- For the hospital in St. Louis, Missouri, see Barnes-Jewish Hospital. For other uses, see Barnes (disambiguation).
The main building of Barnes Hospital in April 2008
|Former names||Barnes Convalescent Home|
(Grade II, 1999)
|Architectural style||French Gothic Revival|
|Location||Cheadle, Greater Manchester, England|
|Design and construction|
Barnes Hospital, also known as Manchester Convalescent Home, in Cheadle, Greater Manchester, England, is a former hospital. It is located on the border between Manchester and Stockport near to the A34 road in the middle of the complex interchange between the A34, M60 motorway and M56 motorway. Whilst the hospital was constructed in a rural setting, it is now surrounded by roads. The main building is Grade II listed, and lies on green belt land.
The hospital closed in 1999 and although the building was promptly listed, it has become derelict. It remains an easily identifiable for passers-by, sitting on a mount overlooking the surrounding roads. It is recognisable for its eerie and sombre Gothic aesthetic reminiscent of a monastery.
The Convalescent Home was constructed by Manchester Royal Infirmary on the rural outskirts of Manchester. The rural location was selected as a recuperating atmosphere away from the industrial smog of Manchester - a rural area which now belies its location, surrounding by major roads on all sides.
A donation of £26,000 for the founding of a new convalescent hospital in Cheadle was made in 1869 by Robert Barnes. Construction of the hospital, named the Barnes Convalescent Home, started in 1871 and was completed in 1875. It was constructed of bricks, the clay for which was provided locally.
Broken remains of three stone high crosses were discovered in 1874 during the construction of the hospital. The location of only one of these is known today; this consists of a crosshead of Celtic cross form with a central boss, and dates from the late 10th or 11th century. It is now located in St Mary's Church, Cheadle. The other two pieces are said to be part of a much older cross, and the upper part of an Anglo-Saxon cross shaft.
The hospital operated through the war caring for injured soldiers and taking in traumas, on the same site of Barnes Hospital there was also a fever hospital where patients with tuberculosis and yellow fever were treated in isolation wards. The main use for the hospital in its later life was for geriatric care and stroke patients. It was estimated the hospital treated tens of thousands of patients over its 115 years as convalescent home.
The building is known for its sombre Gothic appearance - only exacerbated by its dereliction and position on a mount overlooking the surrounding roads. Nikolaus Pevsner called the building "Large, Gothic and grim". The building has been described as a "great gaunt pile of a building, abandoned and all dark at night, except for the lonely light in its tower-top clock." The 1974 horror film, Let Sleeping Corpses Lie, otherwise known as The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue was partially filmed at Barnes Hospital.
The hospital was sold in 2001, and was for a number of years owned by Realty Estates who allowed the listed building to fall into a state of dereliction. It was later sold to the Irish property development group Benmore for a sum estimated around £12 million. The company proposed a new 128 residential unit development around the hospital building but it was never proposed to the planning authority.
It has recently changed hands again and is understood to be owned by four local businessmen, who intend to restore Barnes Hospital to its former condition and provide residential apartments within the building. Restoration works are expected to commence some time in 2013 after liaisons with the local authority.
During World War II the hospital was used as a convalescent home for wounded soldiers. Following its closure the hospital temporarily housed a large group of refugees from Kosovo. It was featured on Most Haunted Live in September 2005. The site was briefly occupied by around 100 gypsy families in February 2007.
- Kushner, Tony (2006). Remembering Refugees: Then and Now. Manchester University Press. ISBN 0719068835.
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- "Cheadle Conservation Area Character Appraisal". Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council. March 2006. Retrieved 5 April 2010.
- "Cheadle Parish Church—St Mary's". Retrieved 14 April 2008.
- Kushner 2006, p. 73
- Kushner 2006, p. 70
- "The Living Dead". IMDB. Retrieved 2013-04-18.
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- Weisgard, Jon (15 April 2005). "Ex-hospital due to become flats". Stockport Express (M.E.N. Media). Retrieved 14 April 2008.
- "Benmore Developments". Retrieved 2012-09-16.
- "Good news on Barnes Hospital site". 27 July 2012. Retrieved 5 Augustl 2012.
- "WW2 People's War — an archive of World War Two memories". 17 January 2005. Retrieved 14 April 2008.
- "Kosovan Refugees". Manchester City Council. Retrieved 14 April 2008.
- Skinner, Miles (28 February 2007). "Gatley counts cost of clean-up after Gypsies". Stockport Express (M.E.N. Media). Retrieved 14 April 2008.
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