The hospital was first built between 1934-1937 with the first patients being admitted in 1938. Barrow was built in a more modern style than the nearby Bristol Mental Asylum, The Glenside, which was a huge imposing Victorian building built in the 1850's. Barrow was made up of lots of smaller buildings in a colony style.
During World War II the hospital was requisitioned by the British government for use as a Naval Hospital. In 1946 the Navy left and the hospital finally reverted back to its intentional use in late 1948.
Barrow is probably most famous for being the notorious 'Dirtiest hospital in Britain' in 2005. This was following a survey of all of the UK's hospitals and Barrow hospital had particular poor standards of hygiene. Of the three remaining residential wards, two were immediately closed down and the patients moved elsewhere.
Following this report the hospital rapidly closed its doors in 2006 and Barrow Hospital was left to decay.
We visited Barrow Mental Hospital (or Colony as it has been known) during August 2009.
Four of us joined together for this investigation - Lorraine, Wayne, Mike and myself, Helen.
We arrived just as dusk was falling and walked through fields and dense woodland to reach our destination.
Barrow Hospital has been empty for some time now and sadly the demolition crew have now moved in. Although many of the buildings have now been demolished a fair few still remain standing. This provided us with a base in which to carry out our investigation.
Our first investigation took place in the small chapel which remains virtually intact. Lorraine called out several times but we felt no paranormal activity. We took photographs inside the chapel and then left to explore further buildings.
We entered a large C-shaped single storey building, dodging rotten floorboards which smelt damp and musty. Although it was still just about light outside it was pitch black inside due to the boarding on all the windows.
There were no wards in this building so we assumed it must have been originally used as a day centre. We called out yet again and other than several bats we saw or heard nothing.
We wandered around the grounds past loads of rubble which once had been hospital buildings.
A large two storey building remained virtually intact although severely flooded by a possible burst water pipe, and smelling extremely damp. We entered this building and started to explore and investigate.
We walked into the building into a corridor which led to a flight of stairs, which was home to a rather large bat colony. Although I love animals I quickly realised I am petrified of bats!! Lorraine and myself hated walking through the rooms with bats flying so close to our heads. We both put our hoods up and tried to be brave in the hope of finding paranormal activity.
We found a small room with curtains (dating from the 70‘s) still hanging in the windows, but like all the other rooms the glass was boarded up, keeping the room in pitch darkness. It looked a little surreal.
We decided to call out in there while filming and recording all sounds.
We thought we heard strange rumbling noises but dismissed them at this point.
We walked much further down the corridor and found what was once individual patient's bedrooms and decided once again to try and call out and see if there was to be any paranormal activity. We decided to split up as there were neighbouring bedrooms so Wayne and Mike went into one and Lorraine and myself into another.
The boys had the sound recording equipment and we held on to the video camera. Lorraine called out and again we heard the rumbling noises that seemed to get louder. Lorraine asked if there was a spirit present would they show themselves - either by making a sound, by touching one of us, throwing something or by showing themselves in light form.
We heard a knock.
Lorraine called out to the boys and asked if it was them but they but they said it was not them.
We explored further and found a reasonable sized ward which would have slept approximately eight patients. The curtain rails were hanging from the ceiling and debris all over the floor.
We called out yet again with all of us in the same room, and once again heard the strange rumbling sounds. Unfortunately although we picked this noise up on camera, once converted the sound is far too faint to hear properly.
We then felt we had seen as much of Barrow as was safe to, so as I hadn’t yet visited Sandhill Park we decided to visit there.
More photos of Barrow Hospital