Barnes Hospital, Cheadle, Manchester...

 

Barnes Hospital, also known as Barnes Convalescent Home, is located in Cheadle, Greater Manchester. It sits next to the A34 in the middle of a complex set of roundabouts forming the interchange between the A34, M60 and M56 motorways. Originally it was built in a completely rural setting during the Victorian era but the march of time now means it is surrounded by roads and housing estates - sadly prime chav country. The whole site is on green belt land and the main building, constructed of red brick and dark, ornamental brick in a most attractive fashion, is Grade II listed.

It ceased to operate as a hospital back in 1999 and was sold to a property developer in 2001. It appears to me that they are letting it rot despite originally declaring their intention to convert the main building into 42 luxury flats over a period of 72 weeks!!! Now excuse my cynicism here but some 440 weeks later at the time of writing this webpage they haven't started a single flat, let alone finished any. I suspect then that they are hoping instead to bypass the Grade II listing by virtue of allowing it to collapse, effectively leaving nothing but a plot of land and rubble - and lets face it, that's far more convenient for throwing up little boxes in order to make a fast buck.

Like many hospitals Barnes was pressed into military service during WW2, as a convalescent home. And yet oddly enough I have found no mention of it being used in the same way during the Great War. I must say that I am rather surprised because the casualty rate then was many orders of magnitude worse and as a result all manner of buildings, even places like town halls etc. - an example is the former Haslingden Public Hall in Rossendale, Lancashire - were used as hospitals in one form or another. Barnes was also used as temporary housing for a large group of Kosovan refugees during the Balkan troubles.

Most Haunted filmed there at some point and have doubtless scared millions of impressionable suckers with their rather dubious paranormal phenomena! Hey, Mr. Acorah, have you been chatting to your dead mate Kreed Kafer lately?

As if the years of uninterrupted chavery are not enough the site was also occupied by "gypsys" for a while in February 2007 - I'd personally use a rather different noun when discussing these people, one which tends to remind one of a large, fresh water predatory fish - so the destruction and dereliction of this building is in a very advanced state.

Now here's a little more background information I have gleaned from a certain famous on line encyclopaedia...

A donation of 26,000 for the founding of a new convalescent hospital in Cheadle was made in 1869 by Robert Barnes. Construction of the hospital, named the Barnes Convalescent Home, started in 1871 and was completed in 1875. It was constructed of bricks, the clay for which was provided locally.

Broken remains of three stone high crosses were discovered in 1874 during the construction of the hospital. The location of only one of these is known today; this consists of a crosshead of Celtic cross form with a central boss, and dates from the late 10th or 11th century. It is now located in St Mary's Church, Cheadle. The other two pieces are said to be part of a much older cross, and the upper part of an Anglo-Saxon cross shaft.

The main use for the hospital in its later life was for geriatric care and stroke patients.

 

 
     
 

 

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