Whittingham Hospital - May 2014
Despite spending a lot of time here a few years ago, I never managed to see every bit of the hospital. I constantly said that I need to get back and see the rest, it was just never really convenient, and as such I missed out.
Nevertheless, it's not too late. Whilst demolition has started in earnest, there is still a lot left to see. So if you've been meaning to go, make sure you go soon!
Cameron House, the Nurses Accommodation and a load of other miscellaneous buildings are no more, they are now a rather large pile of rubble. As are the corridors of St Luke's and a few of the ward blocks. The main chunk of the asylum towards the front of the site is relatively intact (minus the interlinking corridors), it's these 4 front ward buildings and the admin block that will be retained for conversion into "overpriced" housing. It's probably worth noting that these are in fact far more knackered than the buildings towards the back end of the site. The weather over the last few years coupled with the lack of slates on the rooves has led to the internals being damper than ever, tread lightly upstairs it's a bit dodgy nowadays.
Still, as knackered as the place is there's still nice stuff to be seen. It's strange to see how little some parts have changed and how loads of bits and pieces are in exactly the same position they were a few years back, but then this is juxtaposed against the fact that all of what is right next to it is now a pile of bricks on the ground.
One good thing to take away is that it appears that a lot of the building materials are being put to some sort of use as all bricks, lintels and the like are being bundled up together. One highlight was the water tower finally being accessible, you get some great views over the site and the surrounding area from up here. Bizarrely, it only houses one small tank, and doesn't ever seem to have had anything additional. I presume it's not the original water tower due to it being of a more modem construction, but I've not found anything to support this theory.
A copy of what I believe to be relatively accurate plans: It shows that at least a rough approximation of the layout of St Luke's will be retained in the road plan, however the rest will be virtually unrecognisable which is a shame.
Whittingham will always be a special place in my memories and I'm genuinely sad to see it going, but it's all part of the game at the end of the day. Sites come and go, there's always something new to explore.