Eerie images of Greater Manchester’s ‘Hospital for the Insane’

The now derelict South House was once part of the Cheadle Royal Asylum – previously the Manchester Royal Hospital for the Insane

A photographer has captured a series of eerie photographs showing the remains of a building that was once part of ‘Manchester Royal Hospital for the Insane’.

Pictures show the devastation that years of neglect have wrought on what is known locally as South House, an abandoned part of the asylum complex.

The original hospital – one of the UK’s first lunatic asylums – was moved from Manchester Infirmary in the city to the suburbs of Stockport in 1849.

Pioneering at the time, hospital chiefs aimed to move away from the brutal and humiliating treatment other mental hospitals commonly used at the time, using more mild methods for those suffering from psychiatric illness.

Situated on the leafy border of Cheadle, it was intended for the middle and upper classes in society. And unlike pauper asylums, they accepted voluntary patients. In fact, it was the first asylum known to do so.

The name was changed in 1902 to Cheadle Royal Hospital in a bid to remove the stigma associated with the terminology used in its previous moniker – and by this point was one of the largest hospitals of its kind in the country.

South House was constructed in 1937, initially used as accommodation for hospital staff.

And by 2010, the majority of the main site of the hospital became part of the Priory Group, a private hospital that offers comprehensive inpatient care.

However South House was never incorporated into the new site.  Left on the outskirts of the hospital boundaries, the building fell victim to time, the elements and vandals.

Evidence of the many nurses that once roamed the winding corridors has long gone, with fixtures and fittings ripped out over the years. Now a popular spot for urban explorers, the large imposing house is just a shell of its former self.

Stockport photographer Scott Bradley who runs Phukin Photos has documented what remains of the building, after using the site for a shoot with a local band.

He said: ” I went to do a photo shoot for a band called World Held Hostage.  I had no idea the site even existed until the band told me about it.

“It was totally smashed up inside, a lot of the floors and ceilings had fallen through and large parts of it were quite unsafe. 

“I was honestly amazed at how many other groups of people were there exploring.”

There is very little left on site of the old Nurses Home, lying derelict for other a quarter of a century.

The building is closed off to the public and on private land, meaning access to the site is usually banned. However Scott’s photos give a rare insight into the old building.

You can see more of Scott’s work here.

Manchester Evening News