The exact number of closed asylums in Britain, as defined as those built in line with the County Asylums Act, is, believe it or not, surpassed wildly by the number of smaller hospitals lying derelict. They are literally everywhere, and their supply is rarely dry. The curation of the National Crust Sick Bay around the world is, au fond, perpetual unfinished business. Most, regrettably, do not inspire much, both in terms of the zone navigation experience and crust to be found within. Yet the occasional fantastical setting may reveal itself after some persistence – like this very wonderful paediatric ward in a sorrowful old building yielding nothing more of note not too far from where I grew up. Small hospitals are Zones which can appear to have had the life sucked out of them – they are docile and submissive, battered and bruised.


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