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UK Shelton Mental Hospital, Shropshire - April 2014

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The History

Shelton Hospital was custom built and opened in 1845 at Bicton Heath, Shrewsbury. The building was designed by George Gilbert Scott (the great grandfather of the architect who designed Battersea Power Station and the Red Phone Boxes, Giles Gilbert Scott) and William B Moffat. The Asylum was designed in the Corridor Layout that was prolific at the time, being symmetrical so that males and females could easily be segregated. The total cost of the original building came to £17,000. The hospital opened on the 18th of March, 1845, with a capacity of 60 patients. By the opening, the patients requiring treatment had increased to 104. At its peak in 1947, the hospital had 1027 patients.

In 1968, a fire ripped through a ward killing 21 of the hospital's most severely mentally ill female patients. Most of the women were asleep and some were unable to move from their beds without assistance. The fire is thought to have been started by a discarded cigarette and it was found that none of the nurses were trained in fire evacuation procedures. A short BBC video from 1968 including interviews with a nurse and the hospital manager after the fire can be seen here: BBC News Player - 1968: Hospital blaze kills 21

Over the years the hospital had its own cricket and football sides, a band, a farm supplying food to the hospital, jobs for patients and even a brewery. In Victorian times these places were designed to be self-contained, it was an institution so people who were admitted there often ended up living there their whole lives. Often the staff also would stay there for years and their children would eventually become staff there so you would have generations of people who had worked at the same place. Some of the treatments carried out there 100 years ago would now be seen as appalling and primitive, but knowledge and understanding of mental health was not what it is today and the public’s attitudes took time to change. The grade II listed building, which has been much adapted over the more than 150 years since it opened, closed as a hospital in September 2012. Its role has now been taken over by a new mental health village nearby called The Redwoods Centre, home to around 200 patients. Shelton has now been bought by Shropshire Homes and is being turned into luxury flats, work starts in September 2014.

The Explore

I already posted a report on this place a couple of months ago and called it Asylum X, here I have included more in-depth history, some different shots and some externals. Why? Because why the F*** not

I believe this is the last of the Victorian asylums to close their doors, I visited with a non-member friend, with both of us having grown up in Shrewsbury we were desperate to see inside the place. The site is quite large with an impressive exterior and multiple buildings including a chapel and a farm. Practically all of the contents have been removed and everything now looks quite modern but the fact it is still in pretty much pristine condition makes it worth a visit. We explored the main building in it's entirety and just one other building which used to be a secure unit with admin offices upstairs. Access was a tricky one to figure out as the place is surrounded by an unbelievable amount of motion sensors. After a couple of failed attempts (including being caught on Christmas Day morning) and much brainstorming we figured out a way in past the sensors and spent four hours nervously creeping around knowing full well that security were inside the building with us. It's fair to say that this site was a bit personal as we both knew people who spent time in there, in fact I knew a guy who ended his life in there by hanging himself in the secure unit. That was a long time ago but it still creeps me out and it added a sinister edge to seeing the place.

The Pics

I accidentally had my camera set to the lowest possible image size so the pictures aren't of the best quality unfortunately. I was hoping to make it back there to reshoot the place but haven't got round to it yet, I might return now that I have a wide angle lens. Hope you enjoy....

1. The front of the main building

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2. A mosaic on the floor in the staff quarters

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3. The lobby of the secure unit

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4. Corridor in the secure unit with just empty rooms

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5. The tops of the toilet doors were slanted to stop people from attaching something to hang themselves with

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6. Warped mirror....seeing your reflection in this probably wouldn't help your state of mind one little bit

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7.

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8. We then ventured into the basement and found this sign on a door....

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9. Filing units where records were stored....

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10. The original Victorian brickwork foundations

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11. The staff bike sheds still look brand new....

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12. Once inside the main building we immediately found ourselves in the impressive great hall which was used as a canteen, I really needed a wide angle lens to capture this properly

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13.

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14. This corridor led from the hall to the kitchen

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15. Kitchen

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16. The rest of the main building consisted mainly of corridors with private bedrooms

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17.

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18. Windows with blinds, curtains and blinds being practically the only thing left behind

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19. More corridors, bedrooms and other bits....

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20.

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21. Birthday card from a relative to a patient

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22. One of many intact bathrooms

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23. Patient accomodation kitchen

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24. Colourful ward

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25. Another corridor with rows of doors

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26. Inside the attic with an especially creepy looking gate for an entrance

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27. And finally, a few exterior shots showing some of the outer buildings

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28.

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29.

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30. The chapel built in 1858

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Thanks for looking, I hope you enjoyed seeing inside Shelton!

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Looks nice and clean, bit too clean for my liking :)

Goodmayes might be the last one to close fully though, anyone know if it has yet or not? I know it was closing in stages from a couple of years ago.

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Fancied this for a good while but it's a bit empty and need a couple of years to "mature" which I doubt it will get, nice pics though.

Thanks :thumb Yeah it seems unlikely it will sit there for long if the proposed plans go ahead, but then that doesn't always go as planned so we shall wait and see

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