Nocton RAF Hospital, Mar-2009

Posted by thirtyfootscrew On April - 6 - 2009

I originally made an ill-fated trip down here in May 2008 and managed to get one useful shot off before my camera (a Canon 400D) started throwing up the chilling ‘ERR99′ – the error it shows when it knows somethings is wrong but doesn’t know what. Thankfully that turned out just to be the Tamron 17-50mm I had (since replaced by the Sigma) but it did mean my original attempt at Nocton was an epic fail. I don’t really pass through this area very often so it was a while before I could make my repeat visit but in March I managed to swing by with an hour or two to spare and it was well worth it. There are two possible explores at Nocton, one is Nocton Hall (pictured right) and the other is the enormous former 740-bed RAF Hospital, I went for the latter and passed by the hall as I had limited time and the lure of an abandoned RAF hospital was just too much!

Entrance to the site was simple, I parked up right next to the giant metal gates which were already completely busted up. I got my tools out (Canon 400D, Sigma 18-50mm, Speedlite 580 EXII, Maglite), gloves on (left hand full DeWalt, right hand fingerless), mounted my head-torch and headed on into the site. At first I had a poke around some of the nearby buildings and a few Anderson shelters before heading towards the nearer edge of the site, at this point I pulled back because that area is easily visible from the houses and flats in the distance and I didn’t want to blow my cover this early! After looking around a few of the other buildings in near the gate I headed rightwards.

It’s easy to underestimate this place at first but Nocton is truly massive – space isn’t really a problem in Lincolnshire so almost all of the buildings are single storey and if you imagine a combined RAF base and 740-bed hospital it ends up being an extremely large site. Inside the main body of the facility there are a series of long corridors, in what appears to be the main building there’s a large corridor running down from front to back (i.e. from the gate end straight forward) which is then crossed by long corridors running to the left and right at several intersections down the main corridor.

The walls contain directions around the site in the form of coloured stripes and every now and again you see a red bar hanging from the ceiling showing which department you’re at, in my time there the only labelled bits I made it to were the pharmacy, path lab, surgical ward and gynaecology department. Pretty much all of the rooms across the site are large and empty, it’s reasonably clear to see where an area would have been full of beds (i.e. a standard ward) and where there would’ve been a series of private rooms with beds but some of the areas are a bit ‘different’ and have some interesting little quirks. One of the more interesting buildings I found must have been some kind of administrative block and housed a giant safe, seemingly impossible to get into now but the door is still there and the whole unit is at least the size of a normal door. The place must have housed sensitive documents and military secrets, I’m not sure exactly when Nocton closed down but it’s intriguing to think about whether there’s still some classified material stashed away in there!

Across the whole of the base there are in excess of 50 buildings (see Google Maps) so there’s quite a lot of work to be done if you want to cover the whole place. I only skimmed the surface really but I think I managed to rush my way in and out of most of the major areas (but certainly not every building in each area). In terms of safety I saw a couple of signs and even some graffiti pointing out that there is asbestos present on the site so make sure you go in there wearing a P3 dust mask.

I picked mine up at Screwfix for about ¬£5, there are cheaper P3 masks but don’t compromise your safety by using a lower rated (or unrated) mask or by using some other fabric to cover your mouth – if it doesn’t work out you could end up with serious illness down the line. Otherwise I thought that most of the surroundings, floors, ceilings and the occasional staircase all seemed relatively intact – it doesn’t mean they all are though so keep your wits sharp and don’t forget to read the Urbex Safety post.

After exploring for nearly a couple of hours I began to get one of those ‘sixth sense’ feelings that I’d overstayed my welcome and decided to leave, I took my time traversing the site and popped into a few areas on the way but I was fully intending to head off the site. I’d gotten this strange vibe that maybe I wasn’t alone on the site, it’s hard to explain why as I hadn’t heard any voices and sites like this always have strange noises (doors creaking/banging, pipes rattling, etc.). I wouldn’t say that I was worried as it was a windy day which will increase that sort of ‘natural’ activity and besides the only people likely to be on the site would be other people exploring and I’ve always found other explorers to be polite and courteous (if not slightly suspicious!) but something deep inside me told me that I really ought to leave and it’s always worth listening to your instinct.


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22 Responses to “Nocton RAF Hospital, Mar-2009”

  1. [...] large but despite those stats the site doesn’t feel like it has the scale of somewhere like Nocton Hospital, partly because many of the buildings are at least 2-storey and the buildings are also quite close [...]

  2. john hamilton says:

    Iwas stationed at RAF Nocton Hall from 1988 thru 1991. I’d love to go back and visit, but the state of the place saddens me. Please post more pictures if you can. By the way, I painted the directional stripes on the walls.

  3. sickbritain says:

    It is sad to see a place that was once thriving in such a state of abandonment, TFS has put up a video on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ViThH52ma44 – I’ll get him to put up a proper post when he’s got a minute.

  4. [...] exploring the abandoned RAF hospital at Nocton I lodged my camera-phone behind the strap of my camera bag to make an impromptu body-cam and have [...]

  5. [...] on from my first urbex video, I’ve compiled another video that continues the exploration of Nocton RAF Hospital. The second video picks up where the first left off and contains video footage and photographs of a [...]

  6. [...] on from my other urbex videos, I’ve compiled a final video that completes the exploration of Nocton RAF Hospital. This third video runs through a large swathe of the main building with a few excursions, it was [...]

  7. peter revill says:

    hello i was 1 of the first people to break in to the grounds after it had closed i am 24 n grew up in nocton as a kid the place wa a playground but as i get older it is a shame to see it deteriate

  8. James W says:

    Just went in there last night very scary and jumpy not for the faint hearted i found a real heart in the surgery part but not human looks like some sort of animal feels like your being followed all the time thats all i can say for now

  9. Sarah says:

    Oh my god. I was born here in 1979….

  10. John Beard says:

    I was station there 1964-66 (RAF Fire Service) like everyone else I am sad to see it as it is, my memories are of a Happy community having fun in the NAAFI (Called the Winged serpent Club)

  11. Patrick says:

    I was born at the RAF hospital in 1957 my parents were stationed at RAF Newton which is another abondoned site. I was wondering if the site still existed so tried a search and was suprised to see there is so much material about it.I have always thought about going to visit Nocton to see if the hospital was still there,now I know it is I will make the trip. Don’t think I will venture inside though.

  12. Christian says:

    Hey together, I was born in Nocton, as a son of a german soldier in 1980.
    Who can give me a picture of Nocton RAF-Hospital like Google-Maps, I can see the maternity ward. Hugs to you, please send it to christian.80@email.de

  13. Craig says:

    I live in nocton at the moment, the place is freaky if you go there when its dark, its a great place to explore though, and if you want any pictures of the insides of buildings, just send an e-mail to me at :
    Craig-gregory@live.com

    and i will try to get them ASAP. :)

  14. spooky night says:

    Brilliant i went there today but had to squeeze through the fence to venture in, as the gates were locked i wanted to go further in but i wouldnt dare alone, i cant belive how big the site is, brill videos.. Did you find anything extra interesting?

  15. [...] the original size is best. UK Urbex blog Sick Britain hosts the site report for this visit to RAF Nocton Hospital, also please check out other posts on Sick [...]

  16. Deb says:

    Great video, my dad was in the RAF stationed at Digby, my mum spent 6 weeks on traction in the hospital & visited quite a few times. This was during the mid 70′s tho & I was only about 6/7. I’ve driven up near the gates a year or so ago but would be scared stiff to go in. I also later worked at the psychiatric unit the in the late 80′s, saw my first dead person there :( !

  17. Helen Overton says:

    I was born here but grew up in Wales. Nice to be able to reserch where I was born.

  18. Gordon Windridge says:

    When I was in the RAF based at Coningsby my wife gave birth to my daughter here. It’s so sad to see it abandoned in this way.

  19. Steve says:

    In a blizzard in Feb ’72 for my worldly entrance. Does anyone have the GPS of the maternity ward so that astrological charts can be made? Cheers…

  20. Danny T says:

    heya me and a few mates have been to nocton hall a few times in the day and at nite on youtube some lads have posted a video off a room that looks like the wall had blood on them has anyone else seen this im gonna go back next year with sme mates and try find it. Me and a mate have been underneath the main hall thats a strange place if anyone nows any good places to go in there let us no cheers

  21. The Adj says:

    I was OC PSS here in 1972. It was a neat, happy unit where I was required to explain to the doctors what the RAF was all about. We made some good friends and also bought our first house after joining the RAF in 1963. We left Married Quarters to go and live in Wellingore. I retired from the Service in 1989 and now live in South Cheshire.

  22. SMSgt Jim Jordan(RET) says:

    I was the senior NCO that was assigned to the RAF site to establish the USAF contingency hospital in 1984. I was there in 1984 and 1985 and remember the site well. Building 17 in the video was station headquarters and across the road was the area where the flags flew. In front of the headquarters was a stone bridge over a pond where there were goldfish. This is such a shame as we took such pride in what we accomplished in such a short time. If I can find them, I have pictures of the hall in 84-85…J11466@aol.com

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If youre into Urbex or youre trying to find out what its all about you may find yourself needing some help finding out about the art of Urban Exploration.  Here at Sick Britain Im planning to put up original content like my What is Urbex? and Urbex Safety articles as well as posting links to other community sites such as 28 Days Later or Derelicte.

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