This asylum was one of my first explores way back in 2005 and it was my first asylum. The photos from this set are from 2006 to 2008 over a period of several visits.
The asylum was completed in 1880 and at the time only had a capacity of 115 patients. In 1890 the Lunacy act was passed and in 1892 arrangements were made for the grounds to be lit by electricity, this was completed in 1894. At the time of the second world war the patient population had grown to 3,533 this made Whittingham hospital the largest in the country. 1960 saw the beginnings of the end for Whittingham with the passing of the mental health act and with the invention of drugs patients were thought to be able to live normal lives.
Controversy at Whittingham Hospital can be traced back to 18th July 1967 when complaints of serious neglect, cruelty, ill-treatment and fraud began to flood in. Including allegations of patients being dragged by their hair, patients being set on fire, wards infested with cockroaches, patients being beaten.
The future of Whittingham? At the time of writing Whittingham is under development, the vegetation surrounding the beautiful Victorian buildings has been cleared out ready for it’s demolition. Many things are rumoured to be replacing Whittingham including flats and a business park.
Whittingham benefited from it’s own train station, a cinema/theatre/ballroom, a church, a chapel, a large water tower.
UPDATE 18th June 2008:
Planning permission secured – spring 2008
Compulsory Purchase (CPO) for bypass to be confirmed – autumn 2008
Remediation starts – spring 2009
Housing starts on site – early 2010