St Johns Mental Hospital, Bracebridge Heath - May 2012
The Asylum was built in 1852 and enlarged on several subsequent occasions. It was originally established jointly by Lindsey, Kesteven, Holland, Lincoln, Grimsby and Stamford, and managed by a Board of Visitors appointed by the contributing authorities. Kesteven and Grantham withdrew from the arrangement when the contract of Union expired in 1893 (eventually establishing the Kesteven County Asylum at South Rauceby, 1897). The hospital was set in grounds of 120 acres which included gardens, farmland and a burial ground. In 1940 female patients were transferred to other hospitals, mainly Storthes Hall near Huddersfield, to make space for an Emergency Hospital, and many did not return until well after the end of the War. Administration of the hospital passed to the National Health Service in 1948, and by the early 1960s it was known by its final name of St John's Hospital. St John's Hospital itself was closed in December 1989 with the remaining patients transferred to other establishments. The site was sold for housing and most of the buildings apart from the central block were demolished.
We had a good day here and ended up spending quite a while wandering around. Originally we had the intention of doing a few other sites on the same day but this soon went out of the window when we realised how big this place was. Sadly we didn't manage to get around the entire place although I think we may have come across some parts that I've not seen previously in other reports: Teddy Bears Day Nursery and some sort of archive room complete with a load of deeds to places all over the county.
Externally this place looks fantastic and on the most part the internals seem pretty solid. The main problem areas being the second floor areas and the branch into the west wing from the entrance hall where there seems to of been quite a large fire at some point. Nevertheless quite a lot of interesting features remain including the awesome corridor ceilings and in some areas the wall paper.
Hopefully at some point the developers will finish off their job and complete the conversion to apartments before it's too late.