A workhouse has been at this site near Hales since the 1760s.
In 1927, the workhouse was closed and the building converted into an institution for “mental defectives”. After 1930, control passed to Norfolk County Council and the establishment was renamed Heckingham Institution. In 1948, it became part of the National Health Service as Hales Hospital which closed in around 1990. The buildings are currently empty and awaiting redevelopment. (Copied from Workhouses website – more info and external photos can be found there).
There are plans to convert it into residential homes, but these seem to be on hold.
It was difficult to get outside photos – lots of people were round the front, so most of these are taken through the very few open windows.
First stop was the vaulted basement area.
Kitchen and Dining Room
This bit doesn’t need much explanation…
Corridors and rooms
The building was extremely well boarded up – inside was very dark. A few tiny bits of boards had fallen off giving small glimmers of light. Not much had been smashed up, but it was very empty.
On the way out, I popped into the “Sewing room” – this seems to be the most smashed up building on site, probably because it’s on the edge with easy access for kids.