West Park is the eleventh and last great insane's hospital deserving London. Located in Epsom, it was built between 1912 and 1914 and opened in 1921.
This asylum was a real independent village. Isolated in the greater London suburbs, it accommodated up to 2000 patients in the 1960's.
The hospital is built on a model imported from the USA: lot of smaller buildings, mainly patient wards, all connected together through closed corridors crossing the gardens to prevent any escape attempt.
"Care in the Community": this Margaret Thatcher's policy marked the closing down of many asylums all over the country.
Many patients were set free and allowed to go back home, or wherever they may go.
West Park Mental Institute was one of them, and from 2000 patients in the 60's, the hospital emptied little by little, to definitely close its doors mid of the 1990's.
The abandoned asylum was then only visited by nostalgic patients, urban explorers.
But unfortunately also by vandals and arsonists. The great theatre burnt in 2002...
Early 2006, the last not used hospital belonging to the famous Epsom cluster is being reconverted into "affordable houses".
Check out Cane Hill asylum, it's in Coulsdon in South Croydon, featured on a David Bowie cover (his brother escaped from there and comitted suicide), Charlie Chaplins mother was also in there for a while. It was opened in 1888 and is absolutely huge. It is starting to be demolished at the moment, but will take 2 years. There are still all of the medical records, the morgue still has its body storage, and blood draining tables, a church, a farm, a swimming pool (which has recently been filled in), padded cells. It was a completely self sufficient community. If you want to see it have a quick look on google for the location, and head to Coulsdon, as it won't be around for too much longer. Also, very close by is the Cane Hill tunnel, an extensive underground tunnel network set up in WWII incase of Nazi invasion which apparently leads from Coulsdon to Reigate. It is best to come down in the evening so there are no workers about, and scout the fence for a way in. Bring a torch, and be careful of going onto the higher floors as some of the ceilings have given way.
hey thanks for posting
i LOVE going to old asylums.. haha
you just have to try not to get arrestedd..
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