St Gerards Orthopaedic Hospital for Children, Birmingham
As the sun was beginning to set on a cold winters day, we found ourselves parking up in the surprisingly pretty Coleshill (in relation to our previous location in Smethwick!) on the outskirts of Birmingham. St Gerards children’s hospital was our aim.
After a short wander around a few other derelict buildings on the Warwickshire Orthopaedic Hospital for Children site, we found the focus of our explore. A small, single story wooden building which has survived surprisingly well considering it closed in the late 80’s.
A lot of the personal belongings and medical equipment has gone, but what remains is still enough to give St Gerards a creepy feel that viewers of American Horror Story: Asylum will appreciate and acknowledge! A homemade doll of what looks like a matron, sports equipment; cricket and tennis, blankets, hats & scarves all strewn around, once loved by their owners I’m sure, now left rotting.
There’s a lot to see at St Gerards, and if you have the time to sit and look through all the paperwork left behind it’d be a fascinating read.
History of St Gerards
St. Gerard’s Hospital was built as a hospital originally serving the recently established Boys’ Home and all poor Catholic children in the Birmingham Diocese, after it became clear that many of the children in the home were also in poor health due to their backgrounds. The Birmingham Diocesan Rescue Society for the Protection of Homeless and Friendless Catholic Children was established in 1902 with Father Hudson as its first Secretary and Administrator.
Designed by Henry Sandy, it opened in 1913. The Hospital was used in the First World War as a VAD hospital for wounded soldiers; after the war it specialised in TB and orthopaedic services and eventually became established as the Warwickshire Orthopaedic Hospital, finally closing in 1988.