An urban explorer has captured these stunning images as a memento of a former mental asylum that is under demolition.

West Park Mental Asylum was a large psychiatric hospital in Epsom and opened in 1923, with facilities to cater for about 2,000 patients.

At one time, it had extensive boiler houses, a mortuary, chapel, water tower, ballroom and even its own railway.

Now it is a derelict shell, with crumbling door frames, puddle-scattered floors and asbestos-riddled walls.

The hospital was slowly run down in the mid-1990s, but from the photographs, you would be forgiven for thinking everybody upped and left with no warning.

Tagged suitcases are stacked neatly in one room, worn coats hang on rails, dolls lie on the floor and shoes are scattered throughout, while drawings in the children's ward still hang on the wall.

The Weybridge explorer, who dodged security to take the photographs, said: “It is a haunting place to be, but just fascinating. There are files with patients names, and all their possessions still there, like it is frozen in time.

“It will be such a shame to see it all go.”

He did not wish to be named because of the veil of secrecy that surrounds the hobby of urban exploring.

Urban exploring has grown in popularity over the past few years, with the inquisitive adventurers using the motto: “Take noting but photographs, leave nothing but footprints.”

The site has been bought to develop new and refurbished homes in a parkland setting.

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