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St Bartholomew's Mortuary, July 2019

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KPUrban_

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Castle Morgue

The Grade 2 listed structure which is built to the design of a castle houses the mortuary for the former St Bartholomew's Hospital.

The hospital itself dates back to 1078 and has over 900 years of history, after closing in 2016 following another relocation.
Like most mortuary's there is very little history to be found as most people focus more on the hospitals than the morgues individually.

The hospital this morgue is situated along with was opened in 1863 close to the old site with a £4,000 grant from the Richard Watts charity.

In 1923 a Friend's of the Bartholomew's hospital was founded they provided funds to the hospital which allowed for two new operating theatres, a modern pathology laboratory as well as wards.

The hospital was volunteer run until 1948, when the NHS was founded and took over, after initially relying on a £1000 yearly grant from the charity.

Documentation of this mortuary has been hard to find and most seem unaware what the white castle like structure is, therefore i can only assume the small area attached would be the pathological department.

The Explores
On the first visit we had been rushed for time and missed a lot of what i wanted to see and there fore the image quality lacks but thankfully, i gave us an idea on how to get back in.

Later in the month we came back to find the entry had been sealed.

Then in mid July it was said demolition had begun this would be our last chance, so we planned a day of other locations and went for it.

Things started smoothly with a delightful chase from the police followed by a section one search and a moaning at by the armed response unit. We then got our selves on the train and headed off here, hopefully without getting detained again.

We then found ourselves standing, looking at the castle like structure. Unfortunately on all visits I had forgotten to take any externals of the building.

From the photos you will notice that the slab rotates around, I'm unsure why, a feature which makes it rather unique. Albeit, this lead to spinning one person around on it as fast as possible.

The Photos​
The First Visit.

48429484992_39fde1e51e_b.jpg


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The Third visit

48423573792_b7234c7c9a_b.jpgBody Fridge Castle Morgue

48396551886_cd7a28f1bf_b.jpgCastle_Morgue

48407907546_aea8406aca_b.jpgThe_Chapel_Of_Rest

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Anyway, That'll be all.

The full album: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmFBjeyM

KP
,
 

Dirus_Strictus

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The rotating table was a very common feature in the original daylight lit morgues and operating theatres. Your fourth image clearly shows why - no high intensity overhead lighting is evident. The pathologist needed to have the body dissections rotated into the light, coming from the high window, as he carried out the autopsy - there being no such thing as high intensity gas lights when this place was first built. Even when electric lighting first appeared, the high intensity theatre operating light was a long way in the future.
 

KPUrban_

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The rotating table was a very common feature in the original daylight lit morgues and operating theatres. Your fourth image clearly shows why - no high intensity overhead lighting is evident. The pathologist needed to have the body dissections rotated into the light, coming from the high window, as he carried out the autopsy - there being no such thing as high intensity gas lights when this place was first built. Even when electric lighting first appeared, the high intensity theatre operating light was a long way in the future.

Wow nice. I remember reading the same thing about operating theatres using a large window and mirrors, something that's evident in these theatres:
44286255034_23d81f8845_z.jpg
Staffs
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R-Pap

but i didn't know that applied to mortuaries. The more you know, I guess, the better.
 

Silverlight

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Dictus Strictus is quite correct.

I would only add that gas lighting in a mortuary was highly dangerous, not in and of itself, but decomposing bodies can emit some highly flammable gases. In mortuaries where gas lighting was provided around the walls, it was well shielded. Thanks for doing this shoot.
 

KPUrban_

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Dictus Strictus is quite correct.

I would only add that gas lighting in a mortuary was highly dangerous, not in and of itself, but decomposing bodies can emit some highly flammable gases. In mortuaries where gas lighting was provided around the walls, it was well shielded. Thanks for doing this shoot.

Thanks a lot. unfortunately you have now given me an image of mortuaries randomly exploding as they have gas lights, interesting information never the less.
 

Dirus_Strictus

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Having had an occupation that over the years required me to recover bodies/body parts in various forms of decomposition; I think the myth of 'explosive' destruction of bodies during examination, should be put back in the box! One needed a very small, well sealed space full of very well decayed bodies for gas collection to happen. In the morgue situation that never happens/happened.
 

KPUrban_

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Having had an occupation that over the years required me to recover bodies/body parts in various forms of decomposition; I think the myth of 'explosive' destruction of bodies during examination, should be put back in the box! One needed a very small, well sealed space full of very well decayed bodies for gas collection to happen. In the morgue situation that never happens/happened.

Yeah, should leave that to the Mythbusters I think.
 

NoseyGit

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I wonder where the 'juices' go once they've drained down the plug'ole in the middle of the slab?
 

Scattergun

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'Things started smoothly with a delightful chase from the police followed by a section one search and a moaning at by the armed response unit.'

Seems a bit extreme for a derelict mortuary, what was all that about?
 

KPUrban_

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'Things started smoothly with a delightful chase from the police followed by a section one search and a moaning at by the armed response unit.'

Seems a bit extreme for a derelict mortuary, what was all that about?

Tried a recently closed medical building, secca saw us on the cameras and called the police.
We left, unaware of the police coming, and walked out front of the building. We then saw a man in a black vest, thinking it was security we ran because we are childish. When running up a road a cop car pulled up and two guys jumped out detaining us for a section one search. About a minute later a black X5 pulled up and the police officer mentioned along the line of "Ah that's the armed response unit which initially chased you". The guy jumped out and we were giggling at surprise we had ran from an armed response unit mistaken for security that had been called on us, safe to say they weren't happy. We were also told they called a dog van which was round the back of the building.
All in all, entertaining.
 

BikinGlynn

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Was here last week, the fridges have gone & the slab was stood up against the wall ready for removal... would love to be a fly on the wall when they came in Mon to find it back on lo
 

KPUrban_

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Was here last week, the fridges have gone & the slab was stood up against the wall ready for removal... would love to be a fly on the wall when they came in Mon to find it back on lo

I think if i remember correctly from a convo i had with a mate he know the two who have bought the slab for about £800 to be preserved and the guy who bought the cabinet for about £300 to be used in his shop.
Makes me wonder if i can get my hands on a hospilite satellite lamp from the NSRI.
 

BikinGlynn

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I think if i remember correctly from a convo i had with a mate he know the two who have bought the slab for about £800 to be preserved and the guy who bought the cabinet for about £300 to be used in his shop.
Makes me wonder if i can get my hands on a hospilite satellite lamp from the NSRI.

Lucky we didnt drop it then... oh its fkin heavy in case u were wondering!
There are lots of operating lamps on ebay, I was thinking about one for the kitchen!
 
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