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Thread: Graylingwell Hospital: The bare bones, Dec. 2012.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    March 2011
    Bristol, Mid-Wales & Sussex

    Default Graylingwell Hospital: The bare bones, Dec. 2012.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Archivist
    The West Sussex County Asylum was built 1894-7 to the design of Sir Arthur Blomfield. It housed psychiatric patients of all sorts, some as young as 12 or 13, with additional provision for the containment of infectious diseases. Chronic, acute and outpatient care services were based there until 2003 when the main buildings were closed. Parts of the site are still open as EMI wards and outpatient clinics but the majority is empty. It is well secured and as of 2010, demolition work has been talking place in the main complex.
    For three years I tried to find a way into Graylingwell but always ended up:
    1. being caught by the (none-too friendly/legally aware) security guards who called the police on me twice and threatened to use 'DNA evidence' against me.
    2. Being thwarted by boarded windows and fences, or...
    3. Getting in, only to find a locked door on the other side of the room.

    Then I went away for a couple of years and mostly forgot about the place until I happened to be in the area and decided to have a look. What I found was quite literally a shell of what used to be - no main hall, no corridors and all of the wards stripped of their most interesting features. I'm mostly posting this report to show the present state of the hospital and save anyone wondering a trip.

    Wards stripped in preparation for conversion

    Staff block

    Workers seem to be converting the wards from west to east, with the westernmost wards completely stripped out and missing windows.

    Here the builders had already began bricking up doorways and filling the basements with concrete. In one of the blocks I found a makeshift tea-room full of boots and hi-vis but banging noises upstairs prevented me from investigating further.

    The walls were graffitoed with builders' instructions, arrows and notes for asbestos removal giving the place the air of some sort of carcinogenic scavenger hunt.

    The next ward was more intact but completely empty, much like the rest of the hospital.

    All outshots and corridors had been removed, leaving many pitfalls for the unwary.

    Ceilings had been removed in many places exposing the Victorian beams. Here the original labourer's marks can be seen above a bathroom on the landing.

    I was about to leave by this door when I spotted security outside doing a circuit of the building. A lot of ducking behind walls and tip-toeing up stairs followed and remarkably I wasn't seen.....

    Most of the wards looked much the same; bleak and depressing without their fittings and fixtures.

    A day room

    What was once a corridor

    I was quite excited to see an open entrance to the tunnels, but soon found that this section only went as far as either end of the ward block.

    Looking over the wasteland which was once the centre of the hospital. The tower was accessible in theory, but right next to the security hut.

    Graylingwell Farmhouse, which was once home to Anna Sewell (Authoress of Black Beauty).

    The isolation hospital was looking very unstable and a close inspection revealed that the floors were rotten through. I didn't venture far inside.

    Some sort of wash room.

    One of three large villas added in the 1930s (the second still houses patients and the third has been lost to road development)

    This building had long axial corridors lined with bedrooms.

    The only personal items I found on my visit were a few cigarette packets from the 1990s, a crushed biscuit tin and some pages from a book, most of which I found under the floorboards.

    No trace of the beauty room unfortunately, just a load of Doctor Who-style plastic sheeting across the corridor.

    A conservatory

    The admin block has been converted and now has people living in it. The tower is unoccupied.

    County Arms above the former main entrance.

    Thanks for reading,


  2. Thanks given by: 12quidkidinnit, abel101, Bones out, flyboys90, LairdOfLochaber, Scaramanger, SeffyboyUK, Sshhhh..., UE-OMJ, UrbanX, UrbexMami
  4. #2
    Join Date
    February 2011
    Lancashire - not far from Preston.


    Ha... it was always a tough nut to crack. I'm surprised they've not finished the conversion by now though, they're slacking or running out of cash.
    Veni, Vidi suum custos canis admorsus meus culus...

  5. #3
    Join Date
    April 2007


    Wow you know how to take a photo, still looks lovely in your pics! Some quality finds and a lively commentary. I'm glad you finally got to see it. That water tower tho...that needs climbing! :)
    "We're not giving you a quote for your stupid forum signature"
    - Essex Police

  6. Thanks given by: The Archivist
  7. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    The Centre of England or near enough


    Great photos there,thanks for sharing.

  8. #5
    Join Date
    March 2012


    Lovely job here mate :)

    Quote Originally Posted by UrbanX View Post
    That water tower tho...that needs climbing! :)
    My thoughts EXACTLY. Outside or inside, I want up this tower...
    Wurzel UE -
    'busting Bristol wide open since 2010'

  9. #6
    Join Date
    March 2011
    Bristol, Mid-Wales & Sussex


    I'd suggest you get onto it quick, I get the feeling it won't be accessible for long.
    I managed to put myself on crutches yesterday (non-UE-related) so I'll not be going back any time soon.

    Thanks for the replies all.

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