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Severalls Mental Hospital

Site Location : Colchester, Essex

Here are a few pictures of our recent visit to Severalls. Originally built in 1913 using the 'Echelon' layout plan, the site consists of the main building complex in the form of a large number of wards and offices connected with long echoing corridors and a number of outlying buildings. The outlying buildings include self contained wards, service buildings and even a sizable chapel. The site is truly massive in scale (around 150 acres) and contains many open green areas.

The site was oficially closed in 1997 and was promptly surrounded by a substantial security fence. In the early days after the closure, the site was regularly patrolled by security guards both inside and out. Now however, the security firm is evidently just relying on the fence to keep visitors out. There are a number of other hospitals like this one dotted around the country, but thanks in part to the level of security and the fact that Severalls was one of the last to close, most of the structure is still in quite good condition. The site has however had it's fair share of vandalism. Many of the exterior windows have been smashed, especially those away from the surrounding houses and there have been a few attempts at arson, some of which have been devastatingly successful.

Although Severalls was originally a psyciatric hospital, in later years some of the wards were used for general surgery and geriatric patients.

This is inside one of the outlying wards. This ward has suffered extensive damage from vandalism.Site Picture
One of the long connecting corridors. Ten years of neglect have turned it from a warm bustling workplace into a cold empty shell.Site Picture
Exterior shot of the south side of the main complex. Note the extension to the right of the curved frontage. It's 60's styling is notably different from the rest of the building.Site Picture
A decaying ward information sign on the south side of the main complex.Site Picture
One of the many day-rooms in the main complex. Patients could relax and socialise in these rooms, watch TV and even in older times, smoke.Site Picture
This small room had bars on the window and it's own alarm system. I guess is was either used for storing drugs or money or both.Site Picture