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Report - Union Workhouse / Eastry Asylum 8/5/11 KENT

Discussion in 'Asylums and Hospitals' started by PinkMystt, May 9, 2011.

  1. PinkMystt

    PinkMystt 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

    Apr 5, 2011
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    Eastry Kent

    Eastry Hospital, formerly being the Eastry Union Workhouse, then Eastry Union Workhouse Infirmary (1871-1930) and Eastry Institution (1930-1948), before becoming a Hospital in 1948 until its final closure around 1997.

    A workhouse was erected at the south side of Mill Lane in Eastry in 1835-6, the architect being William Spanton, who followed Sir Francis Head's model courtyard plan (which was also adopted by other Kent Unions such as Bridge, Cranbrook, Dartford, Dover, East Ashford, Malling, and Tonbridge). The new Eastry workhouse was designed to accommodate about 500 inmates.

    The entrance block was to the north of the site. Two-storey blocks were arranged around a large courtyard to the south and a separate three storey infirmary block, together with detached fever wards was erected to the south of the workhouse in 1871. A chapel was built close to the road immediately to the north of the workhouse.

    The former workhouse later became Eastry Hospital, a centre for the care of those with learning disabilities. The hospital has now closed and the site is being redeveloped; the infirmary block has been demolished along with most of the entrance block. The Grade II listed "Old Buildings" remain, along with the chapel which is sealed tight at the moment.

    Listed Structure

    12/155 Eastry Hospital,
    11.10.63 The old buildings

    GV II

    Workhouse now hospital buildings. Late C18. Red brick and slate roof, withadjacent wing of chequered red and blue brick with slate roof. Main range of 3 storeys and basement with parapet to hipped roof, with 2 storey hipped wingsto left and to right. Four metal casements with central Diocletian window onsecond floor, 4 glazing bar sashes and central glazing bar sash with shallow segmental head on first floor and 4 glazing bar sashes on ground floor with blocked central doorway, the traceried elliptical fanlight survives. Four basement openings. The wings with 2 glazing bar sashes on each floor. All openings with gauged heads obscured on first and ground floors by iron girders over window heads. Additional wings to left, of two storeys with 1 glazing bar sash on each floor, 1 storey with 1 wooden casement and 1 glazing bar sash, and at end left, 2 storeys with irregular fenestration of 4 wooden casements
    and glazing bar sashes on each floor. Hasted refers to the workhouse as a 'spacious, handsome edifice lately erected', i.e. in the 1780's. Extended c.1835 after the Poor Law Act (See Hasted, X, 99).

    Listing NGR: TR3084754662

    Now all the boreing stuff is out of the way :)

    The Explore

    I originaly became aware of the old workhouse a few years back, allthough seeing the building many times in passing i never researched or even attempted to find out more until i noticed an intretsing post here on 28days later.

    With a suprise hoillliday from work i decided to do my own bit of research. Camera and Pod in hand i drove up to the site and began my explore. A large part of the original site has sadly been demod, the remains can be see strewn across a huge area. huge piles of oxidiseing iron and chunks of concrete. Sad to see but plenty more there to enjoy.

    The first building i invaded was the three story structure in the corner of the site. this building seemed in fairly good nick, the only real signs of decay seemed to be caused by the generic hoody vandals that seem to get everywhere. smashed bottom step on main stairs, bit of crappy graffiti smashed glass fire damage u know the drill. nice bathroom upstairs with original bath and doulton taps, and a cool creaky wooden floor that made my lady freak. (mistake mentioning the asylum) good times.

    after a wander we headed through the section outside with burnt roof along to what would have been the stores. found loads of sanitary items like incontinance pants and some cleaning equipment. and then headed to the main section of the site. Greated by a creepy looking privacy screen and a DARKKK basement (ull need a tourch) we pushed on through the rooms downstairs. lots of old beds and lockers and paperwork, and quite possibley the biggest pile of Sunday Sport newspapers i have ever seen.


    Upstairs is equaly dangerous with many of the floors like sponges and bowing under my weight but the rooms have some cool features, again loads of beds and screens. boxes and boxes of old medical notes and other such nastys.

    3rd building is even cooler with disabled bathrooms and some awsome stairwells. these areas seem generaly untouched, soem minor damage to glass and some stupid tags on windows and mirrors but many of the features are still intact, even the pigeons have strugled to get in, allthough we did see a ton of feathers and uneaten wings, left by fox's and the random birds that havent managed to get back out.

    all in all a realy nice site, ial deffo be going back. and i advise every1 else who hasnt, to take a visit :p the local pub aint too shabby either.














    #1 PinkMystt, May 9, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: May 9, 2011

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