warley | the chapels of warley
Written: 06|11|06

As the asylum expanded and contracted in size, so spaces were changed and their uses altered. The original Chapel, so superbly detailed, was one of the first casualties of the hospitalís expansion, eventually becoming a dormitory as space was at a premium.

And so as the hospital contracted, and the patients left, so the buildings again were pressed into new uses. St Raphaelís looked like itíd been derelict for years, probably abandoned whilst Warley was still running down; itís now been converted into apartments.

A similar fate probably awaits the original Chapel. Which doesnít upset me; for the building had to change uses many times during its life, and it only spent a fraction of its time as a Chapel. But, in a way, the Chapelís were barometers of both the size, and the changes taking place in these establishments as patient numbers ebbed-and-flowed. Warley may be unique in the sheer number of Chapels it had, but this story was repeated at many of the asylums up and down the country.

© Simon Cornwell 2006