Coleshill, not far from the NEC, is a large group of buildings owned by the Catholic church. The site is operated by The Father Hudson Society, which was originally founded by a priest, Father George Vincent Hudson. Father Hudson died in 1936 and was buried in the grounds though he was later disinterred and reburied within the Society’s church. Though there are active buildings on site there are also a number of abandoned buildings too.
It was built as the Charnwood Convalescent Hospice for injured soliders in 1937. After WW2 it was made NHS and became a rehab centre/home for amputees and called Zachery Merton Convalescent Home. In 1999, the home was bought by the infamous Primelife Ltd and was renamed Bradgate Care Home. In 2006 Primelife moved into Charnwood Oaks in Shepshed, leaving Bradgate Care Home empty. Since then multiple housing associations have bought the site with the most resent application for demolition dating July 2012.
The large mansion on site, Great Barr Hall, had its beginnings in the 17th Century, but was remodelled both by Joseph Scott in 1777, and in the 19th century by various occupants.
The Lunar Society, an infomal group of leading engineers, industrialists, scientists and thinkers of the day met here in the early 1800s. the hospital colony for those with severe learning difficulties was opened after the first world war. Originally known as Great Barr Park Colony for the mentally defective, it was later re-named St Margarets Hospital.
Tucked away in the middle of nowhere, undisturbed and forgotten, stands Preistwood Chapel. To this date I am still unable to find any information on this location so all I can say is it’s a stunning undisturbed location, great for a half hour explore… between the hour spent locating it and finding the way back out of course.
The Middlesex County Asylum was founded in 1898 with the hospital designed in a country estate style by architect Rowland Plumbe in 1900, who also rebuilt, to his designs, the Royal London Hospital, Whitechapel in 1897.
Harperbury was opened in 1928, converted from a few aircraft hangers, to care for both adult and children with learning difficulties and sever epileptics. After the formation of the NHS Trust the hospital amalgamated with and moved to Leavensden hospital leading to the closure of the site.