St. Luke’s Hospital…URBEX

I have been interested in visiting this place for a while now after seeing photos and reports online, I had been told due to the state it was in it wasn’t worth the effort. But honestly although it is a bit of a DERP I do love the aesthetic of a completely derelict building and found it great to photograph.

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Visited by: Nic, Shorty, Ben

History:

The main building, now known as St. Luke’s house was originally built as Crossland Moor workhouse it opened on Friday 9th August 1872. It catered for 400 sick and harmless mental cases of the area and cost £26,000 to build. Later a fever ward and two vagrant wards were added. It eventually became a hospital caring for the geriatric and mentally ill.

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St Luke’s started a shutdown process in 2007 and finally closed fully to the public on the 22nd of December 2010. Mainly providing Neuro rehabilitation care, associated Occupational therapy, post cardiac disease rehabilitation, a Renal unit and seemingly unending semi stripped out wards. Based in and around the buildings of a former workhouse, the site is stepped over quite steep level changes. A three storey cruciform of 200m long glazed corridors serve and link the 1960’s blocks to the surrounding Victorian conversions.

This place has been ransacked in the last few years, I managed to find these photos from shortly after it shut to show the difference.

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And just for comparison, this is the same walkway in 2010 and 2013. And the worst bit is, this has got off lightly compared to the rest.
 

The Visit:

The thought of visiting a derelict hospital was pretty exciting and I was really looking forward to seeing what this place had to offer. Some people have been disappointing but the post apocalyptic feel of the place really captured my imagination.

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This place is massive too, many many buildings and at first getting in seemed impossible, but eventually we found an opening. Many of the buildings are connected to or are accessible from within via internal courtyards and a bit of climbing!

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The first thing you notice with this place is how badly vandalised it is, and it is a shame really because the main building itself is quite impressive and full of history. It’s shocking to think this place has only been empty for 3 years, I would usually expect this level of deterioration to be over a much longer period of time but due it being ransacked it leave it open to the elements after which a building stands no chance.

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What is the biggest shame is that the NHS needs more resources and this place could have easily been either sold on or modernised but now in it’s current state I feel the only future left for this site will be demolition. I don’t think we came across a single room in this massive building/ site which had not been trashed.

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As I said this building is a complete maze and full of walkways connecting each section, these walkways provided great scene and opportunities for photographs. They were also good for getting our bearings again after wandering down dark corridor after corridor.

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This place is spooky to say the least, just the knowledge that all these people have been in to rip it apart is a bit unnerving, who knows when they might come back? It is so big it is easy to loose your way, full of eerie noises and windows across to the other side, imagine if you saw someone in there… argh!! Anyway, I think the pictures give you an idea of how the place felt.

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One of the most interesting things about visiting places like this is the left behind fragments and bits of the place it once was. We found many little notes, signs and pieces of “evidence” which the state of the building transports from being normal, everyday things into strange ghost like remnants reminding you of the presence of history in such a place. The textures of decay are also something I find interesting, peeling paint and wallpaper especially.

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Nicola Hilditch-Short

Nic is one half of the Roaming Renegades, a passionate traveller, climber, adventurer, photographer and artist who has a B.A in Fine Art and M.A in Design & Art Direction.