The Hospital first opened its doors in 1868 and was then known as Ennis District Lunatic Asylum. For 134 years it continued to operate on the same site as a mental hospital and indeed until the 1950s very little changed in the manner in which it was run. The hospital was one of the largest public buildings in County Clare and was both a large employer and purchaser of goods from local suppliers. It played an important role in the economic life of Ennis, especially in earlier years when jobs were scarce and pensionable positions were highly prized. Wards were very overcrowded with up to 70 beds per room, with only inches between. It closed in 2002 and there are currently no plans for its development.
From our parking spot on the opposite side of the road from the vast site, we knew this wasn't going to be a challenging one at all. On a quick perimeter check, we observed kids going in, through multiple entrances. A camera-holding photographer got out of the car beside us and she showed us the easiest way inside, before we lost her in the gigantic complex. I've recently been informed that the premises aren't anywhere near as open as before. A new notice is on the main door warning the locals of entry into the asylum, with the addition of a 12 foot fence round the back. Not seen any pictures though, so this could be false. The place didn't look like it had been sealed for years when we took a look.
From the front, you see how large the structure is. It was separated by gender, with males in one half and females in the other. No workers of opposite genders were allowed to work in the non-allocated sections.
Round the back the ground wasn't maintained.
Some shots showing the internal damage, which is mostly natural. There is graffiti and glass in many rooms.
Into the main hall, that has recently had a collapse.
The decay was wonderful in some parts, particularly in the bay window scenarios.
Here's the link to our documentary styled video showcasing this location. We cover the asylum's past, present and future through cinematics and narration: