warley hospital | the essex county lunatic asylum
Last update: 23|08|10
Warley Hospital



ward #3 first floor
general orientation

General view of ward #3 first floor



Ward #3 from the 1853 plan (coloured)






ward #3 first floor
detailed pictures

The design of the wards was largely uniform across the asylum with little differentiation for class of patient. As was typical for a building of the corridor planform, a ward comprised of a single central gallery with a single bay window along one side (these spaces doubled up as dormitories on first floors), day and dining rooms appended to either end, with single rooms, stores and attendant rooms along the opposing side.

Lavatories and bathrooms were also associated with each ward but these were not housed in separate sanitation towers (as this was a later construct and didnít start appearing until the 1860s and 1870s).

A contemporary description further underlined the identical design of the wards: "Each gallery contains two rooms for attendants, so arranged as to overlook the dormitories, a store room, scullery, bath room and lavatory, all well fitted, and a supply of hot and cold water is available at all times, night and day. Convenient to the wards are two large rooms, one on the male, the other on the female side, used as dining rooms for the attendants, also a large amusement room."

One notable feature of the interiors of some of the wards was the curious curved ceilings with "honeycombed" textures. This was Victorian fire-proofing (not sound dampening as some have guessed): it wasnít a popular feature (probably being expensive and time consuming to build) and was only used at the Second Middlesex County Asylum (Colney Hatch, 1851), the First Essex County Asylum (Warley,1853) and the First Lincoln County Asylum (St Johnís, 1852).



interior: view south
The hospital wards are given identifying numbers. This is simply the order in which I encountered them and doesnít correspond to any number or name they may have been given during the working life of the hospital.

Ward #3 was the most northerly ward of the original asylum.

The ward was painted in fairly neutral colours (when compared with other areas of the hospital). Like many it had been divided into two sections and this was the southern section.

Unlike many of the other wards, this ward featured a nursesí station adjacent to the dividing wall.




detail of shower
It was also one of the few wards to have a sit-in-shower.




interior: view north-west
Whilst architectural embellishments had gone (there were no carved stones at the base of the arch unlike downstairs), this ward also retained a fire-place in the day room.




detail of clock
This clock spooked me out slightly as it was still ticking. (There was no power to any of the rooms).




interior: view south
The ward ended with two dayrooms at its southern end. The facing doorway led to the stairs leading down to the main asylum corridors.




exterior: view south
The view south out of a window showed the low sloping roof of the corridor and the original water tower in the distance.




storage area
This forgotten storeroom located off the staircase was one of the few areas of the hospital not to be cleared.




interior: view south
A small, narrow, cramped corridor led back to the main corridor network.




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