West Park Mental Hospital (Mortuary), Epsom, Surrey

Exterior of West Park mortuary

Five years ago, West Park Mental Hospital was the place to be if you were an Urban Explorer. It was an absolute gem of a site. Immortalised in urban exploring history West Park had it all; hoards of ex-patient personal belongings, miles of perfectly decayed corridors & wards and the jewell in it’s crown, a padded cell.

Having visited the mortuary I’m now kicking myself that I never saw West Park in it’s glory years. The entire site is now being redeveloped and the mortuary, on the perimeter of the site, is the only building still standing and undeveloped.

The Explore

Brain tissue samples encapsulated in hardened wax

It was once an absolute mission to get inside the West Park site, but basically walking in the front door no one batted an eyelid as we walked straight to the mortuary. As we entered the building, we were immediately in the body storage area, three body fridges all with the doors wide open.

As we continue through the building we come to the main lab room. It’s astonishing to see things as personal as brain tissue and named blood samples strewn across the worktop like litter. It’s absolutely fascinating to see and to photograph but there’s no excuse as to why these very personal items weren’t destroyed when the hospital slowly began to close in the early nineties.

Amongst the brain and blood is a mummified corpse of a rat. Black and decaying. On the opposite bench, more blood slides, a teapot, the spine of a medical dictionary and a page from the manual of the equipment which encapsulates body tissue in wax blocks. A rare insight in to seeing how the brain samples were created.

There are an additional three doors on the sides of the main lab room, one leading to a toilet, another to a room with medical equipment and a large chest freezer and finally a long room which seemed to be a kind of ‘down-time’ area with an arm chair and fireplace.

Inevitably, the mortuary building will be no doubt destroyed along will all the personal items and be incorporated to the new Noble Park development which has already transformed the hospital as it was known.

UPDATE: Sadly, as of January 2014, it looks like the mortuary has been completely stripped and all that remains are the body fridges. SOURCE

UPDATE: The mortuary has now been completely demolished. SOURCE

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Comments

76 responses to “West Park Mental Hospital (Mortuary), Epsom, Surrey”

  1. Roy says:

    Hi all, I worked at West Park hospital from 1981 to 1988, and find it hard to see it’s gone, as my Grandfather was a fireman there back in the 60s, and lived in the house outside the gate, my Mum and Dad met at West Park and worked for 33 years nursing there before retirement, we had lots of friends that worked at West Park and The Manor and Long Grove hospitals. Sad that all have gone now. Best wishes to you all!

  2. Sky says:

    Hello matey could you give me the exact location of this site please many thanks.

    • Declan wood says:

      This place is no longer standing I’m afraid buddy

      If anyone’s local to Surrey and wishes to go to a few places feel free to message me. Always looking for people to come with us. We’re a mixture of boys and girls and go all over the place.

      Decwood321@outlook.com feel free to message me people we have a fair few places to go to still and a range that we’ve already been to that we’d love to re-explore.

    • Transparent monkey says:

      The site has been completely demolished and redeveloped now.

  3. Michael says:

    Hello dear I live in Epsom and was wondering if you would help me locate this mortuary in Epsom

  4. Max says:

    Hi Urban Explorer,

    I live in Surrey and I find it a shame that this spot has been demolished and the other spot on the website appears to be boarded up and locked. Do you know of any other abandoned places in Surrey that are explorable?

    Appreciate any help

    M

    • The Urban Explorer says:

      I’m sure there’s plenty, Max. I recommend you join 28dayslater.co.uk – get involved, start with the search box and get contributing!

      • Max says:

        Thanks for the help, do you know of any websites that are equally as reliable as yours and 28dayslater?
        Again appreciate all the help I can get

        M

        • Jude says:

          Hi Max, I know a place in Staines, it’s an abandoned orphanage. I’m not sure how to get there though so I am willing to go depending on your age.

          • The Urban Explorer says:

            Are you talking about Silverlands? If so, it’s not quite Staines. Closer to Chertsey.

            • Dan says:

              Hi. I have found tunnels in Portsmouth that lead from Farlington all the way to Southsea castle. I think they were origionally constructed by Henry the 8th. I have found one with an open gate. Going to see how far it goes. Farlington to Southsea is over 4 miles. Do you know of these or any info?

              • The Urban Explorer says:

                Hi Dan, I don’t know that area very well but what you’ve found sounds incredible. Do you have any photos?

    • Charlie says:

      Hi max do you know of any more places in the Epsom or ewell area because me and a few mates wanna go some abandoned places.

    • lesley says:

      Hi all.
      Living local to West Park, we decided to go drive over today. We knew there was next to nothing left so head over to Hollywood Lodge which is a stones throw from West Park. Not much left of this old building but was still wowth a look.

      Shame we didn’t get to see West Park before it was demolished. Hoping to head over to Severalls on Sunday. Security may be an issue.
      I suggest a trip to St Peters hospital mortuary before that gets trashed, it’s not far off with vandals making it their home.

      • Declan says:

        Anyone got any places in Surrey?

        We’ve got a little group of 5 of us. We’ve been to Cane Hill in Coulsdon. Ockham Manor tombs. As well as a number of other places.

        Looking for more places to visit haunted or just abandoned buildings. Fascinated by it all. We’re all 20-23. Anyone around our age or not. Not fussed. Got any places and ever fancied to join us drop me a email with any places. Decwood321@outlook.com :)

    • Declan wood says:

      Anyone got any places in Surrey?

      We’ve got a little group of 5 of us. We’ve been to Cane Hill in Coulsdon. Ockham Manor tombs. As well as a number of other places.

      Looking for more places to visit haunted or just abandoned buildings. Fascinated by it all. We’re all 20-23. Anyone around our age or not. Not fussed. Got any places and ever fancied to join us drop me an email with any places. Decwood321@outlook.com

  5. Westpark resident says:

    We bought a property in the Noble Park development 3 years ago. It’s an amazing place to live but over the years I have have heard walking in my house and have weird dreams regarding fire and seen things. I’m now convinced my house is haunted so I’m now trying very hard to sell up and move.

    • The Urban Explorer says:

      Surely that would increase the value of your house if you’ve proven the existence of ghosts! Well done! Haha! Sorry, but I don’t believe in ghosts & ghoulies, and I would suggest you shouldn’t let your dreams be an indicator to move house. That just sounds crazy to me?

      It’s funny you should mention fire though, as West Park was victim of arson a few times but this wasn’t until the mid-2000’s, long after it was abandoned. And as we all know, ghosts are only ever Victorian because let’s be honest, who’s ever described a ghost wearing a baseball cap & Nikes?

      Only pulling your leg… good luck selling up!

  6. Ayla says:

    I really want to find out if there are any abandoned buildings in London, that I will be able to go to?
    I really find this stuff interesting and would like to start exploring these derelict and abandoned buildings.
    If anyone knows anywhere, email me : sk8rgirl_ayla@hotmail.com

    • alan1p says:

      There are some stunning pre WW2 buildings in Essex near Tilbury in the undergrowths just a few hundred yards before you go to the coal house fort. On the left there is a red mail box, park there and walk up the very short gravel path go into the small field on left down the bank and they start appearing to your right hand side.

  7. Scott says:

    Oh… my heart sank as I came to the end of your article: “Demolished” …sad times. We’re losing all this great past… to only be replaced, usually, with cheap and characterless buildings

    • The Urban Explorer says:

      Definitely sad times!

      • Matt says:

        Anyone know of any groups I can join? I would love to do this with others. Urban Explorer, can I join you at all?

        • The Urban Explorer says:

          Get yourself signed up to 28dayslater.co.uk and start contributing and making friends on there. It’s the biggest and best forum for exploring.

          • Kirstie says:

            Hi,

            Hope you don’t mind me posting here – I’m not sure of the protocol around this so sorry if I have got it wrong. I’m hoping to find someone who explored the Epsom sites to be involved in a project looking at the (largely unknown) history of the hospitals, including the period after they closed. Planning an exhibition, website, possibly a publication. I already have a number of oral histories recorded and involvement from local historians, but the period after closure isn’t yet represented. Could you help?

            • The Urban Explorer says:

              I’m not sure how I could help I’m afraid? There’s plenty of other explorers who covered way more of the abandoned hospital than I ever did. If it’s photos you’re after, we can discuss that over e-mail.

            • Lee says:

              Not sure if you’ll see this, but I explored Long Grove about 1-2 years after it closed. Didn’t manage to get any photos, but the day will stay in mind forever. Patient records, rooms full of incontinence pads, discarded clothing, a washing machine half fallen through the front conservatory roof! and much much more. It was pretty mind blowing!

              My Nan worked at Long Grove for years and we spent quite a lot of time there before it closed. I remember going to social events in the club house and dropping her off to work at the staff entrance.

              You can email me if you would like any more info.

              To this day I wish we’d taken a camera. I just don’t think we realised quite how exciting it’d be and how much people would be interested.

  8. kieran says:

    Hi guys I love to walk around the place can anyone help me where can anyone help me

    • The Urban Explorer says:

      Kieran,

      Guess you didn’t read the full article, or the comments?

    • Tallulah says:

      I went to the West Park site today (now Noble Park), I enjoyed walking around the place. Sadly the mortuary has gone as already stated but I did find a boarded up building, it’s near The Meadows Day Hospital. I couldn’t find a way to access inside but did go into the lavatory that is attached to it.

      If anybody out there has any pictures of Horton Hospital or Manor after they were closed, please get in touch tallulahdurand@googlemail.com

  9. GC says:

    Hiya,

    I am looking at visiting this soon, am I still able to go inside? Is the building still standing as some of the other comments make me think otherwise!

    Thanks.

    • The Urban Explorer says:

      Hi GC,

      You’re in luck! I actually popped in here yesterday on a drive back from London to see the current state. It’s gone I’m afraid. West Park Mortuary demolished

  10. Grace says:

    Hello, I was wondering if this place is still open?

    • The Urban Explorer says:

      Grace, I’m not sure. But even if it is still standing if you read the report you’ll see the mortuary was cleared out many months ago.

  11. Neil Bailey says:

    Seeing all of that tissue from a bygone era makes me think that a vital and irreplaceable research resource is just allowed to rot.

  12. Baz says:

    A late reply I know but my Nan, born in 1918 worked there for many years, she is still with us aged 96 and has many memories of West Park, I might do a video diary from her before all is lost

    • Sounds like a great idea. I bet she has some incredible stories from there!

    • ria stoddart says:

      I was wondering – perhaps she would recall a Mary Harker or Mary Plant that worked there and died there?

      Would it be possible for you to ask her – I would so like to hear more about her (and if possible have photographs of her)

      Regards

    • Rob says:

      Baz, I was brought up in Epsom and Ewell and unfortunately my Dad spent time in West Park as a patient and it was scary then, and I now live on the Old Manor Hospital estate in Manor Crescent and we get Orbs coming in our front room but we have learnt to accept it.

      Epsom has lots of history unfortunately they built new houses on each hospital, such as St. Ebbas, Longrove, Horton and Manor, and now West Park Hospital.

      I believe there is still an old house on the West Park site on the corner of Christchurch Road and roundabout that is haunted but you can not gain entry as the building is unsafe and under a security firm.

  13. Joe Temple says:

    Hi Guys, a little off topic but I was wondering if anyone knows anything about Horton Lodge? The Mansion that’s abandoned that the gypsies keep their horses in the field. They also use the stables.

    I have seen online that it was once a grand building and now it’s derelict and due to vandalism it’s not in great shape.

    I am looking to purchase this land and hopefully bring the building back to it’s former glory.

    If you could put me in touch with the owners of the land I would be very appreciative.

    Thanks

    • aidan mcilroy says:

      It had one side of the roof set fire to but I’m not sure how bad it was, it may have been quite bad so if I were you I’d check it out first.

    • Marion ward says:

      I think you mean Hollywood Lodge, not Horton Lodge. It was a lovely building before it was vandalised

  14. Ria Stoddart says:

    It is such a pity that you did not find any records of staff members. I had a Grandmother who was a nurse there and passed away at the asylum (take it was in the nurses residence) on 19 March 1959.

    Would have loved to have seen photographs of the nurses residences as well.

  15. I like your old pics I was fortunate to see westpark in full glory I worked in the kitchen from 1983 to 1988

    • Roy says:

      Hi Colin just seen your post, would of worked with you in the kitchens a some point in the past, as worked in the stores at West Park during the day, and part time in the kitchens in the afternoon. Roy Crook, now living in Brisbane Australia.

  16. Matt says:

    Hi Amy, sadly after another visit, I found the morgue has been cleared of all items thus demo is imminant, looks like the builders have finally plucked up the courage to go inside! : ( The only remaining buildings of the Epsom cluster I know of now are Hollywood Lodge (which I also visited same day for the second time) West Park social club, West Park water tower, Horton medical superintendents residence, Horton Chappell, Pines Lodge, St Ebbas water tower (demo imminant) there are also some remaining buildings on West Park that are/due to become disused that I will be hitting when ready and some remaining buildings/wards on st Ebbas and the Haven on Horton that may become disused in the nearby future. I have done Holly Lodge, WP social club but camera batteries ran out! : ( I’ve also visited Horton superintendents residence and both water towers but without camera. I plan to do all of the above before they are demo’d.

    • daniel davies says:

      My mum used to be a charge nurse in westpark and long Grove in the 70’s she’d be saddened to see the state of these great buildings now

      • hi there says:

        My Father was also a charge nurse in Long Grove Hospital in the 70s, 80s and 90s. His name was Lindsay.

  17. Hannah says:

    Hey, I hope this doesn’t sound like a stupid question, but are there any reports of this site being haunted? Only because I was planning on shooting here for a university project and would like to know preferably if it is or isn’t? Great photos by the way!

    • If you believe in ghosts then everywhere is haunted!

      • Hannah says:

        Haha very true! Also, have you got any information on the status of the Mortuary at the moment. I know West Park was in the process of redevelopment but didn’t know where this stood in terms of what is actually left?

        • No idea I’m afraid. Development is coming on pretty quick at Noble Park. I last visited here back in September 2013 I think it was, not much had changed from when I originally visited in May 2013.

        • Matt says:

          Finally found this place ***** which is pretty pathetic considering I live the other side of Epsom town! Got a few good pics considering I only set out to find its location possibly believing it to be levelled. Went back on the ***** with some mates to show them but camera died after a few shots as forgot to charge batteries! We were mostly drunk anyway! Visited the social club too where I found my boss had his 21st! I’m lucky as I explored some of West Park/St Ebbas and Horton long before the Term Urbex was coined! Am trying to dig out pics I took on disposable cam back then! Will be posting a mini report on Abandoned Places or 28dayslater when I get round to editing photographs!

          It’s still standing, is kind of tucked away from the rest of West Park so not really in the focus of the development, demo team are probably too scared to set foot in side! That said, it will probably be levelled soon so I wouldn’t hang about! I would go with at least one other but not too many or you will be bait for secca/etc, which is low in presence BTW. From a believer of spirits, but not the OMG it’s going to attack me sort, I can’t say I sensed anything, why would they want to hang around here? Half the people were incorrectly sectioned here anyway by today’s standards so I can’t imagine they would stay unless they felt attached to the place, least of all the morgue! Did sense a negative feeling here though and it would be very creepy on your own so go with a friend! That said it was not as bad as other places I have been surprisingly! As for light, it was pretty good for an overcast day, perfect for the eerie sort of shots you want of such a place. Carry a torch though as it will come in handy for dark areas and the odd shot, and a dusk mask which I didn’t have with, silly me! I believe there to be asbestos not to mention there are signs around the site warning of it.

          Good photos BTW, love the finish! Maybe going here ***** as have day off work!

          • Thanks for the comments Matt. I’ve combined them in to one, hope you don’t mind I’ve also censored dates etc. You don’t want to broadcast where you’ve been on specific dates and when you’re planning on visiting in the public eye. You never know who’s reading!

            I’m lucky as I explored some of West Park/St Ebbas and Horton long before the Term Urbex was coined!

            You’re very lucky indeed! I bet it was fantastic back then! Please be sure to share your photos

            • Amy says:

              I went to West Park a few years ago, 2011/12 maybe and the place was crawling with demolition buddies. The main building (which is beautiful) had a high vis jackets in every doorway there was no way of getting in and having a good explore. Where did you find this beauty? I’d be so interested to go back and take another look around, hopefully would be more successful this time.

            • Matt says:

              Hi Urban Explorer, thanks for thoughtful moderation, good thinking! I have been lucky but kick myself that I didn’t not explore more/have camera back then. I was just a curious teenager with all these places on my doorstep to be explored but it was in the days when a DSLR and even digital camera was a luxury a far throw from the everyday person or casual photographer. Especially a chavy teen having a mooch round an old hospital with some mates, I was the sort of person I would curse now back then! Lol I’ll try and dig those old prints out, I know I defo have some of Horton power plant which is now a David Loydds gym, nearby. : )

  18. Jude says:

    Just came across this, really beautiful photographs. Has the asylum been demolished or is it still accessible? Would love to do a fashion shoot in here.

    • The Urban Explorer says:

      Thanks Jude,

      The hospital is near-on all redeveloped now, and any hope you had of doing a fashion shoot is probably gone!

      I’m not sure why the mortuary has remained untouched for so long during the redevelopment process, but I assume it wont be long until it’s just flattened.

      • Jude says:

        Aw what a shame! I’ll have to check out the mortuary, amazing pictures Adam.

      • Jane says:

        Oh so there’s not much point in checking it out now? I’m only in Surrey for another few days but I would love to check out something before I leave!

  19. Jess says:

    Only just found your website. Love this set Adam. :)

      • lesley says:

        Sad not to have made it into this one.
        The mortuary at St Peters hospital is easily accessible.

        • Emily says:

          I find it really sad that people feel the need to vandalise these places. After visiting St. Peters mortuary it has been destroyed to vandalism. I also feel it’s just inappropriate to write things on walls, sad. Should show respect as a place of rest for those no longer alive. I find it fascinating visiting these places.

  20. Ben says:

    Beautiful pictures, and this is very close to us so shall definitely be taking the trip with fingers crossed it’s still standing. Thank you for sharing these.

  21. Louise says:

    Thank you Adam for these fantastic photos! As one with a deep interest in Asylums and historical psychiatric treatments, I find it wonderful to look at your site! We all get to see the insides of the places that are no longer there and I just wanted to thank you for capturing them on film! Hours of enjoyment on your website today :)

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