The Lincolnshire County Pauper Lunatic Asylum Exterior

The History

Formerly, the Lincolnshire County Lunatic Asylum. The Asylum was built in 1852 and enlarged on several subsequent occasions in 1859, 1866, 1881 and 1902. It was originally established jointly by Lindsey, Kesteven, Holland, Lincoln, Grimsby and Stamford, and managed by a Board of Visitors appointed by the contributing authorities. Kesteven and Grantham withdrew from the arrangement when the contract of Union expired in 1893 (eventually establishing the Kesteven County Asylum at South Rauceby, 1897).

The hospital was set in grounds of 120 acres which included gardens, farmland and a burial ground. In 1940 female patients were transferred to other hospitals, mainly Storthes Hall near Huddersfield, to make space for an Emergency Hospital, and many did not return until well after the end of the War. Administration of the hospital passed to the National Health Service in 1948. By the early 1960s it was known by its final name of St John’s Hospital. Patients were admitted from Harmston Hall Hospital when that hospital closed. St John’s Hospital itself was closed in December 1989 with the remaining patients transferred to other establishments. The site was sold for housing and most of the buildings apart from the central block were demolished.

The following names, among others, were used for the Institution, sometimes interchangeably:

1852-1893 Lincolnshire County Lunatic Asylum or Lincolnshire County Pauper Lunatic Asylum

1894-1915 Lincolnshire Lunatic Asylum

1897-1898 Lindsey, Holland, Lincoln and Grimsby District Pauper Lunatic Asylum

1903-1920 Lincolnshire Asylum

1898-1902 Bracebridge Pauper Lunatic Asylum

1902-1919 Bracebridge District Lunatic Asylum

1919-1948 Bracebridge Mental Hospital

1930-1938 Lincolnshire Mental Hospital

1939-1960 Bracebridge Heath Hospital

1961-1989 St John’s Hospital, Bracebridge Heath

The plan & arrangements of this large asylum, are in accordance with the most approved systems adopted in other parts of the kingdom. The plain Italian style prevails throughout the large central building, & in all its wings & outbuildings; which, with the courts & airing yards etc, occupy about 7 acres. About 8 acres more are occupied by gardens, lawns, plantations, & roads; thus leaving about 30 acres for the farm, which is partly cultivated by spade husbandry, & gives healthy employment to many of the patients.

The average number of patients in 1854, was 244, consisting of 110 males & 125 females. Many of the latter are employed in needlework. The asylum finally closed in 1989/1990 and was bought by a property developer a few years later who has converted half of the site into houses but the main asylum buildings are Grade II listed buildings and cant be demolished.

Visit #1

First visit was just Jamie and myself we didn’t expect to be able to get access here so we had what’s left of Rauceby as a backup plan. Much to our surprise, however, we managed about 3 hours undetected and covered about 30%-40% of the Asylum. The place is pretty stripped bare now however its still a good explore. I really liked the ceilings in the cell corridors with the arched honey comb effect and the cells themselves were interesting.

Currently, this has to be one of my favourite explores to date, despite being stripped out I thought that this asylum was pretty photogenic. Best bit for me has to be the arched ceilings with sound proofing supposedly a design feature to reduce the sounds of screaming patients.

Visit #2

A return trip with Jamie, Ryan and Adam this time we covered more ground I’d estimate around 80% with the remaining 20% pretty much inaccessible on that occasion. Again there wasn’t a lot more to see. Most of this place has been stripped out for redevelopment. We found another block of cells one of which had a cool door different to the rest. What was interesting on this occasion is that red and white tape had been added to certain doorways and one had been boarded up completely all since the visit 1 week prior so someone has obviously been in trying to re-secure the place and I expect trying to find out where we’ve been covering ๐Ÿ™‚

The Lincolnshire County Pauper Lunatic Asylum May 2013 Part 1

The Lincolnshire County Pauper Lunatic Asylum May 2013 Part 2

The Lincolnshire County Pauper Lunatic Asylum November 2013ย 

The Lincolnshire County Pauper Lunatic Asylum February 2014

If youโ€™veย made it this farโ€ฆ thanks for reading / checking out the pictures. Leave me a comment below or hit the like button to let me knowย youโ€™veย enjoyed the shots and to encourage me to keep posting more ๐Ÿ™‚

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Kay says:

My nan was a regular patient (in and out for years) here. To look at the pictures brings a strange mix of emotions. Thank you for the pictures. Part of me would have loved to have viewed the place myself while the other part has to much of an emotional link. Unfortunately my nan is no longer here and I don’t know much about her time there as it’s not a much talked about subject.


Hi Kay,

I have previously made enquiries with the Lincolnshire Archives department who have confirmed that they have a lot of records from the Asylum, some of which includes patient records. If you were interested there might be an opportunity with you people a family member to obtain a cope or perhaps view them. I’m not sure what the rules are surround all that but might be worth a shot.

Kind regards


Sabina says:

Hi these pictures are amazing! I love how you captured the best of the building itself and shame about no paranormal activity ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve been to few places and best one was Severalls. I’d love to visit more but it’s getting harder to find places online now. The history along with the building itself just makes you see it differently. Are you still exploring other places too? I’d love to come along!

Dave C says:

Me and my friends spent a years exploring this place from 1990 onwards. It was in full working order when we first visited and was real spooky!! We even slept on site 1 night for a dare. The hospital wings,which are now demolished, was the realy scary place! Of course this all head to be done at night lol… Things you do when your young ๐Ÿ™‚ in fact I climbed the water tower right upto the top. Enjoyed the pictures ๐Ÿ™‚

Chrissie says:

Fantastic pics, my parents worked as nurses there till it closed,My mum wouldn’t do nights as it was too scary. It’s a pity they aren’t alive now as they had some lovely stories about the place


Hi Chrissie,

Thanks for the comment and kind words about the photos :). It does seem like a creepy place I imagine it would have been just the as spooky when it was up and running. Its a very big place with some dark corridors I can appreciate why you’re mum didn’t want to do the night shifts! Sorry you’re parents have passed it would have been nice to hear some stories from them.

All the best


Cindy says:

I did some work experience there in 1980. It was a scary place then. Would have loved to go round after it was emptied out and before it decayed. Great photos but a very sad place .


Hi Cindy,

I agree, I got to this one a little late after alot had already been stripped out! I’d also like to have seen what it looked like whilst it was open but there is an expected lack of photos from when it was a functioning asylum. Glad you liked the photos

All the best


Mick says:

if only walls could talk…..


I know, I expect these ones would have some right tales to tell! thanks for your comment Mick!

Emily says:

Hi I love these pictures I’m into abandoned places and really want to know where this place is along with Church on a Hill. They are amazing photos and I love all of them.


Cheers Emily

Glad you like the photos :), A bit of googling should bring up this place its not really a well kept secret ๐Ÿ™‚ As for the Church on a Hill its a nice little gem that one, Location is a bit trickier and I believe it is resealed now as well.

All the best


Emily says:

awww boo making me look for it instead of helping. I actually did google it and couldn’t find an address or anything.


I’ll drop you an email ๐Ÿ™‚


peter says:

good stuff mate, well captured, need to get here


Wish granted ๐Ÿ˜€

joey says:

Tell me more about the orbs, it looks like someone is standing in the middle of the green


Hi Joey, your right there is its me :). Bit of string, LED torch covered in green plastic, long exposure and spin and you’re away ๐Ÿ™‚

Susan says:

Absolutely beautiful pictures. Normally you see creepy pictures of places like these but you’ve manage to capture the beauty behind the architecture. Did you experience any unexplainable phenomena while you were there?


Hi Susan, Thanks alot for your comment, I really appreciate it. Sadly nothing paranormal occurred on our visits here, I did however scare myself half to death when I though I saw a figure which later turned out to be a hold in a wall loosely shaped like a person :D.

Crystal says:

Super creepy place but these images are spectacular. Ahh.. I’m speechless. Such good quality and color. I am going to need you to come and take family pictures for me!! lol


Hi Crystal, Thanks for the comment I do family portraits as well ๐Ÿ˜€ surely you’re not wanting them doing in an asylum though? ๐Ÿ˜‰ Where abouts are you from?

chris says:

wonderful pictures! I am into history and hauntings, especially in old buildings. Thanks for the treat, today!


Hi Chris, thanks for the comment and glad you liked the shots. I’ve been to some pretty creepy places, I always find the asylums the worst though! I cant imagine some of the stuff that went on there!