urban decay

by amelie riis

A DECADE OF IMAGES FROM ABANDONED MENTAL INSTITUTIONS
 

High Royds

My first visit was at night and I can clearly recall the excitement of my first glimpse of the giant, bright white face of the clock tower as I walked across the field.  At that point, there was only one ward block in the process of conversion.  Initially, it was a tough place to crack - each visit, different parts were open and others were locked.  It wasn't until 2007 that it became much more accessible and it was the year of high royds.  It was a wonderful place - the mortuary was outstanding with its extra-wide rotating slab, The elation of getting into the clocktower was immense and it had one of the most beautiful corridors of all the uk asylums.

Piecing together life at Cane Hill

Inspired by an amateur historian friend, I've started the long task of getting the Cane Hill paperwork online and accessible.  The first installments are the staff weekly newsletter - the Yellow Pages - from 1982 and half of 1983, excerpts from the hospital incident book from 1968-1974 and the first report of the hospital management committee 1948-50 (first post-formation of the NHS and change of name to Cane Hill Hospital).

Wondrous Cane Hill

I've been to many amazing asylums, but still nothing beats Cane Hill.  It had everything.  Vast amounts of furniture and belongings left behind, cells, cell doors and shutters, intact pharmacy and dentists, maps and plans, enough copies of their newsletter to piece together the story of a few years and patients' art - a room knee deep in patients' art.  What really made the place special though was the atmosphere - it had a soul.  I have thousands of pictures from 2004 until 2009 when most of the buildings were demolished.  It's going to take a while, but in reverse order, here are 2009 and 2008.

And now 2007