Published on Mon Nov 10, 2014 by David J Colbran
I visited a really interesting building - the Liverpool Seamen's Orphan Institution in Newsham Park. The doors were open for the Liverpool Arts Festival on the 8th and 9th of November 2014 and featured loads of artists and performers. But for me, it was an opportunity to have a look inside the building and discover a little about it's past.
The Liverpool Seamen's Orphan Institution was built in the 1870s by benefactor Ralf Brocklebank, as there were a large number children orphaned during maritime disasters. The Orphanage opened in 1873 and housed 182 children. Designed by the top Victorian Liverpool-born architect Alfred Waterhouse, it was built to an incredible standard, ensuring its survival in spite of being derelict for nearly 20 years. Other buildings then opened and in 1879 the Sanatorium opened. By the end of the First World War it was estimated there had nearly 1000 children living in the orphanage, since it opened. New facilities, including classrooms were added in the 1930's before the orphanage closed in 1939 at the outbreak of the Second World War and fear of the building being bombed. It reopend in 1946, however due to financial difficulties it was forced to close in 1949. Two years later the Government bought the building and converted it into a Psychiatric facility called Newsham Park Hospital.
The hospital officially stopped taking new patients in 1988 and in 1992 all remaining patients and staff were relocated. Later in 1992, Rainhill Lunatic Asylum inmates were moved to Newsham Park Hospital taking up 90% of its space and some £1.6 million was spent on the hospital so it could house its new patients. But by 1997, the building closed its doors one final time to residents.
Apparently a few parts of the building are haunted and the buildings new owners make the most of this with ghost tours and hiring the place out to film and movie-makers. More info here - http://www.paranormalunited.co.uk/royal-liverpool-seamans-orphanage-newsham-park-hospital-haunted/
You also might be interested in photographs of another empty building - the old postal sorting office Copperas Hill
2016 update - wow checking my site analytics, this page has received thousands of impressions and a really high CTR % (that's the percentage of users who see this on a Google search and then visit the page - CTR = click through ratio). So if you've arrived here and read to the bottom of the article and found it useful, please share / like the page using the social media buttons below, I'd really appreciate it ! Sharing is caring, as they say.
Urbex, urban, exploration, urbanexploration, interiors Author: David J Colbran
In 2006 I was contacted by a design agency here on Merseyside to help them photograph their forthcoming debut album cover. Exciting times ! Read more...
Recently I was contacted by a Cambridge based PR agency, who represent a Swedish engineering company and for trade press they need some portraits of one of the chief engineers on a project. Read more...
"David is a very creative, imaginative photographer and shows great empathy with his subjects. These qualities certainly show in his work. I am very pleased to endorse him."