The Bodmin County Lunatic Asylum (also known as Cornwall County Asylum or St. Lawrence’s Hospital) is located on Boundary Road, the town of Bodmin, Cornwall, England.
The abandoned asylum was established in 1815 and designed by John Foulston and George Wightwick. Originally on 9 acres of land and consisting of 8 blocks of buildings, with residences, annexes, and detached blocks all compromising the large compound. Initially built to accommodate around 100 private patients and/or pauper lunatics. Additions to the hospital were made in 1842, 1848, 1873, and 1884. Around 760 patients were held at the Cornwall County Lunatic Asylum, with only an average of about 50 people being private patients.
During the span of 1840 to 1860 William Robert Hicks was the domestic superintendent of the Cornwall County Asylum. Allegedly the system of management at the asylum was appalling and he even found a patient chained in a dark cell marked as a dangerous lunatic. Hicks had the patient removed from the cell employed to do useful work when he discovered that the man was harmless. By working with the medical superintendent he even introduced more humane modern methods at the asylum.
After the passing of the Care in the Community Act in the 1990’s a lot of these older asylums began to be closed down. This one in particular began to be shut down in the 1990’s and was completely closed by 2003. Some of the former buildings have been demolished and the new St. Lawrence’s Hospital erected on some of these premises.
In April of 2011, a man was electrocuted and died in the tunnels that are underneath the Bodmin County Asylum, they believe he was trying to steal the copper pipes from inside the tunnels.
Currently it is reported that access to the building is rough, that there are motion sensors and police who patrol the grounds all day. Via Google Street View there is also a sign on the front door that says Guard Dogs as well as multiple signs put up around the premises saying either Danger or Warning. I almost wonder with such tight and almost extreme security for a decaying building what secrets must be hidden there, or maybe it’s because a man got electrocuted and they don’t want urban explorers or kids out there getting hurt. Either way, please drop a line with anything you know.
You can find this Cornwall County Asylum with these coordinates. 50.469167,-4.742623.
Images from Google Streetview.
This website slhphotos.atspace.com is a picture dedication to the old Bodmin Lunatic Hospital.