The Long Building or St Annes as it is more formally known as, is a notorious former insane asylum planted high on a hill of the banks of the River Lee. It is not to often I would drive along the road, two roads and a walkway parallel, but when I do or every time one does, you can’t help but glance up and think about or attempt to contemplate the horror story that once was.
For many Corkonians (those form Cork) the sad reality is it hits home as many have had relatives enter, never to leave again. All I know about it is its called The Long Building and is now totally, sadly derelict.
The building only completely closed its doors in 2002 which is shockingly recent considering the stories that float and are wrote about it.
On doing a bit of online research I read where an online forum user wrote the following:
A great grand parent of mine was committed to the Cork Lunatic Asylum in the 1930’s, she was the victim of domestic violence and when she tried to get help the local doctor and her husband had her committed.
While I have her birth, death and marriage certificate I am trying to get records from the Asylum in Cork (St Annes.).
Could anyone give me advise how to go about this?
How horrific to think your poor relative went through such injustice and pure wicked mental torture.
The building was built in the 1700’s which is also, in my mind, fairly recent for human civilisation to not have development properly where people with mental difficulties, emotional stress, abuse or depression were thrown in together, drugged up to the eye balls, locked in seclusion at times, were driven ‘mad’ and became highly suicidal were not understood or given adequate care.
It is noted that the patients lived under very unsanitary conditions such as having no curtains in their rooms, no toilet seat, no toilet paper, no towels etc. There doesn’t seem to be much documented or revealed on any abuse or cruelty, mainly just the lack of modern facilities due the old Victorian housing and many Victorian ways that remained in place.
It was built to house 500 patients and is essentially three buildings joined together to create the large Long Building. There are four churches on the grounds. Next to St Annes is St Kevins which is a newer building thats is also now boreded up. (see below)
It was sold in recent years for €900,000. A small part of the building has been turned into apartments but cant accommodate a lift so access to the fourth floor is by climbing serval narrow staircases. The larger ground apartments look like they are relatively spacious with the uniqueness, original character and structure of the building in tact, while upstairs apartments are less homely and fairly basic.
I have not met, as of yet, anyone who lives in those apartments but I would be intrigued to ask questions. On a recent evening a friend and I had the bright idea of going to check the building out. We managed to enter the building where I felt a heavy energy but as it was dark and the building is by no means structurally sound I didn’t go far and exited fairly soon.
On our adventure we meet a few bush drinking teens who showed us around a bit and told us some stories. Apparently there was a guy drinking on the steeps one day, when he looked up he say smoke coming form the chimney. On another occasion the 19 yr old preceded the tell me that he personally has heard chains clanging like someone shackled to a wall.
The property would be a great space for an event centre, more apartment, a hotel or an even better location for a horror movie!
Below I have some pictures taken of the building and below them are the pictures I took with my phone on the night. Take a look at St Kevins (the red brick building) and see how it oddly has a new window in a very old and otherwise derelict building. I have also zoomed in on some of the shots.Take a look and tell me what you see 🙂