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.

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202 responses to “St Gerards Orthopaedic Hospital for Children, Birmingham”

  1. Deb says:

    Anyone up for exploring with me? Live just outside of Birmingham.

  2. Terry Stewart says:

    I was at St Gerards in 1943, I had polio. I was there for about a year and it saddens me to read that some people suffered abuse and were unhappy there, my experiences there were very different despite the problems with polio. I did read in the national press of abuse in the Father Hudson’s Homes, but that was in the late 90s. When I think about the time I was there it amuses me that a children’s hospital was situated between two cities, Birmingham and Coventry, both being bombed at the time. I remember the plane’s engine drones overhead usually returning after a bombing raid. Apparently a stick of bombs were dropped in the High Street probably to lighten the load to get back to Germany.

    When I finished studying in the early 60s I went to work in Canada and the States. Before I went I called in to see one Sister that I remembered with great affection, she was Sister Bernadette. When I returned from New York I went to see her again. Unlike some of your other contributors and despite the polio I do remember it as a happy time there, I think Sister Bernadette, who I’m sure was a novice at the time and probably not a great deal older than some of the children, certainly helped to make us happy.

    On Saturdays we all went to the large ward on the north side of the garden where the sliding partitions were opened up to turn into a cinema. There we watched cartoons, Popeye, Mickey Mouse and Goofy and the comedy films of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy and the Three Stooges. Sometimes between these were short instructional films on camouflage, how to be a sniper and tank warfare. A strange mix.
    I remember the garden with its figure of Christ with arms outstretched standing behind the round fish pond. I have a couple of aerial photos showing this with the two wards bounding the north and south with beds wheeled out onto the terraces. The garden and terrace would be used for various fetes and raffles with visitors from the town and children’s parents.

    On another occasion I was in the area and again called in to see Sister Bernadette but she was no longer there, Sister Margaret told me that she had moved to Liverpool to care for Archbishop Derek Worlock in Mossley Hill, he was suffering from cancer at the time. This was in the mid 80s, it was the last time I saw Sister Bernadette, she would not have returned to St Gerards because it had closed by then.

    • Diane says:

      Hi, Terry, I have just opened your account of St. Gerards after searching for a newspaper clipping of myself as a child. I was in this hospital in 1975 aged 9 and stayed a patient there for 18 plus months having been run over seriously injuring my hip with complicated fractures.

      It has really hit home having seen the derelict building that was my home for a very long time. I remember everything about it like it was yesterday. Like you, my experience was joyful despite being far from my family who could not regularly visit due to the lack of public transport and cost at the time. Sister Bernadette was also my favourite and was so kind I have never to this day forgotten her. I was confined to bed on traction so I couldn’t get about, but in the summer just as you remember my bed was wheeled into the garden so that I didn’t miss out on the fun.

      I also became a Brownie whilst in the hospital and each week the nurses would put on my uniform so I could be involved, being unable to walk did not stop me from having fun. I had a large frame on my bed and the blankets covered it, I think back at the time I hid underneath it pretending I was not there and thinking the nurses would wonder where I was when they slowly pulled each cover off the bed I would Boo! them. Bless them they played the game very well and I was convinced I had succeeded in giving them a fright.

      We had school every day and mid morning everyone had a hot chocolate, this was the best hot chocolate I had ever tasted. The teacher had brought a newt in from the pond and placed it in a bowl at the end of the ward needless to say I insisted on seeing and whilst the teacher was out of sight another child scooped up the newt in a cup and brought it over my bed to show me, unfortunately for me the newt climbed up the cup and she dropped it onto my bed, you can only imagine the commotion. I had such good times at St Gerard’s so many things we did and I have never been abused in any way at all.

      The pictures of a derelict building that once stood are ghostly, but I say to all those that think the worst, I had never witnessed any paranormal activity and ask them to see things differently as there was a lot of love in this place and heaps of fun made by the nurses, teacher, doctors and of course my favourite nun Sister Bernadette.

      Diane

    • colin shorey says:

      Hello Terry.

      Was there 1946-49. TB spine confined to a metal, leather padded frame lying down. Many years ago now but remember statue, cold wards for the treatment, some not making it. Sisters Genevieve and Catherine, listening to Dick Barton on radio, film nights. All the holy festivals.

      There were no bad moments, but long days watching the sun move across the sky aged 3-6 yrs old (DOB 16/4/43). Cheers Colin

    • Anne race says:

      Hello Terry,

      I was delighted to find all this info about St. Gerards.

      I was also there as a child. In 1945 I contracted Polio so I was at St. Gerards from 9 months to 6 years. I also loved Sister Brendan and also Mother Superior I think her name was Catherine. My mother had a theory that the nuns kept the babies/children so long because they love them like their own and didn’t want to part with them.

      I still have the ivory beads I was given by Mother Superior although I have never been a Catholic.

      At the age of 14 I returned for further treatment (although it was miles from my family home at Aston).

      I was there till I was 17 after having spinal surgery that went badly wrong involving me being in a plaster cast bed ridden for
      18 months. That time was not so enjoyable as I was a rebellion teenager and I used to rub sister Marion up the wrong way but sister Brendan was always there to fight my corner!

      Do you remember Mr Allen the surgeon? The nuns thought he was a God!

      Do you remember the tuck shop hut that sister Marion was in charge of and the little round icecream tubs?

      In my teenage years Elvis’s music was all the rage and we drove the nuns mad with our gramophone day and night with rock and roll. I was there when we were fortunate to have Bob Map manager of Birmingham hippodrome bring all the top stars. Cliff Richard, Billy Fury, Max Bygraves etc.

      Do you remember the store Lewis’s that used to decorate the wards at Christmas? Magical!

      If you would like to exchange memories I would love to chat. I am now 72 married with grown up family living in Fleet, Hampshire and my former name was Anne Print.

      My best wishes to you.
      Anne

      • Terry Stewart says:

        Dear Anne

        It was good to read about your experiences at St Gerards, you appear to have experienced a lot more serious medical problems than me. I was there for about 10/11 months and left in 1945 so we very nearly crossed.

        I do remember Mr Allen because he was a consultant at the Oswestry Orthopedic Hospital. This was opposite the school where I had contracted polio and returned to in 1948. I went to see him because there was talk of strengthening the muscles in my thumb to improve my grip. Mr Allen thought he could do a sort of muscle transplant. I don’t remember why but this never took place.

        When I went to see Sister Bernadette before I went to Canada I was rather surprised to meet her in a black habit. I asked her why and she said that it was her turn to be Mother Superior. You don’t mention her but I’m sure she would have been there in 1945.

        Its a strange irony that although ill with the polio and all that that entails as you know, I still look at that period of my childhood as one of the happiest.

        Take care
        Terry

        I see that the site has now become a housing estate.

        • Anne race says:

          Hello Terry

          Yes your right Sister Catherine was Mother Superior when I was a baby/child and Sister Bernedette was indeed Mother Superior for many years.

          As they were Irish nuns my Dad used to love to talk horse racing with them. They gave him plenty of tips and he would place the bet and split his winning 50/50 bringing money donations for many weekends! Don’t think that would happen today with all the political correctness.

          I have had several girls get in touch with me today. Seems they remember me as the girl always in trouble for my naughty way of never saying no and always looking for fun! I blame the nuns for that, encouraging me to be spirited when I was a baby. One really old nun whose name I could not pronounce so I called her YaYa said if there’s mischief to be had Anne Print will be there! ???

          Mr Allen often went to America to research all the cutting edge medical knowledge. I think most of the nuns were a little in love with him has he was a tall, silver haired handsome man!

          Yes pain and disabilities aside life was good at St Gerard’s.

  3. Colin Hemmings says:

    Hi, thanks for this and the interesting pictures. My mum worked there as a cadet nurse in 1953\4, she is now 80. She remembers it as a very austere environment. She remembers the nuns as being quite brutal.

    • Anne race says:

      Hello Colin, I was at St Gerards for a lot of my childhood and found the nuns to be really kind.

      I imagine they were very, very strict with the young trainee nurses. Many came from Ireland never being away from home and were very home sick. We children used to try and cheer them up by giving them our sweets.

      So glad to hear your mum was one of our lovely nurses x

      • Ingrid Ransome says:

        Hi Anne of course I remember you well. Someone is searching for you. Judy who was very friendly with you. I live in Colchester now. Are you on facebook? Ingrid Ransome (Martin). Email jing_ransome@hotmail.com

      • Ingrid Ransome says:

        Judy nee Marshall judyann1@btinternet.com

        Miss Print! I have photos and autograph book so will look them out. Names I remember

        Tessa Roberts, Mary Wilson, Sheila Talbit, Susan Preston, Kay Spittlehouse, Jackie Clamp. Elaine (bed opposite you) Jocelyn Taylor

        • Anne race says:

          Hello Ingrid. Well what a small world! Yes I remember so many of the girls you mentioned. I will email you later this evening and look you up on Facebook
          I lost my autograph book some where between house moves!

          Do you remember all the stars coming mainly on Saturday afternoon? Will have a good look out of my photos and email you them. Do you ever see any of the girls?

          Remember Judy very well and Teresa! Think I was in the next bed to them!

          Speak later x

  4. david says:

    Hi, if there are any explorers wanting to hook up in the Birmingham area I would like to join. I am a photographer, I use cameras and drones for footage. If anyone has somewhere interesting to visit contact me, my name is Dave. r18add@googlemail.com

  5. Nic Smith says:

    Hi everyone, I am part of a paranormal investigation team, we are based in Staffordshire but go all over the country. Our Facebook page is R.D.P.H Paranormal Group. My Facebook is Nicola Smith.

    If anyone wants to join us on any investigations please get it touch.

    Our email:-

    RPDHParanormalinvestigations16@gmail.com

    Mine is:-

    nicola.cattell@gmail.com

    • Maxine Scrivener says:

      Hi Nic we are Maxine and Christine myself and my partner are avid paranormal enthusiasts and would be interested in connecting with a reputable group of like minded people.

      We have a small selection of our own tools such as IR & UV torches, full spectrum still shot camera, night vision camcorders, SPB7 voice box & external speaker, digital voice recorders, K2 meter and a basic EMF reader device and also dependent on the location being investigated we tend to try to always have at least two trigger objects with us.

      Soon we will be purchasing an SLS set up to add to our growing collection and an ovulus there after.

  6. Daz says:

    This hospital is no longer, it is now houses.

    • Tanya says:

      That is a shame, I think my Dad stayed here in the 1930s as a patient for nearly 5yrs, he had TB. I would have loved to have been able to visit and take my children and show them where their Grandad was as a child. Any ideas where I could find out if he was a patient here.

  7. Sam says:

    How much does this cost to go round please does anyone know?

  8. Emily says:

    My Grandparents met here when they were children, sadly they passed and I would love to know what the place is actually like. Guess I would never know if the place has been demolished :(

    • Celia wallis says:

      I was there in the very early 60s. My childhood revolved around St Gerards. I am now very close to being 60 but everyday my mind is with it. I have a prayerbook from there I often sit and think of the times there.

  9. Sophie White says:

    Hi,
    I am trying to find this place, does anyone have an address for it as I would love to go and explore there.

    If anyone does can you please email me- sophwhite97@gmail.com

    thanks

  10. Andy says:

    Anybody in the West Midlands interested in meeting up. Worcester based but easy access to Birmingham etc. Give me a message :)

    andrew-macdonald91@hotmail.com

    Andy

  11. Saiba says:

    What is the postcode for this place if anybody has an idea… There is also a care home in Coleshill which has been closed I was wondering if that is next to it or something? And if anyone has any ideas about abandoned places in Birmingham.

    Thanks

  12. Shane says:

    Does anyone want to meet up and explore abandoned hospitals and asylums?
    Is anyone near me in Birmingham?
    Mail me rovacab@aol.com
    Thanks

  13. Daisy says:

    WOW! Amazing place! Would love to go here. Does anyone know of any buildings IN Bath, Bristol, Swindon area? I’m also looking for a team of urban explorers to meet and become part of a team so I can start exploring more. If anyone is interested please let me know as it would be good to meet people who share the same interests.

  14. Cat says:

    Hi, I’m looking for a place to do some photography for my art GCSE. I’m looking for a place exactly like this, preferably a hospital/institution. I live in Buckinghamshire, so I’m looking for somewhere close like Birmingham, Wycombe or London. If anyone knows anywhere please let me know!

  15. Demi says:

    Hey

    I was wondering if I can take some pictures and explore this amazing place, I live near by. Did you guys get permission to go in there or did you find a way in?

    Thanks

  16. Leearna says:

    Hi I was reading the comments and I just thought a couple of months ago me and a couple of friends went in to the old North Leam School near Lillington it’s a great place for photos as it looks like it has just come out of a horror movie if that helps any of you :)

  17. Claire pickersgill says:

    Hello,

    I would like to know if you hire this venue? I am looking to book a zombie apocalypse wedding reception. Would be great to hear back from you

  18. Bernadette says:

    I was here in the early and middle 70s. To say it was a place of torture is an understatement, looking back it was and still is a place that creeps me out. However, we also have to remember the time – things and society have changed what was acceptable 40+ years ago is no longer acceptable now. I am personally pleased that it has been demolished, maybe some of the terrible things that happened can now be put to rest. Although – the archaeological historian part of me – thinks that is should have been left as it was as a reminder that times have changed and bad things do happen.

    • Trish Easton says:

      Hi Bernadette, I was a patient in 1975 and have horrible memories of this place. I recently met a nurse who recognised me from when I was 11, completely freaked me out hence the search online where I found this article. I was treated during the hot summer for a curverture of the spine which turned out to be a problem with my hip! Maybe you remember me, my bed was next to a girl called Mary Kelly. Best wishes, Trish (Patricia Harrison) x

      • Diane Allie says:

        Hi Trish, my name is Diane Allie I was also a patient there. I had bunions at age 10 – I had both my feet done. I still have memories of St Gerards and was even contemplating visiting the site – but looks like it has shut down. I also remember that we used to have our beds wheeled out onto the grounds – it was Brownies I think? My email address if you would like to get in touch is diane.allie64@gmail.com it would be good to get in touch and share some memories of St Gerards.

  19. Emily says:

    Hi, I’m doing a photography project in college and I would really like to visit one of these abandoned places, I live in the west Midlands so if anyone knows any places I could visit please tell me, thanks.

  20. Nick says:

    Hi, me and my girlfriend are very interested in visiting old asylums. She is studding psychology and would like to see how things used to be done and how things have moved on. We are in the South West if anyone knows of anywhere around here and Wales way we could visit it would be much appreciated. My email is armstrongnick@hotmail.co.uk

  21. steph says:

    Hey just wondering if this place has now been demolished? Also if anyone could give me a few ideas on places to visit please.

  22. Katie-Anne says:

    Hey guys just an update. In coleshill we call it the old father hudsons place. Unfortunately it has been demolished due to health and safety as people kept breaking in and hurting themselves. Rumours have it that a lot of creepy things kept happening in there too. My Auntie is a ghost investigator. She has her own business and everything and she asked me if I’d like to come along and I said yeah it would be fun, so we spent a whole night in there, let’s just say we didn’t last all night. Even my Auntie got freaked out.

  23. Annette says:

    Even though it appears to be an interesting place, it holds very bad memories for me some forty years on. It was an evil, cruel, wicked place run by nuns who were responsible for the cruelty and abuse they inflicted on young children. The best thing to happen to it is to demolish it alongside those evil nuns.

    • The Urban Explorer says:

      Wow, that’s quite a statement! Thanks for sharing your experience.

      • Dave says:

        Hiya urban explorer do you have a contact email?

      • Cristov Forcatus says:

        Hi Urban Explorer. Initially, my brother drew my attention to the comments on St. Gerard’s on your site because I was there as a patient from early 1958 to mid 1961, just shy of 3 years. I had been diagnosed with Perthes disease, in my left hip.

        I was actually diagnosed late 1957 and at that time the only treatment was long term hospitalisation or wearing a bizarre metal caliper affair. My mother left the choice to me and I opted for the former not realising, at age 7, the implications of an extended stay in an institution and a 3 year absence from my family environment.

        My folks lived in Winson Green, Birmingham, with my sister and two brothers. They had very little spare cash but during all that time mom, dad or both never once missed the two hour visiting on Saturdays and Sundays, 2pm – 4pm despite the time and money spent making the 14 mile journey via two busses (one way!).

        I was surprised to read the stories of mistreatment and abuse. I was on ward 5 and I have no reason to think things were different on other wards. I can’t say I liked being there but, after the trauma of separation from my family had eased, it wasn’t all bad. Despite being in plaster and harnessed to a bed life was never really boring. I received a rudimentary but adequate education (enough to allow me to feel at ease when I was introduced back into the State school system eventually, in 1972, to get a degree). We were taught craft, we had a TV and were visited quite regularly by celebrities.

        My only bad memory, apart from the ever present, terrible yearning to be back home, was the food. Since I first began eating solid food I was averse to eating any kind of meat, not for any ethical reasons but because I just did not like the taste or texture. Then there was fish which I found worse than loathsome. As the hospital’s ethos was, unsurprisingly, predominantly Catholic the dinner on Fridays was invariably boiled, cold fish.

        Most of the time the staff were sympathetic and didn’t mind me eating everything but the meat an fish. Names such as Nurses Sheridan, Hanrahan, Sister Rafael et al spring to mind and the memories are fond. However, whenever Sister Antonio was on the ward I was forced to eat everything or go without. My memories of Sister Antonio are not honourable but, hey, there’s always one!

        I’m not sad to find that St.Gerard’s is no longer. As I understand things these days, 56 years on, long term hospitalisation when treating children avoided where possible and is always a last resort due to the possible damage from the psychological trauma. I don’t think treatments were intentionally barbaric back then it’s just that, as with most other things, advances have brought about greater sophistication.

        For me, the bottom line is that those years at St Gerard’s allowed me to go on to live a very active, sporting life whereas otherwise I would undoubtedly have been disabled at an early age.

    • Collette Jackson says:

      Hi, I was there late 70’s-80. The nuns hated disabled kids. I know from experience what they did to me and got other kids to bully me. The nuns and kids said that I was putting it on and not really disabled. Also my consultant told me to have complete bedrest for a week. As soon as he was gone they got me out of bed. I told him that I had been walking as the nun’s told me to, they told him that I was lying and I got out myself. Plus they pulled my dissolving stitches out so that made me stay in longer. I told my mum. Then when the consultant told me I had to go back there I screamed and balled my eyes out. My mum had to explain why. So I went back to my favourite orthopaedic hospital.

    • Ingrid says:

      We weren’t abused at all. We were treated well. I know there were some not so nice nuns but generally, we were well looked after. The abuse was in the orphanage, not the hospital.

  24. Molly says:

    Hi,
    I’m wondering if anyone could point me in the direction of places to visit in the Staffordshire area and surrounding areas. Similar to this, hospital/asylum etc, or just anything that you recommend as interesting. Wanting to do a bit of photography in these places.

    Drop me an email if anyone thinks of anything – hairsprayzeppelin@hotmail.com

    Thanks x

    • Alex says:

      In Stoke – Staffordshire – they have just built a new hospital, ‘The Royal Stoke’ and therefore the old hospital located only a couple of hundred yards is now abandoned and awaiting demolition. this could be a potential

  25. Luke Weetman says:

    Can anyone please tell me who I would contact about getting permission to use a site like St. Gerards to do some filming

    • The Urban Explorer says:

      If some of the comments here are to be believed, St. Gerards has been demolished. But I’d start by contacting the Father Hudsons Society.

      • Andy says:

        Hi,

        I will be visiting Coleshill later today and also tomorrow so I will post an update as to whether or not St Gerard’s has indeed been demolished as there seems to be a lot of uncertainty! :)

        Thanks

        Andy

        • The Urban Explorer says:

          That would be brilliant! If you’re able to take photos I’ll pop them up on the report.

          • Andy says:

            Hi,

            I will of course be taking pictures :) even if it’s demolished! And I will let you know once I’ve been!

            Thanks

            Andy :)

          • Andy says:

            Hi,

            Sadly it has been demolished, it’s now a new housing estate. By the look of things the whole area has been levelled and the new houses are all up and occupied although there is still some work going on!

            I’ve also taken pictures of the area so we can definitively cross this one off the list.

            Thanks!

            Andy

            • The Urban Explorer says:

              Thanks for the clarification. Can you provide links to the photos, or send them to me in an e-mail?

              • Andy says:

                Hi,

                Yes no problem. I’ll send them across. What’s the email address?

                I’m also just visiting Selly Oaks Hospital in Birmingham, which is currently mid way through being demolished! Should I send those across as well when I’ve finished?

                Thanks :)

                Andy

                • The Urban Explorer says:

                  Has someone mentioned Selly Oaks in the comments? If so, send across the photos and I can show them. I’ll ping you an e-mail soon.

              • Leanne gould says:

                Hi I’ve just been reading about St Gerards myself and my friend want to get in to finding derelict places also ghost hunting we’re from Nuneaton do you know of any near Warwickshire/Birmingham/Leicester/Coventry.

    • Jess says:

      Hi Luke
      Did anyone get in contact with details of how to use this as a film set?

    • Ingrid says:

      I was a patient in St Gerard’s 1958 – 1963 on and off. I do not relate to these horror stories at all. I was well looked after and thankfully my surgery was a great success. I don’t know where all these people come from. Yes, things were hard at times but we all had a lot of fun… dormitory type… and some poor buggers were in a dreadful state, polio, thalidimide, cerebal palsy, spina bifida, etc. The nuns could be difficult but there were some nice ones. If you want any info let me know. Ingrid

  26. Bronya Creary says:

    I am studying performing arts in kettering and as a class, we are trying to find an abandoned building to do a performance in for one of our University projects. We firstly wanted to know is there any places that we could perform in and secondly is there any suggestions of places in the UK like hospitals or asylums that we could visit?
    Thankyou
    My email is: xbronix@hotmail.co.uk

  27. Loraine Bassett says:

    I was born with deformed feet and spent time in this hospital. I hated the nuns bar one, a little blond one. I was in this hospital when Katie was there, she had been there all her life, I probably still have the yellow mouse that I made whilst I was there x

    • stephanie says:

      Hi Lorraine, my sister spent some time here in the early 70s. She hated the nuns too. I also remember little Katy and wonder what became of her.

    • Carol bowden says:

      Hi Lorraine I spent a lot of time in Saint Gerards and I remember Katie well.

      • Moira McMahon says:

        Hello Carol. I have just discovered this. I was an in patient when I was 5 years old 1970 till I was 6. Then when I was about 12 1976 and when I was 16 and 17.

        I remember Katie, she was often in the bed next to me when I was a child. I was in traction and remember starting school on the ward. Watching Top Of The Pops in the early 70s on the ward. I only found out years ago my Dad was Fr Christmas one year on the ward. I was spoilt rotten.

        The only nun I can remember was Sr Brendan. Also Sr Kevin and Maria Goretti in outpatients. If this is still your email, please feel free to email me and you maybe able to fill in some of the gaps of other staff and patients. Apart from the endless operations and dreading having my stitches out, most of the staff were lovely. When were you there?

    • Moira McMahon says:

      Hi Lorraine. I have just come across this article. I was a patient at various times of my childhood and I remember Katie. I was often next to her. When I was 5 years old I was in for about 18 months and then when I was 10. The only nuns I can really remember was Sister Brendan, Levin (who was in physio) and sister Maria Goretti as in physio. I can recall an enrolled nurse who wore big glasses and she could be quite fierce.

      My memories are mainly good but I would not want live through it again.

  28. ziggybantom says:

    So St. Gerards may be almost gone but I have highlighted another 2 closed hospital sites in Birmingham that need exploration. One is just unbelievable. Old huge Vistorian buildings all in very good condition (very little vandalism) and it also has a fully stocked mortuary on site, looking as if the staff just walked out and left it. Even the lights are still working in the mortuary! All the slabs are there and the fridges and the scales and even all the equipment!! It’s a stunning site!!

    I also have highlighted another huge hospital on the other side of Birmingham that is also abandoned. This information actually came from my 70 year old father who used to work for the NHS and I was totally unaware and shocked that this other site had been shut. The funny thing is I have not heard anyone mention this hospital yet on any exploration board on any site for the past 12 months so I’m investigating if I can find access. It’s a bit like the DRI in Derby where they have closed on half of a hospital site and are still using the other half. It was only when I mentioned to my father that at Derby when they shut the Royal Infirmary they left loads of equipment behind and my father responded with “well you want to see what they left when they shut where I used to work” that I discovered it was shut. This is also a huge site with many different wards.

    If anyone is up for a mooch around then let me know and we’ll get it organised.
    Keep snooping…

  29. rachel says:

    Is this still here? I’ve read one comment saying it is not so I would just like to check…

    • The Urban Explorer says:

      Still not seen any hard evidence on whether it’s gone or not.

    • ziggybantom says:

      Rachel… I live about 3/4 of a mile from this site in Birmingham (North Solihull). I live on the edge of Chelmsley Wood and this is on the opposite side of the motorway to me as the M6 disects us. I think this is still here but is well fenced. I’m going to try to take a look over the next few days and see if the buildings are all still there and also what access is like.

      I can tell you it is a huge site. I have the .pdf brochure for the sale and redevelopment of the whole site and it looks awesome. The brochure contains many photos of dereliction and abandonment from inside of all buildngs and maps of all the buildings and the whole site.

      They have demolished all of the buildings in the middle of the site, about 6 buildings by my reckoning. But the Hospital and Headquarters are still standing on the one side of the site and the famous Father Hudson boys home and another home stand at the other end of the site. I have not heard of any development there for a while but I’ll check it out and post back in a few days. Keep snooping…

      • ziggybantom says:

        So guys… I have been to check on what has happened with the site of St. Gerards and I’m stunned.

        Firstly the site is huge and originally consisted of many buildings and chapels etc. all of a large size. Most have now been sadly flattened and replaced with modern lifeless shite. Developers have now got the site (looks like they may have had it for about 8 to 12 months) and new building is well underway with quite a bit already completed.
        We have retirement flats and residential flats and they are 2 large modern blocks that have replaced what was originally the old Father Hudsons home, St. Josephines home, the nuns houses and the huge chapel. They even have a bloody site suite there selling the new flats already!

        I went to the other side of the site and St.Gerards is about the last unused and abandoned building that is still there and has not been raised to the ground! Although it did look like they were about to start removing it if this has not started already. There was a muddy road going up the one side of the hospital and a yellow digger was parked there. St. Gerards can still be seen though from the road, it is behind one of the old original buildings that they still currently use as head offices for Father Hudson or something that was originally connected to the site or the church or their type of missionary work.

        You will see a few cars parked there and St. Gerards is right behind it in plain sight. Look for the white frontage building and that is St. Gerards. I’m gonna try for a peek early one day as I know the layout of St. Gerards well and I can see that the operating theatre is still there as well as some of the original wards. I do think that an extension that was added to St.Gerards on the east side has been demolished by the look of it. It’s really a shame as the copy of the “site for development” brochure I have, which has many, many pages, maps, history and many photographs from inside and out, does specify very clearly that the only building to be Grade II heritage and which must remain as part of the new planning application for the use of the site, is the bloody church at the very end of the whole site. The report states that all of the other buildings will be of no loss if they are to be removed. Sad, very sad. Anyway, if you want to try to get a peek then let me know. But be very quick. It’s going to be gone by Spring 2015.

        • The Urban Explorer says:

          Thanks for the update. Did you take any photos of the current state?

          • ziggybantom says:

            No photos yet. It’s a little risky at this time of day. Too many builders and also the building in front of St. Gerards is still in use. The whole site is just like a usual development… horrid blocks of modern flats and worth no photos at all. I’m gonna try for access at St. Gerards with my camera soon. I’ll keep you posted.

  30. Connor says:

    Email me directly and I will let you know about some places me and my friends have visited one in particular is amazing

  31. Ian Bartram says:

    I was an inpatient here during the very cold winter of 1962 – 63 including Christmas aged 12. I remember the nuns and mostly Irish nurses with fondness – they were very kind. A priest helped me with my school studies during the 3 months I was there. When I got back to school I was well in advance of the rest of the class.

    I was disturbed to discover that child abuse had occurred here. I can only say that nothing of that ever occurred to me there I was well treated with kindness and consideration.

    see http://planning.northwarks.gov.uk/portal/servlets/AttachmentShowServlet?…

  32. Greg says:

    It looks like something from the video game Fallout 3. Fascinating.

  33. Jess says:

    Hello, does anyone know if this place is still open to get into and not demolished. Would love to go for a look around but from the north east so it’s a trek if it’s for nothing!

  34. John Simpson says:

    I strongly suspect this place was part of my very early life. I had polio in 1949 at the age of one and then spent the next three to four years in “Coleshill” hospital wearing plaster casts on my legs. I remember two names I think – Sister Linley and sister Mary who continued electro-therapy on my legs for some years after at Hinckley clinic. Would there be any history, photos, names etc from the 1949 to 1954 period that anyone knows about?

    • karen jenkins (O'Neill) My mothers name was Sally Cole says:

      Hi John,

      My mother Sally Cole was on ward 8, she was born in 1940 she had polio. I have a few photos mainly of her as a young girl and a few later ones. I have an autograph book which her friends have signed from the hospital, my mother has passed away now and I’ve been going through old photos and was wondering the name of the hospital till I came across it in her book so thought I would check online, amazing finding this website.

  35. Richard Keyte says:

    I have been searching and just found this site. I was born in 1945 and had a crippled foot, all that I know is that I went to Father Hudsons Home and was operated on to make it right, by reading about the site it seems that this was the Hospital, thank you.

  36. Pete says:

    The building where Adam’s photos were taken is still there. At least it was the last bank holiday weekend. All the other buildings on site marked for demolition are now gone though and new builds well under way. Sadly the developers had made a good start of clearing the place out, what’s left however was enough to make the trip worthwhile. A very interesting place to visit and pleased I got to see before it’s gone.

  37. elenor says:

    Hi is it still there I really want to go there but I just wanna find out if it still there

  38. Helen Datta nee Banerjee says:

    I worked here as a student nurse. I am devastated at the news that the hospital closed and now it is going to be demolished. The pictures are sad but brought lots of memories floating back. Lots of stories and lots of experiences! How time rolls by…

  39. Steph says:

    The site has been demolished and they are now building new houses on it…

    • Oh that is a shame! Do you have photos to share of the demolition?

      • Steph says:

        Sorry I didn’t get your notification… No I didn’t take any pictures whilst I was there unfortunately it’s already started to be built up on as it was demolished two weeks ago all the new development is well underway. There is just a huge pile of rubble and the foundations for new houses there :( Also there was asbestos problems in the old building apparently, a real shame. But I’d love to find another place to photograph like it

  40. Kat Baxter says:

    Hiya, is this still available to visit? The shots you have taken are amazing & a real inspiration to photography. I am just starting out with photography & have a real fascination with old, abandoned and derelict buildings.

    Thank you in advance for your time.

  41. Pete says:

    If any one would like to come see please call me Monday and I will ask site manager I’m sure he will let you come round many thanks to all. I must say it’s a crying shame it has to be knocked down 07974158784

    • Megan says:

      Hi there,
      I’m visiting Birmingham at the moment and this caught my eye. I know you said to contact you Monday but (horrible short notice) I was wondering if I could visit the sight tomorrow afternoon?
      Looks amazing, a must for my photography degree.

      Megan

    • Karl says:

      Pete I’m very interested in this location, has anyone visited it at night/early a.m.? Could get some great flash shots in and around there. When are they planning on demolishing it?

    • Steph says:

      Hi Pete,
      Im out and about tomorrow, I’m only up the road in coventry and would love to pop by with my camera if you wouldn’t mind?
      my email is
      stephphotome@outlook.com

      free all day tomorrow so anytime is brilliant!

    • Lexi says:

      Hi Pete it’s Lexi, I called you the other day about the band video?
      Just wondering if there’s any update on how things are?

      Thanks again!

    • Kim says:

      Do we know if this site is still okay to visit, or has it been demolished? Would love to come film it later this week if possible!

  42. Sandra Smith says:

    I was here as a baby and up until I was nearly 5 years of age. I returned in my mid-teens for a visit. I didn’t know this place had closed down. Such a shame that is has been allowed to fall into such bad disrepair.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Sandra

      Your post on St Gerard’s Hospital caught my eye. You said you were there as a baby until you were five. I’m doing my family history and my grandmother was born in Coventry Union Workhouse in 1912, to parents who couldn’t look after her for various reasons. She ended up in Cheltenham with 2 women but am struggling to determine how this happened. Was the hospital a home for children in those days?

      Thank you for reading my post and any info you could pass on might be of help.

      Thank you,
      Karen

      • Sandra says:

        Hi Karen,

        My mother could not look after me because I was born with some disabilities. My father had T.B at the time and she was also expecting my sister.

        I was first admitted to Birmingham Children’s Hospital and then sent to St. Gerard’s, where apparently I was looked after by a nurse Jackson, who I became very attached to. I don’t really know to much about all of this, as memory with time has faded. Most of this came via my mother, who with my father is now deceased. So I have no way of knowing why I was kept there for so long, other than my mother could not cope with all that was going on.

        I know I had treatment while I was there, and also did not start walking until I was nearly 4 years old. I had to use a kind of walker, which I then terrorised the nurses and doctors with.

        That is good that you are doing your family history. I am doing mine also. I would really like to know more. Interestingly, i have never ever found nurse Jackson, even though I have searched for her for years. Once I was out of there, the contact stopped, and even though I have made enquiries, she disappeared out of my life. I would have like to have known more about her, or even have met her.
        Take care now.
        Sandra

      • Sandra says:

        By the way. Coventry Family history society, had a book about the workhouse with listings of people’s names in there. It might be an idea to go to their site. I used to have the book, but I no longer have it. It was lost at some point when travelling here to the USA.

  43. Sophie says:

    Hello, for my art project i need to visit this asylum, is it still open for people to go into and take photographs, and by any chance could any one tell me where it is?

    It’s the only abandoned asylum I’ve found around Birmingham which hasn’t been demolished.

    thanks,

    • Pete says:

      Hi I’m working there at present if came and asked the site manager he just might take and show you cheers Pete

      • Maxine says:

        hi Pete

        Im out and about tomorrow, is there someone on site every day ? Was hoping to get a few interior pictures before it disappears

        Cheers Maxine

  44. Bogi says:

    Hi,

    Firstly, amazing pics… the place looks unreal!

    I’m hoping to head down there ***, I’ve google mapped it and think I may have found the location, seems to have security fencing all around it?

    If anyone is able to message/email me with a more accurate location, I would really appreciate it.

    Cheers

    • Hi Bogi,

      Sounds like you’ve found it to me! Only one way to find out, go look!

      Oh… and I’ve removed your mention of when you’re visiting, it’s not the best idea to announce publicly when you’re exploring somewhere. Don’t forget, stealth is key and if you’re informing the world and his security dog you won’t be doing yourself any favours! Good luck and happy exploring!

    • Steveo says:

      Hi do you know the exact location where this is would most grateful if you could let me know cheers

  45. Rebecca says:

    Wow, I cant believe all those things are still lying around. Proper spooky. I just love all these photos, so fascinating

  46. Caper Lamb says:

    Wow…This place looks pretty creepy! This is the kind of place that i want to look around soon.

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