Sunday, 16 September 2012

Union Workhouse/Eastry Asylum - September 2012

Been meaning to make the effort and get over to Eastry for months now, after the recent fire I thought that I wouldn't get a chance, but fortunately yesterday afternoon I found myself having a look around the former asylum.

Histoy pinched from 2wid's report:
Eastry Hospital started off life in 1835-6 as a poor mans workhouse. It quickly grew insize over subsequent years with more accomodation blocks being errected up until the 1870′s The layout was a traditional design, with the buildings being errected around a large courtyard. A chapel was built close to the road on one side of the workhouse. The workhouse eventually became Eastry Hospital, which was a centre that specialised in the care of people with learning difficulties. It finally closed in the late 1990′s.

The explore itself was a bit laboured. I was massively hungover to start off with, had a hellish train journey. I took my bike to cycle to Eastry, and had memorised the route. After about five miles I realised that something wasn't right, and worked out I was well over half way to Deal, and needed to go back. I was dying by the time I got to my destination. Anywho, I was pleasantly surprised to see how big what's left of the place is, and cracked on.

Fortunately it turned out that the recent fire was mainly confined to an out building, which didn't look too badly damaged from the outside. Didn't have time to check on the inside when I was on my way back though.

The first building that I squeezed myself into was a bit disappointing, other than a few artefacts lying around.

I found a sort of out-house boiler room, although with the amount of vegetation growing around it I couldn't get a particularly good shot. 

I made my way (in through the toilet window, classy) in to the building furthest to the East of the site, which had more pieces of interest in it.

Just after finding this piece of graffiti, I thought I heard someone in the building behind me, and proceeded to freak myself out for a few minutes. Obviously it was just a pigeon.

Back upstairs in the most Easterly building, I found a nice bath.

Reminded me of the E song 'Taking a Bath in Rust'.

After this I made my way along to the main building, what I believe to be the oldest part - the original workhouse itself. A very agile entry allowed me to see some true relics of the hospital's past, unlike at St Augustine's recently.

Unfortunately there was lots of graffiti, but the 'Big up Destinys Child' one did make me laugh.

I had a disagreement with the sagging/missing floor on the way in to the room shown above, and even more of a disagreement on the way out. Fortunately I did not go crashing through to the basement. It turned out to be my favourite photo of the day, so it was worth it. 

The paper was dated September 1982 I think.

This photo doesn't show it, but the ceiling was really caving in when I got down to the basement. Lots of crouching!

Now that's what I call rust 48!

Upstairs a level or two now, and time was fast running out.

Above is the top level, essentially the attic. The gap in the floor boards went straight through to the floor below, but after venturing over them, unfortunately none of the three attic rooms held anything, let alone anything of interest.

After a final corridor shot of the bottom floor, it was time to leave. Very glad I made the effort (and with the huge D-tour, it was some effort) to get to Eastry, really enjoyed looking around what's left. I didn't have time to do the outer building, but did have a quick perimeter search of the chapel to no avail.

Until next time....

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