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A look back at the fascinating history of Newsham Park Hospital

10 months ago

A look back at the fascinating history of Newsham Park Hospital
Newsham Park Hospital

Newsham Park Hospital is set to become the UK’s most horrifying Halloween destination this Autumn.

With that in mind let’s uncover the captivating story of Newsham Park Hospital – a Grade II listed building that’s seen it all. 

Orphanage Beginnings 

Credit: Newsham Scream Park Hospital
Credit: Newsham Scream Park Hospital

Once a beacon of hope for orphaned seamen’s children and later a haven for those seeking mental health care, this remarkable building has weathered the tides of time. 

Before the establishment of the hospital, the site was home to the Liverpool Seamen’s Orphan Institution. In an era when there was no safety net for the orphans of British seamen, a group of compassionate ship-owners and philanthropists decided to fill this void. 

In 1868, this noble initiative took flight, gaining momentum with each generous donation that poured in from both private citizens and ship-owning merchants. 

Newsham Park Hospital
Newsham Park Hospital

On 7 April 1870, the Liverpool Town Council allocated land within the grounds of Newsham Park to build the Seamen’s Orphan Institution. 

By 1874, the institution stood proudly as a sanctuary for orphaned children, a place where education care, and support converged. 

Education took centre stage within the walls of the orphanage. By 1892, boys and girls were educated under strict government regulations, and the institution received a share of the Parliamentary Grant from the Education Department. 

Interior
Interior

In 1900, a significant addition to the institution was unveiled – a swimming bath, this modern amenity, a gift from steadfast supporters, added a splash of excitement to the lives of the children. 

The opening ceremony was graced by the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress, highlighting the institution’s commitment to physical and emotional well-being.

The Challenges of War

Credit: Newsham Scream Park Hospital
Credit: Newsham Scream Park Hospital

The turmoil that came with the First World War presented challenges to the institution, yet it continued to stand strong, supporting over a thousand orphans. 

Even during the Second World War, the children found solace and safety in the sanctuary of Hill Bark on the Wirral, ensuring that their lives continued to flourish amid the chaos. 

Evolving with the times

Credit: Newsham Scream Park Hospital
Credit: Newsham Scream Park Hospital

By the mid-20th century changing times brought forth new considerations. Evolving social services schemes and changes to educational norms led to a decline in the number of resident children at the orphanage. 

The institution transitioned its focus while staying true to its founding principles. The Royal Charter of Incorporation, bestowed by King George V, was a testament to the enduring impact of its mission. 

Newsham Park Hospital is created

Newsham Park Hospital Credit: Newsham Scream Park Hospital
Newsham Park Hospital Credit: Newsham Scream Park Hospital

In 1954, a new chapter began as Newsham Park Hospital emerged within the historic walls. A haven for those seeking mental health care, it developed a psychiatric department that provided solace and support to individuals facing severe mental challenges. 

In 1992, following the closure of Rainhill Lunatic Asylum, a significant shift occurred as the residents found a new haven at Newsham Park, filling up a staggering 90% of its premises. 

A substantial investment of £1.6 million was pumped into the hospital, transforming it to accommodate its fresh occupants. 

Apparently, even today, echoes of this transition linger with notices on boards within the School block and paperwork scattered around the property, harkening back to the year 1996. Notably, all records pertaining to patients and staff have been sealed for a century since 1997, marking the year when the building bid farewell to its residents and staff.

Newsham Scream Park

Credit: Newsham Scream Park Hospital
Credit: Newsham Scream Park Hospital

Back in 2016 The Guide’s Jay Hynd, along with Mark Byron, had the chance to spend some time in the eerie asylum, Take a look at this YouTube clip to see what it’s like inside!

Now the abandoned hospital will be the home of a new Halloween scare attraction this October!

It is a mecca for ghost hunters and spectral thrill seekers, with many claiming to have seen spirits, heard whispers or felt the touch of something cold on their spine. 

It is regularly cited as one of the UK’s most haunted buildings, stalked by those who used to govern it or be its unfortunate guests. Many believe its history has left an indelible presence lurking in the corners, emerging only at night. 

For more on Newsham Park Hospital click HERE.

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