This was a great day out with urbexing friends including NorfolkExplorer, we got to the hospital very early even considering the long drive. Being a nocturnal student at the time I think I was functioning on about 2 hours of sleep. The day involved three locations so we couldn’t spend as long as we wanted to in each. This place is extensive and I could have easily spent all day here.
I decided to leave my tripod in the car as it’s a bit bulky, to my dismay, I needed to use it almost everywhere.
Formerly, the Lincolnshire County Lunatic Asylum. The Asylum was built in 1852 and enlarged on several subsequent occasions. It was originally established jointly by Lindsey, Kesteven, Holland, Lincoln, Grimsby and Stamford, and managed by a Board of Visitors appointed by the contributing authorities. Kesteven and Grantham withdrew from the arrangement when the contract of Union expired in 1893 (eventually establishing the Kesteven County Asylum at South Rauceby, 1897). The hospital was set in grounds of 120 acres which included gardens, farmland and a burial ground. In 1940 female patients were transferred to other hospitals, mainly Storthes Hall near Huddersfield, to make space for an Emergency Hospital, and many did not return until well after the end of the War. Administration of the hospital passed to the National Health Service in 1948. By the early 1960s it was known by its final name of St John’s Hospital. Patients were admitted from Harmston Hall Hospital when that hospital closed. St John’s Hospital itself was closed in December 1989 with the remaining patients transferred to other establishments.
The following names, among others, were used for the Institution, sometimes interchangeably:
1852-1893 Lincolnshire County Lunatic Asylum or Lincolnshire County Pauper Lunatic Asylum
1894-1915 Lincolnshire Lunatic Asylum
1897-1898 Lindsey, Holland, Lincoln and Grimsby District Pauper Lunatic Asylum
1903-1920 Lincolnshire Asylum
1898-1902 Bracebridge Pauper Lunatic Asylum
1902-1919 Bracebridge District Lunatic Asylum
1919-1948 Bracebridge Mental Hospital
1930-1938 Lincolnshire Mental Hospital
1939-1960 Bracebridge Heath Hospital
1961-1989 St John’s Hospital, Bracebridge Heath
The hospital was also used as a wartime Emergency Hospital in the period 1940-1943, and a few records of this function survive with the asylum records.
The ‘Asylum’ closed down in 1990 and was sold a few years later to a property developer, who constructed nearly 1,000 new houses in the village. The original hospital buildings are classified as Grade III listed buildings and are protected from demolition. During the redevelopment of the hospital site, a number of these protected buildings were refurbished and converted into flats and offices. Further development is planned on the site with the proposed demolition of the old white water tower which previously served the hospital. Although many of the old buildings are listed and therefore protected, the old water tower is not.
Please let me know if this is too many pictures and I’ll cut it down:
Thanks for looking!