Report - - St Joseph's Orphanage April 2014 | Asylums and Hospitals | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - St Joseph's Orphanage April 2014


28DL Regular User
Regular User
This weekend was the Preston meet arranged by Bigjobs. Myself, Bigjobs, Scrappy, Katia, Idle Hands, Albino-jay, Paul2129 and two non members met up at a local cafe before we set off for our first location.

First on our agenda was a place close to my heart, it being one of my first explores back in 2009. St Joseph's Orphanage.

According to the Preston Guardian dated 21 September 1872,
the opening of St Joseph's Orphanage took place under the most favourable auspices. For a long time the want of an institution of the kind had been felt in Preston, when at length Mrs Maria Holland, of this town, voluntarily came forward and contributed the handsome sum of £10,000 for the erection and endowment of a building which is as ornamental as it will be useful to the town at large. The building has been erected and furnished at a cost of £6000 - £7000 and it has been endowed with £4000. St Joseph has ever been looked upon by the Roman Catholics as the father of the destitute and helpless, and it is for this reason he has been selected on present occasion as the patron of the present asylum. He will not long remain without clients, for already some thirty female orphans are ready to take possession of the charitable abode. They will be instructed in religious education and the different branches of the industry proper to their sex by the sisters of St Vincent de Paul.

The building is gothic and forms in plan the letter H. It is constructed of bricks with stone dressings, the roof covered with Broomhalls and Co's light and dull red tiles, and the pinnacles ornamented with metal gothic crosses.
Whilst it was fundamentally an orphanage, there some evidence that during the early 1950's, it was also used as a boarding school and parents could pay for their children to stay there.

St Joseph's Hospital

Known as 'St Joseph's institute for the sick and Poor' was erected on Mount Street, Preston in 1877 by Mrs Maria Holland for the benefit of the Roman Catholic sick and poor. It was opened in 1879 and run by the Sisters of Charity of our Lady Mother of Mercy. In 1884, it opened up two rooms as accommodation for private patients, and during both World Wars it provided care for wounded soldiers. the hospital received it's first operating theatre in 1910 and new hospital wings were added in 1933 and 1958. The Hospital was later recognised as a training centre for nurses, and accepted its first trainees in 1958.
On a famous note, George Formby,a British comedy actor, singer-songwriter and comedian, born in 1904, died in St Joseph's hospital in 1961.
George, whilst visiting the parents of his fiancee in Penwortham had a heart attack and was rushed to Saint Joseph’s Hospital, on Mount Street. Although over the next 10 days Formby showed a few signs of recovery, while discussing marriage plans he relapsed and died on March 6, 1961. He was only 56. Formby was, at one time the UK’s number one film star and one of the highest paid actors.

The Hospital closed in the late 1986 and was bought by Mr Dave Gornall who converted it to and Old Peoples Nursing home before its final closure in 2003.

The property has been empty ever since, originally listed with the estate agents at 4.5 million pounds, the buildings are Grade II listed and form part of the Winckley Square
Conservation Area. The site has planning and listed building consent in place for the conversion of the existing buildings into 81 dwellings in a mix of apartments and town
houses. This includes the demolition of the 1930’s hospital block and its replacement with a new build element fronting onto Mount Street.

Anyway here's a few pics from the trip:


The chapel




Lower level windows have been sealed with concrete blocks.


you can however still get to the wards in the Nursing home, although it would appear that the ivy has taken up permanent residence.


We did think this may be the end of the trip however luck would have it we were able to visit the theatres and attic areas.







And the other little bits :)




Time for one last picture before it was time to go to our next location.


Despite the whole place being in a lot worse state than it was when I first visited, it was still a fun explore and although it took a bit of effort it was definitely worth it. Epic thumbs up :thumb:thumb go to Bigjobs for arranging this and also for pulling us all out of that hole! That had to be the easiest exit strategy ever!


inquisitive historian
Regular User
Cracking stuff :thumb

wish we had ignored the information we got the other week and went whilst over there.


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
ah so jealous, like AuntieKnickers said we stupidly took info too seriously and did not bother trying :( won't make that mistake again. Loving your shots :)

Will Knot

28DL Regular User
Regular User
Bloody great report there, couldn't get to the meet due to family arrangements :mad Nice pictures, not seen this place for a while, thanks for sharin' :thumb


28DL Regular User
Regular User
Excellent shots there, was a top day and a pleasure to meet you all.

was fun being in here, and was definitely fun getting in/out

Think another meet needs to be sorted.


Official Smartarse
Regular User
Really nice shots there, I love you babe.

ah so jealous, like AuntieKnickers said we stupidly took info too seriously and did not bother trying :( won't make that mistake again. Loving your shots :)
You should never ever rely on people that will happily tell that a place is sealed, they'll say that for a few reasons.

1. It was sealed when they looked.
2. Someone told them it was sealed.
3. They don't want you to get in somewhere they tried and failed.
4. They want to keep it all to themselves.

Long story short, you should always have a go. Who knows, you could get lucky on the day, just like we were. :D


28DL Regular User
Regular User
Originally Posted by Bigjobs
Really nice shots there, I love you babe.
Thank you and I know, I love you too darlin' :)

Everyone else thanks for your awesome comments, was a proper fun day out and with any luck I may be able to salvage something from the photos I took to report on the other locations too :D

Long story short, you should always have a go. Who knows, you could get lucky on the day, just like we were.
And this just says it all :)


28DL Regular User
Regular User
Great set from a great day out, I do feel sore to say the least after all that climbing and falling out the wall cavity! Haha I'll stick some of mine up later! Good to have met you all :)


28DL Regular User
Regular User
Thanks scrappy. Pix if I remember rightly we had one mini maglight between us, there was lots of creepy noises and the basement spooked both with that thing that looked like a dead body with some plastic white roses next to it!


away with the fairies
28DL Full Member
Yep but we didn't get in the chapel that day, and it took a little bit of time to get in the old bit as I recall ;)

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