Mike Pollitt | Tuesday 6 September, 2011 13:44
The Urban Exploration subculture, otherwise known as kids mucking about on building sites, is one of the more interesting responses to millenial urban alienation that this sad little century has produced. Oh, one could wax lyrically about these intrepid souls who scramble through the looking glass, and turn to see in the cracked and crumbling mirror a broken reflection of our communal past….
But that sort of thing has already been done, more than competently, here.
So, instead, here are five abandonded hospitals in the London area which have been catalogued by the camera-wielding trespassers.
St Clements Hospital, Mile End
A Victrorian workhouse turned psychiatric unit. It chokes the heart to imagine the lives that wasted here. Planning is afoot (pdf link) to develop it into housing, retaining some of the listed structure. Here are some photos of the abandoned interior from 2007.
Springfield Hospital, Tooting
Another psychiatric unit now earmarked for housing. Quite a history, according to the preamble to this exploration: “In 1856 a patient named Daniel Dolley was accidentally killed in the asylum under the orders of medical superintendant, Charles Snape during a routine hydrotherapy chastisement.”
Harperbury Hospital, just inside the M25 near St Albans
Click here for a fascinating write up, and pictures of the inside of a decaying padded cell.
Middlesex Hospital Chapel, W1
Of the demolished hospital, only one wall and the listed chapel still remain. Pictures of the chapel interior, and of the hospital pre-demolition, can be found here. Sad sights all.
National Temperance Hospital, Camden
Founded in the 1870s as a place where patients would be treated without alcohol, unless strictly necessary. Not even a brandy to steady the nerves. Sounds as grim as it looks. Pictures here.
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About this writer
Mike Pollitt is the editor of The Metropolis.
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