The Abandoned Asylum – March 2013

The lunatic asylums now dotted around Ireland offer a grim reminder of the past. Since the early 1800s there have been thousands of patients unnecessarily admitted to these asylums. These patients were subjected to horrible conditions. Overcrowding, widespread disease and harsh treatment were commonplace in most Irish asylums. Many people diagnosed as mentally unstable (sometimes for incredibly trivial things at the time) lived out the rest of their days behind the walls of these asylums in inhumane conditions.

There is plenty of reading on the horrors that went on in these asylums elsewhere online so I will not delve too deep into it here. I would rather not give the location of this asylum as it is a sensitive site. For this reason I cannot give out any history on this building itself. I will however show you what this Irish asylum looks like these days now that the once packed wards and corridors now lie completely empty. In recent decades up until the closure of a lot of asylums in this country, conditions obviously improved however it’s still easy to imagine what had previously happened within the walls of these buildings.

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Richmond Asylum, Dublin – November 2008

“Richmond Asylum is located in Grangegorman in the north inner city, just over 1km from the city centre. It has a long history in serving the people of Dublin since the establishment of the Houses of Industry for the poor in the 1770’s.  In 1810 the Governors of the House decided to build a separate institution to house mentally ill patients. The Richmond Asylum was opened to patients in 1814 and was designed by Francis Johnston, the foremost architect of the day. This building, now known as the Lower House, was built as a large quadrangle but only its southern range remains standing today.” (History taken from http://www.ggda.ie)

Interestingly, this building was also used as the GPO in the set of the popular film “Michael Collins”: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sebfotos/2768175437/in/set-72157607800122155/

Today, this last remaining block of the asylum is in a fairly bad condition. Fires have gutted some of the rooms on the ground floor and some serious decay means that the upper floors are very unstable and most are just about ready to collapse. Luckily the basement is still in quite a good condition, maintaining a few interesting pieces including the old latrines, which were basically holes sawed out of a long wooden bench! Several other interesting features survive around the building despite all the damage which has been caused by the fires and the natural decay, making this a pretty interesting explore.

01 Richmond Asylum

02 Richmond Asylum

03 3 Floors

04 BMX

05 Asylum Corridor

06 Blocked Light

07 Fallen Floorboards

08 Reception Area

09 Dazzling Light

10 Desolate Corridor

11 Three

12 2nd Floor

13 Collapsed Corridor

14 Down the Stairs

15 3rd Floor Corridor

16 3rd Floor View

17 Into the Darkness

18 Dusty Staircase

19 Right This Way

20 Peeling Paint

21To the basement

22 Basement Corridor

23 Store Room

24Toilets

25 Smashed Up

26 Rusting Boiler

27 Golden Trail