The Fletcher Convalescent Hospital

Author sophos9 - Last updated: 02.09.2009

We started early, some time around 7am – we knew there was a short journey in the car then a trek into the urbex site. On the way we had discussed how easy it might be to get into this place, we had seen photos of it before – it seemed really locked down so we spent some time considering what techniques we could use to get some awesome photos of the explore.

The Fletcher Convalescent Home opened in 1893 and closed in 1998, some 105 years later. In its time it served as a hospital and during the war, a tuberculosis hospital for the military. Its fate seems to be planning permission applications for conversion into flats. It seems however that the local council cannot agree on S306 affordable housing agreements. This building also features on the in the Victorian Society’s “Top Ten Endangered Buildings” list of 2008

We parked in a random road, grabbed our kit and started the hike through some fields and on to a make shift foot path, we walked the path for around 10 minutes – the hospital loomed upon us, dark and abandoned. We could see we were not the first to make our way through the fence area, crawling through on all fours – we were in, the explore was on….

The Fletcher Hospital

What great architecture

We walked around the exterior of the building, admiring the architecture of the derelict hospital. The exterior was completely boarded, no access could be gained – photos would be difficult from the inside due to the low light although we should be used to that by now. From the satellite images we studied before turning up on site, we had a planned for this and brought climbing gear. Within 15 minutes we were inside…

Once inside, we were shocked at how dark it was – with fresh batteries, the LED Lenser soon became our best friend. The site although dark and derelict, felt strangely comfortable, much more than other urbex visits. We started on our usual protocol, whilst we are nimble with our kit packed, we explore the entire site from basement to loft, spotting dangers and photo shoot locations. Once we have explored the entire site, we then set up and start to shoot and document the entire place.

The Fletcher Hospital

Hospital hallways

The first thing we noticed was the amount of decay in this place – worse that any place we have visited before. The decay is not urban, however more so a beautiful graceful decay, I started to imagine the processing behind the photos and how well it may turn out.

The Fletcher Hospital

Decaying hallway

The Fletcher Hospital

Beautiful decay

We waked around the first floor, evidence of the wards and bed locations greeting us in every room. Looking at the first floor roof, we could see evidence of rotten flooring on the second floor – one step in the wrong place and you would find the short cut to the first floor!

The Fletcher Hospital

Derelict and abandoned

The Fletcher Hospital

Abandoned ward room

The Fletcher Hospital

Abandoned hospital bath shot

We walked past kitchens, toilet blocks, wards and other miscellaneous rooms – in awe at what history must have been witnesses by the very walls and rooms we were now standing in.

The Fletcher Hospital

Beauty in decay - derelict staircase

The Fletcher Hospital

Awesome decay in the hospital

We walked back around to the front of the building to be greeted with an awesome staircase – positioning some supplementary lighting at the top of the stairs, we brought out some of the character and captured it for an eternity.

The Fletcher Hospital

Nature is reclaiming the hospital

Following the building around, we passed many other derelict rooms, two other rotting staircases and more kitchen/ward rooms.

The large kitchen smelt rancid, some of the appliances were left in there, one of them was an ‘autofry’, which still contained the fat – this was the source of the evil smell. We found a way down into the basement, slightly disappointed, we though the basement would run the length of the building however it was small, with only one room. In the basement, there was one old chair, its location was a great setting for a horror film.

The Fletcher Hospital

Decaying grand stair case

Back up to the first floor which was now complete. We took the grand staircase up to the second floor – being careful about our footing. We wandered around checking every room, lots more wards and toilet rooms.

The Fletcher Hospital

Derelict hospital wards

The Fletcher Hospital

Dynamic lighting - derelict hospital ward

The Fletcher Hospital

Abandoned hallway

The Fletcher Hospital

Graceful decay - urbex

We found a light room which we stopped for water. From the second floor, we took the stairs up to the third floor which consisted of a single room – the roof had given in here however we then found loft access. The loft was complex, access was not available to all other areas – there was a lack of walking boards which added to the problem of navigating your way around. We headed back to level 2 so we could setup our camera equipment.

The Fletcher Hospital

Beautiful lighting

The Fletcher Hospital

One way trip to hell and back

We started shooting the rooms, typical exposures were taking over a minute – this is good as it gave us opportunity to do some light painting which produced some good effects.

The Fletcher Hospital

Hospital still holds character

The Fletcher Hospital

Ghostly shadows of a tripod

Some of the rooms in the east block had really decayed, flooring has pealed back leaving and odd symmetry which looked great

The Fletcher Hospital

Abandoned hospital ward

The Fletcher Hospital

Decaying hospital walls

We stopped to get some shots of a large room on the second floor, graffiti lined the walls the reminder of kids being in this place at some time. It was in here where we had our first encounter with “the darkness” that strangely seems to follow us around all the sites we visit

;)

The Fletcher Hospital

"Your life here is short, for thy will steal your life in the blink of an eye"

From here we made a quick move to head back to the stairs however we were being followed now – we missed the stairs and continued toward the east wing, big mistake as this was a dead end.

The Fletcher Hospital

Artefacts refresh the history

The Fletcher Hospital

Broken boarded windows slows the decay

The Fletcher Hospital

Blood stains on the floor

We saw what looked like blood stains on the floor, we could only hope that it was some bacterial mat growing on the carpet – we hoped for the best until we moved into the room to the left. Upon entry, it was clear that we had been ambushed…

The Fletcher Hospital

"So face the darkness and I'll teach you about fire in the blink of an eye"

We had to run, we made it through another door and hurried along the corridor – keeping an eye behind us.

The Fletcher Hospital

Rotten hospital room

We passed some more interesting rooms, snapping photos – each room looked like it belonged to a different set, almost like some Hollywood studio tour.

The Fletcher Hospital

"Let he who hath understanding, reckon the number of the darkness"

Across the link bridge we stopped to grab another shot, ‘the darkness’ had followed us and blocked our entrance.

The Fletcher Hospital

We laughed at the word on the wall, we did not get the last laugh..

The Fletcher Hospital

Insanity played with us, warping our perceptions

The Fletcher Hospital

Heart racing, there was NO escape...

The Fletcher Hospital

Dying: Dragged through the random corridors

The Fletcher Hospital

Coma White: Mind plays with reality, 'the darkness' owns all

The last thing I remember was seeing those grand stairs, the light still pouring in – providing a glimmer of hope for the sane, and then, just like that, there was no more…

The Fletcher Hospital

"Cut deep into the flesh, ride the spikes, I want to show it to you. Lick hard the open wounds, slay the lights, 'the darkness' will push it through

Hope you enjoyed – please feel free to discuss in the Talk Urbex forum – here

sophos9 – getting killed by ‘the darkness’ to provide 5 minutes of entertainment

:)

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