St Joseph’s Orphanage – Preston – February 2018

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mockney reject

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The History

St Joseph’s Orphanage was opened in 1872 on the site of an ancient alms house, and St Joseph’s Hospital for the Sick Poor followed five years later.

They were built by wealthy widow Maria Holland, who gave £10,000 at a time when Preston had one of the worst mortality rates in the country, due to poor housing and low-paid mill workers. St Joseph’s Orphanage cared for 971 children before it closed in 1954.

Ran by the Sisters of Charity of Our Lady Mother of Mercy, the orphanage was the first welfare provider for Roman Catholic girls in Preston, taking in up to 60 youngsters at a time in two dormitories.
After its closure, the top floor of the orphanage continued to serve as accommodation for the nuns who worked in St Joseph’s Hospital, known locally as Mount Street Hospital.

The hospital held collections to help pay for health care for poor patients.
During the First and Second World Wars, they tended injured soldiers and, over the years, tens of thousands of babies were born at the hospital’s maternity unit.

Legendary performer George Formby died at the hospital following a heart attack on March 6, 1961.

The hospital closed when the last sisters left nursing in 1982.

It later became a care home, which closed down more than 10 years ago.

The Explore

Always seen this one pop up and never really considered doing it until something was drawn to my attention whilst at a party one weekend, but more about that later.

St Joe’s Orphanage, one of the big places when I first took a proper interest in exploring.

Over the years, it’s been referred to as an orphanage, a hospital, a care home and more recently as an insane asylum by “Exploring with Jake” however we won’t beat him up to badly over that as @paradox has already done that on his own page lol

I visited this with slayaaaa & discokitten.

Now back to what I was on about earlier……

So a load of us are at a birthday party and a picture gets posted on Instagram….

The group of people assembled showed a particular interest in this picture and tongues instantly began to wag and google got battered.

What was this picture you may ask?

Well it was a picture of this….


Not one any of us recognised….

Reverse image search failed us too

This was interesting

The caption that came with the picture was something along the lines of much missed UK morgue
What the actual fuck?

None of us had seen it before…

So the mission began

I did the obvious and asked around, only to be told the location was being kept a secret until “friends” had
seen it.

Good ole urbex keep a location secret time……

This didn’t deter us we kept hunting.

In fact it got that bad that Myself, @slayaaaa and @discokitten spent hours and hours comparing doors and windows on every hospital and asylum we could find, The hits on county asylum must have gone through the roof over the two weeks we were hunting for it. The WhatsApp group “slab hunters” was born lol

None of our lot knew where it was or had seen it, or had any of our mates

Then another picture appeared on here….

Then I headed back to the original picture on Instagram and spotted a comment by a guy called Urbexrobby. This picture was different to the other in that the room was in a mess and not as tidy as we had seen.

We carefully studied pics of the room looking for anything to give it away.

It got that bad that we had a notepad full of notes regarding where it could and couldn’t be.

We thought we had it when we noticed a similar window at Talgarth.

Goggle maps and earth got a bashing too, we thought we found it and off went Disco in the direction of mid wales only to find it wasn’t there.


While Disco was on the way to Talgarth another lead popped up.

Exploring with Jake, yup him of you tube fame had posted some pics online. This was his famous St Joseph’s asylum hospital post that Paradox had pulled him on. So we spoke to Paradox who knew Joes really well and she was sure the slab wasn’t there…..

Jake had also posted a YouTube video of St Joes, only problem was the video jumped just after the clip of the slab making us think the video was cleverly edited to put people off of the trail.
So the four of us found ourselves heading to Preston late one Saturday night and booking into a cheap hotel before heading off to St Joe's for a reccy.

In the meantime I had taken it upon myself to message Exploring with Jake and ask him out right where it was. Now for all the flack he’s had I can honestly say he came over as a decent guy and confirmed the location.
Headache over for us guys, or so we thought.

We headed into Preston for some grub and then off we went. When I say grub we headed towards the local spoons only to find it was pretty much a nightclub and not the relaxed converted bank we had hoped for. Ok off to somewhere else….

We arrived at St Joe’s fairly late on the Saturday night and started our hunt.

All of our assumptions were wrong, we couldn’t find what we were looking for. Then things went a bit Pete Tong when a group of twelve “explorers” turned up with the brightest torches and loudest voices you’ve ever heard and seen. Oh and a hammer and drill lol

We guessed that they had seen the pics of the slab and where looking for it too, we didn’t mention it and left them to it. After having a quick chat with the other group of “explorers” they never mentioned the slab it and were more interested in putting the spooks up each other in the derelict asylum (cringe) well they had just come from Denbigh…

Eventually they “made” a way in and myself and Slayaaaa abused this and headed to the location of the slab just to confirm it was actually there.

Yup it was there, wooo hooo.

So we headed back to the hotel for a much needed sleep

The next morning we got up and had a relaxed spoons brekkie before heading off to take pics of the slab and the rest of the site.

It’s a shame it’s been so badly trashed as it looks like it was something pretty special back in its heyday. But these things happen ….

Enjoy the pics
























Guard Dog Bait
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May 2, 2015
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Really like the decay in here! I can't believe it's taken someone so long to find the morgue slabs. Great shots as always Mockney Reject :)