County Hospital – Durham, UK

History:  

On an elevated point in the City of Durham, is a spacious building of stone, supported by donations and public subscriptions and erected in 1853, in the Elizabethan style, at a cost of £7,500, and will hold 44 patients. In 1867 male and female convalescent wards were added at a cost of £2,400 as a memorial of the late Dean Waddington, who in 1865 contributed £2,000 to the funds of the hospital, and subsequently a further sum of £2,000, and finally bequeathed by will £6,000 more. Additional wards were added by the late John Eden esq., of Beamish Park, who gave a sum of £2,000 towards their erection, and bequeathed a further sum of £10,000. These were opened December 2, 1886. There is now room for 50 patients

The site closed in 2010 following completion of the new £24 million Lanchester Road Hospital on the Earls House Hospital site.

Since 2010 the site has remained vacant. In 2014 planning permission was sought to demolish extensions and return the main building back to its Victorian state and named “Viaduct Court”. With a new building of a large block of halls on the South West side, it is proposed the site will house 440 students. The plans for the new building are being referred to as “New Hall”

Heading off for another Durham explore, this time we decided to visit the derelict County Hospital, on arrival we notice a plethora of CCTV and keep out signs, always a good sign for urban explorers 😉 As we circumnavigated the building trying to find a way in we stumbled upon a strange looking building and nearly bypassed it, so glad we didn’t as upon opening the door we found it was the entrance to the morgue, whilst the room was very creepy it had a lot of detail and still contained the morgue slab and even an old rotary telephone. We then set off again to search for an entrance to the main hospital complex and were lucky enough to find it !! Was one of the most ingenious entrances we have ever found, a real first ! The hospital itself had two main sections a Victorian building which was an architectural treat, and a modern section. Not long after we have gained entry we saw a security guard and dogs turn up, we went upstairs to get a better view and noticed he had pulled up in a van afterwards we realised we set off a motion detector when we gained access, he walked around the building and sounded his horn and then waited in his van presumably waiting to catch us on our exit, We continued exploring and thoroughly enjoyed it, as there is so much to see and so many rooms with interesting items left over. Having spent a good few hours here we decided to exit but the security guy was still waiting in his van, so another exit at the far side of the building had to be figured out, we jumped out into a courtyard and had to climb a tall wire fence to make our escape which resulted in us then having to slide down a steep ravine and final flung off the edge of a precipice onto a public footpath, covered in mud and leaves, much to the amusement of onlookers. A great time and a great place 🙂

All images © 2013-2015

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