cane hill | walking the perimeter

This glorious, rambling, sprawling Victorian pile has it all: wards, chapel, laundry, kitchens, admin blocks, boiler houses, tower, mortuary and tunnels, all set in acres of lush woodland. And it doesnít stop there either, for following barely traceable paths around the complex reveal greenhouses, swimming pools and nurses' accommodation blocks. (OK, so a greenhouse isnít that exciting, but it just emphasizes the siteís huge potential).

Iíd visited Cane Hill before, so I was on passing terms with the place. A couple of summer afternoons walking around the public footpath that conveniently circled the main buildings, nodding to the dog walkers, and relishing the time when, one day, I might creep in and savour its decaying interiors, survey the auditorium from the stage and stand silently in the chapel.

Alas, those plans have been utterly scuppered. For what follows is Cane Hill 2002, a battered, burnt, and thoroughly miserable place. And it was pouring with rain, and blowing a gale. What better way to survey the ruins of what remained.