urbex photography
The Psychiatrist's House. Doncaster

This location has a tragic and sad story attached to it. I had planned for a while to photograph this house for a long time but was reluctant due to the tragic events in 1991 and was wary of local people seeing me going inside. However, it was apparent that it was very accessible, merely a stroll in from the main road so i figured that it would be a fairly simple assignment. It was an emotional experience knowing that the person who lived there was connected to a local murder case.

The house itself is quite unique in design and looks as if it was designed specifically for the person living there being somewhat out of character with the nearby homes dotted along the busy main road. Most of the house has succumbed to the rigours in time and is starting to decay yet enough remains intact to get a good overall picture of how it once looked.

Inside there were still personal items in an upstairs bedroom left behind by the doctor who lived there, mainly books and medical papers. Downstairs old cheque stubs and letters scatter the messy floors. There was apparently a collection of vintage classic cars at the premises belonging to the doctor but they had disappeared by the time I photographed the house. Only one remained batteed and vruised, buried beneath the tangled undergrowth of the unkept gardens. An idea of the lifestyle of the owner could be seen in the rather grand - if now decaying - swimming pool with its colourful murals in the rear.

 

It was difficult not to think of the past tragic events whilst in the house. Howerver, as with all the other locations, this is merely a photographic documentation of an abandonded house as with all the others.

 

Of note; When I took photograph 09 i didn't realise what was on the newspaper clipping as i didn't read it at the time of taking the photograph. Only when I edited the photograph at home some days later did I realise the significance of that article. Chilling and bizzare that it was there at all.

 

The tragic story behind this house:

 

On 30 March 1991 Carol Barratt was in the Frenchgate shopping centre in Doncaster, where she threatened a young lady with a knife. She was arrested, and later, following an assessment by a police surgeon, an approved social worker and the duty psychiatrist, was admitted to the psychiatric unit at the Doncaster royal infirmary under a section of theMental Health Act 1983. During her admission she appealed against her detention to the Mental Health Review Tribunal, but her appeal was turned down. Despite this, on 14 April the responsible medical officer—a Dr. Silvester—discharged her from her section of the Mental Health Act and she walked out of the hospital. Two days later—on 16 April —Carol Barratt went to the Frenchgate shopping centre and stabbed to death little Emma Brodie, an 11-year-old schoolgirl whose parents kept a nearby public house. The parents have not recovered from the shock and grief, and probably never will.