The East Essex County Mental Asylum opened its doors in 1903. It is built close to the small village of Hellingly, in South West England. The architect G.T. Hine designed the Victorian hospital on a very large scale, spreading the many buildings on a huge campus.
Isolated from everything, having only one single road and its own train line, the psychatric asylum remained self-sufficient for years.
Patients & staff used to live under the same roof in the many red bricks buildings linked by closed hallways, and offering "therapeutic" and relaxing views onthe surrounding quiet and green countryside.
The asylum closed its doors in 1994; since then it is decaying, forgotten and rotting in the middle of nowhere...
i am planing to go to Hellingly hospital just on time ,i suppose, before its 'final solution'
I wonder if anyone that has been there before could tell me what would b the easiest ,cheapest way to get there..from london, or what busses,trains,coaches operate around that area that we could fish to get to the hellingly hospital
( as well if someone knows cheap accomodation in the soroundings ) any tip appreciated
thank you very much for your help.
Hi, i am a student and im in the process of making a documentary about the hospital, i am trying to contact anyone who work there at any time that would be willing to be interviews/photographed and be a part of the documentary i think it would be really interesting, please email me at
if you know anyone please ask it would be a huge help,
Hi, been there on 21 january 2011 (friday), it's still there but loads of workers around, we got ourselfs safety jackets and they let us through! they went like (two black guys) 'its dangerous there but if you want, you can go...' They knocked down quite a bit already, and i think it wont last more than few months... shame, its amazing! We made loads of pictures, if you interested in the output, and got facebook, here is the link:
My mother worked at Hellingly in the 60 & 70's, in fact she was the first female ward sister of a male ward.
I remember going to the Summer holidays Clubs on the site - in some of the dis-used houses in the grounds. They were quite scary as we were not allowed to go upstairs, we were told story about the old inmate to scare us - but in reality it was just used for old bed storage and they did not want kids messing about.
The ground were always kept up to a high standard - by the inmates, (thats how they were treated), even though there were few locked wards. That always scared us when we walked the long corridors - and my mother would say 'that a locked ward' as we understood that where the dangerious people were kept. The patients could just leave as there were no gate to the grounds, I could never understand why they did not leave, untill my mother expailned that they had no where else to go. It was very sad as it just seemed to be full of very old, lonely people - who were just dumped. The place was a the only family that they knew.
I remember the nights in the social club, bonfire nights and meeting father christmas in the big ball room, were my father played babinton all winter - as he worked in the kitchens there too
If you want to go there, go soon. I was there on a couple of days ago, and the admin building is still there - just. It looks like the builders are nearest that area, as the laundry at the back of the admin block is now totally gone. The floors and general state of that is atrocious too. The only interesting thing is the old dental chair in there.
The rest of the main building is a different matter though. The female block is completely intact and in a (relatively) good state of repair, but the male block on the west side isn't nearly so good. The upper floor is fine, but the ground floor is falling away under your feet and is pretty treacherous. Definitely worth seeing though, as is the main hall, although the floor is now gone, the projector gallery is still intact, and there's some fantastic graffiti. Pick your times carefully though to avoid security and builders.
Wow im really impressed with all these comments ..... my ex-girlfriend works there and just to say ..... its far from scary -_-
i used to go there every evening and pick her up .. i used to talk to the paicents sure they did stuff wrong but there not 'nutters' most of them know what they done and why they did it .. as for the cafe ... itc actually quite social and an interesting place to be. so overall its not a to bad place
Oh and the security are hot cos well
1, its a mental hospital
2, your probably trespassing on a privet property
3, its a really interesting place ..... ive had a tour
I lived in the Shawpitts Cottages from 1931 to 1939 and visited earler times to see Grandma Brett. Well, my parents had a friend called Bob feast from Polegate. Bob visited a lady friend at the hospital and on occasions would take us kids to see a film at the hospital cinema. So we saw a number of movies there tho I can't remember any of the names. It was always so quiet there, and hardly ever a staff member seen. The gardens were alwaysl beautifully kept. Up the hill was a wooded area where we often roamed, especially in autumn when we gathered chestnuts and conkers(horse chestnuts) around the back of the hospital there was an orchard where once we gathered some beautiful apples - wonder why we only went there once. Now, like so many things including my old Shawpitts home, it fades into history and 400 houses apparently will take it's place.
Feck NO we`ve very nearly flattened the lot , so we have
I'm planning to visit this place on the weekend.
Anyone knows if still is possible entering to these premises?
i went here a few yrs ago with a few friends and there was still alot there we got round the bk of it and was palyin with a few things that was in the bk ie chairs ect and im sure wen i looked up i see some1 or somethinkin lookin down at us.after a while we drove up a bit and didnt realise the new one was there we was in are cars and they shut the bars and called the police as we was not ment to b there was very scarey so if u do go b carefull not 2 get spotted
i was just wondering.... i'd love to visit this place it looks amazing but i'm a lil worried it might have been knocked down or something by now, does anyone kno if it still stands today? i am a new comer to the urban explorin but i absolutely love these old abandoned buildings they're so full of history it's thick in the air and they just don't make these kinds of structures anymore... it's such a shame. if anyone can give me any info i'd really appreciate it. thanks all for the advice and the great pics i hope i can make it there before it's gone!
we went last nite really freaky, we explored in daytime on Sunday and was well worth a look one room we went in the window kept slamming for no reason, met some builders who explained the church is the place to go for activity as 2 builders been physically pushed and bruised in there, they did warn the floor is rotten and decayed tho. upstairs is the safest place to explore as floor still intact, anyone know anymore on the church please add comments, but would say well worth a visit!!!!
Can we stil visit, we like to shoot some pics. Any information about this abandoned or other buildings are more then welcome!! Thanks
Me & a Few Friends Went Up At About 11pm To See How Far We Could Get..We Didnt Get Very Far Is I Kept Feeling Things Touching My Shoulders && Freaked Slightly...But We Did Walk Up To The Fence And Looked Out, The Final Straw Was A Window On The Second Floor Opened Right In Front Of Our Eyes. I Would Love To Know If There Was Someone Actually In There Or It Was A Spirit, Cos It Scared Uss Big Time We Upped And Left Pretty Pronto x
Looking at the sad decay in these photographs takes me back to what only seemed like yesterday...I worked at Hellingly Hospital on Guestling ward, Hartfield ward, Keymer and Kingston ward most of the time, between 1979 and 1983, frequenting the staff social club to wind down in the evenings and occasional lunchtimes.
These are some memories that seem like yesterday...
14 hour shifts were not unusual, with 3 people on shift on anafternoon, to care for 20 or so patients....Trundling off with the oversized ward key (that fitted every ward door) in our pockets, to the staff canteen for a bowl of chips with salad cream in our breaks.
Purchasing tickets at the centre, and riding the hospital bus into Hailsham for provisions amongst tired, collegues; sending out for a curry or a chinese and paying the taxi driver on thier return ('Jayline' cars I recall) after the end of a weary shift; inpromptu parties in each other's rooms which seemed to go on until dawn; the freedom to walk the grounds on a fresh summers day, with the gardens in full bloom, and the patients busy in the greenhouses preparing the poinstia's which were abandunt each winter throughout the many wards, are all fond memories I have.
It was a community for staff and patients alike. I was one of the staff who 'lived in' for a while. Without the experience of Hellingly, I would not be the person I am today.
Yes, the notion of such an institution today, is outdated, barbaric and socially wrong, though when I see the isolation and vulnerability of people in the community where services are set to be cut, it saddens me.
I wonder what we would have done differently...
Here is my website for hellingly photos streetlifeview.foliopic.com
hi to all any one interested in some hellingly pictures please drop by my website
me and about 20 mates went to hellingly last night, there was only a few building left and they wernt that amzing. we didnt see any security but we got caught by the police. they just asked us to leave. i think the admin building is still there and the church. not sure what the other buildings were. we found a very cool dentist chair which was pretty creepy have fun there but becarefull off the floor, its very rotton x
I went into hellingly and found the visit ground shaking - I'm not going back to put it quickly! (Don't laugh but...) My partner and I are aware of spooks there, the place is riddled with folk who are confused, worried, sad, angry and dangerous. As I'm sure your all aware there's a church at the side of the site - DO NOT go anywhere near it, we decided to without really thinking and I've been physically pushed away - that evening I took a shower to come out and find bruises on my back - in the clear and definite form of hand prints. We've taken loads of photos and can see VERY VERY clear outlines of various spooks - I've found a few spooks on the published photos here.
Secondly We tried to get in using every single point of access - the place is near as dammit demolished, there's nothing really left bar the main building (which is beautiful) and the church. Security is there and boy are they looking for folk like us trying to get it! we were watched like hawks! I hint for anyone coming in still - the CCTV, dilapidated as it looks still works - very well, we've been in and seen red lights of 99% of them indicating they're active - the office site also has a full 2 screens of cameras - watch it.
Finally the area you may be around is an active NHS Mental Unit - The people in the area are nutters who have been put away and serving sentences of various lengths. The Coffee Shop is for patient and staff use only - it's a rehabilitation unit - stay well clear off this area - the patients are being chemically subdued.
I'm not hoaxing or trying to deter, I'm just saying be careful and watch what you do. I've found all the information from a friend of mine who's mother is a NHS District Manager and who still has control over the general site. Take Care and I look forward to seeing more photos of this beautiful, historic and trouble place
Went yesterday this place is about as isolated as a Mcdonalds in a retail park, there were tons of things round the grounds and not to mention the houses they are building, it's not even that much out of the way it's right next to a village... very disappointing.
My parents were nurses at Hellingly from 1926 to 1942 I was born in 1930 and we lived in a hospital house in New Rd. I would like to contact anyone who can remember those times. Both my parents sang in the hospital choir and my Father ran the Hospital Dance Band,his name was Joe Key. I can remember as a child going to the cinema and variety concerts held in the Hospital Theatre. The Superintendant in those years was Dr. Reid. The gardens and farmlands were often worked by patients with shell shocked conditions from the 1st. w.w. and they wore special blue clothing to set them apart from the other patients. Pat Dean nee. Key
Hey Frank , you seem like a nice boy. Take a train to Polegate . Then take the ghost train right to our door . Or you could follow The Cuckoo Trail ( where the railway was ) if you hired a bike in Polegate.
Hey guys I'm really interested in getting up there but I'm a college student in southampton and I finding it difficult to get up there. Can anyone tell me a relatively easy way of getting there?
i got in a couple of weeks ago and took loads of pics. didnt even see security. stayed pretty out the way though and didnt go near the water tower as it is nearer security adn didnt want to get caught
came back from hellingly yet again , took loads of photos, demolition is going on , talks about the tower being blown up in a few weeks ...if there is anyone who wants to come along and see this beautiful building and some of the best Graffiti . more than happy to show you a way in if anyone fancys it ....firstname.lastname@example.org
me e mail is email@example.com if anyone wants to conact me about going
i am going this weekend if anyone wants to come. went down on weds night and found a way to get in. and no one batted an eyelid either
have been to Hellingly this morning and evening, there is ways to get in , had to dodge the workman as i took photographs tower still standing my next quest ....time is running short.... demolition is under way ... and yes you can still get in just off grove hill park in the car park your nose will lead the way good luck
I want to visit Hellingly in the next few weeks. Have been reading all the advise posted, but I have never been on an exploration - so if there is anyone out there with more advice or is familiar with it and wants to come along, please post back
Checked it out. It's still standing. Just The building itself is pretty generic but as soon as you hit that theatre. Wow. Even the graffiti is worth scouting out for. Easy enough to get into tbh, went around the back. Plenty of holes to climb through just be fricking careful if you do decide to go. don't go if you intend to prat about. that'll seriously be the end of you, it's seriously dilapidated and one wrong footing is so easy to do. Just be mindful of everything and take your time. Peace. x
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