Staffordshire County Lunatic Asylum

Author sophos9 - Last updated: 18.09.2010

Staffordshire County Lunatic Asylum was built in 1818 to house 120 pauper lunatics, it was designed by the Stafford County surveyor Joseph Potter in the style of a Georgian mansion.

It was extended in 1879 and a further extension was added in 1884, this included a bakery and workshops, by now the asylum could house up to 870 patients. Further extensions included a laundry block (now demolished) and nurses accommodation.
It was taken over by the NHS in 1948 at which point the name changed to St Georges Hospital.
It closed in 1995, a victim of the care in the community act and since then it has lay empty and suffered badly from vandalism and arson.

I set off early on a cold January morning for the short 45 minutes drive to Stafford, it was not the first time I had visited so although it was a little tricky I pretty much knew how I was going to get in, or so I thought.

On arrival in Stafford there was a covering of snow on the ground. Now I personally am not too keen on exploring in the snow as walking in snow leaves footprints and footprints can be easily tracked by the men in the Hi Viz. However I was here now and as I hadn’t seen anybody else on my previous visit I thought I would go for it anyway.

I headed towards the Asylum and noticed that there were no other footprints anywhere in the snow. Good news, that meant that there probably wasn’t anybody about, which was going to make things a lot easier.

Two fences, an outer Heras type fence and an inner triple pronged type surround the main building, once inside the first fence I headed for the access I had used previously as this meant I wouldn’t have to take on the spikes. Unfortunately I found that it was now closed off and I wouldn’t be going in that way this time.
I moved on, looking for another way in, I walked the perimeter of the inner fence and found a nice gap just big enough for me to squeeze through.
I was now inside the fence and all I had to do was find a way into the building. After a little searching and a bit of a squeeze, I was inside a bathroom, just off one of the main corridors on the ground floor. That damp derelict Hospital smell was very prominent and the floor was a little spongy underfoot, care would need to be taken when walking around the place.

Inside the building is a bit of a mess, half of it has suffered from a fire and the floors have collapsed and the other half, is in quite a poor state however if you keep your wits about you and use common sense it is still easy enough to get around safely enough.

I had a good wander around the main building without incident and got to see a lot of what is left, unfortunately I still didn’t find the basement. I didn’t see anyone until I was leaving when I bumped into another two Urbexers outside.

#1

Image


Main Building
flickr link

#2

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Looking out
flickr link

#3

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Main Hall, Chapel & Water Tower
flickr link

#4

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Day Room with T-Rex single mural on the wall
flickr link

#5

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Warning
flickr link

#6

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Suicide Stairwell flickr link

#7

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Main Hall
flickr link

#8

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Coloured doors flickr link

#9

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Decaying nicely
flickr link

#10

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Ground floor reception area
flickr link

#11

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Isolation rooms
flickr link

#12

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Main Kitchen
flickr link

All in all it was a good outing that went without a hitch. Unfortunately about six weeks after this visit the Asylum suffered another fire which pretty much destroyed everything that can be seen in the pictures.
The building is Grade two listed and plans have been submitted to redevelop the site but as yet work has not begun

10 comments

#1BeastNovember 19, 2010, 1:08 am

When’s refurb happening? And what’s the state of the place now? I’ve been planning get some shots in there for a while, but wondering if it’s worth the effort now :/
Anyone got plans to find the basement?

#2RiaJuly 6, 2011, 5:09 pm

The refurbishment has now started. Unfortunately also the demolition of those areas that have been so damaged by fire that they simply cannot be saved. It is a shame that not everyone that has got onto this site has gone with just a camera. So much has been needlessly destroyed beyond the point of repair or restoration and has to go as it is simply too dangerous to work on.

#3SundanceAugust 18, 2011, 1:36 pm

I recently discovered that my Great grandfather worked there as an “attendant for insane” from 1891 to 1911. He died in 1912. Is that a statement of how difficult it was to work there, I can only imagine. I have looked at all the sites where I have found pics and info on this mammoth building. What a beautiful yet eerie structure. What is that saying “If the walls could talk”. What a story she would have.
It’s so intriging and I totally understand why people want to go in and roam the halls catching a glimpse of what once was.

The vandals are nothing but scum and that’s all you can expect from these pieces of dirt.

I am planning a trip next fall and only hope that I will be able to recognise some of what is left.

#4MaidmarrienFebruary 21, 2012, 8:59 am

Wonderful pictures, I would have loved to have looked around the place. @Sundance, your grandfather would have been working there when my 2nd great grandmother was committed. I have just found out she was sent there in 1904-5 and she died within a couple of years of being in the Asylum, at the age of 38. Im trying to get hold of her patient records. The story is tragic, she ended up losing her children, her sanity and eventually her life due to the antics of her husband, my 2nd great grandfather.

#5A HaywoodFebruary 27, 2012, 6:03 am

My 3rd. great grandmother was admitted about 1840, she must have died whilst an inmate, she was on the 1841 census, must attempt to access the records at county records office, perhaps there may be an indication as to where she may be buried, also what happened to her children at the time.

#6A HaywoodFebruary 27, 2012, 8:54 am

My 3rd. grandma was interned about 1851. I wonder if Stafford county records will reveal details of her stay, and perhaps where she may be buried. Her children were very young at that event, their progress has been traced, but I wonder what happened to them imediately after. Any help rgarding life events at that time would be much appreciated,
Tony Haywood in Willenhall.

    #7Victoria HarleyFebruary 27, 2012, 9:50 am

    Hi Tony,

    The Stafford records office had the patient records of my grandmother. I am currently waiting for them. They are costing me £30 for a couple of papers and a photograph for digital copies. You will have to ask and see what they have if you have your grandmothers name and dates. It is free to go and view them if you live nearby, speak to them and they will give you all the advice. My grandmother was admitted in 1903 and the papers I’m getting include her death notice, so I waiting to see if it gives any clues as to where she is buried. Good luck with your search.

      #8A HaywoodFebruary 27, 2012, 5:09 pm

      Many thanks for the reply, I look forward to spending a day there, I have my readers card in anticipation. I’ll let you know how things go. Hope you have satisfaction with your enquiries, Tony.

#9sam SJanuary 23, 2013, 5:42 pm

i visited the site last night and i must say what a spookey and eary place. its a shame that its been Vandals and suffered from arson what a big big shame. wish i was old enough to visit it when it first got shut :(

was an experience and recommend it to anyone!

#10DocumentaryJanuary 27, 2013, 3:37 pm

Hi we are doing a documentary about the Asylum and was wondering if any of you have anything to say? We would love to hear anything from you, however slight. Contact us on danike007@hotmail.co.uk

Thanks
Dan

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