Tales of the Urban Explorer: Middlewood Hospital Chapel

in Urban Exploration3 months ago (edited)

Close to a private housing estate lies Middlewood Hospital Chapel. Getting a good view of it was tough as it is set inside a jungle nowadays.


We skirted the perimeter thinking we would be eaten alive by thorns, brambles, and creepers if we attempted to take them all on.

Just outside the city of Sheffield was a psychiatric hospital named The South Yorkshire Asylum, which was built in 1869 and opened in 1872, and was designed by architect Bernard Hartley.


…'Middlewood Hospital Chapel, February 1991'…


Its name was changed quite often (West Riding Asylum from 1890, West Riding Mental Hospital from 1930, Middlewood Hospital from 1948), and reported 1,189 patients living on campus in 1975.

The church was built a little later in 1875 and supposedly used by these lunatics locked away in the asylum to repent their 'sins'.


The names have changed over the years, which are a product of the signs of the times. Asylum (Lunatics), Mental (a little better), and then dropping the ‘mental’ altogether.

Having checked all around one side, we found a hole through the brambles and cagily threaded our way toward the old church trying not to get pricked or be tripped by the creepers.


…’I love the assumptions. You are here to steal the leading on the roof, so please be careful with our dodgy roof. You can burn your useless clothes after you leave as they will be filled with vandal-grease’…

Getting around the grounds of Middlewood Hospital Chapel was tiresome and required you to follow badly formed trails of stomped-down brambles that insisted on attacking me.



We assumed this was not the way inside; it hasn’t been opened in years.


This Grade II listed building is for sale like many other old churches. It's also a massive liability and that is why the buyers are not queuing up to purchase it.


If they included several machete's, a year's subscription to the 'clear your gardening shit' service, several hard-core strimmers, and some added lawnmowers then it may prove more attractive.


Being skinny is always an asset during explores and I was tested at points.


Finally, we found the way in and viewed the devastation inside. It was not a pretty sight anymore.




Either someone's been excavating the floor, it disintegrated or it was removed. Where the pews used to be, there are now large craters. You can at least walk the walk down the central aisle.


The old organ survived but must have been pulled down from its original location. No wonder it is in such a state, that and the bird-shit.


My conquest for a piano or musical instrument that still plays continues. I did try and pressing the keys resulted in them getting stuck and yielding zero sound.



The path to the old bell tower had been blocked off. I wish they would leave the interesting bits open, inconsiderate bastards.



There was some graffiti but the windows had been spared.



Those planks tell me something used to be up there. I suspect that it was the organ that used to live before some dickheads dragged it down.


Seeing outside light is not good and will accelerate the decay of what’s inside more quickly.


That’s not been opened in some time.


Why there is anti-climbing fencing inside is a good question and one I cannot answer.



The years of dust and decay accumulates quickly.


A chair up there means someone used to sit there. We could not be arsed climbing up as there appeared little to see.


Is this a half-hearted attempt at renovation?

It would make for a massive house, that would require tens of thousands to renovate, but would you like to live next to the graveyard which is included in the deal?


I leave the externals mostly for when we leave. It was not easy to photograph due to the dense foliage.

As ever we found a much easier way to exit the grounds without getting even more scratches than I had already managed to accumulate.


This is a recurring theme with me; always check out ALL of potential entry points before choosing the first one.


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I live all those arches. I would buy it and renovate it and sod the graveyard!!

If I'm to buy stuff like this too I wouldn't give a fuck about the graveyard. Come to think about it, there are most probably great opportunities for people like me (or us?) who aren't scared of things like these; maybe there are great properties out there that are cheaper because people are scared of buying it due to a graveyard or some other fairytale stuff. These properties are probably just waiting for fearless sods like us to come and pick them up for peanuts.

Here's hoping!! Can you imagine how you would feel though if for all your words you bought a place with a graveyard attached and one night the fog rolled in and something started banging at your door. Wooooooo :0D

Lol 😂. It's all fairytale if you ask me; things like that almost never happens in reality (I'm saying 'almost' just to make space) . But if stuff like this was to happen, though, I'd simply grab a gun or a baseball bat or something and I'd go out for a friendly chat where I wouldn't be smiling at all.

Concrete over all the graves, pretend they don't exist and hope you don't get a 'Thriller night'?

Yes, it would be quite horrifying to look out the window and see a bunch of zombies dancing outside the window like camp dramas students :0D

Jungle is good right, means people won't threaten to call the police while you're exploring XD

That is a rather large mess on the inside O_O

You never know with some people, pretty sure there was a Grand Designs episode or something to that effect where some Goth couple bought and renovated an old church with attached graveyard because it was exactly their style.

Jungle is good right, means people won't threaten to call the police

Yes, it has it's advantages. I don't like open spaces and would prefer the pricks of the brambles. Exploring in winter typically does not hide you as well.

Lovely frame to work within for restoration.... if you had that kind of cash laying around, stain glass windows always great feature.

Having quiet neighbours would not be a problem, perhaps a bonus should anyone wish to purchase the property.

Nice scramble through the brambles once again!

Having quiet neighbours would not be a problem, perhaps a bonus should anyone wish to purchase the property.

There are neighbours, but not especially close ones. Brambles.. yeah, they are a pain in the arse. !WINE

Direct neighbours won't be partying, brambles will keep any others away hopefully, aha that peace and quiet!


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For all of its degradation I think its still quite beautiful in its own way. I would love a grade 2 building do you know how much its going for? (Not that I have listed building money, one is just always interested what old buildings like this go for)

Not sure about this one, but I have seen another similar one in better condition (I went inside) for £75,000. Cheap but the cost to repair it would be high. !WINE

Wow thats still a crazy low price, reminds me of those entire castles you can get out in france for <£150,000 .... would be amazing to own: but the rennovations would be endless

So many majestic old buildings left to ruin. Thanks for sharing as always.

There are many more to come. I have not finished off last years yet, as you can tell with all the trees. This was the end of summer 2020. !WINE

Wow, it is crazy to see how much has grown over the years. I can hardly believe it. This one was really cool. I bet it was a little big creepy being inside of there. I am shocked that the stained glass still seems relatively intact.

I was with @dizzydiscovery so not so creepy. Yes, the windows have been left, amazing really as I know what UK vandals are like. They could be smashed and would barely be in earshot of nosey neighbours.

Yeah, I would have expected them to be broken out with rocks or bricks.

Another lovely building. I'd love to renovate that one. Living next door to a graveyard wouldn't bother me. I've done it twice before. What would really put me off is the fact that it's listed. That makes anything you want to do a 100 times more difficult.

What would really put me off is the fact that it's listed.

Exactly, and the reason nobody wants it. So many I have been in that have had the same circumstances, it's more like a curse to the owner. !WINE

This is a really impressive photo set. I absolutely love old churches so I was pumped to see the thumbnail for this post. Definitely looks like they tried to keep folks out harder than some places you've been, but I'm glad they failed as I really enjoyed the interior shots! The stained glass is amazing. Hard to believe they havent been vandalized.

Up until last summer I had a terrible record with churches. They were being renovated, or the sealers were just leaving as I arrived with a smug look on their faces. I have done a few since, and they can be very photogenic.

One very close to me my mothers house, took me 4 visits before I go inside. That was lovely, with rats, badgers and bats living inside hehe..

Badgers here are ornery bastards. The rats and bats aren't so bad, but I definitely wouldn't want to be around anywhere that badgers are hahaha. Hopefully yours are a little less homicidal there.

Please don’t hurt my church
😂 😂 😂

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Interesante el lugar algo expectacular aca siguiendote

The temple is nice and the photographer yours is very clearly so love.

Imagine going in there at night - would be so creepy. Pretty cool you got to go in and explore

Damn, I need to find places like this around me. I can already vicariously feel the explorer's thrill watching these things you post. Must be really great to actually feel like Indiana Jones or some other Khaki assed explorer kinda guy.