February 12, 2014

Mental Asylum.

St. Johns Hospital. Bracebridge Heath, Lincoln.

Bracebridge Heath Mental Asylum - Limited Senses
Hello! This post is about the mental asylum, which my group and I visited as part of a group project that’s been on going for the Design Communication module for the past 4 weeks. The asylum is located in Lincoln, UK and its last known official name is ‘St Johns Hospital’ it was known to house the criminally insane along with women and children alike, the grounds are absolutely huge not to mention the building itself which is just towering, we arrived round 3:30pm on a Wednesday afternoon and even though there was some security we managed to get on site and into one block but that was about as far as we got due to the building being boarded up extensively.

The photo above (Taken on my Canon 100D SLR) is from the front of the building, is just at the side of the derelict bus shelters that are covered in spray paint and ivy growing into the cracks and holes left from the years of desertion, lonely chairs and broken fencing is always helpful, especially when our topic for the week was fear, I aimed at making people reminisce about childhood fears, the abandoned house that your parents forbade you to go in and your friends dared you to. Nightmares for weeks due to how impressionable you are at such an age, that feeling, the chill down your spine and the goosebumps on your arms is how it felt to walk around this place, the architecture is vast and amazing but the stories you hear and read make the place unbelievably eerie.

How about some history? ‘St Johns Asylum, Lincolnshire in the East of England was built 1852. The building was then known as Lindsey & Holland Counties and Lincoln & District Lunatic Asylum. The Asylum has also been known over the years as Lincolnshire County Pauper Lunatic Asylum and Bracebridge Heath Asylum. Finally it was given the name St Johns during the early 1960s. It was originally built to house just 250 patients but by 1902 the asylum grounds covered 120 acres. The inmates cultivated the grounds of the asylum where they grew their own vegetables. Within the grounds was a cemetery for the hospital, which covered 1.5 acres. St Johns also had its own mortuary chapel. After the outbreak of World War II during 1940, the patients were transferred to other nearby establishments as the hospital was turned into an emergency hospital. In 1948 the administration of the hospital was passed to the National Health Service. The asylum finally closed its doors during December 1989 with all the patients being transferred to other nearby hospitals. The site was then sold to developers who have converted a lot of the site into new housing. All that now remains is the main asylum buildings which are Grade II listed, keeping them safe from demolition.’

Overall the design of the place was amazing, the atmosphere and the textured curved ceilings inside to absorb sound, makes you think of the patients screaming as we walked by the cells, although the place is bare and being turned into flats, it is rich with so much history.

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