St Margaret's Hospital
Great Barr Colony (St Margaret's Hospital)
Located in Great Barr, Walsall England
Photo © 2006 Tom Kirsch, opacity.us
Great Barr Colony (St Margaret's Hospital) History
The origins of this abandoned hospital begin with the construction of the private residence of Sir Joseph Scott in 1777, named Great Barr Hall (shown above). This Strawberry Hill Gothic style building was soon leased by Samuel Galton in the 1780's to house meetings of the Lunar Society, an intellectual discussion group who met during phases of the full moon for an easy and well-lit travel home.
A "chapel" was added in 1863... looks can be deceiving however, as it was actually used as a billiards room. The hall was purchased by West Bromwich Poor Law Guardians following the death of Lady Bateman-Scott in 1909, and was used as part of the "Great Barr Idiot Colony" from 1918 until 1978, when it fell into disrepair.
The hospital itself was constructed between 1910 and 1930. The campus of 20 or so buildings served to care for the mentally disabled; its name was later changed to St Margaret's Hospital and was in operation until sometime in the 1990's. The buildings have since been a victim of widespread arson and vandalism, and although the hall remains a historic building, it continues to deteriorate and crumble.
2006 Update: The buildings are being demolished for 445 luxury homes, labeled as the "Nether Hall Park estate."