Opened in 1895 as the Sunderland County Lunatic Asylum this now derelict hospital
was designed by the famous George Thomas Hines. It features an iconic red brick gothic
The hospital was designed to what is known as a compact arrow echelon plan, with
six wards projecting out from a central area of communal spaces which included the
chapel, pool and gymnasium. The male side dominated the east and female side to the
west and both were mirrored by one another with the chronic epileptic blocks being
the furthest points set apart from the shared spaces, these were followed by the
acute wards, then more centrally were the sick and infirm wards bordering the amenities.
It should be noted that the building remains on the site of an active working mental
health facility so legal visiting of the building and site is no longer possible.
This outstanding architectural marvel is boarded up and has on site security. The
future of the building is unknown but chances are it will eventually be demolished.
The hospital is steeped in history, memories (good and bad), mystery, and a sense
of the paranormal. It was closed in 1998 and was eventually fenced off in around
2008, which by then of course was about 10 years too late as many an attempt had
been made to burn the place to the ground and generally completely wreck this outstanding
monument to the areas history.
Over the years a few visits have been made by a few explorers who have managed to
capture what is left on camera, we have provided links on the following pages for
you to see for yourself. Remember, ultimately, these images and the memories people
have of the hospital will be all that remain of ‘Cherry Knocker’