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Report - - Whittingham Hospital, Goosnargh, Lancashire, July 2012 | Asylums and Hospitals | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Whittingham Hospital, Goosnargh, Lancashire, July 2012



Weeble

Having a blonde moment
28DL Full Member
Visited with 2 non-members on their first explore.
I’d been wanting to visit Whittingham for some time and finally a good opportunity emerged. I was invited to a wedding in Cumbria (bloody miles away from home) and started thinking about exploring whilst up there. A quick map check revealed that I would be passing very close to Whittingham on the motorway on my journey. But there was a problem – I would have 3 non-explorers in the car with me. So I suggested to them that they could come with me – 2 agreed and 1 declined and was dropped off in Preston to wait for us.

We had a long journey back ahead of us and with a friend waiting in Preston that meant we didn’t have long. It was pissing down with rain and we got thoroughly soaked on the way in. After scaling the fences we managed to find a way into St Luke’s division via ‘the bog of eternal stench’.
We only had about 2 and a half hours, so we only saw a tiny part of St Luke’s and didn’t get a chance to see inside Cameron House.
After exiting St Luke’s to bright sunshine, whilst making our way towards the palisade fence a security van drove round the corner and the security guard saw us. It was the weirdest brush with security I’ve ever had. He didn’t ask us to leave, escort us out or even follow us to our exit point. He just told us we shouldn’t be there. He left us to it, which I found odd as although we’d told him we were leaving we could’ve been telling porkies.

It was a good explore, and I’m definitely going back some time to see the rest.

History from Wikipedia:

Whittingham Hospital was a psychiatric hospital in the parish of Whittingham, near Preston, Lancashire, England.
The hospital was founded in 1869 and grew to be the largest mental hospital in Britain, and pioneered the use of electroencephalograms (EEGs). During its time it had its own church, farms, railway, telephone exchange, post office, reservoirs, gas works, brewery, orchestra, brass band, ballroom and butchers. It closed in 1995.
In 1866, the three Lancashire lunatic asylums at Prestwich, Rainhill and Lancaster were deemed to be full. Extra accommodation was urgently needed and to this end the building of Whittingham Asylum began in 1869. The hospital was designed by Henry Littler of Manchester, Architect to the Lancashire Asylums Board and built of red brick made from clay dug on site. The buildings followed a plan of multiple quadrangles with inter-connecting corridors radiating from a long axial corridor section.
The hospital officially opened on 1 April 1873. The large complex (later known as St. Luke's Division) had an initial capacity of 1000 inmates and included an Anglican church, a Catholic chapel, a recreation hall and a large farm estate.
In 1878 a new annexe (later known as St. John's Division) was built on 68 acres of land to the north of the site. The annexe was completed in 1880 and accommodated 115 patients and, by the special agreement of the Postmaster General, the hospital's own dedicated Post Office. In 1884, a sanatorium was established in the grounds for patients with infectious diseases.
In 1892 works began for the grounds to be illuminated by electric lamps; these works were completed in 1894. Around this time an annexe called Cameron House was opened to the northwest of the main building, joined in 1912 by a third annexe, later to become known as St Margaret's division. By 1915 the number of inmates was recorded as 2,820 - more than double the asylum's original capacity.
In 1923, the name 'Whittingham Asylum' was dropped in favour of "Whittingham Mental Hospital".
In 1948, the hospital became part of the newly-formed National Health Service and was renamed "Whittingham Hospital".

During the 1970s and 1980s, new drugs and therapies were introduced to treat people suffering from mental illnesses. Long-stay patients were returned to the community or dispersed to smaller units around Preston. The hospital closed in 1995. In 1999, Guild Lodge was opened on the edge of the site, providing secure mental healthcare services to a small number of patients, followed the next year by purpose-built rehabilitation cottages close by.
It is planned to build 650 new homes on the site and to convert some of the hospital buildings for use as apartments. However, these plans will not proceed until a date for the construction of the Broughton bypass is known. While some buildings on the outskirts of the site have been demolished, most of the buildings on site are presently derelict, and have proved a popular destination for Urban Explorers.
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