Eerie and empty… 11 photographs inside Bootham Park Hospital, three years after it closed

15 Aug 2018 @ 7.01 pm
| Photography

It shut down almost overnight nearly three years ago.

Since then Bootham Park Hospital has lain empty, as arguments rage over its future.

But these evocative photographs show what a beautiful building it is – and what York stands to lose if it is sold into private hands.

They were all taken by photographer Richard Brigham, who is known to thousands as the co-founder of the hugely popular York Past & Present website and Facebook page.

He was given exclusive access to the Grade I listed building, which dates from about 1777, in order to record its interior as an historical archive.

His pictures show the eerie emptiness of a health facility which was once busy with health professionals and their patients.

The former psychiatric hospital was closed abruptly with five days’ notice in September 2015 after a Care Quality Commission inspection found it unfit for purpose.

In January it was put on the open market for sale by its owners, the NHS.

But a Save Bootham Park campaign, led by York Central MP Rachael Maskell, to keep the estate in the public health sector, has gathered more than 4,000 signatures.

And City of York Council leader Ian Gillies wants the council to acquire the 18 acre site.

These pictures show that whoever wins the right to own Bootham Park Hospital will gain one of York’s great architectural glories.

Bootham Park gallery

A clock with no hands – but no one’s checking the time. Photograph: Richard Brigham
The main building is Grade I listed. Photograph: Richard Brigham
Bootham is home to beautiful glass and woodwork. Photograph: Richard Brigham
Looking up to the skylight. Photograph: Richard Brigham
A brush has been left by the doorway in this image. Photograph: Richard Brigham
The ceiling and panelling are remarkable. Photograph: Richard Brigham
Cavernous… the hall. Photograph: Richard Brigham
Many original fixtures and fittings remain. Photograph: Richard Brigham
Another empty corridor. Photograph: Richard Brigham
What will happen to this amazing building? Photograph: Richard Brigham