Sandhill Park Hospital, nr Taunton, Somerset

An early morning start saw us heading out towards Taunton to explore Sandhill Hospital. Opened in 1919 as a care facility for girls and then in 1925 as a hospital for mentally retarded children, there’s widespread belief amongst ‘ghost hunters’ that Sandhill is haunted. Codswallop.

The military took over in 1940 and for a few years it was leased to the American government. 1990 saw the land sold off by the NHS and Sandhill had a few reincarnations before finally laying derelict. Now gutted by fire in a recent arson attack, it’s a shame to lose another beautiful building.

We started in the outbuildings. Completely demolished by thieves and bone idol kids. Our priority was to explore the main house. Not many had found a way in and it was looking like our trip would be fruitless too, when we found a small window that we could all squeeze through.

We made our way to the staircase and went to the attic. It’s always been a kind of unwritten rule that we explore places from top to bottom, weird but true and on this particular explore, extremely handy! All the interesting rooms and paperwork left behind was in the upper rooms of the large house.

After sorting through the piles of abandoned paperwork and interesting bits & bobs left behind we ventured downstairs. The ground floor of the main house has some grand features and lovely high ceilings, unfortunately for us, an alarm system was still in place and within a few minutes we were being turfed out by security.

All in all we spent a good few hours in the house, however only a hand-full of photographs to show for it!

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Important, noteworthy & interesting comments are highlighted below

  1. Kevin John Sherwood says:

    In 1974 I was sent to Brooklands Remand Home in Langport and once a week, some of the older sensible boys would board the minibus and travel to Sandhill Park to spend the day there helping to take the physically/mentally handicapped children swimming in their on-site pool. Was always a very challenging day but also very rewarding. Long ago memories of my childhood that I will never forget.

  2. Steph says:

    Hi my names Steph,

    Is Sandhill still like this or has it been taken over by new buildings? Was thinking of going to take pictures for a project.


    1. Christa says:

      It was burnt down by a moron

      1. Lewis says:

        What, so is there nothing to explore anymore? Or has just part of it been burnt?

        1. Christa says:

          No it’s houses now if I’m correct. There was some buildings left because he set fire to the main building only but I think they just knocked them down and built on them. The same with Barrow Gurney.

      2. Jon Dixie says:

        It’s all houses now. I’ve explored that place as a teenager, so many locals have seen the same few ghosts there, there was padded cell rooms, a lot to explore minus the main house as if seculars access problems man I could tell you some spooky stories from personal experiences and from friends. We all knew it as a mental hospital. Along with tone vale just down the road in the later 1900’s.

        I can also SWEAR DOWN I’ve seen the exmoor beast there; a black panther.

      3. HellsBelle says:

        Bone idol kids? With a rebel yell? 😂

    2. Jon Dixie says:

      It’s all houses now. I’ve explored that place as a teenager, so many locals have seen the same few ghosts there. There was padded cell rooms, a lot to explore minus the main house as if seculars access problems man I could tell you some spooky stories from personal experiences and from friends. We all knew it as a mental hospital. Along with tone vale just down the road in the later 1900’s.

      I can also SWEAR DOWN I’ve seen the Exmoor beast there; a black panther.

    3. susan says:

      Still there, fences and security there.

    4. Elliot says:

      I grew up on a farm next to this mansion and would camp out in the woods when I was about 12 years old right near it. My grandma used to work there when it was a hospital. And no, there’s nothing to explore now as it has been converted to luxury flats.

  3. Neil says:

    My older brother was a resident at the Hospital in the 70’s and 80’s.

    There was a large American-built air raid shelter outside his ward, which rumour had it, had contained some US military motorbikes which were retrieved, in excellent condition, in the 70’s.

    Even when it was fully working and busy there were parts of it that felt abandoned and disconnected. There used to be a group of single storey wards that I can’t recall if they were brick built or proper Nissen blocks, linked by covered walkways. There was also a swimming pool, chapel and cricket pavilion.

    I seem to recall Somerset Health Authority used to store their surplus ambulances there too, though I was quite small at the time and had quite a vivid imagination.

    More than anything else it had the best conker trees in Somerset and no one else picked them up!

    1. Brian Hodges says:

      The single storey wards were called Coleshill units named after Coleshill hospital where they were first developed.

      1. Norman Pope says:

        My 16 year old son has got a hobby of visiting abandoned buildings I am asking permission to visit with him and we respect the property inside and out thank you.

    2. Dylan says:

      Could you give a more detailed description of the bunkers location, I’d love to find it if possible.


      1. Neil says:

        I’m not sure exactly, I was only a kid myself at the time (we’re talking 40+ years ago). My brother was in Clark ward and later a ward which was opposite the ‘school building’ which was also opposite the large stately home.

        The road that led to the other principle wards and school ran in front of it and the air-raid shelter/bunker was between that ward and the road.

        Sorry I can’t be more specific.

      2. Gar Drage says:

        The bunkers as described were shelters which are all gone now. I lived in the school house there we lived on site from ’63 until ’87 I think, my parents lived there. The wards nearby were Fry, Ackland, Clarke, Reed, Blackdown, Brendon, Calway, Farrent, Newman.

        1. Elliot Clarke says:

          Well I imagine Clarke Ward is named after my family who lived around the estate on a farm and also worked there.

  4. Matt says:

    Just been to visit this site. It’s now being restored and is unrecognisable inside. It’s been cleared out and scaffolding has replaced the floors. Still interesting but definitely not as cool as it looks in the pics. There’s graffiti everywhere and it’s littered with water bottles and energy drink cans left by the builders.

  5. Billy says:

    I live around the Bristol area. Anyone got any cool sites that are still open to discover? Sept 2016

  6. Sam says:

    Hi, I’m heading to Devon on holiday in August, can anyone suggest some sites?


  7. Juna says:

    Hello, I’d like to go take some photos there, does anyone know if it is still accessible?

    1. Melissa says:

      Hi, we went today to look, sadly it’s got a massive green gate all around. There is security & dogs on site too :( You know of any others? :)

  8. Jay says:

    Visited today and this place is almost completely demolished worth a trip if you want to buy a new house though good job there’s lots of other places in the area still standing

    1. Matt says:

      What places? I need new places to check out in the area.

  9. Mim says:


    Is there any update on Sandhill Hospital? I’m thinking about visiting but don’t want to drive up if there’s nothing to be seen?

    1. The Urban Explorer says:

      You’ll find that happens a lot in this hobby! Your best bet is to have a few “plan B” sites in the area just in case.

      1. Mim says:

        Will get looking for some other places in the area, thanks for the advice! :)

      2. kieran says:

        Look at the picture with the hallway and look at the face in the doorway. I’ve been there, went through the side building and after coming back out with friends I see a figure in the window. I think that picture has just confirmed it for me haha

        1. The Urban Explorer says:

          Kieran, I can’t see any faces at all in the first photo?

        2. Imogen says:

          Hi can you still visit this place?

    2. Meg says:

      I went there today and it isn’t accessible anymore as it’s under construction now, such a shame really as it’s a beautiful building. Managed to get a few pics.

      1. Kieran says:

        The second photo of the hallway, look directly at the blacked out door at the end and it looks like a face (head hight)

  10. Bailey says:


    My friends and I are really wanting to explore this place, the pictures/comments look and sound really cool.

    Unfortunately we cannot actually find the place, please could anyone give me directions on how to get there?

    Many Thanks!

  11. M says:

    I have the feeling that the exterior of this was filmed for the second season of Utopia. Just an observation. Great site. Loads of useful info for a newbie.

  12. Jay says:

    Thinking about going here next weekend, anyone know if it’s still up and accessible?

    1. Angel says:

      Me and friend are checking it out ******, so we will see, I heard that apparently the security is crazy high since the fire, but I’m not sure, I’ll let you know.

      1. The Urban Explorer says:

        Best not announce your arrival to the “crazy high” security, eh! Good luck, and please let us know how you get on.

  13. Dd says:

    Anyone know if this place is still worth visiting? Thanks in advance folks.

    1. delz says:

      Okay me and my friend visited this place *****, it was amazing! Only thing is we were at the far left of the main building, second floor. I was second along the hall and the floor collapsed, I was left hanging from a door frame :( My friend was trapped in the last room with no way out!!!

      I managed to pull myself up get back out and find a ladder and free my friend which took best part of an hour. ***** I have been home about 10mins after driving from Sandhill Hospital… even though its SUPER DANGEROUS I think it’s definitely worth a look but just tread careful as the floors are really bad and they’re building around the place but there’s still a lot there. Found this site last night and I’m looking forward to my next adventure.

      1. The Urban Explorer says:

        Censored a few details there to protect you from authorities – but thanks for the update on Sandhill. Any photos?

  14. rachel says:

    It’s so annoying that all these amazing places are not allowed to be accessed by people who just want to appreciate its beauty! It annoys me so much.

    They should stop demolishing them until they physically cannot stand anymore! If people want to explore these places they should be allowed and the people who do tend to have common sense so it’s much safer for them. Jeeesh sorry had to get that out.

    1. rachel says:

      …and I meant accessed not accused

      1. The Urban Explorer says:

        I know. I try my best to vet all comments and edit spelling mistakes etc. accordingly.

        1. rachel says:

          Haha I think it was just my anger making me type so fast and auto-correct, but I’m just so annoyed, I love exploring places like this I study photography at uni so it’s perfect for me but no, every place seems to just get knocked down to build more council flats or something.

    2. Matt says:

      You can get in there now I’ve been loads in the last few months. There isn’t security there anymore but it’s all being renevated into flats so make the most of it whilst you can x

  15. explorermom says:

    Hi there – I got in Sandhill yesterday and have a lot of pictures – how do I add them please?
    We were very lucky to get in and do NOT advise it unless you are extremely careful. The whole place is being held up and together by scaffolding!
    The only bit we couldn’t access was the ‘orangery’ type bit and the stables.

    It has been severely damaged by fire and weather – it is now covered in plastic sheeting – but is by no means safe.

    There is onsite security and evidence that builders are working there (possibly in the grounds rather than in the building).

    Anyway – what an exciting time we had! Alas it is not haunted……

    1. The Urban Explorer says:

      I’m afraid there’s no facility for adding your own photos here. But please feel free to link to wherever you decide to upload them.

    2. Matt says:

      Not haunted!? I’ve had some very weird stuff happen there

    3. dee says:

      Worked there in the 70s and lived in the mansion for a while – definitely haunted. That is – in the mansion and various other buildings and down the front drive.

      1. The Urban Explorer says:

        What makes it “definitely haunted”, Dee? I’m intrigued.

        1. dee says:

          Yes, definitely haunted. Saw and heard various things as did many colleagues. No one would tell you about these things until you told them what you had experienced, then they would confirm that others had experienced the same or similar.

  16. Arora says:

    Hey, I was wondering if this place is still there and the exact location so I could go take some cool photos?

    1. Matt says:

      Yes it’s still there been up very recently

  17. V Chidzey says:

    My Grandparents used to live in one of the many bungalows/houses many years ago when Sandhill was a hospital. Wondered if anyone has old photos of these places?

  18. Russell says:

    This is very strange for me, my mother and my grandfather before he retired and later passed away both worked at Sandhill park. I remember learning to write my number 7 just as it is on the board with the line through it from my grandad which makes me wonder if he wrote the board menu itself. It’s nice to wonder. Also my mum used to tell me story’s of an old ghost she called mr leftbridge who was heard riding his horse down the stairs. Not sure if it was true to be honest or if she was just trying to freak me out.

    1. That’s really nice! And I honestly hope the handwriting on the menu board is that of your Grandad!

      There’s all sorts of ghost stories from Sandhill – apparently it’s one of the most haunted places in the UK?! Can’t say I believe in any of it to be honest!

    2. dee says:

      Heard the horse on the stairs when I lived in the mansion, saw vague outline of white/green light. The air felt electric, but was not scary after the initial realisation, felt like it was in its right place.

  19. Andy says:

    Definite No No

    If not only for the waste of time finding it and paying for the petrol to get there.

    Its being done up – loads of scaffolding everywhere, loads of security fences and CCTV cameras.

    Really its not even going down there for a look.


    1. That’s a shame, thanks for the info Andy

      1. Andy says:

        I know, It took me two goes to find it in the first place.
        With Barrow now gone (well I assume) I’m now devoid of any locations around Bristol/Somerset to go and have a wander.

        Any suggestions much appreciated :)

        1. The Urban Explorer says:

          Take a look at my Somerset category, there’s a couple in there definitely worth a look. Especially Tone Works

          1. Dave says:

            Hello, just an update for people, Sandhill Hospital is still easy to drive right up to, it’s covered in scaffolding and mostly looks boarded up, there are still ways in though, there’s no roof and it’s covered in plastic to keep it as dry as possible after the fire which gutted it severely, there’s new houses that have been built at the back behind a walled garden and parts of the grounds look like a building site.

            There are however still some things to see, and BTW that blackboard with the menu is still there although a little more faded, and just so others know Tonedale is still there but a security guard soon appears because of CCTV cameras.

            I’m always on the look out for intresting places if anybody wants to tell me of anything in Somerset please do.


  20. James says:

    Been up there today in broad daylight. There is a fence surrounding the main building, but got through. The interior of the main house is well dangerous, the main stairs are near to collapse, but gingerly walked up them. You can’t get much further than the first floor as most ceilings have collapsed due to fire damage. I was trying to find the basement if it’s actually under the main building? But couldn’t find it. Most windows are boarded over, so even in daylight it’s pitch black in places inside.

    1. Hi James,

      From what I can remember the entrance to the basement was on the left side of the main building as you’re looking at the entrance.

      Did you take any photos? It’d be good to see how much it’s changed since I was there

    2. dee says:

      Right side of building under the big groundfloor windows there used to be a railed area that led down to the boiler room I think.

  21. Daisy says:

    Visited this site a couple of months ago, took some fantastic pics of the out building although due to being scared off by the “sound” of guard dogs (which it has signs up for) we left before getting into the main house.
    We intend to return soon and ensure we do get into the main house for a real explore.
    My partner is a security guard ironically and therefore may be able to ensure we don’t trigger any alarms or whatever.
    We were able to get through the iron work and metal gates, it is so run down on one side we would have been able to just enter the house via a broken doorway.
    If you’d like to see the interesting pics we did get please let me know and let me know how x

    1. Hi Daisy,

      Yeh it’d be good to see what kind of state the place is in now! Especially after the fire.

  22. Delorkay says:

    Do you know if Sandhill park hospital is still derelict? I keep searching for places local to me and it seems like a lot of these gems are being renovated and i’d hate to get out there only to find its no longer the untouched treasure it was in these photos. It will be my first explore and, because i’m sick of waiting to find people, i’ll be going alone. Anything dangerous i need to watch out for by chance?

    1. The Urban Explorer says:

      Hi there,

      Sandhill was a victim of fire (as mentioned in my report) and by all accounts I think was a fairly nasty one!

      I’d hazard a guess that anything of any interest was lost. I’ve not seen any reports from here post-fire.

      If you’re from the Taunton area there’s not a lot you’re right (unless you can travel a little further afield, then there’s plenty up the road in and around Bristol). But I love to be proven wrong with these things. Just get out and explore :)

      If you need any help just drop me an email

      1. Steve says:

        Can you show me pics please the one you said look closely as am working outside doing gas work thanks

        1. The Urban Explorer says:

          Hi Steve,

          Not sure what you mean? Did you mean to comment on this particular report from Sandhill Hospital?

    2. oli says:

      I drove close to it, it still looks derelict. Will have to check it out. Not sure what the security is like but its surrounded by big open fields.

      1. Hi Oli,

        Thanks for the update. I don’t think security is a big issue here. You’re right, there’s wide open fields surrounding the site to which you walk straight on to (or at least you could when I was last there)

        The only way to find out for sure is to just get out there and explore!

  23. Anne says:

    Whats up whit boobytraping everything? here in Norway, I haven´t encountered a single one, yet. We don´t have that many exciting locations though, you got to search a while to find them, and they are usually spread all over the country. But that just makes them even more exiting to discover, and they are often more or less untouched.
    Love your photos man, I got to go to UK for some exploring.

    1. The Urban Explorer says:

      Thanks for the comment :) We do seem to have an abundance of derelict places here in the UK! Although it’d make our hobby a lot harder if there wasn’t!

  24. Chris says:

    Some truly brilliant photos you’ve got here. I’ve spent the last hour or so looking at your site and you’ve stumbled across some fantastic explores!

    Any location scouting tips for a newbie?

    1. The Urban Explorer says:

      Locals are always a good place to start. A grandparent, or parent will often recall places long forgotten from modern developments or nature taking over!

      Google is your friend too. As is Google Earth/Maps.

      Join a forum, like 28DL and get exploring!

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