As Halloween rolls around this year, we’re revisiting one of MPSL’s most unique and spooky developments. Welcome to the ‘Haunted’ Middlewood Asylum, now known as Middlewood Lodge, Sheffield, home to luxurious one, two & three bedroom apartments.
In 1872, a psychiatric hospital in South Yorkshire opened to receive its first patients. Located in north-west Sheffield at Wadsley Park, the hospital alleviated the overcrowding at a similar institution at Wakefield, and soon became home to over a thousand patients.
The Asylum was described in the Press as one of the most imposing structures near Sheffield, half-way between Wadsley and Oughtibridge. Middlewood was then little more than a country village beyond Hillsborough, the main road towards the asylum passing through farms and open fields, with a few cottages here and there.
Visiting patients was not easy; Wadsley Bridge railway station was some distance away, and the alternative was horse drawn omnibus to Owlerton, and then pony and trap. Patients could only be visited once a month.
Not all the original inmates of the hospital were mental health patients, some were paupers from the workhouses who were no longer able to work, some were women suffering from post-natal depression and some were suffering from things like epilepsy.
During both WWI and WWII the hospital was evacuated and the building became a major military hospital before reverting back to a Psychiatric hospital following both wars.
MPSL were approached by a long-standing client, Urban-I, in 2008 who had recently purchased a former Grade II Listed building and had plans to redevelop the property.
Having worked with the developer on many different projects over the years, MPSL and Urban-I had covered everything from new-build residential schemes right through to retail projects.
This new project would see the team create 14 luxurious apartments within the existing building and a further 24 apartments as part of a stunning contemporary new-build to the rear.
The MPSL team had to be cautious with how they approached the project due to the historical significance of the building and as a result faced challenges that they would have to overcome to ensure the project went without a hitch. Some of those challenges involved were;
– Tanking: Basements had filled with water as the derelict building had been exposed to the elements over many years. Our team then had to liaise with specialist tanking companies to consider specific construction details and ensure the building would remain watertight.
– Historical Research: During the design stages our team would use historical photos and comb through archives to ensure they maintained as much of the original building style as possible.
– Sympathetic to Aesthetics: Roof tiles, windows and other key areas such as the beautiful clock tower had to be considered in everything we designed.
Since the project has been completed, the former Grade II Listed building now boasts a contemporary new-build extension to the rear set within a stunning conservation area. Middlewood Lodge offers a range of superior specification 1,2 & 3 bed apartments and duplex, many with either balconies or terraces looking out on to landscaped gardens or courtyard.
But, rumour has it, the residents are not the only ones that call Middlewood home …
This tremendous building boasts many ghost stories, a famous one being the ‘Old Lady’ who is known to wander around the old ward eight, where she would disappear through walls. There are also numerous accounts of disembodied footsteps on stairways.
There are many, many other stories such as general hauntings on Ward 12, Ward 8, sightings of an old woman in a night cap and no face, and the Hillside ward suffering from knockings at night time. Prior to the renovation of the wards they were said to be exorcised and various students through the years have reported the hospital being exorcised by the on-site priest.
We don’t know what to believe … but one things for sure, this project is one to remember for all the right reasons!