Pictured here is Our Lady’s Hospital, formerly Eglinton Asylum, Cork, overlooking the River Lee in Cork City.
Originally built to house 500 patients, this was the largest of seven lunatic asylums commissioned in the late 1840s by the Board of Public Works. Like the older buildings before it, Eglinton Asylum was a "corridor" asylum, but put more emphasis on wards for the patients, rather than cells.
It was also unique as it was one of the first asylums to take on Neo Gothic design over the previously popular classical designs which were more common. It is constructed from Glanmire sandstone with the dressings being made from limestone.
It was designed by local architect William Atkins, and when built was one of the longest buildings in Ireland at just over one thousand feet long. The elevated site overlooking the River Lee at Shanakiel appears to have been chosen by the local Governors for drama rather than practical purposes, with great difficulty being encountered in providing exercise yards for patients on the steep slope that runs down to the river.
The asylum was named after Right Hon. Earl of Eglinton - Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. It was opened in 1852 and cost just short of £80,000 to complete.
In 1988, there was a distressing report published in the Irish Parliament, outlining a litany of disgraces at the site. There were over 1000 patients in a place designed for 500, toilets were filthy with some being shared by up to 30 patients, and on some occasions, patients were required to use their own money to purchase required equipment such as washing machines.
Despite its rather dark history, it is a beautiful building, and its position over the river gives it great impact. Plans were afoot during better years in Ireland to convert the building into luxury apartments, but to date this has not happened and it remains an empty wreck. Even it the word luxury were used to describe a conversation, I still don't think I would be keen to live in a place like this.
It reminds me a lot of the asylum from the movie "Session 9" for any horror fans that might have seen it.
What we can see here is about two thirds of the total length of the building, and the tower on the left of the shot is actually the very center of the building. Bad light caused me to consider cutting the picture into this square format.
Thanks for looking!
Critiques | Translate
carlo62 (50778) 2014-01-09 15:09
è veramente enorme questa costruzione.
Ottimo in pov che ci mostra tutta la sua estensione.
La scelta del b&w sembra più dovuta a una mancanza di qualità dell'immagine, ma non so giudicarlo, probabilmente la giornata non era delle migliori.
jcpix (13930) 2014-01-09 18:13
I've never seen "Session 9," but you've piqued my curiosity...I'll certainly be looking into it! :) A good thing your note so clearly defines this image, because I would have taken this to be anything but an asylum. From this vantage point it could easily be perceived as a royal palace and grounds...and to think this is only about 2/3'rds of the estate, whoa! Yeah, not so sure I'd want to be living there either had it actually been converted to residential living...too much spooky history. Besides, it's mammoth size might turn you insane just the same trying to remember which unit is yours!?
A good choice of black & white once again, it really feels to amplify the dark side of its past. Quite a visual contradiction though, because it is quite a spectacular looking place from the outside. Hauntingly beautiful. I think the square format suits this well with good layers and dimension. A tremendous fit for TE! Happy Friday.
Cheers from Desertopolis,
Subhogen (4067) 2014-01-10 0:53
Nice photo of the asylum. Considered to be a dark place as portrayed in various movies and dramas, so perfect choice of B&W over here. The settings and the surroundings seem to be picturesque though, which adds a bit of nicety to the dark theme. Unique identical architecture of the asylum is eye-catching. I like the way it towers over rest of the frame. Thanks for sharing with an elaborate note describing the past and present of this building.
macjake (69765) 2014-01-10 1:52
yes, we've seen this subject from you before...and i love to see it more and more!
you say its now just an empty wreck....I'd try my best to get inside, imagine the photos to be had within its walls!!
I wonder what the condition is like, I wonder if there's still medical equipment left to rot inside, I wonder if there's wheelchairs rusting inside....Oh my mind can think of many such things!!!!!!!!!!!!
Do you know of any story of people getting inside to photograph it? I'd love to make that list of people.
emka (100793) 2014-01-10 2:14
Hi Noel, I see what a delight it is for Craig :). It amazes me that once there were so many patients of this asylum and now it is abandoned. it is so huge and difficult to imagine it is only part of it. it is a pity that such magnificent building, in spectacular place is only empty wreck. maybe a bit spooky to live there but it could be a good hotel, I am sure that there would be a lot of people interesting to sleep in asylum, like sometimes in prisons.
great shot and b&b works really well.
WArm regrads Malgo
snunney (101602) 2014-01-10 2:36
Black and white heightens the sense of drama and is very apposite to the subject. For a lunatic asylum, it is really quite an attractive building; I like the symmetry and the repeating motifs of the various structures.
Kamilutka (8107) 2014-01-10 4:11
nice idea and so well executed - the whole picture has plenty of charm of the old pictures I can find in my parents album. The tree on the bank of the river captures an eye in the foreground and the asylum frames the image lovely at the top.
Nice sharpness and well as properly given contrast.
All the best!
timecapturer (49288) 2014-01-10 5:45
this is amazing. Inspired use of B&W too! Your POV and composition are just beautifully expressive and this stunning building looks just so imposing and magnificent in this medium. The textures and detailing are just captivating. It is an awesome image and I love it. Somehow I knew Craig would be itching to get inside this place.
Enjoy the coming weekend - B.
any more rain and I could be an inmate here too, I think! :-/.
omid266 (6748) 2014-01-10 7:27
Salam Noel , ********
Thank you for sharing this special foto with us ,
although i prefer colour pictures ,
*** Wish and Prayer for Health & Wealth and Happiness for
all people in the world ***
God Help you and all of us ,
Best Regards ,
Omid - I.R.I
aleXundar (1256) 2014-01-10 8:30
It is hard to believe that this huge building is an asylum. BW is a good choice. I like the pencil-sketch effect. The tower against a dramatic sky, is most attractive. A very good perspective with the trees in the middle, covering the bottom of the building.
Excellent presentation with a detailed note as usual.
Thanks for sharing,
Fis2 (100638) 2014-01-10 9:32
Interesting b&w photo from your archive.
I like frame and composition.
I like towers.
ourania (47784) 2014-01-10 13:34
I remember another, colour photo you had presented us of this place. It was a closer and more straightforward view that couldn't include the whole of this enormous building either. It looks very imposing in this moderately dynamic, b&w picture, rising above all the other layers in the frame. It dominates the frame and at the same time looks inaccessible. It looks so suggestive and mysterious, one can hardly imagine the stories and dramas it hosted through the years. The silvery tint of your monochrome treatment makes this picture look like an illustration for an old novel. Congratulations and thank you!
All the best, have a lovely evening,
rigoletto (34279) 2014-01-10 13:52
the subject is awesome, the spookiest possible, the vantage point is spectacular, we see almost everything about it, there is even a man sitting on the fallen trunk (!), and b&w is the perfect choice. whereas, here is a bit of grumbling for you: whatever you did during pp spoilt the whites and greys (played too much with curves to highlight?), as i see many pixelled textures on water and sky. i also do this sometimes, usually realize it after upload, but then it is too late. glad that nobody realized it yet.
bona (13737) 2014-01-10 16:03
I be curious about the colors of the buildings in the background. I think they are colorful, but you chose a B&W version, why?
Maybe a crop cuting part of the river and focousing on the building could be a better option.
photoray (13981) 2014-01-11 7:49
Appealing monochromatic and atmospheric view of the ornate gothic building, viewed across the river. I would not have guessed an insane asylum, since our mental institutes are usually simple modern bare bones architectures.
mkamionka (38335) 2014-01-11 12:31
I thought it was already converted to the apartments because my friend rented an apartment there :) Unless I mixes something up but I think I didn't as I remember laughing at him from the fact that he lives in a mental hospital...
Great structure and perfect POV selected to present it with the river in the foreground. I am not a big fan of black and white and I believe this could look better in color but I may be wrong.
Great composition though and interesting atmosphere!
adores (45869) 2014-01-22 15:28
I remember this place from ther photos you have posted. It seems huge and impressive, with a really sad history, I'm sure, but a beautiful place. I like the b&w and this composition, with the trunks in foreground.
Karolina999 (0) 2015-08-25 1:55
fine BW work, fine cut, ideal contrast and superb sharpness. Beautiful image.
Thanx for sharing.