St Lawrences Hospital, Bodmin, Cornwall

After only seeing a handful of successful explores on 28dayslater of St. Lawrences Hospital we decided to take the long trip down to Bodmin in Cornwall.

There are two parts to the hospital. An abandoned part and a live part. We pulled up in to the car park of the live site, kitted up & walked through to the disused area.

Being a weekend there was plenty of activity in the grounds. It had become somewhere for the locals to bring their dogs for a walk – generally being nosey at our interest in the empty building.

For nearly an hour we patrolled the perimeter, got on the roof, climbed in to courtyards and dragged ourselves on our bellies through service tunnels. No good. No way in. Then, by sheer luck, we happened across a window which was slightly ajar. Just enough to get our fingers in and open the sucker!

St. Lawrences Hospital was one of sixteen county asylums set up between 1811 and 1842. A lot of patients were classified as ‘paupers’, whose admissions were publicly funded. Rumours are rife about what kind of ‘tests’ and ‘treatments’ were given here during the Victorian era, such as electric shock therapy for epileptics. It’s also rumoured that the asylum had isolation cells but we found no evidence to support it.

Just as we were photographing the last few rooms we noticed a Security Van pull up on the opposite side of the site. Coincidence? Or had we tripped a silent alarm? We weren’t going to hang around and find out! Blindly, but quickly, we power-walked down the corridors, looking for an escape route. Our open window was too far away and too close to security. Fumbling at every window and door we came across a Yale Locked door. Turned the latch. Bright light! We’re outside! As our luck would have it, we exited right next to the car park we’d pulled up in earlier! Bingo!

Visited: October 2008 / Last updated: December 2014

Comments

14 responses to “St Lawrences Hospital, Bodmin, Cornwall”

  1. Scott says:

    This was great….

    Woke up this morning, and thought …I want to visit an abandoned site.

    Firstly, I must ask though …is this building still standing? Some of the comments read as though it’s no longer there….

    Seeing a few finds on BuzzFeed has really given me the thirst for it …yet, today I’m finally going to one. Found your site straight away …..and this was the first article I read. I’m from Cornwall, StAgnes ….so when I’m back, and driving passed Bodmin, I’ll be stopping by.
    I was lucky enough to take photos from inside the old abandoned Model Village some years back, before it was knocked down and turned into a film studios ….which, are now ALSO abandoned!!

    I’m off to Germany next week, and drcided to take day out to find the missile site the Russians abandoned when they left. Looks great in all pics I’ve seen…

    Thank you for such a great site.
    I shall now choose my adventure location for today

    • The Urban Explorer says:

      Pretty sure St Lawrences has been redeveloped now. But there’s no evidence like seeing with your own eyes!

      • Lolly says:

        Sadly st Lawrence’s no longer stands. I worked in the new hospital as a student nurse in 2003/2004 and persuaded a security guard to give me a guided tour; I have photos somewhere.
        I recently revisited for old times sake and was shocked and saddened to see not a glimmer of the old buildings :-( if you knew the grounds well as I did you can just about make out the shape of the original grounds/gardens

    • mandrew says:

      Do you have to pay or need permission if you would want to film there?

      • The Urban Explorer says:

        You’d probably need to go back in time too! I believe the site has been developed in to housing?…

  2. Shah says:

    I was there between 1975 and 1977. I met my wife Lucia there. Moved to London and we were there together until she passed away in April 2014.

    • The Urban Explorer says:

      That’s lovely. Thanks for sharing your story, and I’m sorry to hear of your loss.

  3. Tracy says:

    You are very lucky to have had a look around the site. I used to pop into the canteen to grab lunch when I worked at the neighbouring hospital, Warleggan ward.

    There is absolutely nothing left now to show that there was ever a building at all! All of the lovely Victorian architecture, gone, vanished! So, so sad that the history is lost. I feel at least a museum should have been set up in its memory.

    Cheers

  4. guy says:

    Here’s another one for you in Cornwall. Defo worth a look but not sure if it’s still there…..

    http://www.buzzfeed.com/ailbhemalone/there-is-an-abandoned-wild-west-theme-park-in-cornwall

    • That’s a nice little site! I imagine it’d look pretty good all lit up at night. I suspect there’s a lot of exploring to be done down Cornwall that’s missed because it’s just so far out the way! Are you local? You should go check it out!

  5. Lolly says:

    I have hard (old fadhioned) photos of this hospital from when I was a student nurse there in 2003 just after the functioning hospital had moved over to the new premises; I managed to persuade a security guard to take me on a tour on one of his daily checks :-)

  6. Matt says:

    This is a great historical record – I went there at the weekend and the demolition is almost complete.

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