napsbury | foiled by the curtain twitchers

With closure looming in 1994, SAVE were bleak in their assessment of the buildings: "There is an expectation of planning permission for hundreds of new houses which probably does not include retention of any of the old buildings." Whilst this looked like a distinct possibility after the institution's closure in 1998, the grounds were listed by English Heritage as a Grade II Historic Park and Garden in 2001, and as an additional stroke of luck, sympathetic developer Crest Nicholson purchased the site and started the restoration and conversion of the unused buildings.

Their work was so thorough that a cursory glance at satellite images of Napsbury suggests the hospital is still there. The main buildings have been converted, the water tower is still extant, and the echelon wards are still all standing in formation, now homes.

Whilst the whole site has been spruced up, cleaned and tidied to the point that it feels like a extremely high quality new-build, the derelict hulk of the former recreation (first floor) and dining room (ground floor) sited slap bang at the base of the arrow formed by the echelon wards is the last tangible evidence of the hospital as it was.

The southern side of the recreation/dining hall.