Rossendale General Hospital History
Rossendale General Hospital started out as a work house for the poor named Haslingden Work House. I’m not certain when exactly it was built, however there is an old photograph supposedly from 1905 and an illustration of the building dated around 1898 in which the building looks remarkably familiar to how it does today.
An excerpt from the Gazette describes the workhouse as follows: “There are 326 inmates within the Workhouse walls, made up of old men and women; young men and women, and boys and girls. One hundred lie on the sick beds of the Infirmary; 72 are imbeciles or idiots, of whom 48 are females; 29 are boys, and 24 are girls, with five infants under two years of age. There are fathers and mothers here; grandfathers and grandmothers, and even great grandfathers and great grandmothers.”
The workhouse later became Moorland House Public Assistance Institution, and then Rossendale General Hospital which finally closed in 2010.
in 2012 plans were approved to demolish the existing buildings and replace them with 170 homes. new homes a mixture of affordable and high-end housing. Rumours suggest that demolition is to begin in 2013, however at the time of this visit there were no signs of change at the site.
October 2014 update: Sadly this place is now completely flattened, I visited the site on a number of occasions during the demolition works in order to access so of the previously sealed areas such as the morgue. Links to those reports can be found at the bottom of this page. I was only yesterday sent photographs of the new housing estate which has already sprung up on the site of the old Rossendale Hospital, incredible to see how fast that has happened. This will always remain a favourite location of mine, many a good time were had exploring this place :).
Visited with Pete, Sonyes,and Sam the Mule! It started off with a message from Pete “how do you fancy a look in Rossendale Hospital, been a couple of times but had no luck security are on site and keen” Perfect I thought! I called the mule and plans were made for an early morning start. We rocked up just before sunrise and met with Pete and Sonyes before making our approach. What we did know, is that this place has an awesome operating theatre, what we didn’t know is what building that theatre was in or access information for any of the buildings on site. We were going blind ;). After a quick wander around the old workhouse constantly keeping our eyes peeled for security I climbed up a tall yellow drainpipe onto a second story flat roof and began checking the windows. Almost immediately I came across a loose boarded window with no glass on the inside, obviously used before for entry. A quick thumbs up and other guys joined me as we entered the old part of the site.
Full of nice decay and plenty of contents left behind rotting in the rooms and hallways, I really enjoyed the old work house side of the site. This part had been closed for a longer period of time in comparison to the more modern building within the hospital grounds and was obviously in a more rotten condition. Highlights in this bit have to be the trolly bed in the corridor, the wheelchairs and the rehabilitation room with its bright green overgrown carpet :). After a few hours in here it was obvious the theatre wasn’t in the workhouse so out we went back down the drainpipe and to have a look at the other buildings in hopes of finding what we were looking for. We were facing a building in the middle of the site discussing the possibilities of it being a theatre when I caught sight of security out of the corner of my eye. As the guy walked up in a pretty casual manor, he asked “are you guys those Urban Explorer people?” a little unsure at what was going to happen, we nodded and agreed before he said “ok that cool, well I’m only temporary here, I’ll stay out of your way and keep the dog on the lead and enjoy yourselves” while walking away. We looked at each other in utter shock, Jackpot!
What followed was lots and lots of climbing on various roofs and in and out of windows trying to track down that operating theatre! We got into the Physiotherapy Department, which was pretty stripped except for some examination rooms and piles of crutches, but no Theatre! The we stumbled across this large square looking extension to the back of the main building of the new side of the site. After climbing on the roof and looking around with wet feet in the flooded gutters, Mule spotted a small internal courtyard with what looked to be an open door! He climbed down the sizeable drop and in through the door before quickly returning with a large grin on his face! We all jumped down and quickly rushed inside to admire the awesome operating theatre complete with working ceiling lights which we had been looking for all day! There were more parts to the newer building but nothing quite as photogenic as the decaying theatre. This place will certainly be one of my favourite locations for some time to come and we’ll definitely be going back!
It was our first outing with the new GoPro and chest mount the video can be found below just after the photos. My favourite bits are hard to choose from here as there was so much to see but the operating theatre stood head and shoulders above most things I’ve had the pleasure of seeing in these abandoned places! Complete with working lights it was jaw dropping when we walked in!
And finally some footage from the Gopro 🙂
Don’t forget to check out the revisit posts:
Rossendale Hospital revisit February 2013
Rossendale Hospital revisit 2 March 2013
Rossendale Hospital revisits 3, 4 and 5 October 2013
Rossendale Hospital revisit 6 December 2013
If you’ve made it this far… thanks for reading / checking out the pictures. Leave me a comment below or hit the like button to let me know you’ve enjoyed the shots and to encourage me to keep posting more 🙂
Limited Edition prints and Canvases, as well as regular prints, are available for all of the images above on request and visit the store for more prints and products.
Hi, these pictures truly scare me ( especially the ones in the morgue) but a cant help but stare at them!! i was born there, my mother worked there all her career and my grand parents would not go near it as would always be ‘the workhouse’!! thank you x
Hi Charlotte, thanks for the comment and kind words! Im glad you enjoyed the photos! Its such a beautiful building despite its history! 🙂
All the best
Hi Its stange for me to see this, you see i was born there in 19.43 and often thought what it would be like to see it, then out with some friends we went to have a look of course the gates were locked i tried to picture my mum bringing me home it felt really good to see it, shame its gone to rack and ruin but i suppose thats life. Thank-you very much.Hazel
Thanks alot for your comment, I’m glad you appreciated the little peak inside the place as much as I did. I hear they plan on keeping some of the structure of the original building as part of the redevelopment but who knows if that will be the case once they get started.
All the best
So sad, used to work in that very operating theatre, I can’t believe they’ve let the hospital go to rack and ruin. A sad and non dignified ending to a great building.
Thanks for your comment, its interesting to hear from ex employees of places like this. I can imagine it must be quite saddening to see the place in such decline. As you pointed out its a pretty impressive building, I think the original plan was to keep the external features when it is converted. However it is common case that these places become so badly damaged that the historical significance of them is disregarded and they allowed to be demolished to make way for more modern new builds. Sad times indeed. Hope you enjoyed the little peek inside.
All the best Proj3ct
Whilst feeling sad about the building, I can only thank you for your wonderful pictures and video. They brought back some memories of good times working there with some wonderful fellow colleagues. Once again, many thanks
Cheers Tony that really means alot, glad to hear they are appreciated. thanks for the kind words
Its cool how the lights are still working even though moss has grown throughout! doesnt half add an eerie effect!
Mate one of my favourite explores to date. This place had a great mix of old and new with the 2 separate buildings that closed at different times. The one with the power on was a little scary as some of the roofs were leaking… only a matter of time before an electrical fire.