Selly Oak Hospital abandoned Mortuary and Pathology Labs

Selly Oak Hospital started out as a Workhouse for the poor and developed over time. The mortuary, operating theatres and wards were added as part of expansion.

 

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History of the abandoned Selly Oak Hospital

Like many of the older hospitals in the UK, Selly Oak Hospital started out its life as a Union Workhouse for the poor. The Workhouse at Selly Oak was built in 1872 to replace five smaller hospitals around the area and could house 200 pauper inmates.

A separate infirmary was built in 1897 which could accommodate around 250 patients. At this time there were no operating theatres or a morgue. The internal walls were not plastered which was commonplace in Workhouses as painted brick was considered adequate for paupers. The workhouse and infirmary were separated by a high dividing wall and were run as two separate establishments.

The hospital was expanded gradually between 1911-1929 with the addition of operating theatres and surgical wards. The mortuary and pathology laboratories were added in 1934. The hospital was incorporated into the NHS in 1948 and ongoing improvements and additions were made until the site was closed in 2012.

Selly Oak Hospital Mortuary - Slab with stick for measuring bodies

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Selly Oak Hospital Mortuary – Slab with stick for measuring bodies

Our Visit
Well, this took a few visits but I got there in the end! Initially, SpiderMonkey and I visited Selly Oak Hospital and had a look around. We discovered most of the buildings to be alarmed and although we got into some of them, the morgue was sealed up tight. Later that week we learnt someone else had been in, so we headed back with Proj3ct M4yh3m and found it had been opened up. It turned out to probably be the cleanest abandoned mortuary in the UK.

I enjoyed the visit, however the evening before, while in London I’d managed to break my camera so was shooting with a hastily borrowed camera with low battery (thanks Ben, got me through the day). I was tired, annoyed about my camera, and trying to manually focus in less than ideal lighting, so I wasn’t overly happy with some of my shots. No problem – I’ll revisit….

Well, they stepped up security! On our first visits the site was a walk-in! Security didn’t seem too bothered and you could wander around uninterrupted. Unfortunately, the travelling community noticed this too, and moved onto the site. By the time I tried to revisit, the travellers had left but security appeared adamant that no-one else would enter the site now. All access points were closed up, guards were stationed at every gate, car and foot patrols were taking place and worst of all a guard was stationed at the morgue! We had to abort that mission, so we had a look around the main hospital buildings instead.

I had a rethink and worked out a plan to get me into the morgue so I could re-shoot. So, four months months after my initial visit I returned for a fourth visit and finally managed to get the shots I was after. Unfortunately the body scoop had been removed, but I was still happy to finally complete the job!

 

The Morgue and Body Storage Fridges

Selly Oak Hospital Mortuary - Body Scoop used for lifting bodies

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Selly Oak Hospital Mortuary – Body Scoop used for lifting bodies

Selly Oak Hospital Mortuary - Body Scoop

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Selly Oak Hospital Mortuary – Body Scoop

Selly Oak Hospital Mortuary - Scoop and Slab

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Selly Oak Hospital Mortuary – Scoop & Slab

The body scoop had been removed when I revisited a few months later.

Selly Oak Hospital Mortuary - Body Measure

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Selly Oak Hospital Mortuary – Body Measure

Selly Oak Hospital Mortuary - Metal Slab

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Selly Oak Hospital Mortuary – Metal Slab

Selly Oak Hospital Mortuary - Measuring Stick

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Selly Oak Hospital Mortuary – Measuring Stick

Selly Oak Hospital Mortuary - Morgue with three metal slabs

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Selly Oak Hospital Mortuary – Morgue with three metal slabs

Selly Oak Hospital Mortuary - Side view of slab

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Selly Oak Hospital Mortuary – Side view

Selly Oak Hospital Mortuary - Tap detail

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Selly Oak Hospital Mortuary – Tap detail

Selly Oak Hospital Mortuary - Metal surface of examination table

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Selly Oak Hospital Mortuary – Metal surface of examination table

Selly Oak Hospital Mortuary - Body storage fridges

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Selly Oak Hospital Mortuary – Body storage fridges

Selly Oak Hospital Mortuary - Body fridge detail

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Selly Oak Hospital Mortuary – Body fridge detail

Selly Oak Hospital Mortuary - Open body fridge

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Selly Oak Hospital Mortuary – Open body fridge

Pathology Labs

Selly Oak Hospital Mortuary - Peeling paint in the Pathology Lab

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Selly Oak Hospital Mortuary – Peeling paint in the Pathology Lab

Selly Oak Hospital Mortuary - Path Lab

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Selly Oak Hospital Mortuary – Path Lab

Selly Oak Hospital Mortuary - Laboratory

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Selly Oak Hospital Mortuary – Laboratory

Selly Oak Hospital Mortuary - Room with fume cupboard

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Selly Oak Hospital Mortuary – Room with fume cupboard

Selly Oak Hospital Mortuary - Lab room

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Selly Oak Hospital Mortuary – Lab room

Selly Oak Hospital Mortuary - Extraction

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Selly Oak Hospital Mortuary – Extraction

Selly Oak Hospital Mortuary - Old style wooden cabinets

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Selly Oak Hospital Mortuary – Old style wooden cabinets

Chapel of Rest

Selly Oak Hospital Mortuary - Into the chapel

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Selly Oak Hospital Mortuary – Into the chapel

Selly Oak Hospital Mortuary - Chapel of Rest

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Selly Oak Hospital Mortuary – Chapel of Rest

Selly Oak Hospital Mortuary - The mortuaries chapel of rest

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Selly Oak Hospital Mortuary – The mortuaries chapel of rest

Further Reading If you liked this report please also head over to Proj3ct M4yh3m’s website to check out his Selly Oak Morgue Report.

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