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.
Main Hall, Chapel & Water Tower
Day Room with T-Rex single mural on the wall
Suicide Stairwell flickr link
Coloured doors flickr link
Ground floor reception area
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