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Whittingham Hospital
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Default Whittingham Hospital - 06-12-2010, 22:46

Short History:

The three Lancashire lunatic asylums at Prestwich, Rainhill and Lancaster in 1866 were deemed full. Whittingham Asylum was constructed in 1869 because of this and its doors opened to patients on April 1st, 1873. The hospital originally housed 1,000 patients however extensions were added in 1880 and 1912 which gave the hospital room to house over 2,000 patients. Along with its vast amount of wards the hospital also had on-site facilities that included an infectious diseases sanatorium, train station, theatre with orchestra and brass band, several farms, brewery, post office, Catholic chapel and Anglican church.

During both the world wars parts of the hospital were reassigned to treat both civilian and military casualties. In the early 1920’s Whittingham Asylum was renamed Whittingham Mental Hospital. By 1939 Whittingham, there was a staggering 3533 patients admitted to the hospital, with a staff of 548, making it the largest mental hospital in the country.

Shortly after the occupation of casualties from the Second World War workers at the hospital pioneered the use of electroencephalograms (EEG’s) which is the recording of electrical activity along the scalp produced by the firing of neurons within the brain. In 1948 the hospitals name changed again to “Whittingham Hospital” because of the incorporation of Ribchester Hospital.

Many allegations of patient cruelty in Asylums up and down the country led to the Mental Health Act of 1960 to be passed which deemed large segregated institutions like Whittingham obsolete in actually helping patients to recover. The final blow that saw the closure of Whittingham Hospital was new drugs, therapies and new ways of thinking to cure the mentally ill in the 1970’s and 1980’s was realized. Long-stay patients returned to society or submitted to segregated wings in general hospitals in the surrounding area of Preston. Once the near special treatment hospital opened in Preston in 1995 Whittingham Hospital closed down for good.

Something of Interest:

In 1967 a book called “Sans Everything” was published, which described the conditions within England's long term medical facilities which stirred student nurses to speak out against the head nurses in Whittingham Hospital. However the head male nurse at the time quickly doused the fires of rebellion by threatening the student nurses with legal actions against them, and no issues were pursued until 1968, when a new psychologist had toured the wards. He didn't like what he saw and published a number of articles displaying his opinions in several articles. These articles led to the head male nurse and the matron at the hospital to retire. An investigation took place and reports of mistreatment were reported on two male wards and 2 female wards. Mistreatment entailed reports of patients being locked in small wardrobes and in washrooms, as well as “the wet towel treatment” which meant some patients got a wet towel around there necks to induce unconsciousness. Allegations were denied however many of the staff on the wards most affected were discharged and peace was restored.














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Default 06-12-2010, 22:53

Great report, most asylums I visit are still active
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Default 07-12-2010, 12:06

^^ what he said ^^

Great shots though, I like the framing and the detail


...Falling through floors so you don't have to
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Default 07-12-2010, 13:26

Thanks for the positive feedback chaps. Ill make sure I re-resize the images in my next report Andy. To be honest it's not hard to capture stunning detail and composure with the help of Cannon 5D Mark 2 and good editing skills. But thanks I'm glad you liked the post.
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Default 07-12-2010, 14:35

Great report and history. One of my first proper explores this place.

First picture is crackin. Gets me everytime with the sheer volumes of stripped cable casing everywhere. Shame the gaffs so ruined!


M38 REP
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Default 07-12-2010, 14:43

Yeah nice first report man

This place is more interesting at night, and dodging them security guards at this place is also fun.


smoke me a kipper ill be back for breakfast
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