Thursday, 24 May 2012

Severalls Asylum - Colchester

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Severalls Hospital was the second Essex County Asylum, opening in 1913 to relieve the pressure from the Warley Asylum

Designed by F. Whithouse & W.H. Town, the site was continually added to between 1910 and 1935, and this is reflected in the different styles of archtecture

The asylum was situated on 300 acres of the Severalls estate which was sold to Essex County Council in 1913.

At its peak it housed over 2000 patients, both in the main wards and the outlying villas.

Interestingly the chimney attached to the water tower was lowered by one third of its height during World War II to prevent it being a hazard to crippled bombers landing at a nearby U.S. airbase

If you search for a more detailed history of Severalls on the internet you will find many disturbing stories of the experimental procedures that were carried out there in the name of mental health including labotomy and ECT procedures

Thursday, 17 May 2012

My First Culvert

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Okay!! As culverts go its lame as shite but its my first one and lets face it  they can only get better!!!

I didn't appreciate just how tricky it was to photograph in there, cold water up to my nuts, the fear of my camera going in and trying to walk on slippey crap and staying upright.

The culvert goes pretty much underneath the beautiful church at Waltham Abbey

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Tilty Mill - Essex

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Tillty Mill is an early 18th Century 3 storey watermill in the Essex village of Tilty.
It was extended in the 19th Century and most of the machinery dates from this time

1937 water colour of the mill by Walter E. Spradbery (1889-1969)

In 2007 planning permission was submitted to develop the Grade II* listed mill into residential dwelings.

The battle that followed went all the way to the Secretary of State

The old grade two listed building located near to Duton Hill had fallen into disrepair following many years of neglect but land owners Mr and Mrs Collison proposed to convert it into luxury housing.

The proposal was met with fierce opposition from local residents and trusts who want to turn the mill into a working museum or visitor centre, but a planning application was approved by Uttlesford District Council in March 2007.

Local campaigner Peter Rolph from Abbey View in Duton Hill was one of the leading campaigners who attended a two day consultation in October last year.
He said: "We managed to get a consultation by appealing against the Uttlesford Council decision. They just agreed to grant planning permission without even looking properly at the site."

The consultation resulted in the application being thrown out on appeal on the grounds that the grade two listed building was an important historical site and any major development work would be a threat to its future.

Mr Rolph spoke of his delight that the application had been rejected and has approached the owners with a sum of £10,000 to take control of the mill's future.

He said: "There appears to be nothing that the owners can do with the mill other than let it fall completely into disrepair.

"It is listed so they cannot knock it down or sell it for any massive amount of money. I want to restore the mill back to its former glory."

The old mill still has all its main components and although no water flows through the area at the moment, Mr Rolph said that a sluice gate further upstream can be removed to allow water to power the mill once more.

He said: "I used to play there when I was just a 10-year-old boy, I'm 65 now and firmly believe that something amazing can be done with that building.

Mr Rolph has offered that cash because he has a vested interest in the area after growing up around the mill.