GES028 - Temperance Hospital, London
A work colleague tipped me off about this place, knowing i'm into these sorts of things. I had recently been talking to GE052 on 28DL about Battersea, and after i'd got into Control Room A, asked if he'd done this place. He said he'd tried twice, but not gained entry. It had been on Derelict Places for awhile with exterior shots, but again, no internals. I felt a challenge had been laid down.
- L T Hospital sits behind Euston Station in central London. It was opened in 1873 on Gower St. at the height of the Temperance movement. They wanted a hospital that would avoid use of alcohol unless absolutely essential to life. It was managed by a board of 12 teetotallers, who were rumoured to not be much fun(!). Inpatients were admitted to the new hospital free by a letter from a governor, or on payment of a fixed amount. Outpatients could be admitted with a governor's letter or pay at least a shilling a visit.
The hospital moved to it’s current site on Hampstead Road after purchasing land from St. James Church in 1879. It was opened in 1885. In 1931 the hospital expanded when Chicago magnate Samuel Insull donated $160.000 to build a new extension, the "Insull Memorial wing." In 1939 it became the National Temperance Hospital, and in 1948 it was incorporated into the newly formed NHS. It was closed in 1990, and used for various courses and admin purposes by Middlesex Hospital/UCL until Middlesex hospital began to be closed down.
On a darkened night, I got to a park at the back of the site. Just as I was about to climb the park's fence, a police car pulled off the Euston Road, I casually walked off along the road until they'd gone. Then went for another go, when a taxi unhelpfully stopped a few metres from the gate I was going to climb. After 5 mins, I decided sod it, and struggled over a more difficult bit of the fence into the park. I then nipped into the darkness of the park and had more railings to climb to get into the LTH site. Luckily a gravestone helped me.
I began to ascend the building, noticing a window in the room of the hotel nearest me was wide open and a light was on. I took things slow and tried to make a quiet climb. Some bits were a bit scary, and need a lot of arm strength to pull myself up. I finally got to an open area with a number of windows feeding onto this area. Getting in wasn't a problem, and I found myself in a darkened hospital, with white walls and wooden skirting. I checked the rooms off the corridor, they were the usual dull hospital rooms, vacant of any remnant of their previous use. In one room I found signs of a transient having slept there and eaten. So I was careful to listen out for signs of them, or potential security. I walked around the floor until I came to some doors that lead me out into the hallway type passage with lots of windows that sits at the front of the hospital.
I continued on up the hallway, and it became the hall that becomes a bridge to the Insull Memorial part of the hospital. As I carefully walked across bent doubt (the security hut was just beside this bridge), and reached the double doors. Sadly they were locked and boarded up from the other side. This photo was taken with my back to the locked doors.
Disappointed, I went back into the main building. The only real decay was in a staircase that had a water leak and reeked of mould.
Items left behind were piled up in the hallway, presumably to be evacuated with the rest of stuff left here. Mainly training brochures and similar material.
A door with a large alarm on the wall sat in front of my progress, was it working I wondered? Only one way to find out, nope, wasn't working. I got out into a little open area with a fire escape, halfway up the building.
On the floors looking North, there were white railings and thin balconies overlooking the BhS HQ. At the top the doors were wide open, it seemed a nice place to take a break.
I went through another door with a large alarm pentagonal box next to it, again, no alarm sounded. Although somewhere off site the alarms could be ringing/flashing like crazy. Oh well. Into the tops of the building and the roof was reverse 'V' shaped and had a cosy feel to the rooms. This was enhanced by the lovely small Victorian fireplaces in each room.
After a wander around the top of the building, I went down to the ground floor. There were surgery rooms here with thin dividing partitions, and the dispensing clinic.
The corridor around this bit I rather liked, the way it twisted with white wooden lined windows letting the light in.
A walk down a floor brought me to the basement, where I came across a submerged generator room. The water was full of acid or something, as I couldn't stay here long due to my eyes stinging from the acrid fumes.
Further on and into a lower basement. This is where you get your thrills when exploring solo. The sub basement was almost entirely in pitch darkness, and I could hear the sound of rushing water coming from somewhere. Luckily I was wearing my German Military boots, because it was around 5cms deep in water. I carefully moved from one room to the next in what felt like a maze.
The roaring sound of water getting ever closer as I flipped the torch around each room I passed through. I finally came to a hallway, where I could see at one end a plume of water rising up around half a metre in height. Clearly a water main had burst down here. I tip toed off through the water to a room with a room inside of it, partitioned with windows. All around me items were floating in the water. As you can see from this photograph, the moisture in the air was very heavy.
I got back up the stairs, and shook off the water before packing away my gear. I decided to exit the way I came, even though I'd found a much easier way in. It was a little scary on the descent, but once in the park I was relieved. A final photo of the outside of the building, and I headed home for a nice bowl of porridge.