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Eglington Asylum, Cork (May 08)

  • 13-05-2008 3:08am
    #1
    Closed Accounts Posts: 43 ✭✭✭ silverstealth


    Well stripped out but very atmospheric and a stunning building. Visited with Fat Budgie, we had a full day here.

    Our Lady’s Hospital, formerly Eglinton Asylum, Cork was built to house 500 patients. It was the largest of seven district lunatic asylums commissioned by the Board of Public Works in the late 1840s to supplement the nine establishments erected by Johnston and Murray in 1820-35. Like the earlier buildings, the new institutions were ‘corridor asylums’, but with the emphasis on wards rather than cells.

    There was a change in style from Classical to Gothic. Designed by local architect William Atkins, the Cork Asylum was one of the longest buildings in Ireland (almost 1000 feet), originally split into three blocks punctuated with towers and gables. Atkins made good use of polychromy, contrasting Glanmire sandstone with limestone dressings. The elevated site overlooking the River Lee at Shanakiel, appears to have been chosen by the local Governors for dramatic effect rather than practicality, great difficulty being encountered in providing exercise yards on the steep slope.

    Named after Right Hon. Earl of Eglinton - Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, the institution opened in 1852. The Asylum had three storeys. Construction cost including site £79,827..1/5d

    A Distressing Account from 1988, Debated in the Irish Parliament, on the Decline of the Hospital.

    The issue I have raised is the report of the Inspector of Mental Hospitals on conditions in Our Lady's Hospital in Cork. I propose to devote a considerable period of my time to extracts from the report of the Inspector of Mental Hospitals because, even though it is a very late hour and even though I, like everybody else, would like to go home, there are things in that report that need to be put on the record of this House and on the record of the Houses of the Oireachtas.

    The first thing that needs to be said is that there are about 1,000 patients in Our Lady's Hospital in Cork and almost all of them, with the exception of about 30 or 40, are long-stay patients. The Inspector of Mental Hospitals visited that hospital in February of this year. I want to put on the record of this House brief extracts about a variety of wards. For instance, in St. Kevin's 5, a female ward with 28 patients, there was one toilet off the dormitory and five toilets off the dayroom which were dirty. St. Kevin's 6, a male ward with 18 patients. Some renovation work was going on in this ward. The dormitory was locked off during the day. Each patient had a wardrobe. There was no soap and no towels were available. The toilet area off the dormitory was dirty and there were no curtains on the windows. We are not talking about prisons or shelters for the homeless; we are talking about a hospital. St. Kevin's 8, female with 21 patients — a washing machine on the ward was bought from patients' money, a washing machine to wash the clothes of the patients was bought from patients' money. The toilet had no seat and there were no curtains.

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  • The Catholic Chapel.. A Minter...

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  • Amazing stuff Silver.

    Would be well up for a trip there.




  • Great set of images, thankfully of a time we have nearly left behind.

    These images will stirs deep emotions for many families who may feel they were "victims" of these places. :(

    The images tell a story. May i suggest you repost some of them with seperate captions.
    Wash room
    1 Toilet -20 beds!:(
    Doors banging
    Magdaline Laundry
    I have no real experience of these places but Im stunned. Well done


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  • I'm trying to find out what happened to the patients in the Hospital when it closed in 1988. Does anyone know where they went?




  • Wow, creepy looking place. Is there any problems getting access to it? Is it a case of just letting yourself in?




  • dialhead wrote: »
    I'm trying to find out what happened to the patients in the Hospital when it closed in 1988. Does anyone know where they went?[/quote
    Track down one of the staff. If you live near it you will find there are still some staff living about the place.
    These pictures tell an amazing story. Can you hear the doors banging? Or some sad misunderstood, undiagnosed soul crying out for help? :(:mad::(




  • dialhead wrote: »
    I'm trying to find out what happened to the patients in the Hospital when it closed in 1988. Does anyone know where they went?

    I heard that they were all just let go and now roam free around cork city. . . . . . . . seriously!

    I dont know about ye, but i actually live very near to this place. I can actually see it from out my bedroom window. Im afraid to go out at night :P




  • Really super set. Disturbing yet very worthwhile.

    Is the area publicly accessible? / permissions needed? It would be worth a trip some time even as a meet up.


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  • Would love to see this place, excellent set. Anyone see the DVD session 9!!!

    Watch it and then visit...:eek::eek::eek:

    If an organised visit is planned, would love to know when




  • dialhead wrote: »
    I'm trying to find out what happened to the patients in the Hospital when it closed in 1988. Does anyone know where they went?

    Hiya :-)

    Thought i'd leave a quick msg to this. Firstly as you say when it closed in 1988 i think you may be reffering to the grey part of the building, that right? Some sections of the red brick building (St Kevins) was opened up until (now i'm not 100% which year it closed) at least 1998 so i'm guessing that part closed around 2000. From what i've heard conditions in the grey building (called St ita's 1 and 2 i think amongst other names) were far more appalling than the red brick right up until its closure. Nonetheless, conditions in St Kevins were pretty appalling too particularly given that it was open until around 2000-thats not a long time ago. This was a place where upto 10 women (i only know about the womens ward) lived and slept in a pretty small ward. one room was where one would get locked into for any number of reasons- usually for being agressive or a bit 'mad'- not always necessarily against themselves or others. This was a pretty grim room with only a bed (i suppose its better than just a matress!) and the door had a big window made of perspex (or something like that) so you could see out and see in. The toilets often had no toilet paper, there was no locks on the toilet doors for obvious reasons- and one experience i had while going to the toilet, was when a woman came in and tried to choke herself with a pair of tights (dont think its possible but she was so full of anxiety), people were trying to do stuff to themselves all the time- a lot of it i feel was because of the sheer boredom and frustration that place did to a person. The nurses station which was completely covered is where a lot of the nurses stayed inside all day. When someone wanted a cigerette they opened a latch and lit a lighter. Not all nurses were like this (there were extremely caring ones too) but the majority were-I honestly dont think they saw the patients as 'humans', all their dignity, respect, rights were taken away once they entered that place. There were many instances of cockroaches on the floor. Once or twice the bed room had to be fumagated due to beg bugs. From my own experience of being in there for a year and half i always found the experience of being in there harder to overcome than my depression etc. This may sound bad but i also felt i was the sanest person in there-my only 'crime' (i like to call it copping mechanism) was to hurt myself-it could be compared to an addiction. I will never forget the people i met in there who once you looked past how they were acting were amazing people. Some had been put into our ladys many yrs before that and in effect probabbly were institutionalized. they never recieved the right support (note i use support rather than help), they were treated so horribly, drugged upto their eyeballs continiously so that are controlled, not dealing with whats underneath all this anger,pain, hurt. I was on about 15+ tablets at one stage-how was that supposed to help. What really makes me mad is the fact that i was only just turned 17 when i went in there. I got a lot worse before i got better and it certainly was not down to my twice a week 10 minute abrupt insensitive visit from my consultant psychiatrist- it mostly certainly was a combination of support from one or two amazing compassionate nurses,psychologist who taught me the skills to learn how to talk about things and how to cry, the never ending incredible support of my family and of course my own determination and hard work. i took myself off my medication a month or two after i got out and have never needed/taken it again and thats a bit over 10 years ago. anways i think i ended up giving a bit of a rant there




  • .......................

    I was going to suggest we go back as I missed it and so did others I assume and looks amazing ....... :/




  • .......................

    I was going to suggest we go back as I missed it and so did others I assume and looks amazing ....... :/

    I would love to go, anyone interested give me a pm, I work close by so I can head there anytime




  • Isn't this called Atkins Halls now? I.e. they're are people living there as the rooms have been converted to appartments? I didn't realise there was any vacant part/public section.




  • last time I was up there, the last quarter of the building was still derelict / in the process of being gutted for refurbishment. The rest of the building was inhabited (presumably by people that either didnt know it was a nuthouse or those that do not suffer from the heebie jeebies)

    Presume this is still the case up there. The day I went up, I didn't even venture near the redbrick building. Would love to go back up there before the whole complex gets gutted.




  • carbsy wrote: »
    Isn't this called Atkins Halls now? I.e. they're are people living there as the rooms have been converted to appartments? I didn't realise there was any vacant part/public section.

    Yeh there is still a vacant part. it's to the right as you look up. Not sure about access though. I might inquire after work one day this week if a few people are interested?
    The section on the left that has been refurbished is "atkins hall" presumabley renamed to disguise the fact it was a lunatic asylum with an unfavourable reputation!




  • count me in




  • count me in too, would love to go up there for a little visit,some early morning/evening




  • Theres an awful lot of Atkins Hall still vacant. Only a small section is being lived in, the rest has been stripped out but there is no work ongoing at the moment. The building is very accessible but St. Kevins is boarded up quite well and would be harder to get into. The church has an open window at the rear and is fully intact. No security at the site today.


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  • Would love to pay a visit to this place,




  • You can get into St. Kevins, its on page two or three.




  • Lads this place is pretty well locked down now and has been for about the last six months.

    Security is based on the site 24/7, they patrol the whole grounds of St Kevs and the rest of the hospital complex every few hours.

    However I don't think it's a problem to walk around the outside of the buildings to have a look, just don't be too suspicious! Arranging to go in a group is a really dumb idea!

    Also would not advise going near the place at night due to number of langers and undesirables hanging around. Atkins Hall car park is a real hot spot for having your car broken into.

    By the way St Kevs is still easily the most horrible place I've been in Ireland.

    AI.
    www.AbandonedIreland.com




  • AI wrote: »
    Lads this place is pretty well locked down now and has been for about the last six months.

    Security is based on the site 24/7, they patrol the whole grounds of St Kevs and the rest of the hospital complex every few hours.

    However I don't think it's a problem to walk around the outside of the buildings to have a look, just don't be too suspicious! Arranging to go in a group is a really dumb idea!

    Also would not advise going near the place at night due to number of langers and undesirables hanging around. Atkins Hall car park is a real hot spot for having your car broken into.

    By the way St Kevs is still easily the most horrible place I've been in Ireland.

    AI.
    www.AbandonedIreland.com

    I had a walk around the grounds of atkins hall, st kevins and it's chapel yesterday around sunset on the way home from work, unfortunately didn't have my camera in the car. would have got some nice shots from the outside.

    The only people I came across were dog walkers. But i can imagine the langers come out at night. the graffiti had to come from somewhere ;)

    A group of us standing around with cameras like morbid tourists is probably not wise :pac:

    Atkins hall seemed pretty much gutted ready for refurbishment anyways- nothing much to see inside.




  • Hello,
    First of all, really nice pics. The one from the chapel are brilliant! About entering the Saint Kevin's Unit, forget it. You can walk around the building all right, but the windows are board up, some have even been closed with steel plates. I was there 2 weeks ago and noticed that a window of the Saint Anne's Unit had been opened (I think that's the name of the lower red building at the back of Saint Kevin's). Two men walking a small dog saw it too, one of them sent a text and 10 minutes later, a security car was there...
    If you want to have an idea of how things look inside Saint Kevin's, check this out: http://www.tracesofhumanity.com but forget the idea of entering the building, unless you want to break in and be caught... Irish policemen are nice, but this would be pushing things a little bit too far...
    By the way, I am looking for testimonies from former patients and staff members about Our Lady's in general and the Saint Kevin's unit!
    PS: group photography up there is definitely not wise. And to go there only for the thrill of shooting morbid pics is, in my opinion, disrespectful.




  • Any chance anyone knows the name of the security company?




  • Heya!

    Have to admit to a certain fascination with the place, not sure why! But I was up around there yesterday with a friend and it really is an incredible complex of buildings!

    We explored the under-renovation area of the grey building (St. Ita's?/Atkins Hall). Atmosphere wasn't too bad. Rather sad-feeling and dead more than anything, although it is bizarre to walk along the front from the ruined end to the Atkins end and realise there are people living in there now.. I'd say about a third is lived in currently. There's a connector door from the "dead end" to the "live end", but it was well-secured. One thing that is striking about the massive grey building is how narrow it is, despite it's length. The section we were in appeared to be a male sector, as there were remains of urinals. Weren't sure of the floors (a lot of builders planks and some holes going down three storeys!), so didn't go up into the loft, but it is all very accesible. That side is completely stripped out though. Could also go down into the basements if you really want to (wide open) but..eh..not for me thanks..!

    There's a photo floating about of a graffiti-ed statue of Our Lady (outside the front of St. Kevin's (the red building). It's been cleaned up - it's pristine currently and rather at odds with it's surroundings!

    The tunnel from St. Kevin's to the Church would be accessible, but it's like something out of Silent Hill in there! The Church would be accessible with a bit of scramble although again, we didn't. The inside is in amazingly good order- all the pews are still there, and the organ, as in the photos.

    St Kevin's itself would have been accessible through the 1st storey, and that pretty easily. But frankly, I didn't want to. Even from the outside, there is a really horrible feeling from that place. The red-pink walls that you can see inside the building (yes, some of the INSIDE walls are painted this horrible, virulent colour - v. calming for a mental institute, I must say) are not exactly encouraging either. It was easily the nastiest-feeling place in the entire complex; even though it was just another abandoned building, it had a somehow menacing and brooding feel to it. They can renovate St. Ita's and the other large buildings, but frankly, good luck to anyone who takes St. Kevin's on. Wouldn't live there if I was paid for it!




  • well thats encouraging news, thanks :)

    Nice to hear that a trip down there would not be wasted




  • This really reminds me of the film Session 9 which was filmed in an abandoned asylum in the States: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0261983/



    Sorry, just saw SteelyDan mentioned it a year ago!!


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  • I am definately in for a visit amazing location. Thank you kitty for your story although very sad but be proud of how far you have come!!


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