Cane Hill WHOPPPPA, VERY picture heavy
My own personal discovery of Cane Hill asylum in Surrey begun one evening in March 2003. A small group of friends and i walked round the massive perimeter fence in awe at what we could see on the other side. Not knowing anything about the building, access, or even the possibility of security we were enticed under the fence and in through a wide open window, in actual fact there wasn't even a frame! The first thing we noticed was how 'springy' it felt underfoot, un-deterred we carried on out of the ward we had entered through and into the seemingly never ending corridor network. It was damp, there was glass on the floor, creepers and ivy weaving in through the windows and doors - even under the plasterwork. What was this place all about......and why was it just sat rotting away in deadly silence. In the next week or two we had returned to see more. This time it was bright sunshine and i was armed with my brand new digital camera - 'look at this lads it's got 1.3million pixels!!!'
16th March 2003: First daytime trip.
Not only had we got a real feel for the sheer scale, layout, condition and decaying grandeur of the place but also we had an eventful day bumping into other explorers and soaking in the sunshine. I still wasn't hooked but we all posessed the desire to come back and see more. We had also seen the swimming pool but unfortunately my camera batteries hadn't lasted. It was still in tact and full of very mouldy water.
2nd Visit: Approximately a week later
On this trip we had progressed through Faraday ward, across to 'Guy'. This was our first experience of a totally ruined floor. We were gradually getting a feel for what we could stand on, and what was unsafe. We had also seen the Mortuary, which at this time was almost immaculate. You can't always be serious when exploring!
Eventually we made our way towards the Male wards of the hospital with significance placed on Vincent/Vanbrugh - a full sized ward block that was 1 of the first to close, as a result it was very spongey underfoot and we were a bit unsure. As a friend pointed out (looking through a gaping hole) 'it's only a foot to the mud underneath'. We carried on and headed to the top floor where i spotted a mysterious octagonal tower with no feasible way to get to it. I made a mental note and moved on - we saw the admin block for the first time and it seemed like it was a million miles away from the hospital. Pristine wood panelling and immaculate interiors.
3rd Visit: April 2003
On this trip we had encountered our first cautious moments, suspecting that security was present on-site. Although cautious i split from the group as they left. I stayed and photographed some exteriors. After i had finished my rounds i noticed two people walking slowly round the perimeter - they had cameras and they were about my age so i said hello. The very trusting girl then asked me if i could show her the mortuary! Why the heck not!!!! After saying goodbye to the two i had met on the perimeter i met back up with the rest of my group and we went back in. We had a nosey down a tunnel entrance we had spotted in a courtyard adjacent with the laundry. To our surprise it had led us to a huge underground room with 4 or 5 sectioned off rooms, some of them had chutes leading to ground level.
Some time later and via an urbex website i had got in contact with the two people we had met previously and arranged a trip back!
Too Much Reasoning Kills Inspiration, Stone Dead
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