cane hill | walking the perimeter

I visited this part of the hospital in autumn 2001. The lights were on but no one was home.

Security used to camp down in the front office, a small maze of 1970s teak and plastics. Urban explorers hoped there were grand staircases, big halls and open spaces to match the opulence of the front of Cane Hill.

It's been torched. The windows are boarded up, fire damage can be seen over the front doorway, piles of rubbish lie in the car park and the second floor windows have all been left open.

My understanding is this was caused by the most recent fire.

What a sad mess.

Whilst operative, we'd be looking at the Front Hall (otherwise known as the Main Entrance). The medical secretaries camped out on the left side of the front door, whilst the Committee Room was on the right. The Medical Library could be found in the basement.

See also: Interior view of this room, then check out here.
See also: October 2002

2009: I first visited Cane Hill with Phil in 1999. We were en-route to visit a mutual friend, but I discovered Phil and I were both secret urban explorers, so I suggested a detour to see this old asylum Iíd read about on the Internet.

That visit changed both our lives over the next decade.

I returned in 2001 and marched up to the security enclave in the Administration Block and pounded on the doors. The lights were on, there were cars parked outside but no-one answered. Perhaps it was better they didnít: I was going to ask permission to go inside, or perhaps accompany the guard on patrol around the dilapidated interior of the building. Such naive thoughts...

I wouldn't have been granted permission anyway. If I'd respected dubious health and safety rules, common sense superstition, or the wishes of unelected government quangos, then I wouldn't have entered Cane Hill. Looking back, I'm thankful that I ignored their advice.

Recent fire damage to the hospital's entrance. © Simon Cornwell 2002