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West Park Hospital, Epsom

West Park was the last mental hospital to be developed on the Horton Estate, having been planned since 1906, prior to the opening of neighbouring Long Grove asylum. Initial development to have been completed for opening in 1916. From 1917 the main hospital was largely complete and utilised by Canadian Military, and subsequently handed back to London county council. The complete hospital was anticipated to hold approximately 2,000 patients of mixed class. The hospital started a phase closure in 2003 and is in the final stages of demolition/conversion into a mixed commercial/residential site.

With illness hampering my abilities to get out with the camera once more and West Park slowly joining the big list of asylums to meet the demolition ball I took this opportunity to look through my photos and put a selection of my favourite images from my many visits. West Park will never be on the same par as Cane Hill in my mind but many of those people who missed the opportunity to visit Cane Hill will probably regard west park as the best left. In recent years it became more accessible and sadly trashed as a result. Will another padded cell ever be found left in situ as with the one at West Park? I very much doubt it. Goodbye old friend.

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12 comments

  1. My dad sustained severe head injuries during ww2 and was admitted in 1946 to Longrove hospital where his jaw was broken my a nurse for refusing to clear up another patient’s excreta. After that he went to West Park several times. When my mother died in 1959 I used to dress up in her old clothes to get in to visit him. I was 13 or 14 at the time. I think the nurses knew my age but turned a blind eye, thankfully. It was a dire place with gaslight I recall. The other inpatients varied from people with OCD to Schizophrenia, anxiety and depression. I recall some drug addicts too. I recall the nurses there as supportive and understanding. Nevertheless I am pleased it has gone. Is it any wonder I have devoted my adult life to studying psychology and working in the field of mental health.

  2. Er, the place is all but converted/demolished. Not sure what bit you were trying to get in but probably wasn’t worth it. Buildings are empty

  3. I visited here. But couldn’t get in, they put up high security fences and there is guards. how would you get in now?

  4. There is little left, a few outbuildings and old mortuary. That’s about it.

  5. is there anything left or is it a useless process in going to the asylum?

  6. It’s in the later stages of redevelopment. There is nothing of any note left, sorry.

  7. Hi I live 3 minutes away from west park and I’ve always been able to see the tower from my window and never knew what it was. Recently I looked it up and have become slightly obsessed with going in. Would you be so kind as to give me some advice how to get in and avoid getting caught?

  8. I worked here for about 6 weeks in 1965. It was an eyeopener. I was 19 and training to be a nurse at St George’s hospital. I had a two week stint on the admission ward. I think the photo with the images of windows is the day room there. I had a two week stint on the ward where people were dying. I had a two week stint on the locked ward. They were all female wards. When we worked on the locked ward we were given a huge tap and a huge key. Patients ate their breakfast and then all the knives and forks were counted and then they were allowed to go to the toilet which at other times was locked. The padded cell on that ward was different. It seemed to be a different colour – a reddish colour. There was also small rooms off the ward where some of the nurses were housed. The patients were housed in a fifty bed ward and had one small drawer under the bed for their belongings. They clung on to the handbags all the time. The clothes they wore were unironed and not their own. A linen bag would come back from the laundry with clean crumbled clothes and the patients put on the first things to hand. Each week they would have a bath and they were put in the same bathwater. They would queue and then step into the bath and step out. It was like a conveyer belt. I can remember in the admission ward working on Christmas Day and the patients danced with each other to When I fall in love, each with their handbag over their arms. All haircuts were pudding basin. It would have to be the most depersonalising place I have ever seen. I am glad it is a ruin and not used.

  9. It’s in the later stages of development now.

  10. If anyone does find out if this place can still be visited please post as I’d love to investigate this place. I just find it fascinating what all the history of it and the lives lived there.

  11. Jennifer Cadogan(Topsy)

    I worked at West Park from 1966-1969.I was 18 years old ,and have lots of interesting stories to tell, living in Cadwell House.

  12. hi can u get in this location,,or is it now closed off,, also is it knocked down yet,,,i would like to paranormal investigate the site

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