St. Johns Hospital, Essex feb'11-dec'12

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prettyvacant71

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Hello there peoples:)

If you fancy coming on a little walk around St. Johns hospital then have a flick through these pic's that I’ve taken over the last 2 years...there are rather a lot of them, as there are many different parts to see, so if the mods want to cut the report down to a more manageable size feel free to do so (just hope we don’t bump into each other where no one can hear you scream:mrgreen:
).
I know this place has been covered many times before, but I can’t help feeling that it has been underrated and deserves more exploring.

I first visited the place a couple of months after it closed in 2010, I mainly got external shots for the first year as sec were always floating about and I was always being caught. It’s not that I have any inside info, I’m not that lucky, it’s due to its location being on my doorstep I have been fortunate to have had many explores, sometimes successful and other times not, but through persistence, bordering obsession some may say??? I have managed to work my way through most parts of the hospital....the mortuary is yet to be infiltrated...I haven’t given up yet and there’s still time so who knows!

Sadly over the last year the hospital has quickly gone downhill with thieves wrecking the place and taking any available metal. I really don’t know what the future holds for the place will be, as local papers once said some of the buildings will be saved and converted into flats, but now I fear demolition could be on the cards if some of the buildings have deteriorated, well the developers would like people to believe so as it makes life much easier for them, which I disagree with of course, most of the buildings can be saved if the will is there as they are structurally sound.

I really hope that the current property developer has an interest in preserving the local history and doesn’t go down the typical easy route of maximising greed and profit and churning out more tasteless miserable flats that add nothing to the local environment. The St.Johns Hospital site would make a fantastic little housing estate, ok the single story main hospital buildings wouldn’t be suitable for redevelopment but the 3 and 4 story red brick buildings would certainly be ideal.

A tiny bit of history....

The St.Johns Hospital begun life during the 1920's as the Infirmary of the Chelmsford Union Workhouse. It finally closed in late 2010 with the patients being transfered to the nearby Broomfield Hospital.


So on with a few external shots taken in early 2011...

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The large block with white pillars to the right behind the silver chimney is one of the maternity units, the smaller mansion to the left was one of the nurse’s homes. The main single storey hospital can’t be seen from this view, it’s behind the maternity unit. The smaller buildings in the foreground are workshops, the boiler house being the largest.


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It was difficult to work out what these buildings were used for as they are relatively empty inside, they are connected to the chapel and the older nurse’s quarters by a narrow pitched roofed corridor.


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When I first started to visit the hospital about 2 years ago I was intrigued by the overhead pipe work that snaked around the entire site, it gave the place an industrial feel as no attempts were made to conceal them, which I liked:). As usual metal thieves have been slowly dismantling parts and virtually all of the visible pipe work surrounding the buildings has now gone.

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These 2 silo’s have since disappeared but the chimney still remains...it would probably be much harder to sneak that out without causing some attention.


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The boiler room


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The Maternity Block before the metal shutters were put up...I always seemed to bump into sec cycling about at this spot:lol:. The hospital had only been closed a few months and the interiors were in perfect condition, no trashed walls or metal stolen when I took these in feb 2011...I hadn’t managed to get in yet but you could see through the windows it was how they had left it, some folks had got in as pics were about but I had to wait nearly a year before I could.



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One of the great things about having a local explore is being able to visit it at different times of the day and year. It really makes a huge difference to the atmosphere of a place when the evening sun warms the lovely red brickwork. The lead spire on the roof of the chapel looks a little messy since this shot was taken as the thieves have had a go at it...I did read in the local paper that some folks were actually arrested for the theft, which makes a first! These late Victorian buildings may not be the most beautiful or elaborate in design but they display the classic well built industrialised style suited for their purpose, and I have grown very fond of them over the years and will surely miss them if yet another boring bland block of flats is thoughtlessly spewed up in their place.


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Remnants of the pipe work which was raised about 15 ft on stilts.



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Left is the small mortuary which I haven’t been able to see inside yet, maybe I never will, but it would be nice too as I’ve been soooo patient and we all know that feeling of wanting to know what could be hiding inside! Saying that, I tried to get inside the small mansion for over a year, eventually stumbling across a long ladder in one of the corridors which I stashed in the undergrowth for another day as it was getting dark. When I eventually got into the mansion it wasn’t worth the wait as it was like new inside, no decay or atmosphere...but worst I kicked over me tripod when my phone rang which gave me a fright and broke my 50mm which I’d only used once before, it could have been worse, I tell myself to make me feel a bit better;)

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There are 2 lovely rows of mature horse chestnut trees, about 8 in total, it will be such a shame if these go.


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The rear of the chapel which is on the first floor.


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The old nurse’s home. PIR belted out a spooky recording like some freaky zombie warning you that sec were on their way, it caught me out quite a few times....so after been turfed out I’d often go and pay the old Marconi factory a visit, the same security firm patrol both sites so it often got embarrassing as id meet the same guys twice in one day, they didn’t speak particularly good English but it was a hell of a lot better than my Polish. I had to speak to their boss on their phone the first time they caught me as the poor guy couldn’t find the words to say what I was doing inside, I managed to talk him out of calling the old bill, so from then on it was usually just grim looks and the shaking of heads from sec and id slump off feeling a twat again:p


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The single storey white wards that came off the main central corridor of the main hospital.


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The rear of the main hospital


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The wards at the rear of the hospital which backs onto a golf course, there’s a little clue:)


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Back of the nursery


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Rears of the maternity block, the green shaded out windows are the delivery rooms/theatres


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The main entrance


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This building would make a great conversion rather than being flattened


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The Sewing Rooms


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Silver chimney near the boiler room


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One of the smaller boiler rooms


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A little look around some of the wards...


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Mental Health ward


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Children’s ward


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Children painted the ceiling tiles


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Staff messages...I always find these kind of personal touches rather sad to read as the place obviously played an important part for so many people.


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Maternity Unit


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Office off the small corridor in Ante Natal Ward


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I hope these poor guys pull through;)


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These ones didn’t make it...looks like suicide


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Back into the main hospital and Operating Theatres


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The old nurse’s home


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Along the narrow corridor...


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And up the stairs into the chapel....


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Which is just one big pigeon loft:sick:


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The back of the chapel


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More nurses rooms


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I will just show you inside the mansion so that you don’t waste your time if you visit!;)


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I waited so long to see in here...a bit of a come down really, nowt about:(

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And finally....the Sewing Rooms


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I love the way the green ivy has grown across the green room and last year’s leaves have turned brown and dropped, looks like one of them Goldsworthy’s natural installations...don’t u fink? :)


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So thanks for takin the time to have a look!!!:mrgreen:


Well I hope you have enjoyed your little tour around St. Johns and maybe this has tempted some of you to have a mooch about before it’s too late. Part of it was supposed to be demolished in the summer of 2012 but she’s still hanging on, if i eventually manage to get into the mortuary and if there’s anything interesting I’II update ya, in just a few pics next time;)

Safe sploorin folks, byeee for now:)
 

Mars Lander

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Wow thats just great I thoroughly enjoyed my virtual walk around there , theres quite a lot to see there it seems, really fab images and some pretty bizzarre but ace head gear :D
 

UEP-Wales

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Best report I have seen of this place! So much detail, it made me feel like I was walking around with you!

Cheers for sharing it with us :)
 

MrDan

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Really great to have a virtual walk round as this seems like a big place with lots to see.
Ay idea what those birds were?
Strange feeling when reading the staff messages, you've captured the place so well.
 

prettyvacant71

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Really great to have a virtual walk round as this seems like a big place with lots to see.
Ay idea what those birds were?
Strange feeling when reading the staff messages, you've captured the place so well.

they would be the lesser-toed urban flying rat, its country cousin the wood pigeon is much tastier:)....i use to have some homing pigeons when i was younger but the types you find in derelict places are a different breed, they really are rotten and make you gag and thats when they are still alive!Its a nitemare going in a place full of them cause they just have no idea where they are flying and you will get shat on, well i do:mrgreen:
 

constantined

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Left is the small mortuary which I haven’t been able to see inside yet...
;)

Which you have had a look in and had that awful suprise when it was just one vacant bland room.

But today your patience I hope paid off for you. I am so pleased I could help to complete the report in a tiny way. Hope to see the pictures soon!

Good to have you around again and giving me that lesson in how to actually use my camera properly!

Going to be practising tomorrow at home! But going to need more lessons in the future!

Look forward to one of our final visits soon - Not long left for that place now unfortunately. :( Lets hope they do a good thing with what they have to preserve!

C
 
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