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Found 60 results

  1. Hey, guys here's my video report on the #post-apocalyptic #Camelot #ThemePark. I've already made a photographic report with a full history etc so I won't bore you with that here as it is featured in the footage. Thanks for any feedback guys take it, easy man. PEACE The Urban Collective We Film It...
  2. Taxal Lodge - Photographic Report - 2018 #TaxelLodge Photographic Report - 11th March 2018 Built-in 1904 Taxal Lodge was once the home of Lt. Col. H. Ramsden Jodrell, Who passed away in 1950. The home became a Special School, for disruptive and emotionally disturbed kids that lived on site 5 days a week. It replaced an older Taxal Lodge that originally stood further up the valley. Over the years there have been various reports of abuse within the school and a lot of visitors and students claim that the lodge is haunted. Once the plug was pulled by the authorities the school was closed in 2005. Since its closure, the lodge fell victim to vandals & arson. Now other nature has now begun to stake her claim... The Urban Collective We Film It...
  3. CAMELOT - Theme Park - Photographic Report - Feb 2018 This abandoned resort and theme park is located in the English county of Lancashire. The park's theme was based on the well-known story of King Arthur and the Knights of the roundtable After numerous takeovers, the theme park was purchased by Story Group and leased to Knight's Leisure who ran the park. However, it's closure was announced by the operator, in November 2012. In August 2014, an application to build houses on the site was unanimously rejected with 261 public objections. As of Feb 2018, the park stands empty a former shadow of its glory day slowly but surely falling victim to mother nature. A new housing development plan has been submitted, to many a protest from the local residents, However, if it does go through the once magical kingdom of Camelot will be lost forever. We gained entry into the former petting zoo and made our way to the middle of the park where we were caught by 4 security guards and a static full of dogs. Anyway, I hope you can enjoy the pics as its all I was able to get. Any feedback greatly appreciated.
  4. Rylands Mill - Pagefield College campus - Video Report - Feb 2018 I must admit guys this place is one of my favorite explores up to now, from researching the history to seeing just how dilapidated it has become. It truly was a marvel for the eyes. Rylans mill or page field as it was later known, was built for Manchester's first millionaire John Rylands in 1866/7. The mill was later taken over by Wigan technological college and became known as Pagefield campus. There have been numerous fires on the premises since its closure sadly destroying some of the remaining beauty of the place, but also creating a different kind at the same time. There was also a network of bunkers below the mill which had unfortunately been sealed off due to the danger to the local youth. Hope this video report meets the standards for the sight, any feedback greatly appreciated as I just want to share my experiences with you guys not start selling caps and tee shirts and begging you to subscribe thanks.
  5. Daresburyhall - Photographic report - Feb 2018 Daresbury Hall is a former Georgian country house in the village of Daresbury, Cheshire, England. It was built in 1759 for George Heron. the hall descended in the Heron family until 1850, when it became the property of Samuel Beckett Chadwick. By 1892 it had been acquired by Sir Gilbert Greenall, later Baron Daresbury. During the Second World War, it was used as a military hospital and also by a charity, now known as Scope. It became semi-derelict after being bought by a millionaire who died before restoration could take place. In April 2015, a huge cannabis farm containing six hundred plants with an estimated street value of 750.000 was discovered at the estate. In 2016 there were plans to partly demolish and convert the house but in June of that year the empty building was badly damaged by fire. Unfortunately, during our visit, we were asked to leave the sight by security via a speaker system on the estate. We did, however, stick around for 20 mins until it went off again, to be honest, I'm not sure whether the system is automated and linked to motion sensors. There is a lot of cameras on the sight too as shown the last pic. Any way we couldn't enter the property as it is completely sealed now with boards on all windows and doors etc except for a stable and a few dilapidated sheds. We did the best we could in the situation we had. Thanks for any feedback.
  6. Pagefield mill - photographic report - Feb 2018 I must admit guys this place is one of my favorite explores up to now, from researching the history to seeing just how dilapidated it has become. It truly was a marvel for the eyes. Rylans mill or page field as it was later known, was built for Manchester's first millionaire John Rylands in 1866/7. The mill was later taken over by Wigan technological college and became known as Pagefield campus. There have been numerous fires on the premises since its closure sadly destroying some of the remaining beauty of the place, but also creating a different kind at the same time. There was also a network of bunkers below the mill which had unfortunately been sealed off due to the danger to the local youth. Any feedback greatly appreciated thanks.
  7. Hope the photo file sizes are good as I had to reduce them due to the cap. Brockmill first began operations around the mid-1700s and further expanded when the Earl of Balcarres bought the mill and built a furnace at Haigh foundry half a mile downstream. The two sights prospered building large steam cylinders and fire engines also building the first locomotive for Lancashire, and plenty more to follow. Later the mill expanded into brick and textile making, however, the works closed in 1885 more recently the mill was used for the production of herbal medicine Unfortunately, i found no date as to when production stopped I'm sure you'll agree though guy's it's a wonderful explore in a serene location.
  8. This is my first Urbex adventure. I recently moved to West Sussex and though I'd have a look around at some popular and easily accessible sites to explore. I stumbled upon Bedham Chapel and after some quick research, I found the location and travelled there. We drove down a single track road until spotted it in the woodland below us. We parked a few hundred metres further down the road and set out on foot to get there. This is my video report that I captured and I apologise for the clickbaity title of the video and the fact that it's so weird it looks staged. But it really isn't! My girlfriends reaction to this is real and we were definitely creeped out by our find. If anyone has any idea of what this ceremony was about, please let me know! Video Link
  9. Brock Mill video and photographic reports - 5/2/2018 A quality explore that we really enjoyed. Not the most architecturally stunning but still there's a certain beauty about decay.
  10. History Bishopgarth was first built in 1891 for the Bishop to live in. In 1946 the site became the West Yorkshire Metropolitan Police Training School. The classrooms were built in 1952 and the new block added in 1969 (the accommodation). There were 14 course's for training police men/women these course's included fingerprints, computer training, firearms, public speaking and traffic management. Bishopgarth could take a maximum of 250 students at any one time and usually there were 200 students staying at the on-site accommodation. To be a policeman you must be 5'9\" tall and for a policewoman 5'6" tall. This is the same as 166cm tall for policemen and 154cm tall for policewomen. The police moved to a new facility in Carr Gate in 2014. The Carr Gate complex houses Firearms, Driver, Public Order, Crime, IT, Foundation and Leadership and Development training. But the question is what will happen to the the now old and abandoned Bishopgarth police training well the first option proposed by the planners would see the entire site used for new homes, believed to be between 120 and 150. The second option would see the number of suggested homes reduced to include space for a residential care home. There is some more info on the matter here https://www.wakefieldexpress.co.uk/news/plans-for-150-homes-and-care-home-at-bishopgarth-1-6890284 1. Explore Upon arriving we noticed a massive metal fence around the perimeter, but we also noticed a lot of gaps in the fence as soon as we got walking down the drive way we got rustled by the security. We Looped around to the back where the alleged bishops palace is and snuck in through there... From getting into the bishopgarth area we headed straight to the accommodation building... we did this because we only really came for that building. When we got there we heard rustling, peeking around the corner and seeing a hi-viz vest it was security so quickly we had to run across the courtyard... thankful we missed the security, walking up the stairs to the main entrance of the accommodation building it was boarded so we looked around the whole permitter and found some boards ripped off at the side... looking around the building was like walking around a maze thankfully not a pitch black one thanks to our exploring light. Once we got past the first few floors what contained the dinning room and the main entrance it was just copy paste bedrooms and corridors. After we explored a floor of the bedrooms we got our assess up to the top floor AKA the roof access, we spent a while looking at the landmarks of wakefield and taking pics of the roof but it was hard because at this point we did not want to get spotted... running down the stairs to get out, had a lot more to explore!!! After the buzz of the accommodation building, we thought it would be hard to beat... ow god was we mistaken. After sneaking across the path we ran into the office/ classrooms... not much going on the outside of the building but once we entered (by opening the door) it was of its rocker! Walking in we had access to the bottom floor, very dark there were a couple classrooms and some office type looking buildings but the real deal was the top floor. We found the stairs after about 15mins of looking around... up the stairs were the IT classrooms and some offices with everything still inside. After we took pics of the upstairs, we wanted to get out but knowing there was the main entrance (with the automatic doors) we had a deeper look... finally we found it, did not expect wooden cladding, a safe, some nice stairs and some trash we was more than happy. But there was still some stairs to climb up... a whole new world (another corridor with some classrooms) the only bit worth looking at up there is the graffiti where the homeless slept. To end of on a positive note we thought we would have a look around the many 'houses' on the site... only getting in one which was a little outhouse at the back of the accommodation building... i say a little outhouse but if we bumped into that when we stared off we would have lost our minds. After that we got some more externals but we just wanted to get off really... PICS 2. 3. 4. Narrowly avoiding security 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. The admin office. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. SAFE 27. 28. 29. 30. LE FIN
  11. Desert Center is a census designated place in the Colorado Desert in Riverside County, California. It is in southern California, between the cities of Indio and Blythe at the junction of Interstate 10 and State Route 177 (Desert Center-Rice Road). The ZIP Code is 92239, and the community is in telephone area codes 442 and 760. The elevation is 656 feet (200 m). The population was 204 at the 2010 census.
  12. History borrowed from @Lavino has there is nothing else on this i could find. Hope you dont mind m8ty. The long established St John's, Wingates CE Primary & Fourgates County Primary schools were closed in 2004 following amalgamation to form The Gates CP School. The place has remaining untouched for many years after the Bolton Council set up a Family Learning Centre there for a few months but again moved to another building in Bolton City Centre and was put up for sale in 2009 but no buyers were found it remains to be seen wether the building will be knocked down in the near future. Explore: Ok this was a second visit. Just before place was demolished Sadly. Never seem to have got round to putting this up so will do now. The place had quite some charm especially the piano room. You could picture all the kids sat on floor singing away. Deffo was worth the visit. Thanks go to whoever it was put this on my radar lol. To far back to remember. You know who you are. On with pics. This pic inside a outbuilding was done by all the kids INSIDE The piano.. Anyways hope you enjoy and thx for looking.
  13. Not much history other than it shut down back in the 1980's at some point.. Had fun in here very thankful I had someone with me who's been a few times before (none member). Had a blast working our way around all the paths and climbing under and over cave ins.. Love my first underground explore.. Took over 300 pictures.. Only ones I have edited.. Enjoy. Rare Sight
  14. Another mad trip to Wales with Tom earlier in the year, We found ourselves searching for a few tweed mills amongst a few other places; The 1st mill was okay, had a few nice things to snap but not much colour going on, We grabbed a few shots and headed off to the next one. After a bit of guidence from some lovely locals we were heading the right way and soon enough we came across the entry point - shall we say. Those who know that the entry to the 2nd mill is rather fun but you could end up getting very wet (there is an easier way) But we wanted to go the fun way, so now inside the 2nd mill we were greeted with lots and lots of lovely bright colours, So out came the 50mm and we started getting some pics, I dont often use my 50mm so I forget how good it is sometimes, it always seems to give a nice sharp image. Now on with some pics Mill one, Mill two, Hope you guys enjoy the pics :-)
  15. Somewhere north of me is this lovely abandoned farm house, Filled with lots of items from years ago, Lovely old camera was a nice find too. Downstairs was a tad too dark to say the least, so all these pics are from the upstairs. Was a nice way to finish waht had been a rather rubbish day to be honest. Thanks for looking :-)
  16. I dont know too much history on this place, all i know is that it was a village hall and at one time and it must of been used as a church or something like that. The downstairs was in fairly good condition whilst upstairs there were signs of more decay and a few dodgy floors. The main hallway wouldnt look out of place in a french chateau, had a real euro feel about it. My visit, early on a sunday morning me and Tom headed out to see this place, knowing the way in, we headed for the entry point and were soon inside. The 1st room you enter is the room that must of been used for church services of some description. We get the cameras out and start taking our pics, I went to the main hallway and got a few pics whilst Tom was in the main room, Then i hear this noise like a piano or keyboard, I go to tell tom and as I enter the main room I can see Tom in the corner and he had discovered a working organ of sorts. So I took the opitunity to do an Urbex Attenbourough video (see my FB page Urbex Attenbourough for the videos) Then continued to take some pics upstairs. My favorite part was deffo the room with the bath in and half the floor missing. We then packed our stuff away and moved onto the next location. Now on with the pics...... Thanks for looking guys :-)
  17. I wont say too much about this place, History or location wise, but after seeing a post pop up from this place a while back, actually from 2 well known members on here ;-) I knew i wanted to see it, So the day after the post went up I headed out. Met up with another explorer and on we went. Upon reaching the place we knew this wasnt going to be easy, builders everywhere, farmer in his field the lot lol. So on we go, get up close and find the way in, bobs your uncle we are in, out come the cameras and we start snapping away. Then we hear mr builder come in, so we hide in a massive alcove in a fire place until the coast was clear. We thought it best to head upstairs and get some shots up there, After getting some shots upstairs time was getting on and we had noticed the builders had gone. Now we had our sights set on the main prize, the art deco theatre, so downstairs we went and soon enough we found. Boy, what a beauty it was, all lit up and topped off with a lovely wurlitzer at the front of the stage. After getting all the shots in there we headed out and upon doing that we heard a car outside, so quick as you can we head for the entry point and escape just before we get seen, was a bit of a rush thats for sure, So here she is folks Magpie Hall Said Fireplace..... Grand staicase. The bar area. Art Deco lovelyness.... This place is a real mix of old and modern, Thanks for looking :-)
  18. Okay ive posted some of my old stuff, now onto some more recent explores. I have watched this place for many years, earlier this year i decided it was time to give it a go, Having known it has been abandoned for over 4 years, and with no building work going on anymore it was the perfect time. I couldnt wait to be the 1st one to visit this place. Some history on the place, It was built around 1890 and since then it has had a few moddern additions. Its original use was as a home for a wealthy mill owner from the local area, it then became a Missionary for kids and families from other countries to live in. It then went on to be a hotel/B&B and rented flats and rooms, before its final use as a home for 4 asian families. Now it lays abandoned with no clear plan for the future. The inside of the property is sooooo clean, as you will see from my pics. You could move straight in if you wanted to, Carpet on the floor whitch was rather nice (even took my boots off) it was that clean lol. Not normally what i want to see tbh, we all love a bit of decay, But i just had to see it, The place blew me away with its grand staicase and sculpted ceilings, Some nice bits of furniture lying about too. Now heres where the fun starts...... After being inside for around 40min I was on the ground floor just taking a pic down the main hallway, when i notiched a shadow of a person stood at the outside of the front door, Knowing there was no secca on the place my 1st thought was that is was the owner, or the police..... So I grabbed my things and headed for the exit point in a bit of a rush lol, upon getting to the exit point I was greeted by not one or 2 police men, but 8 of them all with their battens drawn :-/ Needless to say I wasnt expecting that. After a long talk with the police about what i was doing in there, and the whole you shouldnt be in there speech, they took my details and let me on my way. Now on with the pics..... Thanks for looking, hope you enjoyed the pics :-)
  19. Another trip down memory lane for me, We visited this old primary school on a very snowy day in November 2010, Whitch tbh wasnt the best idea we have had. Lots of untouched snow layed upon the once busy playground, as we walked across leaving many footprints for mr secca to see lol. Needless to say we were caught in this place so only managed a handfull of pics. Some nice natural decay and the odd toy knocking about. Thats all I managed to get before we were rumbled.
  20. This place needs no introduction, but here is a little bit of history for you. The asylum is a grade 2 listed building. Designed by Thomas Full James, building works started in 1844 and was compleated in 1848, designed to hold between 60 and 200 patients. The asylum was gradualy shut down between 1991 and 1995. In 2008 that oh so popular tv program Most Haunted spent a whole week filiming live here, claiming to find and see all sorts of paranormal things. Late in 2008 during renovation work the building caught fire, as a result the main hall was sadly lost. By 2011 the building was at serious risk of collapsing, So denbigh council spent just under 1 million quid repairing it, as the owner at the time didnt want to do anything about the collapsing property. On the 20th of march 2015 a compulsory purchace order was granted to the local council, and further application for planning permission was put forward. My visit, Had a great time exploring this one many years ago. Was still in a bad way back then but no where near as bad as it is now. The peely paint and plentyfull decay made for some lovely pics, and the colours where rather nice too. Never did see the legend thay is Elwyn either, although he was driving round the site in his little white van. Was nice to find the old wheelchair as it was a nice prop to use in the corridor with the round skylights. The Mourge The door Most Haunted added. Before the fencing was put up that ruins the externals nowadays Enjoy folks :-)
  21. This was another stop on our boxing day tour back in 2010, I dont have much history on the place. All i remember is that it was a home for boys i think :-/ Cant even remember what part of the country it was in it was that long ago. Im sure someone on here may very well know. Again not alot to see in here as the lighting vas very poor in places. As you will see from the external it was heavily boarded up. Some of the corridors were rather nice and the entrance to the chapel/hall was a nice feature. Lovely big wooden doors, The external shot also came out quite nice, the snow added a little something extra. Hope you guys like the pics. Sorry for the lack of history.
  22. I visited this site back in 2010 with a whole group of friends on boxing day, I dont know much history on the place to be honest, other than it used to be some sort of eye clinic. When we visited there were signs of drug addicts using the building, neddles everywhere so we had to watch our steps. There wasnt alot to see inside, but there was a lovely green staicase, for me that was the main bit, most of the wards had been stripped. The natural light coming through made for some nice shots too. Some nice natural light. Critical Mass (Gaz) With his new and improved eyes. The green staircase Hope you enjoyed the pics.
  23. Some history, Stones brewery (William Stones Ltd) was a regional brewery founded in 1868 by William Stones in Sheffield, West Riding of Yorkshire, England and purchased by Bass Breweryin 1968. After its closure in 1999 its major brand, Stones Bitter, has continued to be produced by the Molson Coors Brewing Company. William Stones had started brewing in 1847 in Sheffield with Joseph Watts. Following Watts' death in 1854 Stones continued brewing by himself. In 1868 he purchased the lease of the Neepsend Brewery, and renamed it the Cannon Brewery, and he continued to brew there until his death in 1894. Stones' success saw him die as one of the richest men in Sheffield, although he lived a modest life. The company was taken over by Bass in 1968, then in 2000 Bass sold its brewing operations to the Belgian brewer Interbrew who were ordered by the Competition Commission to sell the Stones brand. In 2002, the brand was purchased by the AmericanCoors Brewing Company, who merged to become Molson Coors in 2005. Stones Bitter was brewed at the Cannon Brewery from 1948 and was popular with Sheffield's steel workers. Stones Bitterwas originally available across the south of Yorkshire,Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, with distribution extended to the rest of the north of England in 1977, and nationwide from 1979, accompanied by a considerable marketing push. Increasing demand saw it also brewed at other Bass breweries from the 1970s onwards. The beer's popularity reached its apex in 1992 when it was the country's highest selling bitter, selling over a million barrels.[3] The beer has been lauded in certain quarters as "one of Sheffield's most famous exports". After the Cannon's closure production was continued elsewhere. KegStones Bitter (3.7 per cent alcohol by volume) is brewed by Molson Coors at their brewery in Tadcaster,North Yorkshire and the canned product is brewed at their Burton upon Trent brewery As you will see from my pics this place was rather untouched when i visited back in 2010, No graffiti to be seen, unlike today. The best bit for me has to be the staicase, It seemed to go on and on. I went back here not so long ago and couldnt belive the difference. Thanks for looking ;-)
  24. Brief History, The Vicar of Bramham, the Rev. Robert Bownas, built Bramham House in 1806. In 1814 it was sold and the new owner gave the house to his son as a wedding present, in 1856 it was again sold to clear up large debts. For the next 70 years it had numerous owners. In 1947 West Riding County Council Children's Department purchased the building and it was to become a family group home to accommodate neglected and homeless children, children from broken homes and experiencing 'family problems and educational problems' and those who had failed to respond to treatment for non school attendance within the community. At its height it was home to 37 children of both sexes. The home closed in the early 1980’s and the children moved to another home in Wetherby that has since closed. Again that long ago that I dont remember much from my visit. I have seen pics from here recently, and the place looks like its gone down hill :-) Still love the flowers in the roof though ;-)
  25. Bit of history on the asylum. Derby's first lunatic asylum was the privately-run Green Hill House (at Green Hill, where the Hippodrome would later stand) and was run by a Dr Brigstockes. Although it appears to have been running for several years prior, it is recorded that there were 32 patients there in 1846 when the Lunacy Commission, the national body who oversaw all public and private asylums, first supplied its licence. A few years later it was taken over by a Mr & Mrs Morris and a Mr & Mrs Fisher, two couples who had previously worked at the Nottingham Asylum (Sneinton) and Lincoln Asylum (The Lawn) respectively. While Green Hill House would have handled some of Derby's insane patients, both Derby County and Derby Borough had been boarding the majority of their pauper lunatics out to the Leicester and Rutland asylum since the 1830's. The Derby Mercury recorded on 7th January 1846 that the Justices of the County of Derbyshire and the Recorder of the Borough of Derby had both given notice of their individual intentions to build an asylum in response to the 1845 County Asylums Act, which made mandatory the building of at least one asylum for each County, and at least one more for any Borough within each county. For Derby Borough, a public meeting on the matter was swiftly held, taking place on the 8th February 1846. Plans were commissioned and produced with little delay, and submitted to the Lunacy Commissioners (whose approval was required before any building could begin) before the end of the year. After several months wait, a rejection letter arrived appearing to suggest the Derby Borough authorities had been over-generous with their plans, with the Commissioners saying: “On examining the plans for the proposed asylum, it was found that provision had been made for 360 lunatics, when the total number of pauper lunatics for Derby does not exceed 216. The style of the proposed buildings is of an ornamental and costly character, much more so than is required in a residence for pauper lunatics. The size and proportions of the cells and single rooms are greater than is necessary for the housing of pauper lunatics. The object of that part of the scheme which is included to render the asylum fire-proof, adds greatly to the weight and expense of the building.†By 1863, a site at Rowditch had been identified as suitable, but the 24 acres available wasn’t quite large enough, and a Miss Trowell who owned a large house to the north refused to sell up any of her land to make up the shortfall. So meetings were then held to look into whether it would indeed prove cheaper and more practical for Derby Borough to build their own asylum, or simply continue boarding Derby's patients out to other asylums and it appears the latter was chosen at the time. But by 1871, the decision seemed to have been forced, when the Leicester & Rutland Asylum sent a letter stating they could not receive any more patients from Derby, due to their own overcrowding. By 1873, Derby was paying £800 per annum to house its lunatics at Pastures, Leicester and now Burntwood (the 2nd Staffordshire County Asylum aka St Matthews Hospital), and so the decision was confirmed to commission brand new plans for Derby's own asylum. A site at Etwall was rejected by the Lunacy Commissioners (whose job included visiting and assessing every proposed site in person) with sites at Spondon and Draycott also inspected but rejected due to inadequate on-site supplies of water, causing further delay. With two more sites rejected, a proposal was made in 1876 that Derby Borough instead pay for the enlargement of the existing Derby County Asylum (Pastures) at nearby Mickleover, on the basis that significant benefits and savings could perhaps be made to both institutions working together. This plan looked to be acceptable to both parties, until the Committee at the Leicester & Rutland Asylum dropped a bombshell – they had read about these plans in the local press and stated that, assuming their contract with Derby would be renewed, had already gone ahead and enlarged their own asylum, with Lunacy Commission approval, purely in order to incorporate Derby Borough's resident lunatics. They were now writing to propose drawing up a contract for such continued provision at Leicester for the next 20 years. This came as quite a surprise considering Derby had been given no notice that the building work at Leicester was going to take place. What made the pill harder to swallow, was that the earlier letter stating Leicester's refusal to take any more Derby patients had been preceded by another letter which went as far as criticising the “type†of lunatic being sent from Derby, who were “epileptic, dirty and destructive in habits, and others in a condition which indicated their approaching dissolutionâ€, and complaining that this type of patient both increased the expense to the institution for their care, as well as raising the mortality rate and therefore lowering its reputation and standing among its private clients. Despite this, the Derby authorities apparently chose frugality over any considerations toward their lunatic poor, and agreed to the deal, continuing to farm patients out to distant Leicester and Staffordshire, far from home and family, for the following 12 years. Despite continued pressure from the Lunacy Commission, and even the involvement of the Home Secretary, it would take until December 1883 before any real movement was made, this time with the Rowditch site now back on the agenda. Miss Trowell had died in the intervening period, and the site then passed to her cousin, Lord Belper, who had no special interest in it, and so he leased out the house privately, and was quite happy to make a bit of quick cash selling the land to the Derby Corporation. The Derby Borough Lunatic Asylum was finally opened on the 13th November 1888 to 27 female patients returned from the Leicester & Rutland County Asylum, with others who had been boarded out to the asylums at Burntwood (St Matthews), Mickleover (Pastures) and Nottingham (Mapperley) to follow. As was the case for almost every new asylum which had not yet reached capacity, they were now able to start boarding-in patients from others, with as many as 50 soon brought in from the Cheshire Asylum (Deva: Countess of Chester) in 1889, and others from as far away as the North Wales Asylum at Denbigh. By 1891, a new block was built purely to house patients boarded in from the Worcestershire County Asylum (Powick). In 1891 the aforementioned additional block was built for the Cheshire patients, wooden shelters were added to the patients’ airing courts, and a store-room was converted into a darkroom so that each patient could be photographed on entry to the asylum. By the 1950’s, the darkroom was redundant and only used for storing firewood. The patients were also set to work building and planting the asylum’s cricket ground in 1891, and clocks were installed on all wards so that attendants didn’t have to keep going to the dining hall to find out what the time was! By 1892, the night staff were left in little doubt about the time, as electric “tell-tale†clocks (which had to be activated every half-hour) were installed on all wards in order to log the Attendants’ patrols and rounds. Meals at Kingsway during this period, and until the 1920’s, consisted mainly of potatoes, bread and meat – the Lunacy Commissioners noted on their annual visit in 1892 that the meat was “too fat to be eaten, and a good deal was left untouchedâ€. “Melancholia†was the main cause of admission at this time, and many patients were admitted in very ill states, with one patient only lasting four hours from being brought in to being certified dead. The average age of death was around 50 years of age. Death rates were a little higher in Kingsway’s early years than the average for UK asylums, with a 19th Century peak of 47 deaths in 1892, most attributed to “GPI†(general paralysis) and “pthisis†(tuberculosis). On a more positive note, and also unusually, Kingsway did not have a single registered case of suicide for the first 12 years of its operation. However, when it did finally occur in 1900, in a case where a female patient tore out her own tongue with her fingernails, threw it on the floor, and was said to have died of shock and blood loss 42 hours later, the case’s details were lurid enough to make their way into the local press, coverage of which in turn was believed to have initiated a spate of copycat attempts at the asylum. Many pauper patients who were discharged as fit but had no home, family or means, would have only had further grim incarceration at the Derby Union Workhouse to look forward to, and in many cases, patients discharged to the harsh regime of the workhouse were back at Kingsway within weeks. In 1895, smallpox cases were found at Kingsway, and the patients transferred to a Derbyshire fever hospital with the remaining patients vaccinated. B.S. Jacobs was consulted again on the building of a new isolation block, designed to keep infectious patients on-site but still away from the main wards, and this was opened to the north of the main building in 1897. It included 5 male and 5 female beds, with a room above the porch for one Attendant. It was rarely actually used for its intended purpose, instead serving for a while as a house for the Head-Attendant, a “parole†block for convalescent patients, home to the insulin therapy unit, and even (during the first word war) a temporary home to a family of refugees from Belgium. Ironically, just a few years later in 1904, Kingsway would annexe itself in its entirety, as it was closed to all visitors for several months during an outbreak of smallpox in Derby town itself, where the asylum’s population remained entirely free from the disease. Electric lighting was installed throughout the building in 1897, as well as iron fire-escapes being added to the outside of two wards.. In 1901, the boundaries of Derby Borough were extended into land which had formerly been classed as Derby County, adding approximately an extra 10,000 persons to the Borough’s jurisdiction, and meaning that around 30 patients then housed in the Derby County Asylum (Pastures) would need to be moved to Kingsway, bringing its population up to 351 by 1906. Dr McPhail had the idea of building a separate annexe for around 30 fee-paying private patients, thereby freeing up space in the main building for the thirty or so paupers from Pastures. B.S. Jacobs was again called upon to design this annexe, known as Albany House, which would open in October 1903, furnished with carpets and mats made by the patients as part of their occupational therapy – a concept Kingsway had pioneered by also being the first asylum in the UK to appoint a dedicated team who sought to find convalescent patients work in the community prior to discharge. In 1908 Kingsway was being enlarged again, with three new ward blocks designed to accommodate an extra 126 patients in total being added, bringing the overall population up to around 480 by 1912, when the asylum was formally renamed “Derby Mental Hospitalâ€. Later that year, it would experience its first fatal accident, as a boiler-house worker and a patient who was assisting him were both scalded to death by an exploding boiler. The asylum Committee made a grant of £26 to the worker’s widow. With the outbreak of war in 1915, Kingsway suffered the dual problems of patient overcrowding, as patients were transferred from other asylums which had been emptied to temporarily serve as war hospitals, along with staff shortages as its own staff went off to join the war effort. This was a problem suffered by all British asylums, and saw Kingsway’s patient population rise to 561 by the end of the year. Of course, some staff members would never return from the war, and the Committee notes show a decision to continue to pay 5 shilling a month to the widow of an Attendant with the surname of Prince, who was killed during service. All Attendants and maids were granted additional pay during wartime, in recognition of how much harder the work had become with such depleted staff numbers. The asylum Committee offered the use of the chapel and Albany House for any war-related purpose, but neither was ever used. In 1918, Kingsway recorded its joint-highest death rate among patients, which was due to the influenza epidemic which had ravaged the whole of the UK that year- 112 patients in total had died from that, and other causes during the year. The death rate would rise to the peak of 112 again in 1965, but it’s worth noting that the whole population of the asylum had almost doubled by then, with many more elderly patients on the wards. 1920 saw Dr McPhail finally retire after 32 years as Superintendent, serving from its opening in Victorian times as a lunatic asylum until it’s progression to a “mental hospital†in the inter-war period. He went on to a consultative role at an Edinburgh private asylum, and was succeed by the former Senior Assistant Medical Officer, Dr Bain. During the 1920’s, there was less money to spend, as Attendants’ fees were lowered by 10% (despite them now being asked to put an extra hour and a half’s time into providing “entertainment†for the patients), as unemployment rose and belts were tightened. 275 people applied for the post of Steward/Clerk, a combined role vacated when the current holder died unexpectedly. While the staff were not being particularly well-paid, proper structures for training and progression were now in place, and by the mid-1920’s almost two-thirds of the staff had gained the certificate of the Royal Medico-Psychological Association (R.M.P.A.), improving their general standing and future work prospects. In a quite progressive move, Dr Bain adopted an experimental regime whereby patients were allowed greater freedoms, and the locking of doors was relaxed, as some patients were also now allowed outside the asylum grounds, and given pocket money if they worked within the asylum or its farms, etc. This practice would not become widespread nationally until the 1960’s. In keeping with trends at other mental hospitals, in 1931 Kingsway established an out-patient’s department at the local General Hospital (Derby Royal Infirmary in their case) so that former patients could be seen there, or those who had concerns could make use of the psychiatric staff’s knowledge and advice without necessarily having any contact with the institution itself. A purpose-built nurse’s home was opened in the same year. A new admissions block for 60 patients opened in 1938, and the word “mental†was dropped from the name of the institution, with it formally now changed to simply “Kingsway Hospitalâ€. The nursing staff now worked a 48 hour week and finally got the Staff Consultative Committee, for which they had campaigned for many years. By this time, male staff members were still not allowed to be outside their quarters after 10pm, and male and female staff were forbidden to speak to each other anywhere in the grounds of the building. By the late 1930’s, it was felt that Kingsway was beginning to look old-fashioned and a project of refurbishment and modernisation was undertaken, with the warm, heavy, but more homely old Victorian furniture, bird-cages, rugs, paintings and carpets thrown out in favour of angular modern tat, a practice which reached its nadir in the stark soullessness of 1960’s and 70’s design. In 1948, just as with all former County Asylums, Kingsway was incorporated into the newly-formed N.H.S., under the Sheffield Regional Hospitals Board, administered by the Derby Area No.4 Hospital Management Committee. Despite being essentially built to serve the town of Derby and its surrounds, Kingsway’s catchment area suddenly increased rapidly with these changes, as Long Eaton and more rural parts of south-east Derbyshire also fell under its zone, going from 142,700 registered persons in 1947 to a catchment which now included 243,840. By the early 1950’s, voluntary admissions had become the norm at Kingsway, with around 70% of new patients signing themselves into the hospital, and only around 30% of cases being committed by a doctor’s signature. The out-patients departments were now seeing hundreds of cases. Treatments used from the 1930’s-70’s at Kingsway included malarial therapy, convulsive therapy (both by cardiazol and electric), insulin therapy, and also the dreaded leucotomy, recorded as having found more success with female patients than male. 1954 saw the introduction of television sets to all wards, said to have been widely celebrated (at the time) by patients and staff alike, as many of the chronic patients would refuse to leave the wards to attend film screenings, plays, concerts, or any of the other activities taking place in the main recreation hall. While it had been traditional since Victorian times to rope staff members into providing “entertainment†for the patients in the form of musical recitals, dances, plays, etc., the patients were generally kept from joining in the actual performances (although joining in the formal dances was encouraged). In 1956 however, the patients at Kingsway formed their own concert party, based around their own social club, all of which was patient-run. A female Occupational Therapy Unit was built in 1955, providing more for those who didn’t want to watch TV – the men already had one, in the converted coal-shed. In 1956, the Minister of Health decreed that all former asylum farms should all be closed or vastly reduced, and this closed off quite a few avenues of useful employment and education for patients, but they were compensated to some degree with the building of a bowling-green and miniature golf course by the end of the 1950’s. Due to the continued expansion, Kingsway’s population peaked in 1959, with a total of 830 resident patients. The impressive water towers and ventilation shafts that graced Kingsway and Pastures were sadly taken down from both these Derby-based asylums during the 1960’s, when they were functionally redundant and the cost of removing them was lower than bothering to periodically maintain them in a safe condition. In the 1960’s, when the appreciation of pre-war architecture was at its nadir, the idea of keeping them in place purely for aesthetic reasons simply didn’t cross anyone’s mind (or at least not those who had the final say), and this sadly means that, along with many other British asylums, they lost some of their key architectural features. The 1970’s saw the introduction of more holistic, patient-directed therapy, as staff uniforms were discarded in favour of more casual attire, and practices were relaxed as the patient population gradually ran down, in keeping with national plans to close all the former County Asylums, which began in the 1960’s and were effectively sealed with the passing of 1983 Mental Health Act and the move toward community-based care. Remarkably, although the wards had been gradually emptying, no concrete plans for Kingsway’s repurposing had been put in place even by as late as 2000, and so it was among the last of the former asylums to close. Mental health services are still provided from new buildings built toward the north of the site, which opened in December 2009 with the last dementia patients transferred there from the original buildings, which signaled their final closure. Despite being placed on a Council list of Derby’s most “important†buildings in 2010, deals were made for the site to become a housing estate which did not see fit to incorporate the historic hospital buildings, and so the entirety of the main Kingsway hospital was hastily demolished by the end of 2011, before any major objections could be raised. It would take until October 2014 for the plans for the site to be approved – it will now be a 700-home housing estate named “Manor Kingswayâ€, with building work scheduled to start in 2015. My visit, again back in 2010 I had the pleasure of visiting this place. Was a bit too clean for my liking but it was nice to see the fridges, had a bit of a chase with secca in here aswell, I remember secca coming in with a dog and all 4 of us ran to the top floor, but on the way we lost a crew member :-/ The 3 of us sat in a room, with the door locked whilst someone was pulling at the door handle, Unsure if it was secca or not, we remaind silent. After a few minutes we left the room and made our way to the exit, Where we saw our friend being escorted off the property. We later found out it was him trying to get in the room and not secca, Whoops sorry mate.Managed to get a quick external before secca spotted me so that was nice. Now on with the pics
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