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St Mary's Hospital, Stannington. December 2019

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Winchester

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Visited with Speeeeedio and Vivo the Urbex Pirate. Aharrrrrrr

We arrived and quickly made our way to the site. I'd heard good things about this site and was looking forwards to it, but it was even better than I thought it would be. No Southern site still has it's Hall, Admin, Chapel, Water Tower, Mortuary accessible and intact, and for that reason, St Mary's provided me with my first complete asylum experience.

The Chapel was positioned in front of the Admin block, in a similar arrangement to Hellingly. It has been cleared of it's pews and most of it's fittings, but remains in a very good condition, thanks in part to the local community's efforts at informing security when a non-local arrives in the vacinity.


The Administration block is very similar to Hellingly, and also Hill End, in Herts.


'Snips' Hair salon was one of the first places we stopped at, ferns growing beneath the counter, a beautiful white telephone still hanging on the walls. Part of the Water Tower fell down shortly before the hospital closed, and because of this, the corridor was blocked up to prevent people walking through it. West Park anybody?




In 1983, a whole 13 years before closure, St Mary's was accused of denying it's patients their Social Security benefits unless they behaved well. This was denied by the hospital, claiming instead that patients participated in a rehabilitative training scheme by which they could gain additional rewards. Even though this claim was refuted, it highlights the misunderstanding of the treatment of patients in long stay residential hospitals, and the opportunity available for dishonest practice.

St Mary's struck me as being very similar to Hellingly, both in condition, design, and the fact that the administration blocks looked almost identical, except for the fire damage/destruction evident at Hellingly. Upon researching St Mary's, it didn't surprise me in the slightest to hear that it was built in 1910, and designed by GT Hine, known for his trademark half tiled corridors and stairs and ornate red brick buildings.


St Mary's differs to other similarly closed asylums in that it still retains a lot of it's fittings. Dividers, chairs, mirrors, doors, windows, are all in good condition and unboarded. Asylums that have lost roof tiles allow water to seep in, missing windows allow vandals, but St Mary's remote location means that only natural wear and tear is prominent - indeed, the rows of houses occupied outside the hospital were used for married staff during the hospital's working life, suggesting a hospital existing only in it's own world.


The Hospital had all the features you would expect of a 90's hospital, complete with chrome signs, coloured lino tiles, yet the Edwardian structures clearly make up a hospital that has served it's use. There's no need for massive wards in the middle of nowhere, a mortuary and a water tower suggest a hospital that had little to do with the local community - stigmatised at first, but always treated with an element of suspicion, these hospital's gradually became an accepted part of the community.

The wards were sublime with the crisp cold morning light coming into them, creating long shadows that crawled up the walls



We ventured to the outside of the hospital, within the courtyards that shielded out the light, creating crunchy frost on the floor.


The Main hall had a very crunchy floor, but it didn't claim any of us, thankfully.


Following this, we ventured back into the wards and corridors

And through to the Laundry, sadly cleared out.






This room appeared to be some sort of Staff Cafeteria, the room adjacant to it had giant Billiard Table lights in it, although there was no sign of any tables.


We then found our way up the tower.




On my way back across, I fell through a water tank, and it hurt! If you're planning on going up there, be very careful!

We made our way out, satisfied that we'd seen a lot of the hospital. We also saw the morgue, but the photos from that are to come.
 

mr_bones

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This is one of the best St. Mary's reports i've seen - well written, and covered a lot of ground. Photos are varied atmospheric - largely helped by the combination of sunlight and frost.
 

Goldie87

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Good stuff. As mr bones says, looks like you covered a lot of ground. Good to see you have mastered time travel too :p
 

**Mudlark**

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A lovely report, for a lovely place.
You have really done it some justice there! :mrgreen:
Been here a few times and always loved it, nice to see you got up the water-tower too, from what i hear its a very grim climb!!!
Looking forwad to the rest of the pics!
 

the|td4

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Lovely stuff ! Superb pictures !

I havn't been for ages now after I heard about a lot of lead theft going on which had heightened security.

The water tank you're reffering to, was that the one at the top of the tower? If so, I always knew it would claim some sort of terrible revenge! I absolutely hated walking over that sucker. I absolutely hated those damn utility tunnels underneath that place. I absoltely hated the flooded boiler room. My god it haunts me still!

Great stuff guys!

(( greetings vivo ! ))
 

infromthestorm

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For all the 'stigma' associated with asylums you cant take away the beauty & majesty in the buildings even in this state,really enjoyed your pics & descriptions, looking forward to the rest of your visit.
 

scammell23

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Nice pictures you have there. I hit the place with my friend on the 27th. Every where I looked there was a good photograph to be had! The light was lovely too.
I'm hoping to go back very soon to see the morgue. :mrgreen:
 
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