Sunnyside

Sunnyside is an old and now abandoned psychiatric hospital located near Montrose, Scotland. Dating back to 1858 it finally closed its doors in 2011 and has sat abandoned and left to the elements. The site was purchased in 2016 by a development company and nothing much has been done since. It continues to gradually deteriorate and fall foul to vandalism.

Sunnyside is an echo for me of Denbigh Hospital in North Wales, another psychiatric residence which closed its doors back in 1996 and was located close to my home town. My mother worked there for a while and I recall visiting her office as a child, seeing the grand old building in its prime. Then left to rack and ruin, a series of devastating fires and development plans forever thwarted for one reason or another. It’s such a shame that these grand old buildings are left to rot.

So what will become of Sunnyside? Given its current state some major investment is required. The development company in situ apparently have plans. Some of the outer buildings will be bulldozed to make way for gardens – most of them are pretty much beyond repair anyway. For the larger buildings, one is expected to be a hotel. The main building could be turned into flats or apartments for the elderly. There are whispers of imminency from some of the locals – time will tell.

I photographed this series of images one late summer evening and one early summer morning, camping over at the back of the site. It’s a surprisingly peaceful place given it’s proximity to Montrose, with only the occasional dog walker passing by. My intention was to capture what remains before it either metamorphoses or crumbles away completely.

Welcome to Sunnyside…