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GES038 - St. Clements Hospital

The buildings were originally built in 1848-49 as a workhouse, for the Board of Guardians of the City of London Union. It became an infirmary for the CLU in 1874, and in 1912 the Bow Institution for the long-term sick. In 1936 it became a psychiatric unit, under the St C's name again. It became part of the London Hospital in 1968 and went through various organisational changes until closure in 2005. Services were transferred to a new Adult Mental Health Facility at Mile End Hospital in October 2005. History from Wikipedia

As seen from the road, shamelessly swiped from Google Streetview until I remember to take a photo next time I pass.

This was GE077s and my second visit. The first time we wanted to kill time before doing the Savoy, so only did the building at the far back, referred to as the Southern Building here. The only highlight of which was a room of self expression for the recovering drug addicts. Entry to this building, as with all buildings looked simple, but was a bugger and involved bruises all down my legs.

The second trip was following on from a reccie on the first trip, so we knew how we were going to get into the middle southern middle building. I had brought pipe insulation foam to protect my poor legs this time, and in I went. We did the usual top down explore. Including a careful trip to the roof, and a view of the clock tower on the middle northern building.

Every surface of this room had either peely paint or weird water marks.

We walked along the corridors, with the warm morning sun bursting in from the stripped lifeless room's windows. A number of explorers like checking out hospitals, but I have to say, most are lifeless and stripped bare.

In one room on the middle floor, I was quite taken by an art deco styled fire place in a room with art deco frontage.

On the ground floor was lots of nice wood paneling and stairs with curved handrail endings.

through a door and we were in a canteen

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And behind the canteen was obviously a kitchen, with cold stores and prep rooms off the corridor marked fire exit above.

We explored around this area and found some interesting bits and bobs. As we came back to the wood panelled stairs area looking to exit the building, we found the door we'd passed through propped open with a wedge of wood underneath. Niether of us had done this, so someone else was in the building, eek, we got the hell out of there.

It wasn't until we walked past the back of this building we realised we weren't supposed to go in. Interesting mosaics around the door.

It was then onto the middle northern building, which had a few nice touches amongst the rather bland stripped office rooms. We went to the top, which involved a brief search for the correct staircase. This lead up a pigeon infested clock tower to the top. This is looking south to the middle southern building mostly hidden by the chimney, southern building and graveyard beyond.

The exterior of the building had some lovely features, like these lovely white arched windows.

Although the interior had some nice touches as well. This was the staircase leading up to the area where the clock tower stairs are. Great detail on the steps.

The windows looked nice, even when they didn't really open onto anything other than internal vent shaft.

GE077 got there first, so I let him snap the wonderful stairs that are the centrepiece of this building, if not the site. This seemed an appropriate place to wait.

When GE077 finished, it was my turn, and out came Sammy Fisheye to get the stretch

And then shooting upwards

Underneath the stairs was a rather nice painting, similar in style to painter Edward Hopper, who's work I appreciate.

Down the steps in the above shot was a basement with areas for storing coal, as well as christmas trees and a room full of floor scrubbers reminiscent of West Park Asylum.

We worked our way to the access point, and hopped back out into the warm morning air. GE077 was tiring fast, but I managed to persuade him to check out the low building that runs up the middle of the Western part of the site.

It was mainly full of rooms for art orientated projects and I think car repair garage type stuff at the Northern end. This was a room with patient art work put up. There was also a kiln in the room for pottery.

There was a section on the Southern end of this building that didn't join up with the rest, and after figuring out a less than orthadox way in, I dropped in for a look, quickly followed by a curious GE077. It was a shell of a room, the next door room was pigeon territory and stank. GE077 takes a rest on the top left.

We went to check on a basement door GE077 had spotted earlier, that led to nothing, and it was time to go. I grabbed a shot of the Southern building, and we left in as dignified manner as I could muster, my knees shooting up into my chest from the higher than anticipated drop.

The Northern most building, which is the one you see from the road, has building watchers living in it, so that and time restraints meant we didn't venture up to it for a look.

Cheers GE077 for the company as always.

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