severalls, warley | comparisons

With some more pictures of Severalls (visited to inspect the dreadful arson damage of November which resulted in the destruction of the Main Hall) and lots of unpublished pictures of the Warley, I thought I'd compare the two, rather than write up another urban exploration tour.

During the eighty years when asylum building was most frequent (and Iím roughly thinking of the period between 1845 and 1930), the design of asylums was rigorously controlled by the Asylums Board. As the earliest asylums became populated, monitoring, feedback and checks allowed the board to improve their procedures and rules.

In terms of bricks and mortar, this was most prevalent in the design and shape of the asylum itself. As the years passed, ad-hoc and corridor designs lead to experimental patterns, before the emergence of the echelon form. Associated disciplines, such as Florence Nightingaleís work in the Crimean, lead to the pavilion system being adopted in general hospital design, which in turn affected asylum architecture.

The following series of pictures isnít an urban exploration tour, but rather an examination of the two County Asylums. The first built in 1854 conformed to the corridor pattern. The second completed in 1913, represented the latest thinking, an example of the narrow-arrow echelon plan.

  Part of: Warley Hospital: In Depth