Originally opened in 1833 as Connaght District Lunatic Asylum, later changing its name. I found a very interesting write up on the below link, which is where I copied this -
It was intended for the care of ‘curable lunatics’ and opened in a spirit of optimism with regard to its progressive role in public health. Its history, however, is one of continual struggle: to prevent the admission of unsuitable cases, to secure additional funding and to offer reasonable standards of care under difficult conditions. In common with the majority of other District Asylums, the CDLA was continually overcrowded, housing in November 1900, for example, 1,165 patients in accommodation designed to hold 840.
Exactly a year ago I went over to Ireland with pretty much just 2 locations I was desperately keen to visit. After failing to find any access at the first (another asylum) I drove west. It was a lovely bright, autumnal day and eventually I found myself inside. All was fine for 10-15 minutes until I turned round to find myself face-to-face with a gentleman who I guess was a caretaker of sorts. I hadn't heard him make any noise to alert me he was there and so I was in a mild state of shock! He told me that there had been some recent vandalism but after a few minutes of chatting I managed to persuade him not to evict me or alert the authorities. For that I was incredibly grateful.
Here is my collection (a bit corridor-heavy)
After a work conference, I decided a trip to the rather nice Belfast Mortuary was in order to help cure the immense hangover I had from drinking many pints and many whiskies the night before.
Closed for a while, and slowly disintegrating from the local delinquents attention.
Clear and Concise
DSC06568 by Dale Hamilton, on Flickr
DSC06599 by Dale Hamilton, on Flickr
Fridge Close Up
DSC06602 by Dale Hamilton, on Flickr
DSC06606 by Dale Hamilton, on Flickr
DSC06566 by Dale Hamilton, on Flickr
DSC06584 by Dale Hamilton, on Flickr
DSC06586 by Dale Hamilton, on Flickr#
The other slab
DSC06572 by Dale Hamilton, on Flickr
DSC06578 by Dale Hamilton, on Flickr
Solo jaunt, part 3/3 of TBM's swansong. This could well be the last explore I do for a long time, lest I get up to anything in Taiwan. Apart from a fail at St Ita's asylum in Portrane the day after, I suppose one could say this is my last explore for a while.
History taken from Irish UE: The Pigeon House power station is one of the iconic landmarks of Dublin. It was built on the turn of the 20th century and began operation in 1903. The coal fired power station continued to run for the next 73 years and was finally decommissioned in 1976. The power station which replaced it is now sprawled out on a vast site next to it. The old coal fired power station was built on land next to the old Pigeon House (the large grey building in the bottom right of the below satellite photo) which is how the area got it’s name. Alongside the power station there are also some small remains of the old Pigeon House Barracks which were used to defend the port in times past.
The explore: This is going to be hard, I just know it is. How could it not be? It might be a Sunday, but this is in a busy dockyard next to a very live power station in the capital of Ireland. I might be alone, but I'm not bowing down from a challenge. I should have started earlier, but going out drinking and having a blast the night before put paid to any early wake up calls. So I make my way down here, and I know the way in... or so I think I do. It's a beaten walkway up to this palisade fence, so I get myself ready and vaunt myself over the fence. I thrash myself through the thick bushes, and I'm greeted with a view over the iconic power station.
Bollocks. There's no way of getting round to the other side unless I go into the compound, which is covered with CCTV. There's a guard at the gate, so I can't walk in. I end up faffing around, and doing the long walk round the back of Poolbeg, the active part. I might be able to walk up the beach... nope. It's fenced off, and covered with CCTV all the way along. I have no choice; this could be a fail...Or not.
Oh no... I can't do that. I'll get busted within seconds. Cautious and ever aware of the guard in the gatehouse next to me, I step beyond the gates. Will he stop me? Will he come out and get irate with me? He does nothing. Gingerly I keep going forward, seeing nobody but ever aware of the CCTV that watches the car park and hotel building. Past the cameras, I hear nobody so I just keep going. I walk in like I own the place! I'm in within a minute.
An aerial view, not my photo
Inside, I suppose in owing to the relatively built up and active area it finds itself in, damage is at an absolute minimum for a building that has been closed since 1976. Hard to believe isn't it?
I start off looking through the nooks and crannies of the building before taking photos of the main turbine hall.
It's all pretty stripped and very decayed, but nothing short of stunning. Some really interesting pieces of architecture can be found.
But nothing thus far compares to this. Ladies and gentlemen, take a look at this!
I suppose if Battersea Power Station was a complete derp, it would be Pigeon House wouldn't it? Ha ha ha ha!
Taking photos in here was a real challenge, being dark and trying to avoid damn camera shake! But I pulled it off.
Being closed for so long, it's inevitable that the building has since been stripped of its turbines. Oh how I would've loved to have seen it back then...
Love as always,
Solo jaunt. Part 1/3 of TBM's (temporary) swansong.
So I'd never been to the ROI or Northern Ireland before this. As I write this, tomorrow I will be gone to Taiwan to take a sabbatical from England and exploring for a while, teaching English and learning Mandarin. The past few weeks had been dull and uneventful, so on impulse I decided to go for a short jaunt to Ireland to do some exploring, and what a terrific move that was. I always wanted to go, but I never made any plans to follow through. It was Camera Shy's recent reports that really got my attention and got me thinking about getting out to the Emerald Isle. The first of three successful explores, I give you Our Lady's asylum. I had no idea what to expect, which is pretty much the TBM way nowadays. I was in a land I had never set foot upon, all alone, out to do what I do best. I was pretty nervous, considering unlike in the UK trespassing can easily slip from civil into criminal territory simply by getting someone nervous in the process. But I carried on.
After a long, long train ride from Dublin and long walk in the rain, I see a grey tower: it's the asylum. I see cars parked inside, and dog walkers, but no fence. Security? Not thus far. However, there was something that got me on edge as I looked at the imposing administration from the front; the building was vandalised, but lights in the upper rooms were still on. An alarm box is visible from the front. Squatters? Alarmed? I didn't know.
It took less than 5 minutes to find a way in, but this is what got me really nervous; if entry is this easy, then to me there is a far greater chance of either running into or being followed by hostile types. I'm alone, so I can't take risks. I immediately take the stairs to the top floor, get myself immersed in my surroundings and get ready to take photos. I can't relax.
In the main staircase I do see some PIRs on each floor, but despite there being electricity in this area none were responsive. A relief.
The building is stripped of almost anything that would indicate its former use, but is interesting because what it shows is the kind of conditions that patients were living in; very few (well, it's possible) seclusion cells/private rooms, instead cramped dormitories. The partitions have been removed in this room, so is not the best example but downstairs was different.
One of very few items remaining. The date of closure is said to be 2002, but who knows if this genuinely was the same as it was in July 1995.
Despite the tagging and typical "haunted building" graffiti in places, the peeling paint and decay was spectacular to see. Some wards felt untouched.
The main hall in the complex, very austere and minimalist.
From here I went on to look through the industrial side of the hospital, hoping for a mortuary but found nothing of interest. I returned to the darkness of the ground floor, in search of what more there was to find. The architecture was no different but there were some interesting murals based on Irish folklore and tradition.
I'd seen everything I needed to see in the hospital, so I swiftly made my way out and round the back in search of anything that had eluded me before. Alas, the rear buildings were reoccupied, and those derelict well in view of those inside. There was little left to see, and nothing that caught my eye, so I made my way off to the chapel which was locked.
The buildings are listed, and presently up for sale. I honestly don't know what the the future holds for the site now, but it won't take much to turn the place into a Talgarth-esque ruin. Time is running out. Stay tuned for part 2.
Love as always,