Almost a year on from my initial visit, this is the third installment of my Harperbury series bringing us up to date (see Harperbury in April 2008, Harperbury in October 2008), a productive visit albeit a short one. I recently decided to upgrade my camera from the Canon 400D to the more robust and richly featured 50D (lord knows I’d love a 5D MKII but the cost is staggering) and I needed somewhere to test it out, it wasn’t the prettiest of days and I felt like a drive so I headed over to Harperbury Hospital. On arrival I didn’t notice much that had changed externally, although there’s a couple more buildings across the site that have been sealed.
As usual I gravitated towards the swimming pool and found a whole load of new graffiti (but thankfully no hornets). The paint peeling room is in a glorious state, pretty much the essence of urbex and the “Dark Dark Room” is still as mouldy as ever, despite the mask I could still smell some of the Harperbury stench too – makes me consider using a non-disposable mask. I was on a tight timescale for this visit so I just toured through a few favourite spots and ignored some of the less interesting bits though you never know, they might have become interesting since my last visit – that’s one of the cool things about urban exploration.
After heading back into the real world I was just about to leave and thought that since it’d been such a quick trip and I still had a bit of time spare I might try and get down to part of the facility near the road. It looks as though some of it is still in use but there’s definitely a huge cluster of derelict buildings down there, I’ve just never worked out the best way to get down there without raising the alarm or spooking the residents. Well, this time I thought I’d try going round the back along the edge of the field and it worked a treat! I was still on a whistle-stop tour because of time pressures but I could clearly see that there are quite a few abandoned buildings down there, most of them looked sealed but I didn’t have the time to probe closely.
The buildings over here (maybe 10 in total) are arranged around a central ‘playing field’, after a little wander I found one open and accessible building (front door wide open) so naturally I had a look in, unlike a lot of the others over the road many of the buildings down the bottom are two-storey – the stairs seemed solid in my one so I had a proper look around. Architecturally it’s not too different from the others and inside the walls are painted (mostly peeling) either the cream or turquoise-blue that appears to be common across the site. It’s worth noting that in this area there are a couple of diggers so it looks like someone has been working here, that might make it difficult to do anything but weekend or out-of-hours exploration but I suspect that’s what most of us do anyway.
I’m sure I’ll be back at some point, there are still whole areas that I’ve not been into and that somehow gets to me, like an unsolved mystery or when Sky+ buggers up recording the end of an episode of The Apprentice!