The Epilepsy Society (Debnham House), Chalfont st Peter, Buckinghamshire - June 2023

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Veteran Member
Feb 19, 2009
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Another one local to me! A lot of stuff seems to be coming out of the woodwork at the moment around Bucks, London and Oxford and beyond; which is unheard of for The South East/ Home Counties. I actually worked about a mile (maybe less) from this one for about six years; but didn't realise it was there. It is part of a live hospital site, and I simply didn't often venture in this area of town.

Thanks to @mookster for the location, info and tips on access. I visited here solo in Mid June on a nice warm day. It's been closed for a long while; since at least 2008 and has been decaying ever since. Some of the floors here are pretty sketchy; even downstairs! The decay though; is unreal! Loads of nice peely paint inside, and devoid of a lot of physical decay; though some light tagging has taken place.

Back in 1892, a group of physicians from the National Hospital for the Paralysed and the Epileptic in London was joined by a team of philanthropists and founded the National Society for the Employment of Epileptics.

The first Executive Committee, included two notable specialist physicians of the time. They were John Hughlings Jackson, Sir William Gowers and David Ferrier. The Comittee aimed to create an agricultural Epileptic Colony where patients could live and work. Not long after this; in 1894, a 370-acre farm property was bought in Chalfont St. Peter, Buckinghamshire, creating The Chalfont Centre for Epilepsy.

In line with other epileptic colonies of the time; the buildings were separate large Villa Wards scattered over a fairly well sized area, with additional buildings added and improvements made to the facilities to this day. In 1907; The Committee changed its name to "The National Society for Epilepsy" and has provided Residential Care, rehabilitation and Public Education at this very site in Chalfont site ever since, becoming the largest UK epilepsy charity in the process.

In 1972 a new NHS facility was created to provide care for patients with severe and complicated epilepsy, run jointly by the National Hospital and the NSE at Chalfont - this building was the predecessor to the current NHS inpatient and outpatient services at the Chalfont Centre.

In 1995 a 1.5 tesla MRI scanner was installed at the here, the first in the country dedicated to the research of epilepsy; which was superseded in 2004 by a 3 tesla MRI scanner, putting the NSE at the forefront of medical imaging research into epilepsy.

The building which you are about to see; is one of the original Victorian Villa Wards and is known as Debenham House. As you can see, it is extremely decayed, but also extremely photogenic!











Thanks All,

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Nice pictures, I do like overgrown places like that, looks like something from the last of us or something. I feel it must have security if theres no graffiti and smashed windows?

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