windscreen before leaving the 'ouse.

Anyway, seems it's the final countdown..... (definitely possibly). I'm so glad my friend and I got there when we did, though. St Johns is now at that tipping point perhaps when there's just enough abandonment and period trimmings for a proper immersive explore, but civilisation is calling once more and suburban order is being restored. As was noted about Severalls when the tipping point was reached - "it's lost its character" when the bushes and foliage had gone and there were signs of work seen from every window. It's quite a fascinating process in itself though. This rising tide of order being restored and entropy being halted. Kind of like watching some slums being re-developed that you have fond memories of being around nonetheless. Truth be told i'd love to live in one of these converted places, especially if I'd have explored it beforehand! That'd feel immensely satisfying. I had a viewing for one of the apartments (nope, I don't have the money, just wanted to see!) in the converted wings of Severalls' Echeleon Building, but that's been cancelled now of course. Do you feel St John's is loosing its character then Golf_Nutter? Or is the ambience and intrigue still there at present in your opinion? I'm surprised the floors were left to collapse in admin as clearly that area has been earmarked to be retained for many years. That was the most destroyed area we found though, some impressive floor collapses.

Being around St Johns, it really brought home just how epic asylum explores would have been a decade ago. I can't fathom how exploring a site as large as Cane Hill or Hellingly etc etc would have been, especially when so much of the infrastructure and traces of use were still in-situ. It seems at least ten times the area of St Johns was, even back before any redevelopment. That must have been a bittersweet pill as those places disappeared. That's a real generation thing now, perhaps, cuz there ain't sites like Cane Hill around anymore for younger explorers to get lost in, or even St Johns eventually.

I'd love to find out what that ward was (the one with the classic arrangement of cell doors overlooking the main road). Would be great to find a pic of that when it was in use. Get some context to what we are seeing with all the decayed places. Well that was one hell of a ramble.
 

vw_golf_nutter

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Im trying to hunt down some history. I have found a lady who was christened in the chapel there, her Mum was a senior nurse until it closed!
I have found stories of patients committing suicide, a male patient hung himself on the stairs.
It definitely has lost its character from the outside, no more overgrown weeds and trees so the creepy look i like for photographs is no longer there, its just like a cleaned up shell now, however the inside still has bags of charm and interest left...
This place has a very weird feeling attached to it walking round, i dont know if its because I struggle with mental health myself and the thought of being confined to a hospital in olden times feels very hopeless and desperate... its very cold and quiet in there... i could never live in a converted place like this, too many stories attached and i could never stop thinking about it just to relax in my own home. I find it so strange that people literally live in apartments there in the converted block and just the other side of their living room wall is a derelict asylum!! No thank you!

I feel very lucky to have been able to see this place, get a feel for it and take photos as soon it will be gone and the history lost.
 

Fuzzball

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Good stuff! I hope you find things as yet un-discovered! Are their former staff communities still existing and things like that? The urbex, former staff recollections and archives all help to provide a well-rounded memory of the place before it disappears into just another pretty yet anonymous housing estate.

I've toyed with the idea with the idea of heading to Lincoln to have a rummage around thee archives and libraries and see if there's anything not yet posted. I've noticed though that asylums and hospital sites often aren't very well covered, records wise though? Even RIBA apparently don't have much on asylum construction and planning and you'd think they'd have a wealth of info and archival notebooks and sketches and plans etc, given the size of these sites. The asylum construction boom in the mid-late 19th century and early 20th must have been great for the building industry too, so I'd expect to see more records. Perhaps asylums and hospital were viewed with the same out-of-sight-out-of-mind mentality as public amenities were and really that anything society didn't like being reminded existed, even if it was a critical service.

That's amazing that you've found some stories like that though! Good work! Makes it suddenly grounded in reality and separate to the adrenaline-fuelled hobby of urbex.

I've noticed that the staff of these place soften got very attached and took great pride in their roles. By contrast though, and sadly, the patient stories seem nearly uniformly grim no matter what the institution. It'd be encouraging to hear of former patients who at the least felt cared for, despite the limitations and serious issues with these facilities. Damn,. :-( Which stairs, do you know? that's really heartbreaking. I read today that similar things happened at Cane Hill, and probably everywhere. Patients affecting all manner of suicide attempts and such. it's this tragic human element which put me off exploring asylums initially for many years. I've had to focus on the architecture, ambience and operational history and block out the emotional appreciation of what happened in such hospitals, in order to visit them. Ultimately, regardless of how well you might have been cared for - if you were in an asylum or psychiatric hospital as a patient - then life had gone horribly wrong for you. Hundreds of people, all cooped up for reasons and afflictions beyond their, and mostly science's control. Oh definitely i can imagine if you have your own internal struggles to battle that that could add an unwelcome kick knowing that in some point in history you may have brushed with these places in a completely different capacity. The lack of privacy would get to me the most. It seems the most inhuman aspect, other than shock therapy.

I didn't find St John's heavy in atmosphere at all, which was a surprise to me! Of course, I felt a reverence for what was a serious place, but I didn't feel a repressive atmosphere.
My friend though was alot more creeped out about St John's though because he had visited the former KGB cells in Riga, Latvia. And he noted that the design of the general corridor arrangements, door windows and cell sizes were close to what he saw at the KGB questioning/torture facility. That was also sobering to hear, especially when I saw his photos. Is there a particular area you feel are more loaded with atmosphere and mood at St John's?

Severalls' Echelon Building development retains the shutters on cell windows in the new apartments, so there's a real, visible reminder of that the building was previously used for. I was surprised just how much character was kept, given how emotive it is. From a historical point of view I'd appreciate it if i lived there, but emotionally, perhaps I'd feel uncomfortable too. That said, I am currently a property guardian of a former school for disabled kids which closed down due to alleged abuse, and yet i've gotten used to knowing the history while walking around the place in my slippers every night quite comfortably. You don't now until you try it i guess! But absolutely, with St Johns its very weird knowing there's flats which literally overlook and share their walls with a decaying old hospital.
 

Kjubb123

28DL Member
28DL Member
I know this place has been done a lot but a hospital has been on my list for ages so we headed over yesterday for a look around.Just a quick condensed report for those who dont know about it....

Opened in 1852, at its height the asylum had 944 bed and spanned 160 acres. There were male, female and children's wings and patients were known to have been treated for mental illness by way of shock treatment and brain surgery. The hospital had its own burial site and human remains were found while the site was being excavated.
The hospital closed as St Johns Hospital in 1989.
A lot of the site has been developed in to housing, unfortunately there was once a large water tower which was recently demolished, the remaining buildings are all Grade II listed.
This place is absolutely huge and made for a very interesting explore!
The access was rather fun squeezing through tunnels, there are also a lot of VERY soft floors so anyone visiting needs to be careful!
i took about 300 photos in total, we were there all afternoon but have picked a few favourites to share...

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No more water tower :-(

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Visted here today had to leave eafly due to security finding us
It's being converted to flats
Visted here today its no longer like your pics its been ripped back to brick and alot of rooms had rotten away an ceilings were gone we couldmt explore the whole ofit as had to leave early security found us lol took a few pics ud like to see
 

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