It’s been a long time since I explored a hospital and I decided it was about time I did something about that. This was another place I’d known about for a while, and I’d been planning to check it out last year during a family trip to the area. That trip was cancelled due to covid, but I kept on seeing interesting photos from this hospital appearing online, and eventually I couldn’t resist taking a day trip up there.
I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to get in there or if it would turn out to be a wasted journey. I’d heard conflicting things; some people had had trouble with security there, but that was several years ago and more recent visitors seemed to have managed to get in without incident, so it was worth a try. As I approached, I could see some of the forbidding looking empty buildings rising up on the hill ahead of me. Excitedly, I found a place to park my car where it wouldn’t arouse suspicion, picked up my camera bag and headed off to look for a way in. Fortunately I found a convenient hole in the perimeter fence in a fairly secluded location, and soon I was inside the grounds.
This large site reminded me a lot of Bangour, though a good bit smaller, and (on account of being fenced off and closed to the public) more eerily deserted. It originally opened in the mid 19th century as a home for imbecile children, later being replaced by new buildings in the early 1900s, and becoming part of the National Health Service when it was established in 1948. In one corner of the site, some buildings remain in use as a healthcare facility to this day, so I stayed well away from that part.
The impressive main building has now unfortunately been partially demolished, and the sections that remain are very run down. I got inside the largest one but wasn’t able to explore very far due to the dangerous condition of the structure, though I was able to take some photos and soak up the sad and eerie atmosphere of the place before heading back out again.
Numerous other buildings remain, spread out around the generously proportioned (and now very overgrown) grounds, and mostly in better condition than the main block. I explored some of them, though others appeared to be sealed up pretty well, possibly indicating that security had visited relatively recently. Not wanting any trouble, I steered clear of anything that was too visible from the present day hospital, or from nearby houses.
The buildings themselves mostly looked more impressive than the ones at my old favourite East Fortune Hospital, but inside I found them not so interesting, being generally in worse condition and without so many items left behind. Still, this was certainly worth a visit, and I’m tempted to come back again in future and see if I can tick off some of the buildings that eluded me on my first visit.