harperbury hospital | empty

Maps and plans, multi-map printouts and Google Earth zooms are good, but are never enough to really reveal the full story, indicate good discrete routes in and out, nor show the extent of a site’s dereliction. Therefore our plans for Harperbury were based on guesswork and potentials: the car could be parked here, there’s a footpath there, you could probably get to the site through there and we’ll wing it then onwards.

Of course, others had been; but there’s only so much you can discern from a collection of poorly labelled, randomly ordered, anonymous photographs. Furthermore, other urban exploration websites concentrated on the various padded cells found in some of the villas and yet these explorers, who claimed to be "documenting buildings", had not even spared one shot for a building exterior. So I had no idea what Harperbury looked like.

This public footpath was a boon, a ready made perimeter path and soon the squat buildings of the south western corner of Harperbury swung into sight. (Although the overhanging tree boughs were probably in a more precarious and dangerous state than the allegedly ‘unsafe’ buildings we would be entering.)