St Mary’s, August 2013

Author zeroUE - Last updated: 19.12.2013

St Mary’s Hospital, also known as the Gateshead Borough Asylum is unfortunately in a very sad state of affairs. Developers have been on site for some time now building a new housing development and many of the asylum buildings are now gone.

What remains of St Mary’s today is as follows: the Ashley House building, the majority of the ward blocks, the ballroom, the admin building, water tower and the two semi detached houses which are also on site. All the buildings and corridors in between the wards and admin are gone leaving ugly great scars and holes in the building sides.

With the exception of Ashley House which remains (decoratively at least) pretty much as was, the insides of the other buildings are pretty much stripped back to the bare walls and floors. Very little of architect George Thomas Hine’s trademark wall tiles remain, although there are still some there if you look around.

I did not bother with the two semi’s and admin is currently not accessible. The water tower is reported to be full of pigeon shit and I didn’t have a P3 face mask with me.

Anyway the history of the place is as follows:

It designed to the Compact arrow plan by GT Hine, founded in 1910, opened in 1914 and closed in 1995. It was the last of Hine’s asylums that he ever saw.

Almost as soon as the asylum was opened, it was requisitioned by the military for the duration of World War I. Following the end of its war duties the site was returned to Gateshead who added a nurse’s home in 1927-8 and modified the isolation hospital to form a sanatorium for tuberculosis patients. Further pressure on the County Durham mental hospital led to a union with the neighbouring county boroughs of West Hartlepool and South Shields during the 1930′s. The joint funding and demand for further space provided impetus for major additions to the Stannington site which would be completed in 1939. Built in plain red brick with slate roofs, the new units provided ten further pairs of staff cottages, two additional blocks flanking the main building, male and female detached working chronic blocks and a large admission and treatment hospital with convalescent villas at the north of the site.

I really wish I could have the chance to go back in time and visit it as it was several years ago.

First up is Ashley House

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It was touch and go, but in the end I didn’t shit on the carpet. I even resisted the urge to take a shit in one of their new houses

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Sound advice from the window sticker

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Onto the main asylum buildings, you can see the damage where adjoining buildings and corridors have been removed

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As you can see the interiors are stripped way back

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The ballroom wasn’t quite as damaged as the other buildings

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One of the last remaining original stained glass windows, this features on the left side of the photo above, near where the stage would have been

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Stage? What stage? There was a frog playing around on the steps, probably the final performance at St Mary’s!

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The ever expanding fence edging close to the water tower

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So close yet so far….

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And finally one of the wooden shelters in what was the garden grounds out the back

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Thanks for looking!

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