Stafford County Lunatic Asylum

Stafford County Asylum opened in 1818 to accomodate 120 patients. Over the years it expanded and housed around 1000 patients. During the 1950s, it was renamed St George’s Hospital. Like so many other asylums, it closed in the mid-1990s. There are plans to convert the Grade II listed buildings into “100 distinctive dwellings”, and work should be starting in 2008.

Living in Stafford a few years ago, I would often get a tantalising glimpse of the asylum from the nearby ring-road. I sometimes wondered what it was like inside. I didn’t do anything about it, indeed almost forgetting about it when I moved away. Five years later I finally got the chance to look around. Stafford Asylum is, by far, one of the most derelict buildings I have visited. Time has not been kind to it, suffering at the hands of both vandals and nature. There are no windows and very few ceilings. Floors are squidgy and rotten, if they are there at all!

Outside

You can’t help but admire this behemoth of a building. At four storeys high and around 300m long, it would’ve made an impressive sight on the Stafford marshes in it’s heyday. Sadly it’s glory now hides behind a huge overgrown mess of trees.

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Lower levels

The lower levels of the asylum are relatively interesting. Corridors, some isolation rooms (with the most colourful array of doors I have seen in an asylum), engineering rooms, a delightfully dingey pharmacy, and so on…

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Chapels

There is a small double chapel in the asylum, strangely found on the second floor.

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Main hall

The main hall is perculiar – it is full of scaffolding. Presumably an attempt to prevent it collapsing after previous arson attacks.

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Stairs

The main staircase is rather impressive, a square-spiral affair complete with anti-suicide cages. Someone had tried to throw a door down, with no success.

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Upper floors

There are huge holes in the roof, and they are slowly making their way down to ground-level. Needless to say, not much of the upper floors were explored…

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This entry was posted in Asylums and Hospitals, staffordshire and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

294 Responses to Stafford County Lunatic Asylum

  1. sam says:

    hi

    I have some memories of St Georges as my great nan (my nan’s mum) was a patient there when I was very young and I remember visiting her there. Also as a child we used to go conkering as well in the grounds. It really is a beautiful building.

    The social club used to be run by my great uncle (my nan’s brother) Roy but is still run by his daughter. And I have lots of memories from it. Usually involving knic-knaks and a can of coke.

    The building is so beautiful inside and out and I thought that the listed building was still being converted (even after the arson attack) to apartments which should be beautiful.

  2. Brian says:

    Hi to all of you St Georges People, wherever you are –

    New Website just gone Live about the old place. Here is the LINK –
    http://www.aturnofthekey.com

    Explore – I hope it refreshes your memories.

  3. karen says:

    I use to work at St George’s hospital around 1992. Lovely building, Great staff and clients. A really nice place to work…happy days

  4. Lizzie says:

    Hello, i don’t know if anyone would be able to help but it’s worth a try. My great grandfather worked and lived in the grounds of the hospital. His name was John Smith Sharpe. He lived there with his family. I am not sure of exact dates but my grandad lived there and he was born in 1928 and my Great grandfather died in 1951 so they lived there during those dates. Would be great to hear any information that people may know of. Thanks

  5. christine bassett says:

    hi l wonder if any one has any information about a sarah smith she was my grandmother,she died 1972 in the hospital.she went in to st georges in the 1930 onwards cannot find any information as they say the records were destroyed in fire,would love to find out why she was there remember going to visit when l was about 10years old,not a very nice place,any one with any information many thanks chris

  6. Trudy Lovatt says:

    I worked at St George’s 1977 to 1981. We still had some of the Coton Hill patients there then ,and I remember the Coton Hill Hospital being demolished. there was a website with pictures of St Georges in better condition, Hotchkiss Ward was recognisable, and Hopton Ward, not sure what the title of the website was but the photos had been taken by a man who photographed derilict industrial buildings?

  7. Zoe Hyland says:

    Hi we are doing a documentary about the Asylum and was wondering if any of you have anything to say? We would love to hear anything from you, however slight. Contact us on danike007@hotmail.co.uk
    Thanks
    Zoe

  8. brian says:

    At Last – work has finally started on the remaining old building. The main building – the Hub of the old place. Shropshire Homes apparently have a good record working on Listed Buildings in a sensitive way. Here’s hoping. Keeping track of same on my Website about the old place –
    aturnofthekey.com

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